After drumming and dancing class every Tuesday and Thursday, my friend David and I (more often than not accompanied by Maurice) would walk out of the gates of the cultural center to a little bar on the side of an adjacent street. The bar at first glance is unassuming and blends into the natural landscape of Kumasi: outdoor seating for about 25 patrons under a green awning with the word “CLUB” inscribed in white on it, with a small interior room with refrigerators, liquor, and the cash register. When David, Maurice and I first started to frequent this bar in week one of our trip, we were looked on as tourists, just swinging through to try some Ghanaian beer and leave without really having any genuine interactions with any of the other patrons or the owners. That changed gradually as we began to come back with some regularity. People started to notice us more. They would give us a nod and a smile and ask how we were. The waitress who served us every Tuesday and Thursday asked us our names. But when the World Cup started, everything changed. Soccer (or football to everyone else in the world outside of the states) has the power to unite people across cultures, bridge language barriers, and bring people together to support a common cause. Like clockwork for the last three weeks of our program, David and I would roll out of class and go straight to our bar and there would always be a game on. We would be met with a broad smile and a handshake from the owner of the establishment, sit down to watch the game, and be served the finest Club by my bride-to-be (story: our waitress – who we learned was the daughter of the owner – wanted my hand in marriage, and many of the times in the last couple weeks we went, the owner would sit next to me as we watched and would engage me in half hour conversations as to why I should marry his daughter). We would yell with the locals over missed calls, celebrate goals, and get in disagreements over who we thought should have won the match. In between matches, David and I would order goat kebabs from a street vendor as we talked with those around us about the next game and who we were rooting for. Long gone were the days of us being tourists sitting alone in the corner by ourselves. We were right in the middle of the action, interacting and having a ball with everyone we met in the name of the beautiful game.