donkey polo

18 Jul

The alarm clock rang at 6:00 am.  I was tired, but fortunately yesterday’s rain had brought in a cold front that made sleep easier to find.  Aaron was already awake as I opened up the door to my room.  He was sitting on his door step, head down and eyes closed as if he was in the middle of his morning prayer.  I knew better.  He wasn’t praying.

“Are you ready?” I asked.

“Ready as I’ll ever be,” he replied as he slowly came to a rise.   He looked taller this morning.  I knew he wasn’t, but he certainly looked it.

We grabbed our gear that we had laid out the night before and quietly walked out the front door.  Neither one of us said a word as we slowly made our way up the slight incline to BMC Park.  The sun was up, but even it was having trouble waking as the clouds hindered its ability to illuminate the field to its full potential.  They call it a park, but it’s not really a park.  It’s just a big, orange field of dirt with blue goals at either end.  Every day at 5:00 pm the field is covered with 22 Ghanaians playing football.  There would be no football today, at least not this morning.  This morning the field was reserved for something far greater, if not in renown than certainly in uniqueness.  Today this field was to host Nalerigu’s first annual – Donkey Polo Match.

We must have been late, as the game started immediately upon our arrival.  There was no time to warm up, an unfortunate turn of events which led to us conceding a goal early.  The Ghanaian team had put together an intimidating group of equestrians whose skill far surpassed all we had to offer, determination only excepted.

We struggled to control our donkeys early on.  At one point, Aaron’s inability to control his ass had led him out of the field of play, and left us a player down.

Things were looking bleak, as once again we had found ourselves unable to seize our God-ordained dominion over the animal kingdom. What happened next, however, was nothing short of miraculous.

The clouds slowly began to exit left, in a belief no doubt that the game was all but over.  The sun, taking advantage of its newly found freedom, shone brightly onto the orange field, creating what appeared to be a path directly from Aaron to our goal.  Simultaneously, Aaron turned his ass left and trotted back onto the field.  The two were somehow so united now, that looking into the eyes of one was as if looking into the eyes of the other.  The two events took place as if in one moment, making it difficult to tell which was the cause and which the effect.  Determining the order was of little importance as Aaron rifled the equalizer directly between the two blue posts.

This turned out to be the kick start our instant coffee failed to deliver as I followed suit with another goal before the game-ending whistle.

Spectators went crazy as we both made one last pass through the middle of the field, a victory ride of sorts.

After our win we started down the hill, this time accompanied by a multitude of cheering fans.  Aaron walked a few steps ahead of me.  There was no doubt in my mind now that he was indeed taller today.  I think we both walked a little taller as we made our way back to the house.  Not only had we won the match, but we had successfully tamed an African Donkey.  Needless to say, we felt good, but if one had the ability to peer into our souls they would see that something was still missing.

“You think we are ready for the monkey now?” I asked as we now stood side by side.  Little in Aaron’s movements even acknowledged that he had heard my question.  His head was still perfectly straight, as if permanently locked into a target only he could see.  His eyes shifted, and a small crease formed in the middle of his cheek, one that no doubt could only be produced by a grin.  He didn’t say anything.  He didn’t have to.


*The story above is a fictional account of two idiots who thought it would be fun taking turns mounting a donkey with croquet mallets.

– Adam

10 Responses to “donkey polo”

  1. carl & Elaine Baldridge July 18, 2011 at 8:37 am #

    Comic relief is important as you face difficult and often heartbreaking trials in other areas not to mention giving your blood.
    Aaron should be an expert at TRYING to control unruly animals after his early farm experiences with wild goats, escaping rabbits and strong-willed roosters.
    Monkeys may be another story and we have been told by reliable sources that they bite!
    Love, Mom and Dad B

  2. Linda Jamison July 18, 2011 at 10:37 am #

    This Saturday the “Roarong Lions” ( a group of Christians consisting mostly of well to do business men and women) is hosting an aannual Christian writers conference. People are coming from 5 or 6 states including Alaska to attend this at Prestonwood Country Club. Dad says he is speaking (don’t know yet if it is about Global Media or about steps to be a good writer!) I just wanted to comment on not only a engaging blog, but also what an amazing talent you have for writing! Dad said the other day that he thought you were pretty far along on the book that you are writing. I can’t wait to be one of the first to read it!
    New subject… I am so thankful that you are in Africa, mending doors and windows, playing soccer with the kids and probably adults, encouraging and praying for your wife as she goes to the clinic each day, serving the Lord by your very presence there. I love you so much and am so grateful for the heart God has given you for these people. Keep on trucking I mean “riding”!

    • Linda Jamison July 18, 2011 at 10:40 am #

      I meant to say “roaring” and it is Roaring Lambs not Lions!

  3. Drew Davenport July 18, 2011 at 10:56 am #

    Obviously Aaron’s experience milking a goat (as broadcast at Hillcrest Staff Development two years ago) came in quite handy during Donkey Polo.

    Seriously though, I’ve learned so much by reading this blog – about your trip, about Ghana and Africa, about the brokenness of this world, and about the power of Christ in it. Thank you for sharing your kingdom work. We have been and continue to pray for yall.
    Bon courage,

  4. Jenny W. July 18, 2011 at 11:25 am #

    OMG I’m dying !! Best. Blog post. Ever (were any animals injured in the documentation of this epic fictional story?)

  5. Denise July 18, 2011 at 11:50 am #

    please tell me there are videos. PLEASE!!!

  6. Tommy Tucker July 18, 2011 at 10:29 pm #

    Great story Adam! But I have to ask – did you trade in your motorcycle for the donkey??? Not a good trade my friend!

  7. Jonathan Whitmore July 19, 2011 at 11:38 pm #

    Well written, Adam. Thoroughly entertaining :).

  8. Caleb July 26, 2011 at 11:00 am #

    Hahahahahahahahahaha!!! Can’t wait to see videos or to hear the continuation of the story. Awesome. Beg your pardon, but in the pics it’s hard to tell which is the ass’s face and which is the donkey’s ass. 😉

  9. Marcela July 31, 2011 at 9:18 pm #


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