Monday, February 16, 2009

What Money Can Buy

Watching the Super Bowl with both Cardinal and Steelers fans was a thrilling experience. With each unexpected twist or spectacular play, someone erupted with jubilant yelps while someone else groaned in agony. As a former fullback on the soccer field, I was beyond pleased to see Defensive Player of the Year James Harrison run a hundred yards with an interception to score a touchdown. (Huzzah! Can't keep those defenders down!) Someone remarked that such a close, exciting game must also make the advertisers happy, especially those whose ads aired in the second half.

While there were some commercial gems, what
Washington Post writer Thomas Boswell once said about the halftime show was true of this year's pricey, inane productions: "[they] will make you wonder if Western Civilization deserves to survive." One bright spot, however, was seeing Richard Dean Anderson on screen again, facing yet another ticking time-bomb. Pepsi's production was hardly worthy of MacGyver, but we recalled the great Mastercard commercial he did years ago and smiled. Tube sock: $4. Paper clip, ballpoint pen, rubber band, tweezers, turkey baster: $14. Little things that get you through the day: Priceless.

And it reminded me of why I am helping Lola and Taiye raise funds to go to Nigeria. Some may wonder why employed professionals need financial assistance to take a trip. Well, it is more than just travel expenses that need to be covered and it is more than just a trip, of course. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet a parent. And a trip to Africa means taking time off from one's life here (taking an unpaid leave of absence from work, for example), and that gets expensive.
Airfare, visa/passport fees, recommended vaccinations, in-country accommodations, in-country travel: $$$. Spending a month becoming father and daughter at last: Priceless.

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