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3. When imagination becomes reality

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The previous story – the assault in Klap – is the ground on which the following story is built on.

Sven explains: When the youths from Keta, who had endured the attack, came home to their own village, they did not talk to anyone about what they had been through. They knew that if the villagers and the elders found out what had happened, they would take revenge on the other tribe or demand a vast compensation. Those who had been subjected to the attack did not want this to happen, since they took their Christian faith seriously.

However, a few weeks after the attack, the person who had got his head hacked by an axe became very sick. Those who had been with him during the assault believed it was due to the blow of the axe. They did not dare to remain silent about the attack any longer and told the elders of the village about what had happened. They became very angry. The comrades of the injured patient wanted to take him to the hospital but the elders were strictly against this. Soon thereafter, the pastor in Keta sent me a message and asked me to come to their aid. I went to Keta and was greeted by the villagers who were terribly angry and provoked. Most of the people only spoke the local tribal language, thus I did not understand much of what they said, but they acted in very a threatening manner.

In the midst of this tense situation, the pastor believed that the villagers were going to kill me. He was very frightened and the fear made him run away, all the way down to Kundi Pok in Tega. During the two to three hours´ trip, the pastor’s imagination bolted away.

During his run, he is thinking about what is happening and the whole event takes place in his own mind. In the meantime, his thoughts and fears are transformed into a real incident in his own head. When he arrives at Kundi, he cries uncontrollably and says that they had killed me, Sven, in the village of Keta. He is absolutely convinced that they had taken my life.

Meanwhile, I have managed to persuade the leaders of the village in Keta to let me take the patient to a hospital. After having driven the sick to a safe infirmary, I drive home. At the same time, Kundi starts to gather a dozen pastors to go to Keta. They contact the police, but sadly they give them the same answer as last time – they do not want to join them.

Kundi and the other pastors go to our home to tell Marianne that I have been killed in Keta. When they knock on the door of our home, I am the one who opens the door (I have just arrived home a few minutes ago). Their faces go all white – as white as brown people could be. They think that they have seen a spirit or a ghost, since they were totally convinced that I had been beaten to death.


This story shows how the imagination and thoughts of the natives could turn into a reality for them. These occurrences were of course more common in the past than they are today, but when a native tells you a story, one has to try to ascertain what is imagination and what is reality.

At this time, we were having Australian visitors and it could be considered quite lucky that I, Sven, came home first because otherwise the rumors of me being beaten to death might have spread as far as to Australia. Later on, the villagers in Klap regretted their decision and tried to take the injured man home from the hospital. I travelled back to Klap and told them:

"You might think that this man is about to die, but that is not the case because my God is stronger than yours. You just want compensation or blood feuds – that why you didn´t want him to get medical care."

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