I feel proud to live in the U.S.

I watched the election unravel on election day eagerly awaiting the results of what our future would hold for the next four years. I’m not at TV watcher but I found myself tuning in throughout the day excited but nervous fro what this election meant.

It’s no surprise at my elation when CNN was quick to announce they’re projection Obama won Ohio. Significant as no Republican in history has ever won an election without the state of Ohio. The results continued to trickle in and it became clearer and clearer Obama would succeed. I felt great.

The following morning I woke up happy and with a renewed spirit. I feel happy to be an American. I feel proud to be an American. I’ve never really felt proud of my country before but I feel Obama has given me a new sense of hope and inspiration. He’s calm and insightful. I’m impressed with his ability to articulate his thoughts so clearly and graciously;  he’s a motivational speaker. He’s what America needs in the White House.

I feel saddened by those who have become cynical or quickly want to jump and say Obama is still a democrat and has stances on many issues aren’t that different. Obama is symbolic of hope and change. Change always begins small. We must remember this and yet Obama being elected is huge change. America is back on track in the right direction.

Having traveled enough I realize how much America’s politics affects the entire world. This election wasn’t only for us Americans tired of the same broken rhetoric it was for the entire world. Obama as President elect shows everyone living on this Earth that anything and everything is possible brings an amazing amount of hope. I can only imagine the excitement on Kenyan’s, Tanzanian’s, Africans worldwide smiling in joy and happiness.

Throughout my travels, I was consistently asked who I thought would be president. Republican candidates were rarely mentioned as it seemed everyone knew the two Democrats- Hilary or Barack were the most significant, especially in terms of history in the making. I was impressed at people’s knowledge but with the amount of TV available maybe I shouldn’t hae been. I liked the idea of Hilary at the time but you can only imagine, most Africans I encountered voiced thier vote and hope for Barack.

I remember watching a special on the candidates running Democrats: Hilary Clinton, Barak Obama, John Edwards, Dennis Kucinich; Republicans: John McCain, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Rudy Guiliani. I watched this special in a convent in the beautiful Lushoto mountains in North Western Tanzania having hiked for 2 days, 14 miles. I was a bit stunned to be so far from the world and yet had access to TV and the newspaper. How far the nearest road was, I don’t know but I was truly far away. It felt that way.

It brought it home how significant our elections and our decisions do impact everywhere else. Even small villages that seem to be so far away.


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