Monday, November 10, 2008

Barack Obama

We were in a small Catholic guesthouse in Wa, a city in the Upper West region of far northern Ghana, very nearly in Burkina Faso. We had asked all of our friends back home to call us when the results started coming in, and at around 3:00 a.m. our phones started blowing up with text messages and calls. We huddled in the dark in a small circle in the courtyard, a small group of environment trainees, yelling and giving each other high fives. I called my parents to celebrate the moment. In southern Ghana, the capital city of Accra went crazy. In Kenya, a national holiday was declared. Since then I have had so many conversations with Ghanaians about Barack Obama that I will hopefully write about in more detail later on. I've been realizing that part of what defines my experience in Africa is being here as Obama has been elected, and during his Presidency. What can I say, except that on January 20th President Barack Obama becomes my new boss!


Anonymous said...

It's thrilling, isn't it, that Obama's election has excited people around the world as much as it has excited us back home. Maybe he can help reclaim some small part of America's tarnished reputation abroad.

Expectations are so high because the situation is so dire. Can Obama be the next FDR/LBJ/Clinton for domestic and economic policy? Can he end the torture of enemy combatant detainees and bring the Iraq troop pullout to fruition? Will the Taliban ever be brought under control? Hezbollah halted? Iran calmed down? So many challenges.


Anonymous said...

Sam! I sat patiently waiting for your first post, and than the election overwhelmed my senses and my sense of being. And before I knew it...its today, November 15th. Its taken me this long to finally realize that it is true. Barak Obama is our president, and tears come to my eyes in imagining your experience all the way in Africa. I can't wait to read more about your experiences, especially as Obama's influences reach the other side of the won't take long. The optimism that surrounds us here at home is so intense. I'm sure that life in Ghana is more unfamiliar than I'll ever imagine, but life in the USA is also becoming unfamiliar as we realize that the past 8 years doesn't actually define us as a nation or a people. We haven't had to wait for January 20th for this to be recognized. There is already discussion regarding Obama's approach to Iran, and that comes to mind is HOPE!

I miss you and hope you're doing well. You are indeed in a special place as our world changes so dramatically and you have such a unique opportunity to view it from the eyes of people so different from us...yet, perhaps so similar?

Be well and know that we miss you and love you!