As a Peace Corps volunteer in Ethiopia, I’m more patriotic than I’ve ever been! I often mention that if traveling to India made me more critical about America, traveling to Ethiopia has made me much more complimentary of the red, white, and blue.
Ethiopians love Obama, mostly because he’s “African,” so I often find Obama-decorated paraphernalia decorating the places and people in my community. Obama shirts, obama pens, obama condoms…in Ethiopia, we’ve got them all!
It was both difficult and relieving to be out of country for elections. No commercials, no extreme tongue-biting moments, but also, no debate-watching, few intellectual conversations about American politics.
Which is why I was so excited when my landlord said my sitemate, Bridget, and I could stay in their house to watch the results of the election on BBC last Tuesday night. Bridget and I made all the necessary preparations. She came over early with a bag to spend the night, we both got hyped up on bunna (coffee), and we dug out a few American flags for the evening.
All of the sudden, my landlord came to my little house. “Oh, Amanda, I am sorry. I am sorry.” After an exploration around the compound, Bridget then informed me that my landlord’s grandson, Jahred, accidentally ran into the satellite dish while he was playing outside.
My landlord then called my neighbor to realign the dish, but to no avail.
Bridget and I then tried to stay up to listen to the results on the radio, but reception was spotty.
No matter, we still loved the excitement of what was, for us, “election morning.” When we woke up, only 9 points separated Obama from Romney! I went to a coffee shop the next morning to watch BBC. All of the Ethiopian men present (who are jobless and, in general, aimless) cheered along with me to celebrate America.
May God bless the countries and people of every nation!