It seems like every country I go to, all the newspapers and TV are full of news from home.
Even the conversations seem to revolve around the same thing – Obama.
In Tanzania, it seemed like I often had conversations like this:
“Where are you from?”
A smile breaks across their face, they point at me and without containing their joy say “Obama!”
Here are some pictures from Tanzania (pictures of Obama on buses, and as screen savers on phones)
One of the most interesting moments for me was when I was watching the news with my friend who is from a war torn eastern European country:
“That is an amazing picture.” (he said)
“Which one?” (I asked)
“The one with Obama and Bush together. You don’t realize how incredible that is. People criticize America all the time, but it really is the best example of democracy that exists – to have that kind of peaceful transition of power is amazing. In my country, the president did not want to leave office, so they brought arms and a lot of people died.”
Perhaps Presiden Obama’s inauguration was the focus of more of the world’s consciousness than any other event in history?
I just hope we don’t depend too much on him to do things that all of us can do together, using a combination of our best intentions and intelligence. Time to recharge our “bettery”.
I’m curious – what are your expectations of Obama and the U.S. (especially over the next 4 years)?
my expectations are decidedly low: that he doesn’t make things any worse than they already are.
Very low expectations, even more so if he does anything while he’s in office. Government leaders (who haven’t been held accountable for their policies/actions) got us into this mess and taxes/socialism will not get us out.
Ask these people why they like President Obama so much. What policies do they like and what specific change will he inact. Most people don’t know because President Obama says nothing better than anyone else. And the media throughout the world are liberal leaning like him so his coverage is remarkable positive. I agree with you that individuals making better choices and working hard provide the best solutions to America’s and the world’s problems and difficulties.
I experienced a similar sensation in Ghana with people wearing Obama visors and selling life-size photos of Obama on the streets. A group of junior high boys chased me across the schoolyard yelling “OBAAAAAAMA!” It was great.
I personally think that no matter what your political party is, it IS a big deal that we are getting some diversity in the highest position one can hold in one of the most powerful countries in the world. It really IS symbolic of how far we have come. That is good and I applaud it! I think he gives a lot of people hope.
I think he has gotten people excited and involved that have never previously cared about politics. He’s charismatic and I think he is a good person.
I hope he is able to turn a lot of things around for the better. I think energy and the environment are issues that can’t keep being pushed aside forever. There are a lot of other issues that have been neglected that I think he will bring to attention (though I’m a little worried about the timing since we’re in a bit of a financial crunch).
I am, however, extremely nervous about FOCA and similar impending bills, and sliding further down the slippery ‘free for all’ mentality with certain moral issues. It really gets my curls in an uproar.
The thing that I hate is that no matter which party you go with, good things can happen at the expense of bad, and visa versa.
So there is your comment from a moderate independent.
Personally, I think the best model is an absolute monarch that also happens to be perfect–all-knowing and completely altruistic.
Obama is another “rock star” political figure that happens from time to time. My prediction is a huge (because of such high expectations) disappointment in USA while a very good reputation outside USA.
He has difficult and daunting tasks in front of him. I’m not sure if he (or anyone) is able to find the right solutions in this messy Zugzwang [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zugzwang] we’re in.
I don’t expect a HUGE difference but whatever happens I know the immediate will interpret it as change because that is what people want. I do think it is a miracle that there is always a peaceful transition of power. Truly amazing.
I hope it doesn’t take too long for you to deem me worthy of the seventh wonder. At the rate we’re going – I’d be lucky if it’s 2011. Please spare me the anticipation.
HI THIS IS IZAC FROM TANZANIA I THINK U GET REMEMBER ME WE MEAT ON THE GERAGE I WAS JUST WITH MY MOTOR CIRCLE WITH THE PUNCTURE. I HOPE THAT YOU HAVE REMEMBER ME; ACTUARY I JUST WANTED TO KNOW HOW WAS YOUR JOUNEY AND ALSO TO CONGRATURATE YOU ON INAUGURATION OF YOUR PRESDENT BARRACK OBAMA. AND ALSO I JUST WANT TO LET YOU KNOW HOW PREASURE I AM BECAUSE OF THE ACTION THAT TOK PLACE IN AMERICA YESTERDAY, LEALY IT WAS AMMEISING, SO I HOPE RIGH NOW YOU AS AMERICAN YOU ARE JUST WAITING FOR THE CHANGES AND EXPECTING SUCCESFULNESS, IS IT THE WAY YOU HOPE? I AM ALSO WAITING TO HERE FROM YOU SEND MY BEST WISHES TO OBAMA AND ALL AMERICANS WHO LIKE THEIR COUNTRY. I HAVE MAMNY TO SAY BUT NEXT TIME.
I agree with you in the fact that we shouldnt wait on what Obamas going to do. What change do we want in America and in the world, and it is up to us to inact that change. Obama is OUR president. He can only do so much but we are the ones who he is leading, and we need to do what we can.
Nice to meet you and happy for the conversation we had.
Obama – i wonder of you were ‘lucky’ enough to hear one of the Barack Obama songs ringing out in the local mini buses here in Georgetown, Guyana?
I did notice that there was at least one street here named after Obama – but I did not hear the song yet. Hopefully I’ll hear it before I leave 🙂