OBAMA JA

I’ve been hearing that phrase from Mauritanians everywhere I go since two days ago. If you translate it literally, it means Obama and then the past tense of “to come.” But what it really means is he won. I’ve been working in this copyshop since the beginning of this week, since that is where my counterpart has been. We get a pretty educated crowd in there, consisting usually of teachers and lawyers. One lawyer basically told me in depth that the great victory in this whole election, is that it just goes to prove that democracy is alive and true in America. America the place that brags about it’s democracy, finally has a president that the whole world can see and feels was voted to the head of our country through truly democratic means.

Last night some of the volunteers and I were drawn around my laptop and watched Obama’s speech off of youtube (the internet is a wondrous creation). We felt a little like the people he said in his speech were huddled around radios in the far corners of the world.

Today when I walked to the market with Lily and her American friend from NKTT, there were literally kids on rooftops yelling out Obama’s name to us as we walked by. I kid you not. I could not have captured the excitement of people in Mauritania better than with that example.

From our perspective here, as new volunteers, in an African Islamic country, his victory could have not come at a better time.

In less worldly news, the first day at my GMC is tomorrow! I am very very nervous, but also very happy that it seems to have all come together smoothly thus far. No major setbacks. People seem interested. My counterpart is amazing. I even bought a new mulaffa to wear with some very bling earrings. Obviously this prior sentence just goes to show how integrated I have become. We made invitations (for the selected girls and teachers and other important members who can help us in the community) and brochures and will provide refreshments. I will even give a speech in Hassaniya, or at least whatever dialect it comes out to be once the words leave my less than fluent lips.

In a way, I feel kinda proud of myself because, this is the first time I’ve ever really been solely in charge of anything like a whole center. Not even in the states had I tackled a project this big, let along tried to do it in a whole different language and culture. Like I said, my counterpart has been my saving grace when it comes to everything, like knowing the right people to invite and doing all the translations, aside from just being really fun to hang out with. Thanks to everyone who is still onboard and reading these posts. Miss everyone back home so so so much. *muah*

Until next time.

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3 Responses to “OBAMA JA”

  1. Elaine Says:

    What amazing news to hear…it sounds like fun. It felt good on this side of the world, too. 🙂

    Good luck with your assignment, too!

  2. P. Harper Dillon Says:

    Wonderful to hear how the people of Mauritania celebrate Obama as a symbol of the best of America, the dream, the ideal . . . Obama ja.

    Don’t know if you’re hip to the deal about the dog for Obama’s daughters. He mentioned it at the beginning of his acceptance speech. In a press interview he explained that it was a problem for the family since one of the daughters is allergic to dog dander. This has become a big deal on the lighter side of fame gossip. Today the Peruvian canine society offered a species of Peruian dog, almost no hair like the chihuahua (Ren, would be a good dog for the white house), which was a favorite of the Incas. Totally hypoalleregenic, would be great if he took it, do wonders for relations with this embattles country.

    Love,

    D

  3. Dwight Says:

    Dad makes an awesome point. How cool would it be if the first dog is Peruvian! Booya!

    I was in tears when Obama won. I mean not only does he have a SHITLOAD of work ahead of him, but also everyone around the world likes him! He’s made it on the cover of Men’s Health and GQ. Now… “W”? Never.

    You can be proud of your American values again if you ever weren’t.

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