We spent a night in Dar es Salaam after our flight landed. The next day we had breakfast accompanied with CNN’s debate analysis. The debate had just taken place in the middle of the night Tanzanian time, so our breakfast was only a few hours later.
That day we took a long bus ride to Iringa that ended up arriving after dark. It was an interesting ride with many new sights quickly passing by outside our bus windows. At one point after dark I saw a large group of people standing around a home or building. In the instant when I had a clear glimpse of what they were all looking at I saw a TV with what looked like the debate replaying. And then it was gone.
The next day, when we visited the Iringa Diocese offices, Secretary General Chavalla told us that we weren’t electing the President of the United States, but that we were electing the President of the World. Because whoever is elected their policies will have a worldwide impact. He talked a bit about Obama and mentioned that George W. Bush is remembered in Africa for his work in the fight against AIDS. Everyone in the group was struck by this. Coming from an American those words might have sounded arrogant, but coming from an African they carried more weight. Later in the trip we asked a Tanzanian pastor if he agreed that the President of the US is also the President of the World and he immediately said, “Yes, of course.”
Many times when we ate with people we were asked about the election. Most of the times the discussion started with a question about who we thought would win and then carried on from there. They are very interested in our election as it will impact their lives as well as ours.
My having the same name as Hillary’s Vice-Presidential candidate wasn’t a big deal. But my picture with Obama was always enjoyed. Even after I told people that it really wasn’t him, just a look-a-like, they would laugh and still look closely at the picture.
Tim Kane's memories, musings and updates.