Then I visited another place I post. Same thing. Canadians, Brits, Aussies all weighing in on how glad they are that we Americans got it right, that we took the chance to restore our reputation, that we offered them a vision of what it looks like to embrace our ideals.
Yesterday, a friend sent me an email with a note from her young-twenties daughter who is working in Rwanda. Elizabeth's goal is to empower women through her organization: AfricaGrassroots. I was completely amazed by her report of how her friends in Rwanda reacted to the news of Obama's election... but even more, I couldn't believe what they had to say about McCain!
Elizabeth is returning from Rwanda in a few weeks. They stayed up to watch the elections and the next day, she sent out this email to some friends. I thought you would enjoy, and appreciate, what she said.Maybe there is something to that "light on a hill" imagery we keep hearing about. It's a great country, isn't it?
I spent the very early hours of this morning sitting in front of a TV with about 10 Rwandan friends who stayed up the whole night to watch all the results come in. They screamed and cried tears of joy and pride when Obama won.
But surprisingly, their favorite part of the whole evening? McCain's speech!
They watched in wonder and amazement as McCain spoke highly of Obama and said that we need to now come together as a country to support him. They said "Can you believe this?? The loser is now supporting and congratulating the winner! He is telling America to come together as one country to support the new president, even though he lost!! Could you imagine if something like this happened in Africa!! Only in America!!"
Friends from across Rwanda called me all morning to say congratulations- and some just screamed into the phone and I couldn't understand a word of what they were saying.
On the other hand, there is a great deal of suffering and violence going on across the border in Congo right now. Today's victory and celebration of freedom provides a stark contrast to the daily reality of brutality and oppression in so many places in Africa.
Living in a country free of violence is such a luxury.... we should never forget how truly lucky we are.
Love from Kigali,