Tuesday, January 20, 2009

INAUGURATION AFRICA

Watching Obama be inaugurated was historic all around the globe.  Watching it from Africa has been quite the experience.  We have the speech DVR'd at home to watch again upon our return to the U.S.  But for what it's worth, here's one American's observations from this part of the African continent.

  • OBAMA CAN DO NO WRONG... YET:  So far, Obama has done nothing other than get elected and he's already the best president we've ever had from the street level East African viewpoint. 
  • THE NEWS ANCHORS ARE FULL OF WHOOPS:  Just after President Obama was elected, the local news congratulated the 34th president of the United States.  Whoops.  They regularly mispronounce names and get their statistics a little screwy, but it's kinda funny actually. 
  • HE MIGHT BE PRESIDENT OF AFRICA ACTUALLY:  His face is on billboards, painted on the side of buildings and t-shirts, and he is a household name. Passing by on the street, it is not uncommon to hear two phrases tossed my way:  "hey muzungu" or "obama!".  When my brother-in-law and I went through the market this summer in Kampala, virtually everyone we talked to asked us about Obama.  I think the average person on the streets thinks Obama will cure the ills of Africa single handedly.   The day he was elected and his inauguration were both declared National Holidays in KENYA!!!!  There is even a parade and concert here in town on the 23rd called the "Obama Concert".   I fear they will be sorely disappointed 4 years from now.  I also pray that president Obama knows that money alone cannot solve the problems of this continent or any other for that matter.
  • HISTORICALLY, THIS IS SURREAL FOR ME:  It is crazy to watch Obama's speech in the presence of my two African kids.  I praise God for what this means for them growing up in the U.S.  Add to that the fact that I was watching it in a guest house with both African and American adults in front of a t.v. tuned to the Aljazeera network (showing the CNN feed) and you get a crazy soup of ideals and opinions and a very cool opportunity for my family and our country.  These are epic days we are living in.  I pray the future is one of unity amidst our diversity.  I pray that those who follow Jesus will lead the charge of change that is rooted in the leading of the Holy Spirit.
  • NEWS IS BIASED EVERYWHERE:  Watching on Aljazeera is funny cuz you get to see what quotes the Muslim press highlights in a speech.  There is no such thing as unbiased reporting- in the U.S or otherwise. 
  • WE LIVE IN A GLOBAL COMMUNITY: I had several posts about the fact that I voted for Obama and some back and forth comments on this blog as a result.  But regardless of who you voted for or why, it is crystal clear to me from this vantage point that who we elect to be the president of the United States is no longer merely a North American issue.  It's a global decision and I voted intentionally in this regard.  Time will tell if that was the right decision, but regardless of the outcome of the future, I have no reservations saying that the actions of the U.S presidency have HUGE global effects.  I cannot ignore this in my influence on the democratic voting process.  I'm praying that we as a people have a global influence that honors God and respects all of His creation. 

1 comments:

linda brangwynne 10:34 PM  

The whoops are not limited to your "local news anchors". A flub in the official Oath of Office required a re-do tonite to make sure the oath took.yikes!

Know that we are all praying for the Berrys and the Hammonds.

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