November 5, 2008

I can say without a doubt that today is a day I will remember my entire life. It’s important to remember that Sri Lanka is nine and a half hours ahead of Massachusetts. This morning Maria and I woke up early to join the others at the ISLE center. We all huddled around the small antenna TV and glued our eyes to the TV until about 11:00 a.m. when Obama was declared the future president.

At first I was really sad that I wasn't in the US for the election. However, soon we all realized how cool it was to be out of America today. After Obama's speech one of the students asked if we thought that people would instantly think higher of us as Americans. We all joked about it until we went for a walk about an hour later.

Maria, Jared and I take the same walk almost every day, we pass a lot of the same people, but we've never really talked to them. We weren't even sure that they knew we were Americans. Today as we were walking by this man cheered for Obama while we passed.

Then when Maria and I got home members of our family were waiting there to congratulate us as if we personally had one some great victory. When I got into my house the first thing my host mother said to me was, "Now people will like America much more."

What made today so amazing was that I got to see firsthand an instantaneous change in the view of America and of Americans. Of course, I'm speaking with a strong third world bias. After all the first time I thought that people might like us an awful lot more if Obama won was in Tanzania when some people chased our van shouting, "Obama's a prize." I have no way of knowing if the new positive way of looking at America is a third world phenomenon. I'll have to wait until I hear from my roommate Maggie who is in France, and my other friends who are scattered around Europe to see if people like them more now too.

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