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A Year Without Ice Cubes One year through Africa and Asia


TANZANIA | Thursday, 6 November 2008 | Views [775] | Comments [8]

Okay, so I'd like to take these 45 minutes of paid internet time to alert you all of the awesomeness that is being an American in Africa right now.  We're on the tropical paradise island of Zanzibar off the coast of Tanzania, and we've done some amazing snorkeling and eaten delicious food and went on a spice tour where we tried to identify exotic spices (pretty much the only one I got right was lemongrass), and, oh yea, Barack Obama is our new president.  And, oh yea, Americans aren't horrible people.  It's amazing, talk about a completely different attitude towards our country!  The day before the election we were walking along the beach and whenever we told someone trying to sell us something that we were American, they would say, "Hey, Obama!...I bought this radio just to listen to see if he wins...Obama!...You're American?  Obama!...I hope Obama wins!" Because of the time difference, we slept through the bulk of the election process.  Talked to mom in the morning with the news that Obama is ahead, CNN projects Obama will be the next president.  Ran down to the bar at the resort we were staying at to see if they were showing the election results, get to the bar and there are about 10 Africans glued to the TV screen watching McCain's concession speach, everyone is smiling and excited, announcement that Obama is the U.S. President-elect, cheers and calls of "Obama!", dancing and chanting "Obama!" with one of the waitresses, smiles, a little bit of unfamiliar national pride seeping into my emotional state.  2 African guys running along the beach holding an American flag (upside down, but still...), hoots and calls, sitting on a couch with 2 other Americans smiling and feeling good.

We left the resort on the beach, took the spice tour, and got to Stonetown, home of the old Zanzibar slave trade.  Tour of the old slave auction area and holding pen for slaves, outside the building the workers are reading transcripts of Obama's victory speach.  Greeted with "Obama!"  Walking around the narrow alleys of Stonetown, people see us the tourists, shout out "Obama!"  We shout out "Obama!" in return.  One man on a motorbike stops and says, "Are you American?"  "Yes!" He shakes my hand.

Okay, almost time to get on the ferry to go back to mainland Tanzania.  Just wanted to let everyone know that things are exciting and historic and hopefully change really is on the way.

Tags: obama, zanzibar



THat's awesome! Good thing you're not McCain fans!

  Karen Nov 7, 2008 1:56 AM


And Louise was at Grant Park in Chicago, one of a quarter million on hand to hear and see Obama in the flesh deliver a most eloquent and historic speech. Our $200 Hawaii State Society Ball tickets are going for $1,600 on the internet, while Arizona's is going for $500. I don't suppose Alaska is hosting a presidential ball.

  Sylvia Mom Nov 7, 2008 7:21 AM


OH Sylvia!!
How glad I am to be your friend!...What a witness to such glorious piece of history you are! It has been so interesting for me--the last two years..being in a profession that has mandated personal silence,--and at a time I have so wanted to speak!!... but it has also been such fun leading the students in debate and discussion!....and to see this historically Republican, Southern state go Democratic..and, how could it be any other way? The character, the intelligence, the beauty of the man!!...
Yes! makes me filled with such hope and pride to be an American.
I am so glad you are where you are...what a circle, what a witness, what a great representative you are! Much love to you...and once again...thanks so much for sharing!! Gail

  gail Nov 7, 2008 12:24 PM


syl!! i'm so glad that you've been able to follow this from all the way over there! i heard that in kenya they all took a day off work on wednesday. :) how freakin' cool that you get to experience such a warmth and change of attitude toward americans. i think we proved this week that we're not always total tools. i mean, most of the time. :) miss you! zanzibar!? you rock girl. love ya, k

  kate Nov 9, 2008 5:18 PM


Hi Sylvia,
I think what you are experiencing is amazing!!! Though we have only talked once and you don't remember, it was still a lot of fun! I spoke to you right before you left for Africa and I was hanging out with your sister. We discussed absolutely nothing, but I still enjoyed it.

I'm happy you're proud to be an American in another country. It is rewarding to see someone else who is so proud to see what is going on at home.

Hurry up and bring your ass back, because I wanna meet ya! Or else keep updating where you're going to be. I'll find a way to meet ya.

Bhutan '09 BITCHES!!!

  Brian Calhoun Nov 9, 2008 5:29 PM


Oh my, your trip has moved along quickly. What an idyllic place to be for the election! I loved Zanzibar when I was there, including the food Spice tour, etc... Did you visit the Anglican Cathedral, it has a 1880s English organ!

Go Obama!

  Alistair Nov 10, 2008 3:15 PM


Good on ya! It's always nice to be accepted. Americans for decades had to keep a low profile when they visited countries where they were considered "Ugly Americans." So milk it for all it's worth while the bloom is still on his rose and you will have a much better experience than the millions of Americans in the decades past that have left their dollars in Paris.

  Zen House Nov 14, 2008 3:33 PM


Great !

  micatz Dec 9, 2008 6:13 PM

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