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Published: November 21st 2008
All notebooks in Guinea, whether for the hospital, a business, or a 3rd grader has some random image on. Normally you can only find notebooks here covered with Ronaldino, David Beckham, Jay-Z, Beyonce, etc. Now however in the little markets, Obama notebooks are everywhere.
I just heard someone mention off hand on the radio that Senator Obama won Indiana. As with the entire election, this is nothing short of a miracle. The impossible can happen. I know everyone's tired of hearing about the election, but please indulge me a little because this story needs to be told.
On November 4th at 10 PM about 20 men and myself gathered in my mayor's living room. I must emphasize that I live in the middle of nowhere, if this was happening in my tiny village it was doubtlessly similiar in villages throughtout West Africa. A $3 liter of gas was put into the generator and tuned to France24. It was an hour before any polls closed, 2 before there were any results: Vermont, 3 votes for Obama. Applause for this not surprising victory. As the hours rolled on everyone stayed in the dark room, occassionally climbing out of their seats to see the annoyingly small electoral vote counter in the corner of the screen. Fox News called Pennsylvania for Obama. I explained what this meant and everyone woke up a bit. We ran out of gas. Someone went to find another precious liter. Then France24 announced that Fox had called Ohio, but didn't call it themselves yet. it was quickly understood that if this was true it was over. Obama had won. Ohio was confirmed.
Normally in Guinean movie theaters the entire audience gets up and leaves when the villan is killed, they don't wait for the exposition of the story. To my surprise, this evening everyone stayed seated. It was now 4 AM. They kept watching. They watched McCain's speech and then eagerly listened to Obama's. Many began crying, something that it normally unacceptable in public. A 6 AM, they prayed the morning prayer and finally went home.
As most of the these men were teachers, they went to meet their classes at 8 AM. But the lessons were different. Today the students heard about how the world had changed while they were in their beds. How that now, truly anything was possible.
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