05 November 2008

If Africa had a vote…

My students were holding a debt at lunch on Monday… “Do all the people in North and South America get to vote for Obama or just the people in North America?”

So the facts aren’t there but the excitement is…

Tomorrow is a national holiday in Kenya… in honor of Obama…

The “Obama Club” on Gaba Road is hosting a victory party tonight…

Crowds stopped me in Gaba as I passed through today to shake my hand… they weren’t asking for money… for once… instead they were thanking me for Obama…

Last week the front page of the national newspaper read “Obama to make Uganda a Top Priority”… and the people believe it…

While some Americans are now forwarding emails decrying Obama as the anti-Christ… Africans are focusing on his other name… Barak… Shawhili for “blessings”…

Now before I go too far… this is not a political post… I have resisted the urge to get involved in the debate and my panties in a wad…

My point… if I get lost again… is that this election was not just for the US… it has global impact beyond our economy, our soldiers and our pursuit of happiness…

On Tuesday in my Perspectives class we have entered the section on culture… the discussion revolved around communicating cross-culturally… specifically in the areas of partnerships and conflicts…

Now all Africans are not the same… out of the 40 students in my class 8 African tribes are represented… each with different dialects and “rules” for communication…

But 7 out of the 8 tribes agreed that they would never confront a white person even if the white person had completely offended them and broke the line of acceptable behavior for their culture… a scary thought for missionaries and short-term visitors… the other tribe believes they rule the world and own all the cattle of the world so they wouldn’t put up with anything…

When I asked the 7 out of 8 students “why?” one of the elder members of the class gave a great answer…

“ a white man would never bow a knee to a black man… at some level racism still exists”

Today at 7 AM… Uganda Standard Time… everything changed… with one election the US has shown the world… or at least Uganda… that it has finally risen above its racist past…

So you may not like the man, his policies or his politics… but today he is the pride of Africa... and that might just change everything for a white man seeking to communicate Christ in Africa… or for today I can hope!

2 comments:

Jen said...

I'm always nervous when we elect a new president, simply due to the fear of the unknown. I admit, though, hearing this story makes me feel a bit better about this new thing. It's really cool to think of the world a little more open to the idea of people being people no matter their skin color. Thanks for sharing, Jeff.

Holly Bigelow said...

Jeffrey Atherstone, I learn so much when I read your blog. Wow! Thank you! (I especially learn how much I don't know. Wow!)

May the LORD bless you indeed!