I was in the capital city of
For better or for worse, the PCVs that night were gathered in unanimity. Not a soul of a McCain voter to be found. Don’t get me wrong, I respect McCain and this blog is not the place for me to get into why I voted for Obama (making that absentee ballot work!) but every single PCV present was rooting for Obama last Tuesday.
Pre-dawn election suspense at the PC house in Yaoundé
The enthusiasm was contagious. We literally stayed up all night until Obama gave his acceptance speech at 6:30am
At this point, we couldn’t help but hit the streets, exuberant and semi-delirious from fatigue. The sun had risen during Obama’s acceptance speech, and the news was already on the awakening streets of Yaoundé. About eight of us went for breakfast to the bean and beignet stand on the nearest street corner, and cheered and greeted all the passers by, who seemed equally enthused and amused by our antics. Many of them shared these nassaras’ excitement, with big grins and salutations of “OBAMAAAAAA!!!!”
As a few days have passed, I’ve thought a bit more about the significance of that Wednesday morning celebration.
This hits particularly forcefully as I write from a country that has had the same leader in power since roughly the year I was born. No Cameroonian my age has ever seen a democratic change of power. In fact, no Cameroonian has ever seen a democratic change of power since this country’s independence in 1960. Only two presidents have held office, the second of whom assumed power without the benefit of an election and has held onto that power through some seriously questionable means throughout the last 26 years. (
My neighbor Martine came by tonight and I told her about our elections… “My country just elected a new president, his father is actually from
So whether you are for Obama or McCain, (and being from