The night before I was so bored out of my mind, I read the U.S. Constitution. I learned about the founding fathers- facts you don’t really learn in high school U.S. History. Little did I know that the next morning I would be awoken by my Malian Jatigi mother announcing that the Malian President, ATT, would be coming to my small little village on his way to the regional capital.
I stood in line, wore a tee shirt bearing his face and greeted my village people (not those, haha). Then, like a strike of thunder, a convoy of police and special forcesmen came to organize (kind of) the parade, drums and music, and ensure that there was no security issue in my village prior to the president’s arrival. Then, he came. People cheered, danced, and gathered around this man, who looked nothing like the pictures, to shake his hand. i was one of them.
While I pictured myself having a conversation with him about Peace Corps and perhaps a photo, it was only picture in my head that never came to fruition. I shook his hand, he said hello and patted a baby on it’s head. He moved on.
It wasn’t one of those ‘Invictus’ moments. We would not converse or plan out a great strategy to unify a country during football season. I would go back to my mudhut waiting for the time to make dinner and read more books. However, it will be an experience I will never forget.
Maybe one day, I’ll meet Obama.
- Be sincere; be brief; be seated. Franklin D. Roosevelt
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