Friday, September 7, 2012
So, I met the president!
“Come, my friends.
‘Tis not too late to seek a newer world
For my purpose holds to sail beyond the sunset
And though we are not now that strength which in old days moved earth and heaven
That which we are,
One equal temper of heroic hearts
Made weak by time and fate
But strong in will
And not to yield.” -Alfred Lord Tennyson
With each passing day, I’m faced with more opportunities to seize the world in new ways. Yesterday, I ate lunch with President Sir Ian Keretse Khama. It was wonderful, and flattering to feel so important, but the most inspiring thing was the president’s willingness to listen to the citizens. During both ward meetings (both in Semolale on Wednesday and Mathathane on Thursday), he alloted as much time as necessary to allow the villagers to come up to the microphone and tell him the dilemmas they are faced with in their everyday life.
He joked with the people, ate with the elders, listened to their histories, praised the children, shook hands. It was so rejuvenating, so nice to see a president who cares so much about his people. Not that this doesn’t happen in the US, trust me, I was there for the hype when Obama came to Tucson (even for a somber occasion, people were throwing around t-shirts), but it was just so invigorating to see how much influence even one man’s presence can uplift a community.