Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I miss America

Don't get me wrong, I truly enjoy Tanzania and I hope to stay longer than I initially planned. But with the recent news of bin Laden's death, I can't help but feel a strong sense of American pride. When I first heard the news yesterday, I wasn't sure how to react. I heard news of many Americans celebrating and crowding the streets in excitement. My first instinct was to celebrate because a terrible man will no longer be able to spread the message of terrorism.

But I didn't.

I smiled to myself and tried to learn more about how it happened, and how they could be so sure it was him. More than anything, I wanted to discuss what this means, why everyone is so happy, and what the possible implications would be. I just wanted to talk about with someone.

But I couldn't.

So far it seems that people in Tanzania care more about the royal wedding than the death of bin Laden. Obviously his death does not mark an end to terrorism, but it is symbolic because we are achieving small victories in the fight against terrorism. And yes, there is that underlying excitement of vindication because we finally got the bad guy that caused all the pain and heartache as a result of 9/11.

I'm not sure what emotions to have anymore. I wish I could be back in America to enjoy this moment in the company of others who know what we all experienced. They might share my confusion, or help me sort out all the feelings running through my mind. At the very least, I'm sure they'd be willing to speak openly about everything.

Maybe it is too soon to pass judgment on the reaction of Tanzanians. They often watch news every evening, so it is possible they just hadn't heard anything about it yesterday. Still I wish I could've been in an environment where that was the hot topic.

Instead of sulking because I'm missing all the patriotism and unity back home, I decided to make myself a mix of songs that reflect my love for America. Right now “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue” by Toby Keith and “It's America” by Rodney Atkins top the list.

I can assure you that I never realized how much I love America until I left. It's strange to recognize how much I took for granted.