Voices from Abroad

Mbandaka, Democratic Republic of the Congo | September 30, 2016
Where are you from? Ah, America. And who are you voting for? But why? Donald Trump is a very rich man! A billion dollars? In one year? Well, I don’t know about that, but he has many businesses around the world and makes a lot of money. I suppose, but she is a criminal? Who? Bernie Sanders? I’ve never heard of him.

Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo | October 2, 2016
I don’t know about this man, this Trump fellow. He does not seem to be that smart, and he is not even a Christian! He has lost a lot of money, and he doesn’t treat his employees very well. Things are not seeming well here. The price of gas has doubled last week—doubled! Haven’t had a customer since you were here in August, no one is coming to invest. See there? That’s where the tires burned. An email from the US Embassy? They evacuated the families. The president has stopped paying his guards, they come to my neighborhood at night. I have to be home early! We will hope for the best!

Marrakesh, Morocco | November 9, 2016
Is this the end of the US’s transition away from fossil fuels? What does this mean for NASA’s work in the climate sector? What will we do if we lose our funding? How long do we have before the funding is cut? How long are their funding cycles? Here’s my card. Will I need to leave the US? Will my visa be revoked? Will I lose my job? What about conservation funding? I’ll email you. What about development funding? How much of your funding comes from the government? 50%? Oh man. Sorry. Did you see that woman crying in her coffee cup? Did you see me crying in my coffee cup?

Paris, France | November 25th, 2016
And look what has happened in the US, with Trump! He says nothing! Rien! Just look where we have found ourselves. Just look! Where are the leaders of the left? Where are the moderates? Where is rational thought?!

Brest, France | December 16th, 2016
And what has happened over there in the US, with Trump?! Wasn’t the electoral system designed specifically for situations like this? Why hasn’t he released his tax returns? He would go to jail in France. Shouldn’t he be in jail? Or at least be on trial? And he’s getting divorced! You didn’t hear? I saw it on the news this morning. Where? I’m not sure, let me check. Ah! Found it. Fake? Really? No I just read the headline! Well, they tricked me!

Marseille, France | December 31st, 2016
I’ve never left Britain before. You could say I’m “Brexiting”—in my own sense. Next I’m going to Mexico and then we’ll hop the wall to Burning Man. And then we’ll go on a road trip. Where? Well, I’d like to visit all of the states in which marijuana is legal. Have you ever been to Arches? To Zion? Colorado?

Aix-en-Provence, France | January 6th, 2017

You know, now that it has happened I’m not shocked. I have been expecting it all my life. And you know, my father, he was born a Polish Jew, and died a Communist. Forever a Communist! He always said, “Ça va recommencer un jour”. It will start again one day. And you know, when we were young—it was the 70’s! We didn’t want to hear that. We wanted to move forward—we believed in the progression of society. But now, it has started to return. He was right. Ça recommence !

Aix-en-Provence, France | January 20th, 2017
She won by three million votes? What? That doesn’t sound like a democracy. Re-districting? That’s crazy. Totally crazy. But it’s not the majority! Three million? That’s not a small number. How many people are in the United States? More than 300 million? And how many people voted? Half! But why don’t more people vote? America First! What does that mean? The world is too small for that now. We need each other!

Eva McNamara ’13 is a Cape Cod native. She has an MSc in Food Security and
Development from the University of Reading in addition to her BA from
Smith. In her spare time, she enjoys taking photos, going outside,
gardening, and cooking dinner with her husband.

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