The re-election of Barack Obama as President of the United States of America will affect a few St Helenians more than most. DOREEN GATIEN – formerly Doreen Peters – is one of a small number of Saints living in America. She has sent a personal election night dispatch from her home in California.
I am a Saint Helenian, and I have lived in the United States of America since 1986. I am a Resident Alien and not an American citizen. This means that I have every other right that an American citizen does, except the right to vote. However, I too have felt the stress of the many months of the most amazing Presidential race ever.
As I write I am watching the voting results and having a cup of tea and a slice of vegan cake. My husband reminded me he had also made some cookies, so I added this to my election treat. Believe me, I don’t always eat so badly.
Wow! To think I am privileged to live in such an amazing country as the United States of America, where problems of many kinds exist, but where freedom rings!
The number of my fellow islanders living in this country are about as many as the fingers on my hand. On the way home from work this evening I called Debbie in Washington DC. She is a fellow islander and also not an American citizen. Debbie and I were nurses together at the only hospital in our homeland.
I mentioned how would we never imagined more than twenty years ago that together in 2012 we would seem almost like a team again; the only difference this time is we share it long distance. How would we have dreamt we would be sharing and living through the months, weeks, days and moments of the most stressful and bitter American presidential race ever, at least since we have lived here?
The television networks just now announced the re-election of President Obama. Months and months of planning being repaid. I yelled in delight on my patio for the neighbourhood to hear. The Race has ended!
Governor Romney just spoke and his words were very calm and gracious. I actually felt some tears run down my face as I saw his sadness and disappointment; this is how I am, no matter whose team I am on; let’s admit it, this could not have been easy. It has been brutal.
Now I am waiting on another speech, the most important one of the night. Crowds and more crowds are also waiting at the President’s headquarters in Chicago, with smiling faces and American flags being tossed from side to side. I doubt any of those in waiting are sipping Rooibos tea!
Why did I put so much energy into a process that I cannot be legally involved in? Because when you have lived in the most powerful country in the world for this long, you cannot help but feel the American spirit at its best. Even when the ride is brutal.
Congratulations President Obama. You deserve another four years. And God bless America!
Editor’s note: some readers may notice that this piece is not completely impartial. St Helena Online would still have run it, even had it been from a Romney supporter. Governor Romney is welcome to submit a response.