My family and I recently visted a local gift-shop (notice, Chief Justice Roberts, the word order: "recently visited" = ADVERBIAL PHRASE) and noticed emblazoned on a rainbow of t-shirts a screen-printed face of President Obama with the words: "Malawi for Obama." I'm not sure Africa has seen a common hero like this since Muhammed Ali introduced his defensive 'rope-a-dope' in Zaire in 1974 against George Foreman. Everywhere we travel Malawians are excited about Obama, urban and village dwellers, for obvious reasons. Of course, our students were surprised when a visiting pastor from Los Angeles [who happens to be African-American] told them that he was "cautiously excited" (again, Chief Justice, adverb+verb=phrase) because of Obama's stance on a number of sensitive social topics. Here, politics are determined based on tribe, region, race, etc. Rarely are candidates parsed in such terms. Malawians just assumed race trumps convictions. Anyway, it was food for them as elections approach here in Malawi.
Which reminds me: As we watched (a number of ABC missionaries gathered around our television) the inauguration, there was one for sure moment of pride for me as an American. I was so proud of the many speakers who again, again, and again stressed the beauty of the American political transfer, emphasizing for the world to see our peaceful means. Yes, our politics can be bitter, but it is done with words and tampering with reputations. But here, with elections coming up, it was important for people to see that panga knives, clubs, and guns are not necessary. Thanks America for that lesson.