Unexpected lessons from the field: living the election season abroad

I’m not here for a debate. I just want to share my experience of living the end of this election season abroad:

I have had people in small, remote island villages in El Salvador and Nicaragua asking me about our election. Voice their concerns, and their knowledge of our country’s politics is impressive. These are people from towns without regular potable water, and some without electricity.

At the field station in Nicaragua there are some visiting German tourists. They asked me about the election and said their country is eagerly watching, because the similarity between Trump’s rise and Hitler’s are alarming. They said this timidly, not wanting to say either name and saying both names with the same uneasiness. This was incredibly powerful.

As we all know, this election is critical, and in case you didn’t know – the world is watching, from all parts and all walks of life. I know this is a passionate topic for many and again I am not here to debate – so please don’t start. These experiences have been very profound for me, so I wanted to share.

Please remember, we are all from this same wonderful country, we are all human beings and no matter of Tuesday’s outcome we are all in this together. Let’s treat each other with respect, let’s spread love, tolerance, and no matter what comes of Tuesday – we are the United States. We may not be happy with how our country is right now, but I know that I am proud to call it home. I know that after Tuesday, no matter what happens, many will be upset. Let’s try to stick together and no matter what, be the positive that our country needs so critically right now. I know this can seem hard, this election season has gotten me upset, frustrated, and down more than any has before. But I am determined to be some of the positive we need, to lead by example of my values.

I have seen the good in people, in people whose families have been here for many generations and in people who have come from all over, who call our country home. It is a special place, and I hope we can all remember that deep down we all want the same – life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

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