As a Peace Corps Volunteer it is important to keep politically neutral. Although run by the US government our work is non-political; volunteers are committed to serving small communities in developing countries with issues surrounding education, agricultural development, social work, health education, and, in my case, coastal resource management. In our training we are told several times to not get into political conversations – surrounding the Philippines or America – as to not let it get in the way of our true purpose here.
So I keep schtum whether I am asked about Obama, Duterte (the current Filipino president), or the US elections. My host family, colleagues and even strangers ask who I’m voting for and I tap my nose and say sekreto and they laugh and holler guesses but I just shake my head and smile.
And now the time has come, it is Election Day and I am glued to my computer screen watching states turn blue and red on Google’s live election map. I’m listening to a live feed from Buzzfeed (for an attempt at some comic relief) and stress-eating sunflower seeds as the states switch blue and red, blue and red, blue and red. My phone is on a constant buzz from friends in the Philippines and the US in similar states of stress.
The Philippines is 11 hours ahead of the East Coast of the US, so while I’m hearing about election parties and chaos ensuing into the night stateside, I have a whole workday of fretting ahead of me. And I think… I’m even too stressed to write, so that’s my say on watching the election from abroad!
Have a great day folks and always remember to VOTE when you can!