Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Current Events

I got back from a morning run to find my host family wide-eyed and listening to the car radio at full blast. The occasion? The power was out and the president had been whisked away from his mansion in his pajamas by the army. “There has been a coup,” my host mom said, smiling as she does whenever she delivers news, good or terrible.

Like many of you, I have never been in a small isolated community in a developing country when a military coup is taking place. There is a cloud of confusion, and an ever-increasing tangle of rumors.

Ever since the now-exiled president announced his plans for the “cuarta urna,” this confusion has predominated. The streets were abuzz with opinions, but few people here could actually explain what a “cuarta urna” was. Many thought it literally meant the extension of presidential term-limits, when in reality it referred to a proposed formation of a general assembly which would have the power to change the constitution and possibly increase presidential term-limits. It was the president's unpopular push for the "cuarta urna" that eventually led to his removal from the country. BBC news has a good explanation of these events if you're really interested.

Other than a lot of interesting conversation (among the supporters of the different sides) and a slight feel of anxiety, my little community remains unaffected by the current political situation. We are all simply hoping that in the coming days events occur peacefully.

1 comment:

Gordon said...

It was great to have you participating in this program. Your assistance in the clinic was invaluable; I hope it benefited you as much as it did us gringos and the people of the community!