to see the video of my friend Andre on the morning after the election. (then click on "veja o video da entrevista")
Mike and I contemplated going out but the only parties we knew about were at the Sharaton and the Marriott hotel bars and we didn't know anyone who was going. In fact, other than my work colleagues we don't have any American friends here. And I had to get up early the next morning for rehearsals all day. Needless to say, we were having our own party at home, me with a bottle (or more) of red wine and Mike with his beer. Unfortunately I passed out around midnight before any of the results came in. I slept horribly and was so nervous when I woke up the next morning, but when we turned on the tv, I just started jumping up and down and screaming. It was a euphoric moment, a euphoric few days actually.
When I got to work my friend Andre, an African-American viola player from North Carolina who has been living in Europe for the last 30 years (he was the first black person to join the Scala Opera in Milan, if not any orchestra on this continent...or anywhere? I'm not sure....about 30 years ago) Anyways, Andre was there on stage with an enormous American flag, Obama shirts and hats and long red, white and blue ribbons streaming down from under his hat. He grabbed me and hugged me and we jumped up and down. We even had a solumn moment when he operatically sang the national hymn in his rich tenor voice. He hadn't slept a wink and had actually walked all the way to the orchestra waving the flag. He said that everyone on the street here in Lisbon were congratulating him and giving him support.
For me too, all of my friends here, (and some people I don't know!) have been congratulating me for the past two days. The conductor this week (and Australian woman who lives in Germany) said at the beginning of rehearsal yesterday "Goodmorning everyone, I think we all have something to celebrate today, especially Andre" and then she went and gave him a big hug.
I'd like to share a text message that we got from our good friends and neighbors, Claudia and Ricardo (in English, which is not our usual language with them) "Congratulations to our dear friends for the victory of your president Obama. We hope that this could bring a new light to America and the World. Kisses from the heart,..."
It's been a burden at times in the last five years living in Europe as an American with the administration that we've had. It's such a relief to see people finally supporting my country abroad. I know that nothing can literally change that fast, but I think that the atmosphere and spirit of America and the attitude towards America around the world changed dramatically on Tuesday night.