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9/26 First Presidential Debate

Just because I’m thousands of miles away doesn’t mean I’m not invested in the race for the Presidency. My PCV friends and I devour news from Newsweek (which until now have been provided to Volunteers for free, but which are being discontinued), the Christian Science Monitor (a weekly edition of which is provided to Volunteers, albeit sporadically), and whatever online news outlets and from-home-communiqués we can get our hands on.

And tonight, the night of the first Presidential debate, we all piled into the home of "LaHcen", the only PCV around who has both (1) cable TV with CNN and (2) enough room to sleep a bunch of folks comfortably. He has a huge house and a well-aimed satellite dish, so he was the logical site for our debate-watching party.

We cooked up a bunch of pizzas (gotta have American food for such an all-American event) and even an apple pie. OK, when I say "we", I mostly mean "Jamila", the resident kitchen guru and all-star hostess. She taught the rest of us how to bake pizzas and made the apple pie pretty much single handedly (though "Fatima" sliced the 9 apples into razor-thin slivers).

Because of the time difference, the debates didn’t start until 1am, so we ate, chilled, danced, listened to music, swapped music and movies, looked at each other’s photos, played Scrabble and chess, and generally hung out until 1am finally rolled around. Then we gathered around the popcorn bowl and hung on the candidates’ every word.

Many PCVs are fairly liberal, as is probably predictable, but our group also included at least one registered Republican, an independent, and a socialist. And not all of us copped to our political leanings, so there may well have been several of each.

At 2:30am, when the candidates were hugging their families, we pulled out the ponges (big floor mats) and sleeping bags. We left CNN on, to listen to the talking heads as we drifted off to sleep.
I spent the 4th of July mostly alone (in SouqTown, in the company of strangers, to be perfectly accurate), so this evening, drenched in Americana, filled a need I hadn’t even been aware of.

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