This year I am in Argentina for our impending, incredibly important, presidential election. Thankfully, our Board of Elections came through on my absentee ballot. I successfully received my request for an absentee ballot and the absentee ballot itself, sent by snail mail through the notoriously suspicious Argentine postal service to this small Argentine town. I am especially thankful for being able to vote on time. Though I might miss some amazing post-election parties back home (or attempts to drink away our sorrows), I am lucky to have internet access to follow the news almost as well as anyone in the U.S. I also have a television, though the presidential debates were only broadcast here (in my area) through CNN Español. This is far better than nothing, as my internet is too slow and unreliable to stream video, but I would have preferred to hear the candidates themselves speaking, instead of hearing the candidates’ microphones turned down while the translator speaks over them. As a Spanish-speaker, I felt that the translations were quite good, but as a native English-speaker, I would still rather hear the candidates own words in their native tongue. But overall, I have felt quite connected to the news in the U.S., and even some of my friends and colleagues here follow our news, since our foreign policy can be so wide-reaching.
Being here in Argentina during this presidential campaign has given me a more global perspective on our country, on how our actions affect so many people worldwide, and how more people are watching us than we may realize. This perspective is valuable, and I hope that all Americans living abroad can appreciate that feeling.