This was the reaction from the Dominican Republic:

Shoes on a monument in the Santo Domingo

Shoes on a monument in Santo Domingo

We drove by this monument, which was walking distance from our hotel, every day.  Raphaelito, our driver, told us that the enormous shoes were added to this local monument in support of the journalist after the incident last winter.

Under the Bush administration, we often had a difficult time traveling as Americans; everywhere in the world we went, we were disdainfully questioned about the actions of our president.  Although none of the Americans on our team voted to elect him into office, we often felt unwelcome in the developing countries where we worked.  Our presence was an unhappy reminder of what America had come to stand for in the eyes of the world.

And now, as I sit at the airport in Johannesburg, South Africa I am constantly bombarded with gleeful shouts of “Obama!” whenever I pull out my American passport.  The airport employee who weighed my hand luggage asked, “And President Obama – how is he?”  I felt like he was asking after a neighbor and replied, “He’s well, thank you for asking.”  For the first time in a long time, I feel like the world is becoming smaller – in many cases, we are all realizing our similarities and not just our differences, and developing countries now see Americans as the people who elected a person that they can stand behind proudly.

Below are a few more images from the shops and streets in DR 🙂

Olives, pickels, leg

Olives, pickels, leg

Small shops in Santo Domingo

Small roadside shops in Santo Domingo

Banana man

Banana man

Selection of Trojan Brand Condoms at a local pharmacy

Selection of Trojan Brand Condoms at a local pharmacy

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