Voices echo through the capital

By Kara Kubarych

Del Mar resident

Editor’s note: Del Mar resident and La Jolla Country Day’s Kara Kubarych was in Washington, D.C., with classmates and teachers for the Inaugural events. She had planned to submit daily reports, but technical problems got in the way. Here’s what she reported.

Throughout this past election cycle, I became addicted to watching the news. From bickering pundits to heartfelt interviews, I immersed myself in the views, voices, and emotions of Election ’08 and listened intently as the single parent, the African-American family, and the little old lady spoke.

I wanted to meet and talk to these people face-to-face and I was ready and eager to do just that.

All of the students who went on the La Jolla Country Day School trip to D.C. conducted several interviews each day with different people we encountered on the street, on the National Mall, and in and out of museums and monuments.

The questions and answers that follow are selected from interviews conducted by me and other students on the trip.

Peter Stephanoby and Glen Edward -

Shephanoby and Edwards are Australian reporters for Channel 9 Australia and were in D.C. covering the star-studded concert at the Lincoln Memorial as well as the Inauguration.

Q: As foreigners looking into the election here in America, what did you think of Obama and this election?

A: “Everyone in Australia was kind of interested by it because that message that he delivered - that message of hope - spread beyond America and into other parts of the world including Australia, and everyone’s very excited about that.”

Jo Jo -

I found “Jo Jo” lying face-up on the ground around 8 a.m. the morning of the Inauguration, looking up smiling at me. After we got to talking, he told me that he always introduces himself as “Jo Jo” to strangers, adding, “I like giving the same first name as last!” He works with Third World countries in public health.

Q: What inspires you about Obama?

A: “I travel a lot. I’ve been to 61 countries, and Obama really knows how to represent America … Now what we’ll have is a partnership with the world, and people will understand what America truly means - what values we cherish -and it’ll be global democracy instead of just our democracy. …We can truly share it with people in Africa. I just returned from Sudan, and in Sudan everybody was extremely excited.”

Indeed, every person we talked to had unusual and insightful thoughts to share with us, face-to-face. But the universal sentiment that struck me most was the sense of renewed patriotism and faith in the American system.