Airman moved by impact of America's friendship toward Tanzania

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Joe Molina
  • Joint Task Force Services Contingency Manager
The Eagle has landed. It's one step for us and one giant leap into the hearts and souls of the Tanzanian people.
The entire city came out to welcome President George W. Bush during the first day of his visit to Tanzania. Thousands lined the streets of the capital city here, some waving American flags, others wearing dresses made with the president's likeness emblazed across the front, and others just smiling and waiting with anticipation.
The banners welcoming and thanking the president for his generosity toward the fight against AIDS and malaria waved gently in the slight breeze. The streets, except for my car and a few others, seemed empty of all other normal everyday travelers.
As I watched the crowd growing with eagerness, awaiting their chance to get a glimpse of the person responsible for bringing so much good to this country, I felt pride.
I was so proud to be an American. I was proud that I was part of something that would benefit millions of people of Tanzania and Africa. I was proud of the fact that the United States is a leader among giving countries who help out other nations. And the generosity is certainly reciprocated here. Every person I saw and have come across over the last three weeks has been nothing but gracious hosts.
My driver, John, repeatedly describes how much he and the Tanzanian people love President Bush. The thousands of smiling and waving people I saw today were out there not for the money President Bush was bringing, but the hope and the message that, "Yes, Tanzania, America cares."
The chance for a better life and the promise of continued support brought out and united the masses here. A difference was made, and I am a proud American for helping make that difference.