When the president comes to town

President Obama is in Northern Ireland for the next few days for the G8 Summit. The whole Obama family visited Belfast this morning where both the First Lady and the president gave speeches (watch here). I thought Obama spoke well, but I was especially impressed by the 16 year old student who introduced Michelle, her 3 minute speech was quite eloquent, I can’t even imagine the nerves.

Everyone was talking about how crazy the traffic hold-ups would be this morning so I got up super early to catch an early bus from the City Centre, but I was perhaps too early because my bus ride was actually shorter than usual and I got to the office 40 minutes early and ended up standing outside in damp almost-rain for 20 minutes. Oops. While I was getting a ride from the Andersonstown office to the Central office Air Force One touched down and the radio announcers said “The eagle has landed. The eagle has landed.” Then later during the CRJI board meeting we looked out the window to spot 8 or 9 helicopters flying in a group. It was all very exciting. It’s been interesting to have such hubbub over POTUS (and FLOTUS! I like that acronym best…) when I am here as a foreigner and have barely interacted with any other Americans for 3 weeks. Over here I feel weirdly like I go way back with the Obamas, like ‘ahhh yes, I remember when he was but a lowly senator, good times, good times….’ I simultaneously feel like ‘whatever nobigdeal, just my prez,’ and ‘AHHHHHH! OBAMA! SO SO SO EXCITING!’

I was a tad offended that the helicopters did not stop at CRJI Central to pay me a visit. It is only a few miles from the airport, I think they could have made it work. It is the president after all, I mean REALLY.


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