My First Taste of America

Story by Tatenda Shoko in Harare, Zimbabwe

Usap students attend American Independence Day celebrations at the ambassadors residence.

Usap students in the Class of 2012 with Ambassador James McGee at his residence on the 4th of July

What actually drives a person to wear shoes made out one's national flag? Or even to stick flags onto toothpicks? We rarely come across such a level of patriotism, but that seemed to be the norm at the US Ambassador's Independence Day celebrations on July 4th. Americans celebrated 232 years of freedom with so much enthusiasm as if liberation was gained only a month ago. The US ambassador to Zimbabwe , James McGee, was kind enough to invite the Usap students on their way to the US to be a part of such great revelry.  

When we arrived at the Ambassador's residence, at first I was nervous and afraid; the reason being the obvious one that I've never been to such an event. However, soon all my fears were allayed by the way we were welcomed with such love and joy. We were awed by such opulent and luxurious surroundings, and I found myself wondering what kind of man lived in such a place.

I am ashamed to say I expected a dull and pompous person who would talk only of the greatness of his country. Yet in his address Mr McGee spoke only of the plight of others, showing a genuine concern over the welfare of those who are less fortunate in Zimbabwe .

We all learned a valuable lesson that day: true freedom does not come from wealth or from having influential friends; it comes from being able to stop at some time during the day and think of someone else and how you can make their day the best they can possibly have. Whatever country you come from, only your love and willingness to work hard for your country will make it truly great.  

[Back to Top]

More News Stories