Each morning on my drive to work, I stop in the middle of the road to buy a copy of the Daily Nation from a deaf man in a blue jacket. We exchange smiles, handshakes and 30 shillings for the newspaper while Boda bodas, the local word for motorcycles, zoom by. I read the Daily Nation to learn more about current events but also to know enough to pester my new coworkers and friends: “Who is so-and-so again?” “What does this-or-that imply?”

On my first day in Nanyuki, Kenya I was informed that politics is Kenya’s “national sport.” Current events imbue every aspect of daily life as a source of conversation and connection. Debates and disparagements, usually surrounding the abject corruption of politicians, fill lunch-time discussions and, despite my assiduous pre-Kenya reading, it was not until I was enmeshed in the system that I began to scratch the surface of what really goes on here.

What strikes me when reading the Kenyan national newspaper is just how international it is in scope. Trouble in Senegal? Covered. Ankara extends its state of emergency status in Turkey? I’m likely to find this out first through a Kenyan journalist. Even the banalities of public urination take on a global focus. Ever the hard-hitting news source, the Daily Nation ran a story on a particularly combative liquid-repellent paint used in Southern Pennsylvania subway stations that sprays the urine back onto deviant offenders.

Given the global focus of the news, practically every aspect of the U.S. elections was thoroughly broadcast. Upon finding out that I was American, the Kenyan people had plenty of advice for me to tweet back to the President-elect.

Especially vocal in his support of Hillary Clinton was a co-worker named Bill-Clinton Owiti, the namesake of the Secretary’s husband. Mr. Bill-Clinton Owiti followed the elections as closely as any American I know – spouting stats, polls and a torrent of disbelief at the latest Trump tweet. On Nov. 9, he was genuinely flummoxed by the fact that U.S. democracy does not rely on equal representation, and berated me about the electoral college as if I were one of the Founding Fathers who had established it.

But as mystifying as U.S. democracy is, Bill-Clinton Owiti was even more dispirited by our 58 per cent voter turnout. Prior to the election, he kept reminding me, “You were sure to vote, yes?” He couldn’t imagine someone skipping out on the privilege, especially when Kenya, with its notoriously twisted democracy, can boast that over 85 per cent of its citizens voted in the 2013 general election.

Bill-Clinton Owiti not only wanted Hillary Clinton to carry out President Obama’s legacy, but he wholeheartedly believed that a woman president of the United States would mean better things for the world at large. Since we work together to provide grants and trainings to empower women in Northern Kenya, his feminist outlook is to be expected. We often discuss the critical relationship between a woman’s education or level of political engagement and her quality of life, and the fact that as long as women are oppressed there can be no substantial development.

The irony of my working for a women’s empowerment organization abroad, when over half of the white women in America voted for a man whose chronicle of chauvinistic actions has the potential to wipe out decades of progress in the U.S., was not lost on anyone here.

But it was not just Bill-Clinton Owiti’s literal name in the game that galvanized his Nate-Silver type of analysis of the election. It was the reality of what the United States represents to him. Most Kenyans I meet cannot fathom why a country which purports an “American dream” — one supposedly rooted in equality and promising that hard work and determination will yield success — voluntarily elected an inexperienced buffoon in lieu of a highly qualified intellectual. It seems antithetical to the American ideals everyone here envisions. East Africa is bewildered: why must they bid adieu to a wise, elegant, half-Kenyan leader and wave in a xenophobic demagogue who propagated something as ludicrous as the Birther Movement?

The day after the election, 40 pages of the Daily Nation were dedicated to deciphering what this seeming global shift towards isolationism and truthiness means for the planet. Two months have passed, but unprecedented national and international anxiety still surrounds the upcoming inauguration. No one knows exactly what a Trump presidency will entail. The pieced-together prophecies are demoralizing for even the most optimistic. However, as a global superpower, the U.S. does not have the privilege of slipping on moral responsibilities. To the contrary, Americans, along with the rest of the world, must celebrate its interconnectedness and educate ourselves — not just about the U.S. inauguration and Pennsylvania’s urine repelling paint — but about the global community we aspire to be.

As Bill-Clinton Owiti continues to discuss with me news nuggets both grand and random, I wonder if my country realizes just how large its audience is? The whole world is watching as Donald Trump commandeers the oval office. I wonder if he will ever recognize the reality of this responsibility. As a still proud young American abroad, I hope so.

Katharine Eger, a lifelong summer resident of West Tisbury, is a Princeton in Africa Fellow for the BOMA Project, a women’s empowerment organization in Nanyuki, Kenya.