In conversation with my Uber Driver
I love people! I love meeting people anywhere and everywhere! Given the opportunity, I will spend my Uber rides getting to know the driver.
On my most recent travels, it was a forty-minute drive from the airport to the hotel. Both there and back, I was privileged to have drivers from African countries.
The first was from Ethiopia. We chatted for the length of the drive, and he shared that when people ask where he is from, he generally just says Africa because no one knows where Ethiopia is located.
When returning to the airport, I learned that my driver emigrated two years ago from Cameroon.
I asked lots of questions. He drives for Uber up to twelve hours a day. From 4-9pm every weeknight, he takes English classes.
In his home country, he was a lawyer, and he is hoping to be accepted into a program here that will allow him to continue his practice.
I asked if he ever goes back to Cameroon to visit his eleven-year-old daughter.
“I am not allowed to return unless I become an American citizen.”
“You can’t return to your own country without American citizenship?”
“Correct. I left due to politics, and now I can’t go back.”
As I listened to his story unfold, I was moved to tears by his passion, and by once again being reminded of what our fellow humans across the world experience on a daily basis.
“We protest the president in my country because he has been the president for thirty-seven years! He kills people, and fixes elections. Even people in the villages are being killed. My younger brother is in prison right now, and I am trying to help him get a lawyer. It is not easy.”
The conversation turned to religion and American politics.
“My goal is to believe, but when I see what is happening around me, around the world, it is hard. I am a Christian, but I don’t believe you have to tell people your religion. Going to the church every day is not being a Christian. Being a Christian is to do right. Every single day do right. That is God.”
“I don’t have to say I am a Christian if I have faith. Faith is when we act. I watch what is happening on the southern border, and I ask myself, do we serve the same God? How can this be? Every human has a right to be safe. If they safely arrive in America, how can a Christian country turn them away? They should not build a wall, they should build a bridge! It is a big country, with lots of space.”
“People want to come here to work hard. We want to pay taxes. We want to be responsible citizens. It will take two more years for me to become a citizen. Meanwhile, I work hard and save, save, save because I don’t know what will happen tomorrow.”
We discussed cultural differences. We talked about our hopes for the future of our children. We shared stories of our travel experiences. We became friends. Did I mention, I love people?
Syndicated columnist Ginger Claremohr is an author, motivational speaker, and mother of five. Follow her on Facebook, find her on the web: www.claremohr.com, or contact email@example.com.