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Kenya Reports

Report #52
June 5, 2008

The newspaper gets to Lumakanda town about 9:00 a.m. so at 10:00 a.m. I went to get my daily paper. It was sold out! Why? OBAMA. Everyone wanted to read about his success as the Democratic candidate for US president. In Kenya, as far as I know in all the cultures, descent is through the father. Therefore Kenyans consider Obama a Kenyan regardless of the fact that he
has visited Kenya only a few times and hardly knew his father. I heard that in Siaya, where his father came from, there was a big celebration on his victory yesterday.

I was impressed by Obama's last visit to Kenya in 2006. When he was in Kisumu, in front of everyone, he had himself and Michelle tested for HIV/AIDS. When I asked why Kenyan politicians didn't join him, I was told, "They are afraid that they are HIV positive." People in Kenya don't want to be tested because they don't want to know their status—an interesting stance psychologically. So I was impressed.

In the paper today (I had to read it on-line) one columnist noted that the elation over Obama's victory is so great that you would think he was running for president of Kenya or even all of Africa.

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