24
Jul
15

Kenya Awaits

1:10 PM EDT: The President is scheduled to arrive in Nairobi, Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta International Airport

Lots more live Kenyan streaming links here

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‘Welcome Obama’

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A really nice piece on Auma Obama and President Obama’s ancestral village:

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From then Senator Obama’s trip to Kenya in 2006

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This is the Kenya I knew when I spent two years there, from 1992 to 1994, working with the Jesuit Refugee Service. Of course it’s wrong to generalize about a people or a country, and Kenya encompasses men, women and children from a stunning variety of ethnic backgrounds speaking dozens of indigenous languages (most also speak Swahili and English), but perhaps positive generalizations are okay. Nearly to a person, the Kenyan men and women I knew were warm, welcoming, friendly, upbeat, clever, playful, helpful, and, most of all, hopeful. I adored living there, loved working and living among them, and enjoyed learning Swahili (and even a little Maasai)…For Kenyans the visit of President Obama, a man with deep Kenyan roots, is of enormous significance and a cause for celebration.

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Family is of inestimable significance for Kenyans, and nearly everyone knows what tribe you’re from, and the location of your family’s shamba (loosely translated as “farm” but a larger word meaning homeland). It’s especially easy for Kenyans to figure out what ethnic group Barack Obama hails from. He is obviously a Luo, as evidenced by the “O” that begins his last name. Luo names are ones like Odhiambo, Omondi, Okello, Onyango, Otieno. When I living in Kenya, the Jesuit vocation director for East Africa was a florid-faced, white-haired, Irishman named Sean O’Connor who, like me, loved his adopted country. Sean loved to joke with the East Africans when they asked where he was from, that of course he was a Luo. “Can’t you tell from my name?” he would say. “It’s Oconnor, after all.” During the president’s trip to Kenya, I hope that the media covers the following: the way that Kenyans often make do with so little; the way that they are able to live among a welter of cultures and languages; the stunning beauty of their land; their deep pride in their heritage; their great love of country. So with my friends (marafiki) in Kenya, I say to the President, “Karibu Kenya, Rais Obama!”

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138 Responses to “Kenya Awaits”


  1. 1 57andfemale
    July 24, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    Hello?

  2. July 24, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    Fabulous post LP, you’ve got me in the Kenyan mood!!! Thank you ENORMOUSLY!!!!!

  3. 11 99ts
    July 24, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    Thank you LP – those pictures of the trip with his family – before the hair turned grey – love them

  4. 13 Jeff
    July 24, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    Trying to stay positive. Even though It seems impossible with everything that’s been happening.

  5. July 24, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    This thread gives me chills. Thank you LP. This is amazing.

  6. July 24, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    Morning all.

    Well, gee, the EmEssEm gets something wrong again.

    • 17 Nena20409
      July 24, 2015 at 12:45 pm

      It is obvious that the NYT with all the RWNJs from Politico now employed at the Great Old Lady……. the Mike Allens from Politico and The GOPers are steadily using the NYT to systematically attacking HRC and Dems 24/7. They print untruths, when called out……after the story have been well circulated, then a quick, Oops, Did I do that, without any retractions, apologies, corrections,…….but just by changing a word or two here and there, then Move on to another false narrative with some polls to regurgitate their Original Diatribe……..Dems need to have their Own Media and then, use that News Media to drive their own stories or this endless Foxification of News will Never Die.

    • July 24, 2015 at 1:39 pm

      Typical NYTimes crap! Publish a false story with headlines, small correction on page 20.

    • July 24, 2015 at 1:43 pm

      I see NYT has turned into complete CRAP.

  7. 22 sherijr
    July 24, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    Oh this is really lovely, LP. Thank you!

  8. 24 Vicki
    July 24, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    Stupendous, LP!! Thank you.
    The Karibu Kenya video so moving I am reaching for a tissue. What is wrong with me?

  9. 26 amk for obama
    July 24, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    Great post, lp. Well done, desi.

  10. 28 Nena20409
    July 24, 2015 at 12:37 pm

    Wow, LP 😉 Bravo!
    Just Wonderful. Unbeatable!
    Congrats 57andFemale, Gold is indeed, your Gem 🙂

  11. July 24, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    And, of course, awesome post, LP.

  12. 32 vcprezofan2
    July 24, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    😎 Thanks, LPlains!

    I like the little security piece described in the link in this tweet.

  13. 34 vcprezofan2
    July 24, 2015 at 12:42 pm

  14. 35 99ts
    July 24, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    Seems McConnell is in trouble with his party because he is attempting to pass some needed legislation. I would guess this is why the GOP is polling so badly with its own party – they don’t like that legislation is getting passed that will assist the President to govern.

    A Harry Reed staffer on twitter explaining it all.
    https://twitter.com/AJentleson

    http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/249076-cruz-accuses-mcconnell-of-lying-to-him-on-ex-im-bank

  15. 38 vcprezofan2
    July 24, 2015 at 12:44 pm

  16. 39 Gazelle
    July 24, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    LP, that last photo ….! Gave me the best cackle! The guy isn’t messing around with his styling! 🙂

  17. 42 FoxfireTX
    July 24, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    Thank you LP for this lovely thread! My experience in Tanzania in 1989 was similar to yours in terms of my impressions, generalizations or not:-) My time was out near Iringa, Tanzania and the surrounding villages to work on establishing a “sister” relationship between my church in St. Paul, MN and the Iringa diocese. It was a life changing experience for me, and ultimately lead to my decision to adopt my daughter from Bolivia a year later. I am so looking forward to this next week while we live the experience again through PBO!

  18. 44 idon
    July 24, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    Y’all the Secret Service will cut off all cell/phone service upon arrival and during motorcade and will control Kenya communications during the duration of his visit. This is to prevent use of cell phones to set off bombs. Secret Service don’t play.

  19. July 24, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    Hey everyone, I’ve added a live video and live links to the top of the post, not sure if PBO is ahead of schedule or behind, but due to arrive soon-ish

  20. July 24, 2015 at 12:47 pm

  21. July 24, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    I am so happy that the president has traveled to Kenya. None of his foreign trips will ever be so meaningful than this one by that nations citizens. They have enormous pride and respect for the president and his family which cannot be surpassed even here in the United States , not even the enormous pride felt by African-Americans.

    When he visited Ireland, the Irish people were of course overwhelmingly delighted of their sons return; Keyans will be doubly pleased that their son has returned as the most powerful man on the planet.

    I have honestly longed for this day hoping for massive outpouring of love. If as I suspect that there will be overwhelming crowds of well-wishers I doubt the US Media will show it. This will be unfortunate for everyone. I cross my finger and hope that the US Media will keep us informed of the presidents travels. I know the African and European media will and of course the Obama Diary enthusiast.

    Keyans take care of this wonderful , intelligent thoughtful son and return him safely to us.

  22. 53 globalcitizenlinda
    July 24, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    I have been to that Kenya airport & Nairobi so many times. I can see familiar spots. Yes, i am now feeling very homesick – wish i was there

  23. 54 Nena20409
    July 24, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    • July 24, 2015 at 2:04 pm

      I had a shirt similar to that , it was polyester, I hated wearing it in summer. And indeed I had many form-fitting jeans back in the day. Funny that this photo takes me back to magical days as a youth growing up – closeness to mom et al.

  24. 56 Nena20409
    July 24, 2015 at 12:57 pm

  25. 57 Nena20409
    July 24, 2015 at 12:58 pm

  26. 58 vcprezofan2
    July 24, 2015 at 1:05 pm

  27. 59 vcprezofan2
    July 24, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    Touchdown!

  28. 60 vcprezofan2
    July 24, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    😀 😀 😀 Most accurate use of ‘Breaking News’ I’ve seen in a while!

  29. 61 JER
    July 24, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    The President arrives in Nairobi, Kenya. Click here ► ► http://www.cbsnews.com/liveFeed/widget.shtml

  30. 62 MadamSoph
    July 24, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    Thank you LP for this lovely, informative post! I learned so many things I didn’t know about Kenya, such as the ancestral history of the “O” name! How cool is that?

    I can trace back parts of my ancestral history that specifically and other branches of my family I cannot. The knowledge of my African ancestral history, unfortunately, stops around the time of the American Revolution and they were already using an English name. Maybe some day I can spend some time digging a little deeper and somehow find that/those names.

    Super busy these days, but I will try to peek in at the live feed today. Thank you so much Chips and all of TOD, as usual! I am enjoying the PBO presidency to its fullest because of this place.

  31. 64 MadameSoph
    July 24, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    Help Chips! My comment is in moderation because I spelled my own nickname incorrectly! 🙂

  32. 65 MadameSoph
    July 24, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    Thanks so much! watching the live feed now!!

  33. July 24, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    Good Afternoon TODVille!

    Always thrilled to see my POTUS arriving… anywhere!

  34. 67 vcprezofan2
    July 24, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    Looks like a LOT of flowers! 😀

  35. July 24, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    So nice to see all this. I am sure the coverage will be awesome. 🙂 Good to see he´s up for some good time.

  36. July 24, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    He’s down the stairs. Hey I love that huge BLACK bald SS guy ( or US airforce ) standing beside stairwell on right – he’s about 2 meters tall!

  37. July 24, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    Some people are giving their life stories to POTUS. No!

  38. July 24, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    The debarking wasnt as bad as I thought — Remember the African country he visited where everybody in government was in line for handshake upon his deplaning. It took forever! What country was that?

  39. 73 SUEDUVALSMITH
    July 24, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    GEESH…THIS MAKES ME NERVOUS…GET HIM IN THE DARN CAR AND STRAP HIM IN!

    • July 24, 2015 at 1:31 pm

      Sue, Kenya isn’t any more dangerous than any other country for him to travel to. Remember this is the most most powerful man on the planet and he commands a military that is formidable. His secret service and CIA ( Yes the field agents get involved in foreign travels of president) details have anticipated and studied the environment, this you can believe for every presidential visit> Relax and enjoy the visuals I there are good agents on the situation.

  40. July 24, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    Auna Obama rides with her brother in THE BEAST.

  41. 80 Nena20409
    July 24, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    Thank you TOD!
    That was Awesome!
    Unbeatable!

  42. July 24, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    POTUS sister is there to great him, she is riding in the Beast with him.

  43. 84 Nena20409
    July 24, 2015 at 1:29 pm

  44. 85 Nena20409
    July 24, 2015 at 1:31 pm

  45. 86 vcprezofan2
    July 24, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    By FAITH ONEYA

    A school famous for its academic prowess will get a chance to prove its choral might when it sings for the world’s most powerful man.

    The Makini school choir will be one of the two that will entertain President Barack Obama at State House in Nairobi on Saturday.

    The school was selected by the Ministry of Education alongside a second one from Samburu.

    Speaking to Nation.co.ke, Catherine Njuguna, the headmistress of Makini State House School, where most of the 60-strong choir members study, said it was an honour for the school.

    ………….. snaip ……………………….

    The group was invited to the festival by US music directors who had seen them perform at the Children’s Festival in Turkey in 2011 where the school was representing Kenya.

    …………………………………………………………………….. //

    http://www.nation.co.ke/counties/nairobi/Makini-school-choir-Obama-State-House/-/1954174/2806650/-/q0pg6o/-/index.html

  46. 87 Nena20409
    July 24, 2015 at 1:32 pm

  47. 89 vcprezofan2
    July 24, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    😎 très 😎

  48. 103 MadameSoph
    July 24, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    So I read on the YouTube chat next to the live feed that visiting dignitaries usually arrive at night because there is less traffic/activity in the area and, also, by arriving at night they can get a good night’s sleep before the next day’s festivities. It’s 8:30 pm in Kenya now, so the late-night TOD thread should be exciting! (darn, I work Saturdays and I have to go to bed early 😦 )

    Some family members just got back from visiting Kenya – haven’t had a chance to see pics or hear about the trip though.

  49. July 24, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    OH, MY, help me. I’m choking up at the really lovely coverage on Kenyan TV. So wonderful to see him so thoroughly celebrated.

  50. 106 Nena20409
    July 24, 2015 at 1:36 pm

  51. 108 Nena20409
    July 24, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    ❤ so much that I am repeating it….. 🙂

    • 109 CEB
      July 24, 2015 at 2:46 pm

      No, PBO more than most who describe themselves as such, was born African-American (father/mother) on the shores of these United States of America. Nor is he a complete Kenyan. Folks need to get it right and stop projecting.

  52. July 24, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    MOM ALERT!

    Kenyan TV noting how he bounds down the stairs of AF1, seeing it as a sign of high energy. LOLz.

    • 112 SUEDUVALSMITH
      July 24, 2015 at 1:45 pm

      HE’S THE ENERGIZER…HE NEVER RUNS DOWN!…HE IS SO EXCITED…IT HAS BEEN A LONG TIME SINCE HE HAS BEEN THERE……………….SOOOOOOOOOOOO SWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET!!!!!

    • July 24, 2015 at 2:47 pm

      This is exactly like Indinan TV! Image consultant… psychoanalysis..”President Obama hugged the little girl for a long time (he may be missing his daughters) and making President Kenyatta wait…showing he is the most powerful man in the world” …we will later discuss his choice of tie/socks….now the hosts are talking about twerking and doing PBO voice impersonations…the set consists of bean bags, selfie-sticks, and PBO cutouts..this was pure gold 😀

  53. 117 Nena20409
    July 24, 2015 at 1:42 pm

  54. 118 Nena20409
    July 24, 2015 at 1:43 pm

  55. 119 Nena20409
    July 24, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    • July 24, 2015 at 1:49 pm

      Each and every time I’ve seen PBO in person, there is always a female SS agent in his immediate coverage.

    • 121 SUEDUVALSMITH
      July 24, 2015 at 1:50 pm

      THIS AGENT MEANS BUSINESS….WHOEVER IS MARRIED TO HER DOES NOT COMPLAIN ABOUT HER COOKING…LOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!

  56. 122 MadameSoph
    July 24, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    O.k. TODers: I am in need of education/enlightenment: What is the significance of the “Green Army”? I can’t get a straight answer from Google.

  57. 123 Linda
    July 24, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    Mass Shooting Tracker

    http://shootingtracker.com/wiki/Mass_Shootings_in_2015

    I think some are missing.. I don’t see Charleston or Chattanooga on the list

  58. July 24, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    LOVE you LP and Chips!!

  59. 125 Roberta in MN
    July 24, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    Thank you LP for this awesome thread. Our POTUS is going to be so welcomed there. Thank you Kenay 🙂

  60. 127 Nena20409
    July 24, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    Wow!
    The Cartoonist is Not a fan of Kenyan Politicians…….

  61. July 24, 2015 at 1:53 pm

  62. 130 SUEDUVALSMITH
    July 24, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    I WILL UNFORTUNATELY HAVE TO MISS SOME OF THIS TODAY…HAVE TO EAT AN EARLY DINNER BEFORE PEOPLE COME TO PICK UP OUR SOFAS…MORE DOWNSIZING AND GIVING IT TO A SINGLE MOM WHO NEEDS IT…IT FEELS GOOD SHEDDING SO MUCH OF THIS STUFF…WISH MY HIPS WERE THAT EASY!…HUGS EVERYONE….BACK LATER ON TO CATCH UP ON MY PRESIDENT…GET YOUR OWN………….X0X0X0X0X0X0! BE SAFE MR. PRESIDENT…YOU ARE LOVED BY MANY!

  63. 131 vcprezofan2
    July 24, 2015 at 1:55 pm

  64. July 24, 2015 at 1:55 pm

  65. July 24, 2015 at 1:57 pm

  66. 134 Nena20409
    July 24, 2015 at 1:57 pm

  67. 137 Nena20409
    July 24, 2015 at 1:59 pm


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