Tuesday, January 20, 2009


It should be no surprise that many of the people at IU house are big Obama fans.  So, when a few people started talking about a pilgramige to Kogelo, Kenya for the inauguration celebration, I figured - what the hell.  So, after the 3 hour car ride packed with seven people (3rd row seats *rock*) that took 5 hours due to a few wrong turns and a stop for lunch, (where we almost bought a life-size Barak cutout) we got to Kogelo.  

The craziest thing about the trip was just how excited all of Kenya is about Obama.  As we got closer and closer to Kogelo anyone who saw all of the white folks in a car started screaming Obama, Obama.  You can hardly turn around without seeing an object with Barak's face (see tire cover).   Today the entire newspaper was occupied, and everyone at the hospital was wearing buttons and T-shirts and talking about the inaguration.  As I write this, the whole town is going crazy partying, and every television station is rebroadcasting CNN coverage of the inaguration.

Back to Kogelo - There were about 200 people milling about dancing and celebrating on the grounds of the school named after the senator.  Of course, like everywhere in Kenya, there were the obligatory curio shops lining the courtyard as well.

They even had this larger-than-life embodiment of Sarah Obama (Barak's paternal grandmother) complete with fake breasts and a booty.

We bought some cheap T-shirts for $2.00 to commemorate the experience. The best parts are in the videos that people shot, which I'll share when I get home.

This school boy was happy to dance for the camera.

There were a few other groups of wazungu milling about as well as quite a few people from the news media.  We were able to walk to Sarah Obama's house and see it from the outside as well as wandering around the secondary (high) school.  We took a break to have some sugar cane before the ride home, which was much faster.  It was definitely an adventure that I won't soon forget.


heather said...

what an amazing experience!

Heitkampfam said...

Totally awesome. What a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Freddie said...

Freddie said:
How incredible to be there at this historic time, and see everyone's reactions.
Can't believe you sold the big puppy...the scrounger finally got the 70-200 and a D90.
Enjoy the rest of your stay...your blog is great; do keep it up.