So how did you spend your Thanksgiving? Eating turkey, watching football, dozing on the couch? I plan to do the same next year (minus eating the turkey), but this year, my third and last Thanksgiving in Kenya, I was fortunate enough to spend it at Obama’s grandmother’s home! Ever since I found out while staying in Machakos over two years ago that I would be coming to Siaya, I was bombarded with Obama enthusiasm. Finally, 26 months later, I have seen the home for myself and met Madam Sarah, Obama’s grandmother. Here are a few pics marking the day:
With Mama Sara Obama.
We brought a gift for her orphanage, 10kg of sugar.
With Sirawa, standing next to Obama’s father’s burial site. In the background you can see her new house.
Touring her garden. The grasses are grown for her dairy cows.
She is such a wonderful woman. So down to earth and genuine. So many people go crazy when a sack of money falls from heaven, directly into their empty lap, but Mama Obama has maintained her Kenyan lifestyle and given almost everything right back to the community. Obama has assisted her financially since he became Senator. He has even visited the home a few times before becoming president. The first thing she did when she received money from her grandson was purchase iron sheet for all of the houses in her village. She now operates a few orphanages in her community and continues farming and gardening within her original family compound. In fact, until just recently, she even stayed in the same house. Recently a new one was constructed directly behind the original, and it is still very modest. It was such an honour to meet her and hear her tell stories about when Obama’s father was young. Such a memorable Thanksgiving 🙂
Before I went to visit Obama’s place, I was surprised by 2 of my students, Rehema and Alice, who came knocking at my door early this morning. It was actually perfect timing, because I had just completed my millionth trial pack and had eliminated a few more things from my suitcases – which I bagged up and sent them home with. Here is a picture of me with Rehema’s family:
OK, so just a few more pictures of how I’ve been spending my final days in Kenya. As I mentioned yesterday, I went to the border of Uganda yesterday with Mr. Sirawa. He lives in Busia, the city bordering Uganda on the Kenya side. We took a short stroll from his house to the border, where we had a few interesting conversations with the police, snapped a few photos and skidaddled back to Siaya. Before coming home though, I met his beautiful family and had lunch at their home. It was a pretty awesome day all around. Memorable, for sure 🙂