Being an American

Everyone Knows Obama

Cara Giaimo
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When he found out I was that particular breed of mzungu that comes from America, the formerly reticent man I’d been working with suddenly had plenty of stories. It turned out he was from Kisumu, home of Obama’s grandparents, and was very interested in what I thought of his province’s “native son.” Although it’s impossible for everyone who introduces himself as “Obama’s cousin” to be telling the truth, the sentiment behind the claim is apparent everywhere. Kenya declared a national holiday when he was elected, and his face still flutters above the doorway of every cloth shop. Regardless of your political views, Obama is a good conversation-starter, and there’s no better way to get an on-the-ground international perspective on the president.

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