Are East Africans still for Obama?

Jul 24th, 2008, 01:12 PM
Original Poster
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Are East Africans still for Obama?

I will be traveling to Kenya and Tanzania soon. Is it a good idea to express support for Obama for president? I think it will be hard to blend in and pretend we are not Americans. I read on this forum earlier in the year, that some Kenyans are not supporting Obama because he is from the Luo tribe, is that still true?

carl170 is offline  
Jul 24th, 2008, 01:49 PM
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Tanzania loves him. At a market near Manyara kids would come up to me and smile and chant "Obama. Obama".

In Kenya the Luo tribe loves him (he's half-Luo) but the Kikiyu and their allies do not. Our Kikiyu driver told me the Luo were "sneaky" and that he thinks Obama is dishonest, for example.

After the election was stolen from them last January the bitter joke among the Luo was that "A Luo has a better chance of becoming president of the United States than of Kenya"

Bill_H is offline  
Jul 24th, 2008, 02:58 PM
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On my recent visit, everyone in both countries asked about our upcoming elections.

My comment to each query was "no comment."

I was so looking to be away from the subject for 3/weeks, and managed to do so, but for a few minutes with other Americans.

Leave the politics at home and enjoy your vacation.

sandi is offline  
Jul 24th, 2008, 03:57 PM
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Maajabu! Tanzanians and Kenyans are more than fascinated that a Black Man, a Black Man with EA’frican roots is running for President of the United States of America whether they agree with his politics or not. That is as it should be.

In my experience, Tanzanians and Kenyans are much more willing to discuss politics openly under ordinary circumstances but this is not an ordinary situation and there is not a day that goes by in my EA’frican communications that a mention of Barak Obama is not discussed.

I have sent many hardback copies of his books, copies of his speeches and made files from information on the internet about him to many in Tanzania – they cannot get enough about him! I do not think you could go wrong bringing anything, and I mean anything, Barak Obama related to Tanzania and Kenya with you as gifts. Campaign pins, books, files on CDs, pictures of Michele and children etc. He is stimulating a reading culture in some who have not been so keen before now.

I am sure these books of his must be on disks now, which would be much more practical to send and or bring, but I have not had a chance to look into it – if you discover this to be the case, please let me know in this thread!

Such a good question Carl!
Safari njema! Den
Denbasking is offline  
Aug 16th, 2008, 07:57 AM
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A friend of mine was in Tanzania in June-July teaching at a local school--she said everyone loved Obama!
DianeGermaine is offline  
Aug 16th, 2008, 12:09 PM
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I was also very interested to know this, too, as we are very excited about Barack Obama and are huge supporters.

I think we'd find it very difficult to be in Kenya and Tanzania and NOT bring up the topic. I've already discussed it with our tour operator via e-mail.
She said, "Kenyans too are very very excited and we all hope and pray he wins. We are proud to know that he has his roots in Kenya, and schools and other institutions are already being named after his name."

We were thinking of bringing some Obama T-shirts and buttons to give to our guides (in addition to tips of course).

I'd love to hear from anyone who's been there recently, if this sounds like an OK idea.

luv2globetrot is offline  
Aug 16th, 2008, 12:29 PM
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My friend suggested taking stickers--just to keep costs down--I bet they would love t-shirts!
DianeGermaine is offline  
Aug 16th, 2008, 08:54 PM
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If you live in L.A., you can go down on Crenshaw Blvd. and there are plenty of people selling Obama T-shirts, etc.. at outside stands along the street. Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Aug 17th, 2008, 06:03 PM
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I request that this topic get moved to the lounge.
scootr29 is offline  
Aug 18th, 2008, 07:35 AM
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I agree, and who cares?

What has this to do with Africa?
cbdemille is offline  
Aug 18th, 2008, 08:10 AM
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Chill out folks.
If you keep up with the news at all you might understand what is has to do with Africa and people that may be TRAVELING to Africa, which is why it's on this forum.
If you aren't interested in reading about it, you are certainly free to skip right over the thread that has the topic right in the title.

luv2globetrot is offline  
Aug 19th, 2008, 08:14 AM
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As I said,

What has this to do with Africa, unless the new president intends to renege on all of the promises made on aid like his predecessor!
cbdemille is offline  
Aug 19th, 2008, 08:31 AM
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What has this to do with Africa

Obama's father is Kenyan, a member of one of the major tribes (Luo).

99% of the east Africans are black and seem intrigued and proud that a half-black with African ancestry might become president of the USA.

So Carl's Q is a good one.
Bill_H is offline  
Aug 19th, 2008, 10:00 AM
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OK let me change that to an African travel forum.
cbdemille is offline  
Aug 19th, 2008, 10:22 AM
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cbdemille (if that is your real name)--I traveled to 3 countries in east and southern Africa this year, and was asked about what I thought of the US elections by almost everyone I had significant conversations with. So, I'd say this topic is appropriate here--I've never observed that level of interest in American presidential politics before. It was definitely interesting to see how curious everyone is about the process, and it was an enlightening cultural experience.

And you also made an incorrect statement regarding the current U.S. president. The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) was recently extended, and an additional $39 billion was made available. This is in addition to the nearly $15 billion that have already been provided over the past 5 years. I don't believe that this extension was ever promised to anyone, let alone the additional funds.

I'd be curious to hear about what aid promises the president has reneged on, but as you said, this is a travel forum and one should steer away from politics (although you blatantly didn't). I await your post in the Lounge.
Gritty is offline  
Aug 19th, 2008, 04:13 PM
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scootr29: I see your point but I think this thread would be meaningless in the lounge. A reminder or FYI would work in this case to posters that detailed political preferences are for the lounge only. A onetime show of enthusiasm seems harmless to me.

Scott, when I saw your name it reminded me that I thought of you during one of my recent trips. On several occasions in airplanes, escalators etc I was stuck behind folks wearing and fussing with their flip-flops! Flip-flops were everywhere! It was much worse to endure watching a young couple wearing flip-flops beyond guardrails at the Grand Canyon! This has always been a pet peeve of mine as well and a *no can do* item on outdoor expeditions. Around a fire in camp if area is clear from there to your tent or dwelling – but that’s it, too many potential emergency room visits.


For the travelers interested in Carl’s Q:

The way I look at it; it is not about me or us. It is perfectly logical and responsible to consider and learn about what matters to the folks living in ones travel destination even though one may not care for what they care for. Because the relevance of this particular topic on the forum is obvious to me, a possible controversy did not enter my mind. If it had, I would have mentioned in my earlier post that just before President Bush arrived in and during his recent Tanzanian visit, I had very enthusiastic requests for information about him as well. I would have answered a question about him almost the same way with a few differences as he is not black, has ties to the Lou tribe with distant relatives in KE and TZ, or currently running for office and the rest.


RE President Bush:

~~ Pre and during his visit, a few students at the University of Dar Es Salaam (USDM in the city of DAR) were sharing questions and opinions with me at a rapid fire pace and eagerly awaiting for me to send topical information on various policies so they could have some hard facts for their lively discussions with their school mates and families. One of the topics was PEPFAR as Gritty mentioned upthread. So I sent them documentation on that topic etc. and copies of his speeches as I did with Senator Obama from the online speech bank. This has been requested of me many times for other’s famous speeches before unrelated to the US current political campaign.


Another cool part of this is that these particular students were recently brought into my life via a non-political project through a friend of mine that when giving an update he thought he could and was able to connect them with a few students at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) to banter, learn, and share insight from their particular life experiences at a rapid fire pace that those of that shiny age do for longer periods of time than I do. To me, a casual willingness to send something as small as a speech has resulted in young people connecting who have a shared future together on this earth that may now have another component of wisdom to add to each other’s future decisions.

~~ Another President Bush requested item was from local friends who know I am often in touch with folks working on projects in TZ and with Tanzanians I have connected with in the USA. Their request of me was could I possibly through my friends get them a piece of traditional clothing called a Kanga that the T’Zans wear. But not any Kanga, the ones they wanted were printed with the image of President Bush incorporated into the traditional designs to welcome and honor him.

Now, I was able to decipher which of my friends were for the red or the blue team by the request of the location of the President’s image on the fabric and how it would appear on the body. But that is forum talk for sure!

If anyone would like to see these Kangas one can just search using *The Google* then click on the image tab.

Note: Access for most to computers; reliable source of electricity [urban settings as well]; actual cost of computer use, cost in amount of time to figure out where to look online, printing & paper fees; and then watch your pocket change *cough* sucked up by an excruciatingly S. L. O. W. download only to be aborted (no pun or lounge chat intended) as often happens only to try again some day or just give up. The libraries in most schools are sub par or non-existent. The curriculums at UDSM are often designed without considering that the required textbooks are not affordable or available. Not only unavailable for the students to purchase at the school; the library does not have them on the shelves for students to share and many are not available anywhere nearby on the continent.

I think bringing a copy of a speech by any politician, female role model [with a PIC if a Black women to prove true!] to inspire or whatever your point of contact (POC) advises directly of interest for the folks you will come into contact with is a very good idea. It will be devoured and shared and appreciated by many. Something you give your guide, such as a speech in some format could very well end up in one of their relatives hands that may have never ridden in a vehicle or have seen a TV; but they are keen to listen for spotty local and BBC news on a cleverly homemade radio with passionate political interest and can now read your speech made by anyone at their leisure to study. This possible situation is not a rarity and your efforts will mean something to others.

I strongly feel gifts should in no way be considered part of or cut into the possible tip earnings of those on the ground and should be considered ones personal extra gift. Cash is the most important gift of all.

Enjoy your trips and new friendships, Den
Denbasking is offline  

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