Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Friday, June 27, 2008

Obama in Kenya

Not much political news from my trip to Kenya. BUT, everyone wanted to know if we supported Obama or McCain. And they quickly added that they wanted Obama to win since he is the son of a Kenyan. It took only 2 statements to convince every Kenyan we met that Obama is not who they think he is. He supports abortion. He supports marriage between homosexuals. They were thoroughly shocked that someone with Kenyan roots could support either of those issues. And most left us rather sad.

The only other political news is the violence of last January. There was no hint of it where we visited but we were mostly in the Eastern part of Kenya which did not experience the tribal related murders. That is mostly because East Kenya tribes have no political power. The only evidence of the trouble was that tour operators are far below their normal bookings to visit the national parks. We did, however, support the local economy by visiting four parks: Nairobi, Maasai Mara, Amoseli, Tsavo West. They were all incredible.

I also learned a lot about the tribal racism of Africa and I am stunned - perhaps a topic for a later time.
More info, photos, video at:

Type rest of the post here


Tom Forbes said...

Bruce, welcome back! We're glad you made it homek safely. Thanks for the great (and timely) report from Kenya.

Mattwi said...

I'll share this regarding tribes and the violence in Kenya, this is from one of my very best friends who owns land there and is married to a Kenyan woman from the Kamba tribe.

My friend:
Our tribal names are Kilonzo, Nthenya, Muasa and Kyalo. We are Wakamba from the Kamba tribe which is linguistically and genetically from the bantu lineage. Due to tribal/ethnic violence in the past and of late, however, many Kenyans would rather just be known as Kenyans and not polarize themselves into a tribal affiliation.

So how's it looking if you head back to Kenya... things don't look all that great in the news over there at this time.

My friend:
Well, the US news blows it out of proportion as the violence is very localized. In fact everyone that we know in Kenya has experienced little to no ill effect save for the increasing cost of commodities. As far as our return is concerned, the rising cost of commodities will be offset by the falling value of the Kenyan shilling as my wife's funding should be in US$, so that doesn't effect us much. So the biggest problem for us is the false-impression that the narrow minded US media portrays and if that will cause unknowing funding sources to deny us funds because they falsely believe the country to be "on fire".