reflections on ‘home’ 1.1

speaking of obama…

its funny what makes one feel ‘at home’ or that one finds comforting

in the past few days kotido had acquired some things that i find very comforting–speakers at the mosque.

this means that i can now faintly hear the calls to prayer, and for some reason i find this reminder to pray just a delight.

i find it fantastically coincidential that obama’s talk in cairo conisided with this phenom in kotido town.

its a sign from allah.
allauh akbar.

obama nation?

installment two of interesting things that happened on the way back to kotido and a little extra:

i had driven as far as mbale from kampala (about five hours, give or take) and we decided to stop for some lunch.

we had to be careful with parking in mbale, since romano had his computers and some supplies for the ik children (kopein helps them with school fees and supplies for school) stolen from his locked car…

kelly and i had all of our travel things plus a lot of things we had bought in kampala for the house and we did not want them stolen!

the first place romano wanted to try was a bust, no parking.
and we needed to be able to park somewhere where we could watch the car as we ate.

so, we drove around the corner to another place, where i was able to park across the street–and found a table with a great view of the car.

finding this particular place was a total jackpot.

good pilau (masalaish rice) and chicken that wasn’t so tough i thought my teeth were going to fall out–and JOHN STEWART was on. apparently international CNN runs john stewart and the colbert report. heaven!

so, instead of actually watching the car (don’t worry, nothing happened to it) i was turned around in my chair facing the tiny television–loving john stewart. kelly and i enjoyed laughing with john–and being pretty much the only onesn in the place who got the jokes… such is life in east-africa, i suppose.

however.
when a clip was shown of president obama (yes, we can) speaking, there was in instant hush over the crowd. everyone, and i mean everyone, turned to watch and listen to him. people passing in the street even stuck their heads in to see what president obama had to say.

as soon as john started talking again, about whatever it was obama had said, everyone went back to their business of chatting and eating.

i was left sitting there, pondering my pilau and wondering–what happened when bush’s voice was heard from the televison?

along those same lines, the week spent in kampala presented many more ‘obama instnaces’ or OI’s as i like to call them.

one of my favorite OIs of that week happend in aristock bookshop (kampala road location) when i was boping around with emily w.

we were standing in between two bookshelves talking and she accidently bumped the guy behind her with her elbow–she thought she’d knocked the book out of his hand and turned around to apologize to him for this infraction.

he said, “no no, when you are here in uganda–you just feel at home. its okay! if you break a book, its alright–just feel at home.”

she said thank you to him–i suspect thinking that this was the end of the conversation (at least thats what i thought), but he continued:

“you know, we used to consider the united states as our friends… but now…”

i think i can speak for both of us here when the first thought that came to mind was, “uh oh… how can we escape this place without being told how awfully the united states can treat people…” but our friend continued:

“but now, you are our brothers and sisters!”

phew.

emily asked, “because…of obama?”

friend: “YES!! you elected a black man, obama is kenya-kenya is east-africa–so, we are now family. and family should feel at home.”

we thanked him, and were promptly on our way.

it would seem the ‘obama nation’ is actually the ‘obama world…’
i see a theme park in the works…