Grandmothers and even Grander Rivers...
Trip Start Jan 30, 2010
41Trip End Jun 07, 2010
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Where I stayed
The protocol as you can understand is immense; we travelled 6 hours to the village the evening before to confirm the appointment – questions around my profession, my reason for visit, my company I worked for and my religion were all asked. The following morning we headed through to Kogelo- the tiny village where the Obama’s originate from. The Kenyan police force conveniently have a field station 1km from the farm and as per one of the photos – the list of 'not to do’s’ is pretty long.
President Obama’s family tree is pretty extensive and I should read up about it a bit more sometime but although I may get it wrong - basically his grandfather and father are buried on the farm and his grandmother (father’s side) still lives in the same village. She is invited to every special occasion in western Kenya and is known as the ‘international grandmother’ across the globe. When I spoke to her she told me of the day when she was on stage with her grandson at the presidential inauguration – I was wondering how many people could say that they were on stage there? And the time when he and his girlfriend (Michelle) came to visit during university – they apparently stayed for a few weeks on the farmhttp://www.africanloft.com/full-text-of-obama-speech-in-accra-ghana/ and some great articles about Sarah obama here http://www.slate.com/id/2203232/ and http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/13/sarah-obama-photos-video_n_157655.html
Following the mid morning tea and conversation I needed to head to Uganda – I had booked white water rafting on the Nile for Saturday morning so really wanted to arrive the night before – the Matatu ride from Kogelo to Jinja in Uganda took ages and included a fairly lengthy experience at the Busia border post but I eventually arrived at Nile River explorers lodge about 8pm and after a sample of the local Nile beer and burger – headed straight to bed in my humble dorm accommodation.
Morning came way too quickly, and by 10 am we were already zipping up our life jackets and strapping on our helmets. What an experience!!!! The first time you get thrown over in the Nile River really is special. It is clean, fast moving and full of wildlife – fish eagles, otters and many others. The white water rafting takes a full day and for $125 you get a decent breakfast, a full day of grade 3-5 rapids and paddling, lunch and beers/ barbecue afterwards. The Nile River explorers lodge is in the most perfect position, sitting high on the hill above the river- the dining area has the best sunsets and sunrises ever and the food is pretty decent as well! Currently sitting in a dodgy internet cafe in the town of Jinja.. off to Kampala tomorrow evening and will be in the Stanbic and Liberty life offices till Friday.