It’s been a long time…

since there has been a good travel climate for Americans.  I’m sure there are people that would argue with me.   I don’t know why, but it didn’t occur to me until we were almost done with the trip that this was the first time I’ve been out of the country since Obama was elected.

obama sticker zan

It’s pretty easy to say that I stand out in Tanzania.  For obvious reasons, I don’t blend in.  I walk into a shop and the scene plays out something like this:

Shop worker:  Karibu. (Welcome)

Me:  Asante. (Thank you)

Shop worker: I have small shop, small prices.  Where you from?

Out of habit from the last 8 years I quietly mutter:  U.S.

Shop worker’s face lights up:  BARAK OBAMA!

Now when they want to get your attention you are called “Obama sista” as you walk to another shop without a purchase.

As I got a henna tattoo on my foot, I have a conversation with the woman doing the artwork.

Henna artist:  Where you from?

Me:  U.S.

Henna artist smiles and says:  Obama

Henna artist:  Can I tell you a secret?

Me:  Sure.

Very proud henna artist:  He from my tribe.

All over Tanzania we found people excited about Barak Obama.  Being a political lefty, this made for a fun travel experience that I haven’t had in a long time.  There were even kangas (cloth used for a skirt, tied at the waist) with his photo and printed in Swahili at the bottom was something that translated to “Obama, hope for the world.”

obama belt

This is a Masai boy in secondary school. Check out his belt.

obama bag

This is a woman in Irindi. I told her I liked her bag. 🙂


One Response to “It’s been a long time…”

  1. Kimberly Colbert Says:

    Thanks for sharing these photos. It was a little hard to imagine from your description at lunch. (I guess I’m just not that creative — smile) It helps to put an image to a description. Goes to show how much more interested the world is in us than we are in them!


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