Thursday, June 14, 2012

ACCT International: Mama Obama

Mama Sarah Obama

Mama Sarah Obama, is President Barak Obama's paternal step-grandmother. She lives in Kogelo, Kenya (not far from Lake Victoria) where she runs a foundation for OVCs (orphans and vulnerable children). This is a term we have heard a lot while in Kenya. It is hard to comprehend what HIV/AIDS can do to a country, but the constant reference to AIDS-related OVCs helps to underscore the impact of the disease.

The children Mama Obama supports live with extended family or foster families. However, on this weekend a group of them had gathered on her compound to spend time with her. We did not interact with the children, which I preferred. The developing world is rife with orphans as tourist attractions, and I would prefer to not participate in that. Instead we sat with Mama Obama as she answered questions through an interpreter (she speaks Luo).

For a majority of the time, my attention was actually distracted by an amazing specimen of a turkey that was wandering the compound.

Turkey

I learned some important information about turkeys. For example, did you know that the red "gobble," or what ever it is called that hangs down from his face, changes color? Yeah, neither did I until I saw it happen. In addition, that long flesh flap that hangs over the beak? It totally retracts! When he bent down to peck at the ground it would shrink into a small, almost horn, on top of his beak. Craziness.

— Sara

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