Obama's Village in Kenya

Barack Obama's mother is from Kansas, but his father was from Kenya. Here is a video from one of the times when he has gone to visit them.

Our time has come. Our movement is real and change is coming to America.

Senator Barack Obama's campaign for the American presidency has generated excitement the world over.

What began as a whisper in Springfield has swelled to a chorus of millions calling for change. It's a chorus that cannot be ignored. A chorus that cannot be deterred. This time can be different because this campaign for the presidency of the United States of America is different.

So different in fact that candidates close family members are not watching in New England or in Texas, but from here in the west of Kenya.

He's a beacon of hope. He's got all that it takes to become the president of the United States. "Yes we can!"

Sahid Obama is the presidential hopeful's uncle. He's been watching his famous nephew's progress from the town of Kazumu and he has nothing but pride for Barack's achievements.

I feel so great. It was a wonderful speech.

To show me Obama's roots, Sahid takes me to the Obama family home just across the equator. It's in this sleepy rural village of Kagelo that some of the presidential candidate's closest family still live.

You are heading into Mama Sara's house. A family picture taken in 1992. That's when he visit for the second time. And there as well you can see me standing next to the senator. The senator? The presidential candidate. There we are.

Senator Obama didn't grow up here but it was the home of his father: Barack Obama Sr., a graduate of Harvard University and a respected economist. They became estranged early in his son's life.

Now we are approaching the grave of senator Barack Obama's father. This is where the remains of Senator Barack Obama's father were buried.

Can you tell me just a little bit about him?

Yeah, Barack was a very loving person, very intelligent. Though he died when I was still very young, but my memory of him is that he was a very intelligent person.

Barack Obama first came to visit his father's grave back in 1987.

It was his first time in Kenya. I can say it was kind of happiness mixed with some sadness because he was person who was coming to see this side of his family and at the same time he was coming to see where his father was buried.

Another Obama still living in the village is Barack's grandmother, known as Mama Sara. She too has poignant memories from Barack's first visit. In her house, one photo has pride of place: a young Barack Obama carrying a large sack of vegetables that Mama Sara was bringing home.

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Since then, Senator Barack Obama, has been back only a few times. Mama Sara doesn't speak English and her grandson's knowledge of the local language is limited to masawa, or "how are you?" Even so, there is a strong attachment between the two of them.

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The presidential candidate's grandmother leads a simple life, tending this small plot of land, feeding her cows and chickens, and raising a handful of adopted children. But even though she is a world away from the pressure cooker of Washington politics, Mama Sara has had the inside running on Senator Obama's lofty ambitions.

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While we're talking a group of international journalists arrive and Mama Sara becomes the star of an inpromptu photo shoot. She's hoping that if Barack wins the presidency, the focus will move away from her and what her grandson might be able to do for Kenya.

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A president Obama may or may not be able to deliver on his grandmother's wish list, but even so he is already being commemorated. Behind the Obama's plot is the local school, renamed in the Senator's honor after his last visit. Education facilities here are primitive, but it provides these children with their best shot at a better life. Isaac Kenya wants to become a doctor overseas. He knows that won't come easily, but he's been inspired by Barack Obama.

I think that if Senator Obama will win the presidency, then when I am going to sit for my examination this year, I know that I'm going to excel in my exams and if possible I will study abroad.

The tiny town of Kagelo offers few opportunities. Many people here are idle from lack of employment. It's so quiet that the sound of a sewing machine drives me over to Leonard Ladier, the town tailor. Leonard met Obama at the local church and he has a high opinion of the Senator as well as high hopes.

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God's will and Barack Obama are two things that come up a lot in conversation's around Kagelo.

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The family's devout Christianity is no small irony given that one of the dirtiest tricks of the election campaign so far has been the attempt to depict Barack Obama as a closet Muslim. Despite the innuendo, Obama's campaign is still growing strong.

We will put a college education within the reach of anyone who wants to go.

Sitting down with Sahid to watch his nephew on television, I can't help but be a bit
amazed at how far Barack Obama has come. For Barack's relatives, his success is clearly the result of a humble ancestry.

I think about one to some extent has made him what he is today. He is somebody who has had to fight to become what he is. He coming from a multicultural background, multireligious, multiracial, and I think that one has done quite a lot to put him where he is today.

Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can!
Thank you Chicago. Let's go get to work. I love you.

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