Monday, November 3, 2008

November 3, 2008 - Kenya's OBAMAmania

The election is not until tomorrow and Barack Obama has not yet won the presidency, but Kenyans don't seem to care! The whole country is getting ready for the election, in a way that makes it seem like Kenyans can actually vote in it. For example, since last week there have been so many "Barack Obama" ads in the newspaper...including a full-page spread of his picture! We read in the newspaper yesterday that the village that Obama's father comes from has already chosen which bull they will slaughter if Obama wins, and the village is planning to be shut down for a full day's celebration on Wednesday. The biggest paper in Kenya, "the Daily Nation", has a policy of not endorsing any political candidate as they reminded readers in yesterday's Sunday paper, and yet the editor wrote an entire column on why he really, really, really think Obama should and is going to win. He is definitely Kenya's favorite half-son.

The icing on the cake, so to speak, is that a small, young theater company here in Nairobi has written and began performing "Obama the Musical", a theatrical production showcasing the life and times of Barack Obama through song and dance. I am not kidding you! It was first performed at the national theater yesterday and will be showing all week. Obama the Musical! And in case you think I am making this stuff up, here is a link to a BBC story about it:

So yes, the whole country is on edge! The cartoon in the paper yesterday even joked that there would be more post-election violence in the country if Obama loses. Let's seriously hope not!

In other news, I am in my 23rd week of pregnancy and still amazed at how often and quickly my body is changing. My acid reflux has been better for the last few days and possibly my acne (although the last time I wrote that my acne was better it came back with a vengeance). I have become so used to waking up in the night with painful cramps in my calves (each time it is like the worst "charlie horse" ever!), that I don't even remember them happening anymore. Unfortunately, Kristoffer does! On Friday and Saturday nights I woke up screaming with a cramp, he woke up terrified that something awful was happening with the baby, proceeded to massage my cramp until I fell back to sleep, and then lay there totally awake with his heart beating out of his chest. Both mornings I had no memory of these incidents happening! Sorry Kristoffer!

We had a very relaxing weekend other than the cramps. A particular highlight was intervewing a woman (the third we have interviewed) to be our live-in housekeeper/cook/ayah (ayah means nanny or babysitter in Swahili). Ida came highly recommended from an American friend of a friend who used to live here and employed her for several years before leaving the country. She was friendly, professional, provided proper documentation of all her skills and training, and we thought she was very easy to talk to and get along with. She was a better fit for us than the others we interviewed. We plan to offer her the job this week and hope that she will accept; if so, when we return from our vacation in January she will move in to our "staff quarters" (we have 2 rooms and bathroom facilities in our house for staff) and begin making us the laziest people on earth. She used to work for vegetarians so Kristoffer is very excited about that, she is first-aid trained so I am very excited about that, and she seems to understand that because I will not be working full-time when the baby comes (if at all) her duties will be more housekeeper/cook centered than nanny. But, it will be really nice for us to have regular help that we trust for when we do want to go out without the baby or if I am working at home. We have also arranged to hire a driver starting in the new year so that Kristoffer can be driven to work and I can still have a way to get around (since I still refuse to drive here). I would say that by April, we will be so spoiled and used to the expat way of life that it will be hard for us to ever return to the real lives of people in America or Denmark! AH!

Anyway, off to start another Monday. I mailed in my vote for president over a month ago so I don't get to go to a voting booth tomorrow...but like the rest of Kenya I do remain on the edge of my seat!


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