Friday, December 12, 2008

If Someone Asks "Habari Yako?", Say "Mzuri"

Back from a three-week mission trip in Kenya, a church friend, the globetrotting man of mystery Paul Arndt, lent me a copy of the English-language Nairobi Daily Nation dated Tuesday, Nov. 4.

Not much in the issue about Sen. Obama beyond the first 27 pages.

A thoughtful column was filed from Lancaster County, PA by Helen Wakinyue Nthambiri, a Kenyan immigrant. She made her '08 decision after Sen. Clinton forgot that all politics is retail even while she was retailing:

Initially I was an ardent supporter of Senator Hillary Clinton. That was the Hillary Clinton who refused to look me in the face as she was autographing my copy of her biography. Down went my support for the history-making woman candidate....

Then to Lancaster came Obama, who shook my hand with genuine warmth, and surprised me by responding to my "Habari yako?" greeting, with "Mzuri". My passionate entry into the political world of Obama began.

Google says the exchange means: "What is the news?" and "Fine." Sort of like when I ask my friend Steve, "What's the good word?" and he says, "Thunderbird."

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