Obama dines with family in Kenya

Obama dines with family in Kenya
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President Obama joined around three-dozen of his relatives for dinner Friday night, shortly after arriving in Kenya for his first visit to his father’s homeland as president. 
 
A besuited Obama sat next to his step-grandmother, Mama Sarah, wearing a gold-colored headscarf, and his half-sister, Auma Obama, at the restaurant inside the Villa Rosa Kempinski hotel in Nairobi. 
 
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Members of Obama’s extended family filled two long tables surrounding the president, and many were seen smiling. 
 
Obama is the first sitting president to visit Kenya. His trip is intended to deepen U.S. trade and security ties in East Africa.
 
But Obama’s family connection to Kenya is what has built anticipation for his visit. Kenyans are treating Obama’s visit as a homecoming, and excitement has reached a fever pitch. Street vendors are selling T-shirts with the president's photo and the phrase "welcome home."
 
The last time Obama visited Kenya was in 2006, as an Illinois senator. During that trip, he was able to visit his father’s village of Kogelo, something he won’t repeat this time, due to security and time constraints. 
 
“I'll be honest with you, visiting Kenya as a private citizen is probably more meaningful to me than visiting as president, because I can actually get outside of a hotel room or a conference center,” Obama said at a news conference last week. 
 
Nevertheless, he said returning to his father’s native country as president would be "symbolically important" to himself.