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If you've enjoyed reading about my experiences in Tanzania here, check out the new blog I've started on Wordpress as of November, 2017. It's called "Back to Tanzania" and you can read it here. All new adventures in Tanzania from an older, wiser, more experienced expat.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Wearing My Obama Khanga

I'm in Kauai, Hawaii right now. I am sad to report that I'll be returning home tonight.

I bought a khanga in Tanzania in 2008 that comemorates President Obama's election. (You can read more about khangas here. ) At home in Utah, I don't wear it out in public for fear of sparking an argument with my conservative neighbors. But I thought since Hawaii is Obama's home state and a khanga makes a great swim suit cover-up, I would take the opportunity to wear it. It's a big rectangle of printed cotton that wraps around your waist like a sarong or pareo. Like this...

After a snorkeling/whale watching trip on a Zodiac with Captain Tara, we found ourselves wandering through the botanical gardens in swimsuits with coverups. My friend M overheard a conversation between a mother and her young son, about six years old, when I passed by.

Son: "Mama, that lady had President Obama on her butt."

Mother: "Don't talk like that. He's our President."

Son: "But that lady had Obama on her butt."

Mother: "Shush! Don't be disrespectful of the President." Turning to the auntie: "What's he talking about?"

Auntie: "Look at her skirt. It has the President on it."

And let me say that I really do not want to precipitate any political discussion here. I just thought this was funny, and I found it so refreshing that at least one American still thinks it's important to respect our President.

Also, the owner of a jewelry booth in the outdoor market at the Spouting Horn State Park offered me a sales clerk job two days a week after we got to chatting. She'd chased me down saying, "Where'd you get that pareo? I have to have one!"

And here are a few pictures from the botanical garden.

And lastly, I'm sorry for the infrequent posts! I've been traveling a bit again, and also this online creative writing class is keeping me busy! I may do better with the blog in about two or three weeks. Thanks for staying tuned... Aloha!

Oh, and if you find in yourself in Kauai and want to snorkel or see whales, I highly recommend Captain Tara and Kauai Sea Riders. 


  1. Barb - I'm headed with my Mom to Hawaii tomorrow - via a cruise boat! We'll have five days on the islands before sailing back home. I'll be sure to get a Khanga for a swimsuit cover up while I'm over there. Save some of that sun for me :-) Carol

  2. Mahalo, We are going to 'big island' on the 17th. Looking for volcanos, turtles and food.
    joanie dodie

  3. Everybody have fun in Hawaii! I guess we all need a break from our northern cold weather!

  4. Honey, it's been far too long since I've been to the Islands! You are rocking that look though! And I think Obama would be pleased to be on your fanny!

  5. Honey, it's been far too long since I've been to the Islands! You are rocking that look though! And I think Obama would be pleased to be on your fanny!

  6. I just want your travel budget and the time. Glad you had a wonderful visit. As always the pictures are lovely. I travel vicariously.

  7. Your pictures are so pretty! We were married on Kauai in 2000 and haven't been back to that island since, although we've visited Maui several times. Where on Kauai did you stay?

    Also? I can never spell Kauai right.

  8. We stayed in Poipu on the dry side of the island, also I think it's on the south side of the island. One of the reception clerks at the Grand Hyatt told us she had previously worked as a wedding planner there and that they have something like 250 weddings a year! What a beautiful place for a wedding! I really liked it there, I was tempted to take the job offer of selling jewelry and just not come home. I also find it difficult to spell first two versions triggered spell check!