Sarah Obama, 87, the president's Kenyan paternal grandmother, said she didn't need to say much to her grandson when she saw him in Washington for his inauguration.
"I did not have much to tell him ... because he is aware of the task I placed on him to ensure Kogelo, Kenya, and the whole world live in peace and development," she told Kenya's Daily Nation after her return to Kogelo, a village 30 miles west of western Kenya's main town, Kisumu, on the edge of Lake Victoria.
Sarah Obama, who speaks Luo and only a few words of English, communicated with her grandson through an interpreter, she said.
"I was given the warmest reception, much like a government representative," sleeping in a five-star hotel with round-the-clock security, traveling in a government vehicle and eating all manner of food, she told the newspaper.
The woman who President Obama calls "Granny Sarah" sat two rows behind the president during his inauguration. She said she was amazed at the U.S. government's organization and how peaceful everyone in the general public was.
Never did she see "pushing around or fights with the police," she said.
"It was so good and unbelievably exciting," she told the newspaper.
"America is very good, but extremely cold," she added.
"I had to wear very heavy clothing," she said, observing in amusement that for the first time in her life she wore trousers to keep her legs warm.
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