Obama T-shirts. Obama chewing gum. Obama-named children. He’s everywhere, and he hasn’t even visited the continent since becoming President.

When most Kenyans find out I’m from America, their first reaction is, “Obama!” with a thumbs up and a big grin. They are proud of his Luo heritage, and the hope that America has given Africa by voting for a black president.

Some are more realistic. They know that Obama is not Kenyan, but American. Sure, he has Luo blood, but his culture and language are different.

In either case, there is a hope that he will achieve great things. For America, for Africa, for the world. He has a difficult job, that is certain. There are high expectations, and a lot to chew on. But he has given a continent hope, and he has changed the world’s view of America and Americans.

For the first time in my life, I am proud to be an American while traveling.