The hotel decorated the dining room and bar with red, white and blue; some US flags, set up a big screen TV so all could watch CNN International.
There was a cake with a US flag in one corner, and the Kenyan flag in the other; I (to some surprise to me) was chosen to cut the cake. (I was clearly an American mzungu, with my Obama t-shirt; and of course all the staff know this ...)
I stood for the National Anthem, and sang (not too loudly, I can't sing ;-) and was proud of it for the first time in 8 long years.
Everyone was excited every time Malia and Sasha appeared. My (Kenyan) niece and nephew (4 year olds) danced and ate hotdogs; I also ate a hotdog.
But none of that was the best moment. It was all [superlatives fail!] great, but not the best.
The children (and adults) got tired, and little ones fell asleep, everyone but me went back to the flat to spread cushions and blankets in the sitting room and sleep. I sat in the bar and continued to watch the parade.
Everyone else left, only the night room service waiter, the duty manager, and staff quietly resetting the dining room for breakfast remained.
CNN International kept cutting to commercials. We commented that in no other country in the world would a "national" broadcaster interrupt such an event with commercials. We switched to Al Jazeera, to see how they were reporting.
They interviewed a family on U Street (I recognized Ben's Chili Bowl behind them.)
I sat with my drink (ordered at last call, the bar now long closed); Al Jazeera replayed the Inaugural Address in full, and I was able to listen again with no distractions.
But that was not the best moment.
Al Jazeera went on to coverage of other stories: Russia supplying (or not supplying) gas to Ukraine and Europe. The Arab summits and meetings. Gaza.
And right in the middle of that story, one sentence was " ... President Obama ... ". Not "president-elect". Not "new president". Just simply "President Obama", as if it was the most ordinary thing in the world to have a US President named "Obama".
That was the moment.
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