U.S. President-elect Barack Obama's 87-year-old Kenyan grandmother, Sarah Obama, sounded upbeat on Thursday, saying she was set to attend her grandson's presidential inauguration ceremony in Washington later this month.
Sarah, who lives at the Obama's ancestral home at Kogelo village in Western Kenya, has been issued with a visa by the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi and was Thursday making last touches for her flight due on Jan. 15.
Obama's Kenyan granny was in Kenya's lakeside city of Kisumu with her son, Said Obama to send her passport photograph to the U.S. State Department via Internet.
"They wanted some documents very urgently, so we came to send them," Sarah told journalists in Kisumu.
Said Obama is among family members traveling with Sarah to witness the big occasion. The list of the family members in the trip is not yet out but sources said five of them would travel.
Said and his mother also did not disclose who is paying for the trip. Sarah was also said to be shopping for a perfect gift for her grandson.
"She has to carry a gift because she has been told she will meet him face-to-face after the inauguration. She is very excited," a family member told Xinhua.
Food is the greatest gift in what is some of the most fertile farmland in all of Kenya, where mangos, bananas, corn and tomatoes grow among red-budded flame trees.
The impending trip to the U.S. has triggered excitement in the tiny village where President Obama's father -- Barack Obama Sr grew up herding goats.
"Everyone wants to go but we cannot all make it. Some will have to follow the ceremony on television and radio," said Martin Oindo, a Kogello villager.
Speaking to journalists after the Democratic presidential candidate won the historic elections in November, Sarah said she will take Obama's favorite food, chapatti, a traditional Kenyan pastry, with her when she goes to the ceremony.
She is also already planning what to serve the Illinois Senator when he makes his first visit to the village as the leader of the United States.