I wonder if Punahou had any Foreign Student Programs when Obama attended?
He went on a scholarship. I assumed it was an academic scholarship.
Anyone know the answer to this?
> I wonder if Punahou had any Foreign Student Programs when Obama attended?
> He went on a scholarship. I assumed it was an academic scholarship.
Background from his Honolulu City Council website:
Councilmember Charles K. Djou currently represents the 4th Council District (Waikiki to Hawaii Kai). In the City Council, Charles serves as the Chairman of the Executive Matters and Legal Affairs Committee and is a member of the Public Infrastructure, Budget, and Public Safety and Services Committes. Charles previously served as a Representative in the Hawaii State House, where he was the Minority Floor Leader.
Senior’s Christmas, 1971 visit may be significant. All lot of stuff was going on at this time.
Anna had just brought Barry to Honolulu from Jakarta. The Dunham’s had lined-up a scholarship to the prestigious Punahou School for Barry. The Dunhams moved into the apartment at S. Beretania St., to be within walking distance of the school — and out of the blue comes the self-described “rake,” Obama Senior — the purpose of the trip? — “to attend to family business”
Senior only saw Obama once in his life, during this trip, and this is the only photo of Barry and Senior — the only one — ever. It was taken at the airport. The decorations clearly identify the visit as occurring during the Christmas season — December 1971.
The Dunhams paid for an apartment in their building for the month that Senior was in town, and were undoubtedly providing him with some walking-around money. The sad truth is Senior spent most of his time partying with with his old snack bar buddies from the University of Hawaii, Neil Abercrombie and Pake Zane.
There was a big family blowup during his visit. Senior told Barry to turn off the TV and go study, but Barry wanted to watch “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” This small incident caused the long-buried hurts and resentments, about how Senior had acted in 1961, to surface between the three Dunhams and Senior. By the time the arguing had ended Barry was only able to watch the last few minutes of the special.
So, out of the blue, Barry’s long-lost father stepped briefly into his life, and just as quickly disappeared. Obama and Senior would never see each other again. It was not an easy month, and what stuck in the boy’s memory was the basketball that Senior gave him as a present at the airport.
After the visit, Anna and Obama’s half-sister Maya returned to Indonesia. Except for occasional visits to Hawaii, Anna, who traveled throughout Southeast Asia on business, would remain based in Jakarta for the remainder of her life.
Now, here’s the mystery. Why would Senior fly halfway across the world to make his only visit to his son at this moment in time? Remember, this was in the era before the deregulation of the airlines. Round-trip airplane tickets from Kenya to Hawaii must have cost a small fortune even by American standards — much less third-world Kenyan standards.
Senior had no money. He had already fallen into disfavor with the ruling Kenyan government. His mentor and protector, Tom Mboya, was assassinated in 1969. Senior was present at the assassination and testified at the subsequent trial, essentially ending his political career, and causing a hit and run attempt on his life. He was spending most of his time drinking scotch and crashing his Mercedes-Benz.
It is clear that the Dunhams underwrote Senior’s visit, but why? It would seem reasonable to conclude that Senior’s pilgrimage had something to do with Barry and Punahou, but what?
What happened in these four weeks? What was so important that caused Senior to travel 20,000 miles? What kind of deal was made? What papers did he have to sign? Was there a payoff?
Speculation: Barry was adopted by stepfather, Lolo Soetoro, when in Indonesia. When Barry was brought back to the USA, they had Senior fly to Honolulu, adopt him back and then sealed all paper work, thereby hiding the Indonesian adoption.
As an aside, it’s pretty clear that the Dunhams were going all the way for little Barry, and it’s equally clear that Senior couldn’t give a rat’s ass.
So why would Obama ever make the core of his autobiography, this statement: “It was into my fathers image, the black man, son of Africa, that Id packed all the attributes I sought in myself...”
Until this trip, Senior never acknowledge Barry. He was a serial bigamist. He abandoned his wives and children. He became a wife-beater and drunk. His arrogance destroyed his government career. He killed a man and lost both legs in alcohol-related accidents and eventually killed himself behind the wheel — hammered!