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US Senator Heads to Father's Home Village in Kenya

U.S. Senator Barrack Obama is heading to his father's home village in Kenya as he continues his two-week tour of Africa.

Obama, the only African-American in the U.S. Senate, is expected to arrive in Kenya Thursday to visit his grandmother in the small village of Nyangoma-Kogelo west of the capital.

Local newspapers report villagers have been preparing for weeks for his visit. However, Obama has repeatedly downplayed his celebrity status, saying he's only interested in visiting his extended family.

On Saturday, the senator plans to take a public HIV test to promote AIDS-prevention awareness.

Earlier this week, Obama stopped in South Africa, where he met with AIDS activists and sharply criticized the government's AIDS-fighting policy.

South Africa has one of the highest rates of HIV-AIDS infection in the world, with an estimated five-point-five million cases.

At the urging of the U.S. embassy, the senator has canceled a planned trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo because of post-election violence in the capital. He is scheduled to visit Chad next week.

Obama represents the Midwestern U.S. state of Illinois as a member of the Democratic Party.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.