Lisa Ling with Maya and Kelly
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8:07 p.m. Sunday, January 18, 2009
I was invited to the Aloha Ball tonight at the Hay Adams Hotel. I love Hawaii, and I love Hawaiians. Every time I visit any of the islands, I am always treated so warmly—tonight was no different. I went with my girlfriend Kelly Hu who is a native Hawaiian and whom you may recognize from The Scorpion King or X-Men.

Barack's sister Maya and her husband Konrad engaged in festivities. Maya is as brilliant as her brother—it must run in the family.

I [took] photos with Kelly, Maya, Konrad and three of perhaps the tallest mayors in the U.S.—the shortest of the three is over 6 feet tall.

It was lovely to witness the pride exhibited by residents of the state of Hawaii. Their native son will soon be the next President of the United States of America.

— Lisa

2:32 p.m. Sunday, January 18, 2009
There is such electricity in the air here in DC. I had such a moving day talking to people who've come from so many parts of the country and world to be here this week. I met a mother and daughter from England who got on a plane with no tickets to anything but felt compelled to be here to see the first black President be sworn in. I asked if they thought they'd ever see a black person become Prime Minister of England, and they unequivocally replied, "no."

I met a family of 18 beautiful girls ages 12 to 77, from Fayetteville, Georgia—a state that Barack Obama lost—who came together to be part of this week. They are the female descendants of 5 deceased sisters whom they said would have been so proud to see this day. They told me that their family has always been very progressive; very different from the conservative community from which they hail,. They said that they were criticized by a lot of people for wanting to come to Washington. I was moved by the young girls who stood apart from so many in their area to proclaim their support for their candidate. They said it was important for them to come to DC to represent those in the South who are not closed minded (their words, not mine).

A young African American man wearing Barack Obama attire from head to toe told me that he grew up without a father and having an accomplished leader who has withstood so many challenges and prevailed has made him more positive and hopeful about the future. He so proudly said that this was the first time in his life that he ever cast a vote.

It was awesome to be amongst so many people of different races, generations and lands who want to be here. This is what patriotism is about. I've never felt anything quite like it.

— Lisa

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