Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Independence Day

On any major U.S. holiday it’s always a little weird for me (Angeline) to be out of the U.S. Especially when there’s no way to commemorate it where you are. In this case, I had the fortune of attending the U.S. Embassy Party- and 11:30am outdoor BBQ that is annually the biggest party of the year in Madagascar. When I arrived at the party and Dr. Rabary explained who I was, the registration people seemed a bit confused. They seemed to be looking for me, even though I was right if front of them. Finally when they realized that “Angeline” was me they said--—you’re Angeline, I thought you were another Malagasy just trying to get in. Thankfully, they had my name on the invite list, and I was greeted with many familiar sights and sounds. Burgers, cupcakes, the flag, the anthem, and even home made chocolate chip cookies, made by students at the American school in Madagascar.

Though many people know Dr. Rabary, it was rewarding to see the impact of our press conference they day prior. I’d say a third of the guests approached us to congratulate Dr. Rabary after reading the articles in the numerous newspapers that announced the award.

I had the opportunity to meet a few more mayors who, like us in the U.S., are still trying to get more women into leadership positions. They spoke highly of Dr. Rabary, who we’ve forgotten to mention, was actually a Parliament member several years ago.

Dr. Rabary had another train the trainer session to attend that afternoon, so I had a chance to visit with her husband and take a ride into the countryside. Since her husband only speaks French and today I didn’t have a translator, it was a true test of my French skills, and somehow we managed! I think my plan to only bring that one book- Mastering French—really paid off!

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