Inspiring Women Spring 2018

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September February <strong>2018</strong>, 2017, Volume 2, 1, Issue 13<br />



Inspiration from the Editor 3<br />

From our Cover Coordinator 3<br />

<strong>Women</strong> in Sport and Fitness 4<br />

Inspiration from The Netherlands 5<br />

First Take: New Member Reflections 8<br />

Tax Reform: What’s in it for expats? 11<br />

Inspiration from France 12<br />

Just For Fun 15<br />

Inspiration from Nigeria 16<br />

FAWCO Clubs in Motion 19<br />

Inspiration from Austria 22<br />

Inspiration from England 25<br />

Home and Away: Don’t Eat Pie 28<br />

Inspiration from Dubai 31<br />

Making the Connection: <strong>Women</strong>, Sport and Leadership 33<br />

A Club Inspires 34<br />

More Inspiration from Austria 40<br />

Inspiration from Norway 43<br />

Inspiration from The Dragon Boat Ladies 46<br />

Inspiration from Morocco 49<br />

Sport & Fitness: Antidotes to Life’s Challenges 52<br />

Inspiration from a FAWCO Friend 55<br />

Inspiration from Italy 58<br />

How Can You Get Involved? 60<br />

Magazine Feedback 60<br />

<strong>Inspiring</strong> You 61<br />

Esquire Group p. 11<br />

London & Capital p. 18<br />


This issue welcomes a new advertiser to <strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong>, London &<br />

Capital. For information about investing go to their ad on page 18.<br />

Click on their ad also to access their website.<br />

Want to take your business worldwide? Consider advertising in<br />

<strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong>. Contact Elsie Bose at advertising@fawco.org to get started.<br />

FAWCO would like to thank Esquire Group for underwriting<br />

<strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong> as our Premier Sponsor. This issue we have an<br />

interesting column on page 11 written by Esquire Group’s<br />

President, Jimmy Sexton.<br />


Inspiration from the Editor<br />

I t ’ s a l w a y s<br />

fascinating to me,<br />

when we put the<br />

c a l l o u t f o r<br />

candidates for<br />

<strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong><br />

magazine, what<br />

the response will<br />

be. With a theme<br />

of sports and fitness,<br />

I did wonder if we<br />

would only get a list<br />

of runners.<br />

relationship naturally! But over the years I<br />

have, like many of you, realised that fitness is<br />

an essential part of my life and without it my<br />

life is often harder and will probably be shorter<br />

if I’m honest with myself.<br />

So you can imagine my delight that, amongst<br />

our eleven profiles, we have, as well as various<br />

types of running (and there is nothing at all<br />

wrong with running of course!), seven other<br />

types of sport featured!<br />

Some of the women in this issue have risen to<br />

the top of their chosen fields, others have<br />

been consistent participants at a less extreme<br />

level. But they all have one big thing in<br />

common: they have made sport or fitness a<br />

part of their daily lives.<br />

I’m not a big sports person, never was as a<br />

child either. Sport is something I have to<br />

schedule into my life, it doesn’t just happen.<br />

The couch and I have a very close<br />

So to those of you who read these stories and<br />

think, “Blimey, I couldn’t do that,” I have one<br />

thing to say:<br />

Give it a go, you never know what might<br />

happen!<br />

Best wishes, Liz x<br />

Liz MacNiven,<br />

inspiringwomen.editor@fawco.org<br />

From our Cover Coordinator<br />

The cover photo for this issue is an image of Kirsten Kummert who is a certified yoga teacher<br />

and member of IWC Munich, Germany. The photo was taken in Corsica, France in July 2017, at<br />

sunrise on an empty and quiet beach. Kirsten explains “There were some<br />

challenges in doing this pose. In the early morning the body tends to be<br />

stronger but less flexible. A second challenge was the unstable nature of<br />

the soft sand beneath my feet. But it is great for an early start and opens<br />

me up for the blessings of a new day.”<br />

If you have a photo that you would like to see on a future cover of<br />

<strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong>, you can reach me, Marie-Bénédicte Luxem, at<br />

inspiringwomen.cover@fawco.org. There are full details of photo<br />

requirements on page 60 of this magazine.<br />

Please note: we can only accept portrait orientation images.<br />


“I run like a girl - try to keep up.”<br />

There is something unbelievably surrealistic when someone is<br />

able to stretch their physical capabilities beyond expectations. It<br />

is powerful, it is satisfying and makes us want to push ourselves to<br />

the next level of success.<br />

<strong>Women</strong>’s involvement in sports today is more exciting and<br />

challenging than ever. We are participating in so many different<br />

sports; something that would have been unheard of ten years<br />

ago. Our abilities to be coached (we prefer to achieve goals<br />

through consensus) plays a big part. Our ability to coach will<br />

insure that the next generation of women will set new and reach<br />

improbable records.<br />

<strong>Women</strong>’s performance improvements are off the charts. We’re<br />

stronger, faster and fitter than we have ever been. The results are<br />

in and sports participation is helping us in our non-sporting life.<br />

The women in this issue have a number of unique reasons for<br />

participating and excelling in their sport of choice. They have run<br />

faster, jumped higher and as a result achieved their “personal<br />

bests” both in and out of sport. Their stories describe winning in<br />

their own personal way.<br />

We invite you to get ready, set - go! Enjoy these winners!<br />

Elsie Bose<br />


Inspiration from The Netherlands<br />


American <strong>Women</strong>’s Club of The Hague,<br />

Netherlands<br />

From: Kenya<br />

Lives: The Hague, Netherlands<br />

I am of Indian decent born in Kenya and<br />

educated in the United Kingdom. In 1984 I got<br />

married and moved from the UK to Canada<br />

and from there on to the US, India, China,<br />

Belgium, three other states of the US and now<br />

I’m here in the Netherlands.<br />

Professionally I am an accountant, my work with<br />

GE has given me opportunities to work in the UK,<br />

Canada and the US. Upon our return to the US<br />

in 2005 I started working independently as an<br />

accountant as well as a relocation specialist.<br />

Throughout my high school years I played<br />

netball (similar to basketball, smaller court,<br />

slightly different rules and no dribbling of the<br />

ball), and rounders (similar to softball). Once I started studying in the UK, I took up squash and<br />

reached a level that allowed me to compete at county level. I continued to play intermittently<br />

after I got married and moved to Canada. Due to<br />

injuries, I was forced to give up squash, eventually<br />

finding enjoyment in badminton.<br />

Early in 2015 I was introduced to Pickleball (PB) by a<br />

fellow badminton player in Minneapolis who was also<br />

playing PB. Despite hearing about it I had no interest.<br />

But soon the numbers of badminton players were<br />

decreasing and we were losing our courts to PB<br />

players. So I turned to the gym as my new form of<br />

regular exercise.<br />

May 2015 came around and I decided to finally give<br />

PB a try. That summer I must have played every day,<br />

looking for various locations to play all over the city<br />

and playing in various teams. Interestingly enough, I<br />

learnt one could play 3-4 times a day as there were so<br />

many locations where PB was being played!<br />

It dawned on me, instead of traveling to Amsterdam to<br />

play PB, why not bring PB to The Hague. I knew this<br />

would be a challenge but it would be rewarding to<br />

introduce my passion to a city new to me.<br />

With some of The Hague team at the Dutch<br />

National Tournament<br />


With US Top seed Jennifer Lucore, Kyle Yates and Atul Edwards<br />

15 months later, The Hague has a PB<br />

club which plays weekly, both<br />

socially and competitively. This has<br />

allowed me to continue my passion<br />

while also learning about setting up<br />

a sports club in the Netherlands. This<br />

has been a true test of my<br />

entrepreneurial skills and has been<br />

the most rewarding experience in<br />

my expat life. I am very proud to<br />

have introduced something to our<br />

city which allows the Dutch to be<br />

involved in a clean, fun, sport while<br />

allowing other expat families to<br />

socialize and enjoy what, to me, is<br />

the best sport - Pickleball.<br />

PB is such a social sport and has<br />

allowed me to meet so many wonderful people across the world. These players have opened<br />

their hearts and homes to one another all in the name of the sport. I have stayed at homes in<br />

Costa Rica, Thailand and Spain all in the name of PB hospitality! Pickleball has evolved in leaps<br />

in bounds in the last two years to become a competitive sport, yet it continues to be fun and<br />

really sociable.<br />

Sport does not always have to be “no pain no<br />

gain” – particularly in relation to PB, which is a fun<br />

strategic game where you don’t need to push<br />

yourself to the limit to play well. I genuinely enjoy<br />

training and playing and know for a fact my<br />

fellow players do, too.<br />

Although PB, which is a strategic game, is played<br />

with a partner, each player grows with the sport<br />

to become a strong player in their own way.<br />

Therefore your skills and ability to play the game is<br />

independent of your partner’s! Your game is your<br />

game. Your improvement, your growth, your<br />

strategies, your statistics grow and change as<br />

much or as little as you want it to dependent on<br />

how much you put into the game.<br />

Pickleball is now being played in many parts of Silver Medal, Spanish International Tournament Sept 2017<br />

Europe and Asia, after years of only being played in<br />

the US. In fact Amsterdam will be hosting the International Pickleball Championship in May <strong>2018</strong>,<br />

and Bangkok another championship in the near future. If you are interested in joining in a<br />

Pickleball team and live in the Netherlands, go to pickleballholland.nl and give the game a try!<br />

With many locations around the Netherlands, you will be sure to find a location close to you. We<br />

promise you will be hooked! I’m sure Pickleball is being played in an area near you!<br />


Tell us about an event in your life that made a<br />

big difference When I was around 10 years<br />

old, a friend and I decided to skip school and<br />

go see a movie around 1:30 pm. I had the<br />

great notion of hanging out with my friend, in<br />

school hours but out of school. We decided to<br />

leave after lunchtime; however she needed to<br />

go home and get some money and meet me<br />

at the cinema. I waited and waited alone<br />

before I eventually decided to go home<br />

carrying the weight of being stood up by my<br />

friend. I had not told my parents that I had<br />


skipped school that day to see a movie<br />

with my friend, let alone my friend not<br />

showing up.<br />

When I got home I was so upset on two<br />

levels. 1) I was hurt that my friend did not<br />

come to the movies and believed that it<br />

was her intention all along. 2) I had now<br />

created a level of mistrust with my<br />

parents and could not tell them the truth<br />

of the day. I grew up to realize the<br />

difference between trust and mischief!<br />

Tell us something about yourself that not<br />

many people know. At the age of 21, I<br />

was on a backpacking trip around<br />

America with a desire to stay on a ranch<br />

and experience a cowboy lifestyle. Under the<br />

pretence of seeing a ranch I was lured to<br />

(what I was yet to discover) a Moonies’ prayer<br />

house. Once I got to this remote part of<br />

Colorado, I was asked to hand in all my<br />

personal identification and join them. Soon as I<br />

got there I discovered that I was at a cult<br />

home rather than a ranch with cowboys<br />

running around on horses!!! At afternoon rest<br />

time I managed to collect my belongings and<br />

escape from the ranch site, where I was<br />

fortunate enough to hitchhike back to the<br />

main city.<br />

If you could meet one famous or influential<br />

woman, who would it be and why? Our family<br />

business was in books, although I had not<br />

acquired the love for reading despite my<br />

access to so many books .<br />

It was not till I was 10 years old that I<br />

discovered a series of books titled The Famous<br />

Five by British author Enid Blyton. The title of the<br />

series took my attention as I myself am one of<br />

five children! If I could meet Enid Blyton, I<br />

would thank her for introducing me to the<br />

world of reading through her The Famous Five<br />

series – my favourite books as a child!<br />

I’d talk about how her book connected with<br />

me, hitting home the point that we are all part<br />

of the same universe and experience the<br />

same feelings whether we live in Kenya or we<br />

live in the UK.<br />


First Take : New Member Reflections<br />

New members join our clubs regularly and we thought we would give them a voice here in<br />

<strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong>. These stories are about or from women, often new to expat life, who have<br />

something to tell us. Our first feature is by Lyn Herr and Teresa Perez Y Landazuri, who are new<br />

members from the American <strong>Women</strong>’s Club of Hamburg, Germany (Region 5).<br />

LYN HERR<br />

From: Greenwood, WI, USA<br />

Lives: Hamburg, Germany<br />


From: Ireland<br />

Lives: Hamburg, Germany<br />

In June 2017, after attending a “Hello Mumbai Evening” fundraiser/awareness session hosted by<br />

Carol Strametz, AWCH’s FAWCO representative, we were inspired to plan a fundraising event for<br />

FAWCO. The evening included music, dancing, food, wine and information on FAWCO’s global<br />

initiatives. On the drive home that night, we decided to do something to support FAWCO. We<br />

went to lunch with Tracy Moede, VP of Programs for The FAWCO Foundation, and she<br />

suggested we organize a fundraiser. As we brainstormed various ways to raise money, Teresa<br />

suggested organizing a family fun/run walk. We both loved the idea because it was the perfect<br />

way to bring people together to promote fitness, friendship and charitable giving. However, it<br />

seemed like a huge undertaking. It was only after we actually wrote out a task list that we<br />

realized it was possible, but only if we worked together.<br />

Initially, we formed a small planning committee of people who knew we could rely on. The<br />

committee met regularly to brainstorm ideas, provide logistics advice and suggest local vendors<br />

that could donate as well as local organizations that would help publicize the event.<br />

We also recruited Teresa’s daughter to create an event website. The website was an important<br />

marketing tool and helped in our efforts to<br />

recruit additional volunteers. It included key<br />

event information, background on FAWCO’s<br />

charitable work, inspiring photos, a portal for<br />

online registration and a page where volunteers<br />

could sign up.<br />

When the website was launched, we sent<br />

personalized emails to all club participants and<br />

provided them with a web link. We received<br />

many offers to volunteer through this website.<br />

The volunteer support was really critical. Our<br />

volunteers made pom-poms and donated<br />

baked goods, homemade jams and crafts to be<br />

sold or raffled at the event. They also helped<br />

with event set up and take down.<br />


There were a few fairly big<br />

challenges. The first obstacle was<br />

that we both had recently moved<br />

to Hamburg and did not speak<br />

German (necessary to obtain<br />

event permit). We also did not<br />

have a strong network of local<br />

contacts to assist with the event.<br />

Fortunately, the planning<br />

committee assisted with getting<br />

the required city permit and<br />

recommended local businesses<br />

that could make donations and<br />

other organizations to help<br />

advertise the event.<br />

A second challenge was<br />

forecasting participation and<br />

profits. Because this was a first-time event, we didn’t know how many people would be<br />

interested in participating. We ultimately decided that if we could just get 30 people to sign up,<br />

we’d consider the event a “success.” We dreamed of getting 100 participants, but felt<br />

confident we could get 30 people to register.<br />

To get a good turnout, we needed to ensure that the registration fees were affordable for<br />

families while also ensuring a meaningful donation for FAWCO. We benchmarked fees charged<br />

by similar fun run/walks in Hamburg and used this information to find the “sweet spot” for<br />

registration fees.<br />

Finally, we needed to drive online registration by generating excitement for the event. We did<br />

this by sending personalized emails to club members, posting colorful signs on the event route<br />

and publicizing the event through local running and social organizations and social media.<br />

It had rained non-stop in the days leading up to the event, which took place on Sunday,<br />

October 8, 2017. When we went out to set up the pavilions that morning, the water was literally<br />

ankle-deep in the area we had mapped out for our set up. All we could think about was how<br />

miserable it would be for the participants if they were wet and cold. Fortunately, we were able<br />

to find higher ground nearby. Even more amazingly, as the sun came up that day, the clouds<br />

cleared and we had sunny, beautiful weather. It was an unexpected break in a string of rainy<br />

days. It definitely helped increase participation in the event, which included a 5k walk and a<br />

7.4k run or cycle.<br />

In the predawn hours on the<br />

day, volunteers and their<br />

families gathered in the dark to<br />

set up booths, assemble the<br />

sound system, hang balloons<br />

and post signs. As the sun came<br />

up over the Alster (Hamburg’s<br />

downtown lake), the runners,<br />

walkers and cyclists began to<br />

arrive. They checked in, picked<br />

up t-shirts, munched on goodies<br />

from the bake sale, bought<br />

raffle tickets and enjoyed free<br />

Coke and Yogi Tea products.<br />


At 10:30, Richard Yoneoka, Consul<br />

General of Hamburg, called everyone<br />

to the starting line to kick off the event<br />

with a motivational speech. Participants<br />

snapped pictures and then quickly<br />

began their treks around the Alster.<br />

After crossing the finish line, participants<br />

relaxed, chatted, listened to music and<br />

snacked as they awaited the results of a<br />

raffle. The day’s activities resulted in a<br />

significant financial contribution for<br />

FAWCO (over $2000) as well as strong<br />

feeling of community spirit and<br />

friendship within the club with 120<br />

people turning up to participate.<br />

Those that came enjoyed the event and talked about it for weeks. Pictures circulated on social<br />

media and lots of lasting memories were made. The event was a really great way to engage<br />

club members and strengthen friendships. We saw first-hand how kind and caring fellow club<br />

members can be when supporting a worthwhile charity. We also proved that a small group of<br />

dedicated people can achieve spectacular results and we learned how much money can be<br />

raised through a bake sale and/or raffle! We were pleasantly surprised by this.<br />

So, what is next for us both? We are both transitioning into <strong>2018</strong> board roles with the AWCH, so it<br />

will take us some time to get adjusted to the new responsibilities. Teresa will be in charge of<br />

club events and Lyn will serve as President. Additionally, we want to make the fun/run walk an<br />

annual event in Hamburg, so we’ll have to kick off the <strong>2018</strong> planning activities soon.<br />


Tax Reform: What’s in it for expats?<br />

Unless you have been hiding under a rock, you’re aware the US passed the most<br />

sweeping tax reform since 1986. Since its passage, my US expat clients have been<br />

asking me, “What’s in it for me?” The short answer, not much.<br />

Neither FATCA nor citizenship-based taxation were repealed, so plan on continuing to<br />

file a US tax return and FBAR for the foreseeable future. Foreign reporting of things like<br />

foreign accounts, PFICs, and foreign entities, are unchanged meaning you still have to<br />

report them! The foreign earned income exclusion and foreign tax credit are largely<br />

unchanged as applied to expats.<br />

There are, however, some changes that will affect all US taxpayers, including expats. I thought I’d take this<br />

opportunity to offer a brief explanation of them. Please excuse the brevity of my explanations, but my<br />

space is limited.<br />

Individual income tax rates were lowered and there are now 7 brackets ranging from 10% to 37%. The<br />

standard deduction was more or less doubled, and personal exemptions were eliminated. The impact is<br />

that fewer people will be able to itemize deductions. You can no longer deduct moving expenses,<br />

unreimbursed job related expenses, business entertainment expenses, or miscellaneous itemized<br />

deductions like investment expenses or professional fees to fight the IRS. The child tax credit was doubled<br />

to $2,000. The healthcare mandate whereby you would be penalized for not having health insurance was<br />

repealed. Alimony is now not deductible to the payor and not income for the recipient. Estate, gift and<br />

generation-skipping tax exclusions were doubled to $11.2M.<br />

Tax reform will have the biggest impact on expats who operate businesses through foreign (i.e. non-US)<br />

corporations. Prior to tax reform, expats would often operate businesses through foreign corporations<br />

because they wouldn’t have to pay US tax on their foreign corporation’s earnings and profits until it paid<br />

them a dividend. Tax reform changes this. For 2017, they will have to pay a one-time deemed repatriation<br />

tax - 15.5% on cash assets and 8% on non-cash assets - on any tax-deferred earnings and profits. And,<br />

going forward, they will have to pay 10.5% tax on their foreign corporation’s Global Intangible Low Tax<br />

Income (GILTI). GILTI is basically any income not from tangible assets, like real estate.<br />

Have questions? We have answers. Contact us if you need help navigating the maze that is the tax system<br />

in the US!<br />

Jimmy Sexton, LL.M., is an expert in the field of international taxation, with an<br />

emphasis on expat issues. He has presented to American expats at groups that<br />

include American women’s clubs throughout Europe and is a sought-after expert<br />

for several news organizations, including CNN and the Washington Post. He is the<br />

President of Esquire Group, an international tax preparation firm and Premier<br />

Sponsor of <strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong> Magazine.

Inspiration from France<br />


Association of American <strong>Women</strong> in Europe, Paris, France<br />

From: Ohio, USA<br />

Lives: Near Fontainebleau, France<br />

12<br />

I was born and bred in Ohio, and I earned a BA in<br />

International Studies and another BA in French along the<br />

way. My first taste of living abroad was Junior Year abroad<br />

when I went to Tours, France.<br />

After college I went into the Peace Corps in Niger, after<br />

which I moved to Paris, and met my (now) husband. I<br />

spent 2 years in Paris, 2 years in London and finally moved<br />

to Romania to join my husband. From there we moved to<br />

NYC, then back to Paris. After a short stint in Canada, we<br />

have now lived in the same place, near Fontainebleau,<br />

France, since 2009.<br />

Having stopped working to raise my children, I recently<br />

went back to earn a diploma in psychotherapy. I am now starting my practice as a personcentered<br />

counselor<br />

As a child and teen, I was primarily a springboard<br />

diver, and I was also a lifeguard (so a little<br />

swimming!). But after college, I basically did no<br />

sports at all and only started running around the age<br />

of 44. In September 2016 I became involved in the<br />

world of Triathlon (swim, bike, run). My brother is a<br />

triathlete (an Ironman to be exact, which entails a<br />

3800m swim, followed by a 180km bike ride and a<br />

marathon at the end). I figured, hey, if he can do it,<br />

why not me?! And it would be a good way to do<br />

more than “just” run.<br />

My goal was to do a half ironman for my 50 th . In fact,<br />

I hope to have it completed before I turn 51 in July<br />

this year - I’m signed up for one in June.<br />

I try to ensure that training doesn’t take over my life<br />

(it is an ultra endurance sport, and many triathletes<br />

eat, breathe and sleep triathlon during the peak<br />

season). I swim with my team every Wednesday<br />

night and Saturday morning, so that takes a little<br />

time away from my family. Since I have a sporadic<br />

schedule, I fit my biking and running in during the<br />

day. I try to run 3 - 4 times a week and bike 2 times a<br />

week. I also do a little strength work through crossfit.

But on a personal level, I feel much stronger (not just<br />

physically). Building my physical endurance and<br />

strength has also been a factor in feeling more<br />

balanced overall. I have been quite surprised at how<br />

my stamina has developed. Last year I did two<br />

Olympic-distance triathlons (1.5km swim, 40km bike ride<br />

and 10k run). It sounded a lot easier on paper, but<br />

getting to the end of the run felt just amazing – not<br />

giving up.<br />

Also, I didn’t expect to find such a supportive<br />

environment. Even the most competitive athletes are<br />

there to help out those, like me, who are happy to<br />

“just” finish. I participate for me and not for or against<br />

anyone else.<br />

self-doubt was huge for me.<br />

But it’s not all plain sailing. During my first tri, I had my<br />

first ever panic attack in the water. It took an incredible<br />

amount of will power to keep going, I was really proud<br />

to have found that inner strength. The swim was 2 loops<br />

of 750m, with a short exit. At one point during the first<br />

750m, I imagined myself drowning and no one<br />

noticing, ha! So getting back in that water to prove to<br />

myself that I could face and overcome my fears and<br />

Fancy trying it yourself? I’d suggest shopping around, if possible, for a local triathlon club. There<br />

are 2 clubs in my area and I chose Melun Triathlon because they have a true spirit of helping<br />

each other. Of course there are those who just want to win, or be in the top %, but many<br />

members are happy to help out (teaching me about taking care of my bike, peddling with me<br />

at a slower rate, etc). The fact that there were a few women was also a draw for me. Triathlon<br />

is still dominated by men, so having other women made me feel more secure.<br />


Tell us about an event in your life that made a<br />

big difference and why it did. I guess the most<br />

important event in my life (other than the birth<br />

of my children) is probably a breakdown.<br />

After three children, choosing to stay home to<br />

raise them, I had lost myself somewhere along<br />

the way. Starting therapy was a huge step for<br />

me (as it is for most who dare to take the<br />

step). After a year or so of therapy, I realized<br />

that it had made such a difference in my life<br />

that I wanted to be able to offer it to others. It<br />

also fits with me, the person that I am and my<br />

natural empathy. And so I came to embark on<br />

a 3-year training course to become a personcentered<br />

counselor. The process strengthened<br />

my understanding of myself and my ability to<br />

accept my vulnerability as a strength, to<br />

gauge my feelings and visions in a nonjudgmental<br />

way. In counselor jargon, we can<br />

that internal evaluation … knowing what feels<br />

right or not from the inside.<br />


This internal strength has changed my life, and<br />

most certainly my children’s as well. It also<br />

drove me to be more physically active and, for<br />

now, to the world of triathlon.<br />

If you could meet one famous or influential<br />

woman, alive or dead, who would it be and<br />

why? I find this question really hard. There are<br />

so many incredible women who have done<br />

incredible things, how to choose one and why<br />

would it be her? Perhaps Audrey Hepburn. A<br />

woman of natural talent, grace and beauty,<br />

she could have easily remained a star. Instead<br />

she used her talents and her renown to fight for<br />

the rights of people throughout the world. I<br />

would ask her about her choices, not as<br />

common then as they might be for stars today.<br />

Listen to her vision of the world as a better<br />

place, her optimism and enthusiasm.<br />

Tell us something interesting about yourself that<br />

not many people know. When I was a young<br />

girl and a teen, I wanted to “save the world”.<br />

My dream to go into the Peace Corps budded<br />

around the age of 12, when I learned of its<br />

existence. Prior to that, I wanted to be a<br />

lawyer to “help” people in situations of distress.<br />

Though I left the world of development after<br />

my service in the Peace Corps (primarily due<br />

to my lack of patience at that young age), I<br />

continue to believe that the world can<br />

become a better place. For me, becoming a<br />

therapist has been a process of coming back<br />

to my core beliefs.<br />


“When I grow up I want to be….”<br />

“...living in San Francisco, first<br />

hand learning about all the<br />

wonderful new technology that<br />

makes our lives so much easier<br />

and of course, playing Pickleball<br />

outdoors under the sun!” - Krishna<br />

Thakrar<br />

“...a therapist. If possible I’d like to<br />

be an inspiration to women feeling a<br />

little lost, a little worn down by life.<br />

Like my mentor, I’d like to offer the<br />

possibility to other women to dare to<br />

find and follow their dreams. ” - Jill<br />

Jacquot<br />

“…an ice skating champion and dance<br />

and fly high in the air…or a Doctor without<br />

borders…or a famous actress!”<br />

- Sarah Boulos<br />

“...a writer and I’ll make<br />

my readers dream and<br />

wonder about my<br />

adventurous life.” -<br />

Anna d’Albertis<br />

“ ...the hostess with the mostess. I<br />

want to own an inn where people<br />

can come and rest, dance, sing,<br />

eat good food, enjoy stunning<br />

views, find encouragement during<br />

difficult times, etc.” - Alicia Partee<br />

”...Robin Hood, Sherlock Holmes<br />

or Dr. Spock (Starship<br />

Enterprise).” - Urte Paulus<br />

“...working for a local non-profit<br />

organization, hopefully putting my<br />

law degree to work after more than<br />

20 years exploring other<br />

avenues.”- Laura Tridico<br />


Inspiration from Nigeria<br />


American <strong>Women</strong>’s Club of Lagos<br />

From: Born in Burkino Faso; half Lebanese, half French<br />

Lives: Lagos, Nigeria<br />

16<br />

I was born in Burkina Faso to a French mother and<br />

Lebanese father and lived in Burkina Faso until I was six.<br />

We moved to Brittany in France, where I lived until I was<br />

eight. Then my parents moved me to L’Ecole des<br />

Roches, a boarding school in Normandy, and finally on<br />

to Lebanon to finish my French baccalaureate. In 1988,<br />

at 17½, I got married and moved briefly to France,<br />

spending 6 months in Fontainebleau, and then to<br />

Houston, Texas for 10 years. In 1996, I moved to Nigeria<br />

and I am still here today.<br />

My journey has been filled with excitement, joy, and<br />

deep pain due to the different tragedies I have<br />

experienced. I have four beautiful children, and have<br />

been married for 30 years, with the usual ups and<br />

downs that entails. I treat every moment as if it could<br />

be my last and always do my best to serve and support<br />

others. My inner strength for this journey comes from Christ and the people he leads me to meet<br />

in my classes.<br />

I am a certified creative dancer and Zumba instructor with over 250 hours of dance training in<br />

ballet, Latin and ballroom dance, contemporary dance and sacred dance. It all started<br />

because of a calling to dance for the Lord, which led to me building a performing arts center for<br />

Nigeria in Lagos. Due to a<br />

tragedy in my family, my<br />

fitness and dance world<br />

became even more<br />

important in my life<br />

because I needed to heal<br />

and restore my body.<br />

Dance and fitness has<br />

totally changed my<br />

perspective about the<br />

need to live a wholesome<br />

lifestyle. It has motivated<br />

me to do more and to see<br />

life as a precious stone<br />

and protect it. It has also<br />

brought joy to those<br />

around me. I love the<br />

communication between

dancers, the depth of community we have, the intimacy of cherished moments of joy and<br />

teaching joy with others individuals and peers. I have also found a sense of significance and<br />

deep belonging, forging important relationships along the way.<br />

Through my sport, I have discovered that we must be committed, we must be versatile in<br />

choosing different fitness pathways so that our bodies continue to experience different patterns<br />

of exercises, and not only one monotonous pattern. Shocking my body with different<br />

experiences has made me stronger inside and out, and I lost 25 kilos after my last pregnancy<br />

even though I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism.<br />

I am proud that through my dancing I have been able to pass on the baton, giving others an<br />

opportunity to excel, and becoming wholesome in the process. I am also proud that I have been<br />

able to give my community a need for significance…a place where they can belong in the<br />

fitness world.<br />

If you want to try it, all you need to do is find your nearest dance studio and meet those special<br />

dance teachers. Or you could get involved in a spiritual dance class in a church. You could offer<br />

one yourself or just put on some music and start dancing without anyone watching you…the<br />

beginning of a fabulous journey of self-discovery.<br />


Tell us about an event in your life that made a<br />

big difference and why it did. In May 2003,<br />

Unna from South Africa was praying during a<br />

ladies’ Bible study, and she asked me if I<br />

danced. I said I did at parties, and as a child I<br />

had taken ballet classes. From then on, a new<br />

journey started for me, as she actually asked<br />

me to start dancing for the Lord. I read The<br />

Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren, which was<br />

given to me by my friend Tanya, and one early<br />

morning as I was waking up, I received the<br />

vision to build a performance center for<br />

Nigeria in Lagos with a mandate to teach and<br />

build an academy.<br />

In September 2003, while studying the story of<br />

King David in the Bible, who also danced for<br />

the Lord, I decide to pray for people to<br />

support me in my performance center vision.<br />

On December 8, 2003, while I was looking for<br />

Christmas carol singers, the spirit of David<br />

appeared in the form of a very strong gospel<br />

dance club. We decided to join hands to see<br />

the vision through.<br />

Not long afterwards, while I was on holiday in<br />

Lebanon, I heard, at midnight on December<br />

24, that my uncle and aunt in the family village<br />

in Lebanon had died, asphyxiated in a fire<br />


caused by the candles falling from the<br />

Christmas tree. Within a few hours the funeral<br />

was organized and people from all over the<br />

world were trying to catch planes to get there<br />

in time for the funeral.<br />

In the mid-afternoon on Christmas Day, my<br />

mother, brother, sister-in-law, sister-in law’s<br />

father and cousin rushed to the airport in<br />

Cotonou Benin to get on the first plane. They<br />

had tickets, to fly with Air France, but at the<br />

airport they found there were 5 seats left for<br />

an earlier flight. So, they<br />

switched to UTAGE Flight<br />

141. The plane crashed.<br />

On Christmas Day 2003, I<br />

buried 7 members of my<br />

family, and my life would<br />

never be the same again.<br />

The world of fitness and<br />

dance helped me along<br />

with my spiritual journey, to<br />

hold onto the pain and<br />

grieve in a healing way.<br />

Tell us something interesting<br />

about yourself that not<br />

many people know. I love<br />

horseback riding and ice<br />

skating and always wanted<br />

to become a champion in<br />

either field.<br />


FAWCO Clubs in Motion<br />

Clubs in Motion is a FAWCO initiative to<br />

encourage members to stay physically fit. Why<br />

should clubs get involved? Exercise benefits your<br />

health. For every hour of regular, vigorous<br />

exercise you do, such as brisk walking, you can<br />

live two hours longer. And we all know that it's<br />

more FUN to exercise with friends.<br />

The earliest record of a FAWCO Clubs in Motion<br />

activity was by AILO Florence in January 2010,<br />

with photos of their Garden Walking Tour in the<br />

Lucca area. They reported that they did not<br />

cover many kilometers, but had a great deal of<br />

fun, and that’s a good part of what Clubs in<br />

Motion is all about.<br />

Today there are 21 clubs (and one individual member from Dubai) on our mailing list (AWC<br />

Amsterdam, AWC Antwerp, AWC Bern, AWC Bogotá, AIWC Casablanca, Chilterns AWC, AWC<br />

Denmark, AWC Dublin, AWC Dusseldorf, AILO Florence, AWC The Hague, AWC Hamburg, AWG<br />

Languedoc-Roussillon, AWC London, AWC Luxembourg, AWC Mumbai, Munich IWC, AIWC<br />

Naples, AAWE Paris, AW Surrey, AWC Zurich), but not all of these regularly report their activities.<br />

Munich IWC wins the prize for the best reporting of their activities. They are also the club that has<br />

recently published a book about walks in their area, 20 Walks from Munich, with trail guides and<br />

tips about where to eat and drink along the way!<br />

FAWCO Clubs in Motion activities have traditionally included regular walking or hiking groups,<br />

participation in charity walks or runs, marathons, etc., with clubs submitting monthly reports<br />

including number of club participants and km/miles walked for each event. We do need three<br />

or more club members exercising together for it to count. The totals are tallied, with the hope of<br />

reaching the same number of kilometers as the circumference of the earth. By the end of<br />

February 2015, we were only 145 km short of that goal. The clock was set back to zero after the<br />

conference, but sadly, we have never achieved such record numbers since.<br />

19<br />

So, we would now like to<br />

encourage you to report ANY<br />

group physical activity, such as<br />

cycling, swimming, tennis, folk<br />

dancing, skiing, mountain<br />

climbing, sky-diving, Zumba,<br />

bungee-jumping, etc, even if the<br />

motion can’t be tallied in the<br />

same form as walks or hikes. And<br />

we are ALWAYS open to new and<br />

creative suggestions about group<br />

motion. Why not Tai Chi? Just<br />

because it is slow doesn’t mean<br />

it’s not motion - and it’s healthy.<br />

It’s certain that there is even more<br />

motion out there. We’d like to hear

about it. If your club hasn’t yet signed up with Clubs in Motion but would like to, please send an<br />

e-mail message to Maggie Palu (the one in the red in the photo on p. 19) at<br />

mspalu@wanadoo.fr with a copy to fawcoclubsinmotion@gmail.com. And once you’re on the<br />

mailing list and reporting your club’s activities, don’t forget to send photos that can be shared<br />

with the other clubs.<br />

Here are some reports from the Clubs about<br />

their Motion:<br />

AWC ANTWERP has a weekly walking club with<br />

3 to 5 participants. Club members, along with<br />

Region 4 conference attendees, participated<br />

in the annual Run - or Walk - for the Cure (for<br />

breast cancer) in September.<br />

AUGSBURG IWA has been practicing Cardio<br />

Tennis for more than five years. It is a high<br />

energy fitness activity that combines the best<br />

features of tennis with cardiovascular<br />

exercise. There are 6 to 11 players on the<br />

court, with music in the background, and all<br />

the participants keep their heart rate at a<br />

high but healthy state throughout the whole<br />

Cardio Tennis lesson.<br />

AWC BERN has one hike per week from the<br />

end of May until the end of October, with 3 to<br />

8 members participating. The hikes are about<br />

10 km.<br />

AWC BOGOTÁ has a Nature Lovers’ Club that<br />

hikes every second Tuesday and Friday, the<br />

Usaquen Walking Group on weekdays in<br />

Santa Ana, and the Hiking with Dogs Group<br />

that meets intermittently. Sometimes members<br />

of the club organize outings further afield.<br />

CHILTERNS AWC has a hiking club which does<br />

two walks each month, approximately 5 miles,<br />

but with a novel idea: they do the same hike<br />

twice, once on a Tuesday and once on a<br />

Thursday, which gives members a choice. The<br />

club also has tennis, golf and running groups.<br />

AWC DENMARK reports that they are reviving<br />

their City Walks group, to meet every couple<br />

of weeks to walk around Copenhagen. They<br />

also participated in Ladywalk 2017, which is<br />

Denmark’s largest one-day sporting event for<br />

women, and they plan to participate again in<br />

May of this year. Funds earned by the event<br />

support women stricken by specific illnesses<br />

(e.g., heart disease and polycystic ovarian<br />

syndrome in 2017).<br />

AWC DUBLIN aims for once a month, with<br />

scenic walks that are not too difficult and are<br />

accessible via public transport. They also join<br />

an international women’s club in Dublin three<br />

times per month for more difficult walks, which<br />

involve driving to a trailhead.<br />

AILO FLORENCE reports that most of AILO's<br />

members walk several miles a day, since that<br />

is the primary mode of transportation. Since<br />

Florence is a “walking city” and is also small in<br />

size, members get exercise easily by walking<br />

just about everywhere.<br />


its monthly hikes to members of two other<br />

local anglophone groups in order to increase<br />

the numbers. The hikes, which usually cover 6<br />

to 8 km and last 2 hours, are often<br />

educational, with descriptions and<br />

background information about the<br />

architecture, farms and ruins along the<br />

way. Club members also regularly participate<br />

in the annual Cancer Support France<br />

Languedoc Walk for Life which raises money<br />

to support breast cancer care.<br />

AWC THE HAGUE’S Walkie Talkies have been<br />

meeting every Monday morning since 2012.<br />

They start walking in whichever direction<br />

inspires them, with beaches, dunes, woods<br />


and parks all nearby. They recently appeared<br />

on Dutch television and in the local<br />

newspaper. They usually walk about 7 km,<br />

with a stop for coffee mid-route. In December<br />

some members participated in a nighttime<br />

walk, with special light installations dotted<br />

along the route.<br />

AWC HAMBURG held a charity Fun Run/Walk<br />

last October to benefit FAWCO (see the First<br />

Take article in this magazine). The club also<br />

surveyed members on how they keep fit.<br />

Walking was the clear winner, with close to<br />

40% of all survey participants, regardless of<br />

age, saying walking was an activity that kept<br />

them fit. Cycling was another favorite sport<br />

enjoyed by all ages, with 30% listing it as a<br />

favorite sport.<br />

AWC LONDON’S hiking group walks once per<br />

month, rain or shine, for an average of 10<br />

miles. It is a full day of walking in the<br />

countryside outside of London, on moderately<br />

easy walks, although in the summer the<br />

difficulty increases due to longer walks over<br />

more rugged terrain. The club also has a<br />

running group, a health and fitness group and<br />

a London walks group.<br />

AWC LUXEMBOURG has three hiking groups.<br />

One meets weekly, with a reconnaissance on<br />

Monday and then a repeat of the same walk<br />

on Friday. The hikes average 9 km and take 2<br />

hours to complete, and many members hike<br />

more than 1000 km per year. The more<br />

adventurous ramblers meet once a month,<br />

averaging about 20 km and walks take the<br />

better part of a day. Once a year, on the last<br />

weekend in September, they organize a<br />

hiking weekend a bit farther from home.<br />

Previous years have taken them to France,<br />

Germany, Belgium and Sweden. This year’s<br />

destination is a chalet in the French Alps.<br />

MUNICH IWC, with its two walking groups (one<br />

long monthly walk, and two to five short ones)<br />

has reported thousands and thousands of<br />

kilometers. No club will ever catch up with<br />

them, but this isn’t a contest!<br />

AIWC NAPLES recently had an inaugural walk<br />

and is looking forward to further participation<br />

with Clubs in Motion.<br />

AAWE PARIS is organizing a group to<br />

participate in the 12 th annual Rochambelle 5<br />

km women’s walk/run against breast cancer,<br />

held in Caen, Normandy, on June 9, just after<br />

D-Day, as part of a larger event called Les<br />

Courants de la Liberté. They will also have a<br />

team at La Parisienne in September for the<br />

breast cancer race.<br />

AW SURREY has a hiking activity every Friday,<br />

where hikers explore the Surrey countryside for<br />

two hours. The paths vary, with easier trails<br />

through parks, gardens and quaint villages,<br />

and more challenging climbs up and down<br />

hills, on muddy paths and over fences through<br />

meadows and farms. It’s a friendly, healthy<br />

and free outdoor activity for club members all<br />

year round to help them stay physically fit.<br />

AWC ZURICH participates in the International<br />

<strong>Women</strong>’s Day “Join Me on the Bridge” event,<br />

and invites other clubs and community<br />

organizations to join them.<br />

INDIVIDUAL MEMBER Renuka Matthews does<br />

vertical marathons, and you can read more<br />

about her in a separate article in this issue.<br />


Inspiration from Austria<br />


22<br />

I grew up in Freiburg, Germany together with my<br />

mom, grandma, two sisters and a brother. I<br />

studied Biology at the University of Freiburg and<br />

in Vienna, Austria and ended with a Master of<br />

Science degree. In 1991, I moved to Vienna,<br />

where I married my husband and also we had<br />

two children together.<br />

As hobbies, I dance a lot (nowadays mainly Hula<br />

inclusive performances and lecturing), write a lot<br />

of poems, meet with friends and travel, and I like<br />

to do handicrafts.<br />

From the age of about three, I was involved in all<br />

kinds of sports. I went to a school where my main<br />

subject became sports. During my school days I was involved in swimming, athletics,<br />

gymnastics, ballroom dancing, tennis, table tennis and soccer! As a child, I loved the film The<br />

Adventures of Robin Hood with Errol Flynn and dreamt of doing archery, shooting with a bow<br />

and arrow, myself. However, there was no possibility of doing that.<br />

Then, just by chance, that I got the opportunity to<br />

get involved in archery in Vienna. First a few times<br />

in the Prater (Vienna’s famous amusement park);<br />

then I found a beginners’ course in archery in<br />

2000. From that moment on, I was into it. The kids<br />

were at school, so I had the morning for<br />

practicing (shooting practice six times a week<br />

plus fitness and mental training or competitions). I<br />

was basically self-taught, especially when I<br />

became an archery coach myself in 2006.<br />

Since I am not interested in technology, I started<br />

to shoot with a longbow American flatbow<br />

(traditional bow) without a sight or any other<br />

aiming aids. Gradually my level got higher and<br />

higher, and I became member of the Austrian<br />

squad. In the following years, I won many medals:<br />

In the 105 regional, national and international<br />

tournaments I entered, I won 85 gold and 10 silver<br />

medals. I also won a many national titles in<br />

Austria (outdoor, indoor, 3D) and was an Austrian<br />

Team member from 2006 onwards. I am really<br />

proud of my World Champion and European<br />

American <strong>Women</strong>’s Association of Vienna,<br />

Austria<br />

From: Germany<br />

Lives: Vienna, Austria

Champion titles because I practiced<br />

very hard.<br />

In 2006, I opened my archery school<br />

"White Arrow" for Austrian archers, and<br />

then in 2011, "Archery Education<br />

International", which caters to archers<br />

and coaches from all over the world.<br />

From 2009-2011, I was head coach of<br />

the Austrian 3D-Team (3D = shooting<br />

on plastic animal-like targets on a<br />

course in the woods), and between<br />

2008 and 2013, I was a team<br />

supporter when there was no head<br />

coach for the team.<br />

In 2009, I became a national - and in<br />

2011 an international - coach trainer (this is still my job), specializing in the Olympic Recurve bow<br />

and traditional bows. I also finished my education as a sport mental trainer in 2011.<br />

In 2010, I started to write a textbook about coaching in archery with many practical tips and<br />

exercises for archers, coaches and coach trainers. It will be available in <strong>2018</strong> in German, and<br />

hopefully in 2019 in English.<br />

I have learned so much<br />

through my archery. For<br />

example: I can do almost<br />

everything if I try hard<br />

enough. But I do think that<br />

to be successful, the most<br />

important thing is to have<br />

fun at what you are doing. I<br />

loved to practice hard.<br />

There was never a time I<br />

didn't want to take my bow<br />

and arrows and practice<br />

my shooting technique,<br />

focusing on every shot;<br />

there were the days I had<br />

to stop myself to have a<br />

rest. When you focus on<br />

your shooting technique,<br />

the hits will come by<br />

themselves. It is wonderful<br />

to feel the body's tension and relaxation, the harmony and smoothness in the approximately 15<br />

to 20 seconds you need for one shot.<br />

I always had goals: for the training and for the competition. They were all related to my<br />

technique (which key words I want to use, where to put my focus) and how to act in various<br />

situations. Whenever I failed, I just asked myself what I could have done better to achieve my<br />

goal and tried to act accordingly the next time. Whenever I finished an archery competition (no<br />

matter whether I got a medal or not), I asked myself what is the next thing to practice so that I<br />

can improve my skills. Archery also taught me to focus much more on me, on the moment; to<br />

concentrate on the important things and blank out things that are unimportant or not relevant.<br />

This all had a massive influence on my private life.<br />



What personal motto do you live by, and how<br />

does it affect what you do/don’t do? Carpe<br />

diem: live every day as if it is the last. Always<br />

live in the present, but do learn from the past<br />

(your own and that of others). Always look<br />

hopefully into the future and be optimistic. If<br />

you want to be successful in life, you need to<br />

have a plan and stick to it. However, never<br />

forget to be flexible and listen to yourself.<br />

Goals may change.<br />

Also, always be yourself and live your dreams.<br />

Do not live your life for others. You only have<br />

this single one. Never wait until a man (or a<br />

woman) asks you to dance. If you want to<br />

dance, go and ask them yourself.<br />

Tell us something interesting about yourself<br />

that not many people know. I proposed to<br />

my husband Hannes; I didn’t wait for him to<br />

do it!<br />


Inspiration from England<br />


American <strong>Women</strong> of Berkshire & Surrey, England<br />

From: Arlington VA, USA<br />

Lives: Virginia Water, Surrey, England<br />

I married my husband, Anthony, in 1997, and we<br />

have three children – John (17), Anthony (14) and<br />

Nicole (11). Prior to expat life, I was a corporate<br />

lawyer in Washington, DC. In 2001, we had our first<br />

child and immediately moved overseas – a<br />

massive lifestyle change all at once! We lived in<br />

Brussels, Belgium from 2001 to 2004 and again<br />

starting in 2009. We then moved to London in 2013<br />

and have lived here ever since. Career-wise, I<br />

taught French in the USA for several years<br />

between expat assignments and now work parttime<br />

as a freelance translator.<br />

Over the years, I’ve been involved in track and field (discus and shot put in high school; high<br />

school coach when teaching in Virginia), fencing (University of Michigan), recreational running,<br />

general fitness and, most recently, golf.<br />

I was a late bloomer when it came to sports,<br />

until I discovered the shot put and discus in<br />

high school. I competed at the state level, but<br />

did not pursue it in college. Instead, I joined<br />

the fencing club at the University of Michigan,<br />

and enjoyed three years of representing my<br />

school in the Big Ten. At that time, Michigan<br />

did not have a varsity fencing team, so we<br />

were the only game in town!<br />

I drifted away from organized sports during<br />

law school, and my fitness level took a nose<br />

dive. Approaching 30 and massively out of<br />

shape, I started running. I was not fast, and<br />

could never have won a race, but had the<br />

satisfaction of completing two marathons,<br />

including New York City in 2005.<br />

As I approached 40, my interest in running<br />

started to wane (in inverse proportion to my<br />

enjoyment of Belgian beer and chocolate). A<br />

couple of years later, I realized that I’d let my<br />

fitness go yet again. Surprisingly, it was an<br />

infomercial for a workout program (Insanity)<br />

that got me back off the couch. I bought the<br />


DVDs, and over the next six months lost 20<br />

pounds and got my body back.<br />

Upon moving to the UK, I started to take up<br />

golfing, which I had played a little bit when I<br />

was younger. That is my focus right now: since<br />

starting, I’ve lowered my handicap from 36 to<br />

a somewhat respectable 22. I’ve gotten<br />

involved in a match play team at a local club,<br />

which is a great way to get to make friends in<br />

the local community.<br />

That said, my focus on golf came at the<br />

expense of regular fitness workouts. That was a<br />

mistake that I’m now rectifying. No matter<br />

your sport, it’s essential to maintain your basic<br />

fitness level, especially your core muscles.<br />

Failing to do that can lead to injury. I’m happy<br />

to say that I’ve been back on my fitness<br />

program for a couple of months; I feel much<br />

stronger and I’m seeing a huge difference in<br />

my golf game.<br />

When I was younger, sport was about training<br />

to win for the team. Now that I’m<br />

approaching 50, the most important thing is to<br />

stay fit and use my involvement in sports to<br />

make connections and friendships.<br />

I’ve learned that at whatever level you<br />

participate in a sport, you can get a lot of<br />

satisfaction from working hard and improving.<br />

Competition can be a real motivating force at<br />

any level – you don’t have to be an incredible<br />

athlete to enjoy your chosen sport and jump<br />

into competitions. For the most part, the sports<br />

I’ve been involved in are accessible wherever<br />

you live. Whatever interests you, just give it a<br />

go! The first step is always the hardest – whether<br />

starting a workout program or joining a sports<br />

club. Just get up and move!<br />



Tell us about an event in your life that made a<br />

big difference and why it did.<br />

Our initial decision to accept an expat<br />

assignment way back in 2001 was lifechanging.<br />

Growing up, my idea of<br />

international travel involved driving across the<br />

border into Canada, so it was a massive leap<br />

of faith to decide to move to Belgium, with<br />

minimal experience abroad.<br />

Tell us something interesting about yourself<br />

that not many people know. A lot of people<br />

know that I’m a translator (French to English),<br />

but don’t know that I didn’t start seriously<br />

learning French until I was nearly 30, when I<br />

lived in Belgium. Proof that it’s never too late<br />

to start something new!<br />

If you could meet one famous or<br />

influential woman, alive or dead,<br />

who would it be and why? I would<br />

love to meet Ruth Bader Ginsburg.<br />

She has a stunning intellect, true<br />

compassion and a powerful sense of<br />

justice. She’s also a role model in the<br />

way she’s stayed at the top of her<br />

profession at the age of 84. I think it’s<br />

due in part to her dedication to<br />

fitness – in fact, her personal trainer,<br />

Bryant Johnson, just published a<br />

book called The RBG Workout: How<br />

She Stays Strong … and You Can<br />

Too! I’d love to talk with her about<br />

her fitness regime – in addition to her<br />

career on the US Supreme Court.<br />


Home and Away: Don’t Eat Pie<br />

Home and Away columnist Robin Meloy Goldsby<br />

recalls her stint as an exercise instructor and diet<br />

coach in Flushing, Queens, New York.<br />

January 1981: “Ladies! Listen up! It’s ‘Team Time<br />

with Deanna!’ Grab your buddy and head to<br />

the center of the floor where we’ll meet and<br />

greet, dance and prance, and burn away that<br />

winter blubber.” Deanna is a thirty-five-year old<br />

exercise instructor and seasoned resident of<br />

Queens. I am a twenty-three-year-old out-ofwork<br />

actor/pianist and a newish New Yorker. I<br />

wear a white leotard, a purple polyester sash<br />

around my waist, and a very large badge that<br />

says, “Elaine Powers Figure Salon TRAINEE.” It is not my finest moment, but I’m grateful to be<br />

employed. I’ve graduated from Chatham College, a gentle but high-minded women’s college<br />

in Pittsburgh, with a BA in Theater Arts. I know a lot about Shakespearean comedies and Greek<br />

tragedies, but hardly anything about how to get work as a performing artist in New York City.<br />

For over a year I’ve been counting pennies and looking forward to the day when I can afford<br />

food that doesn’t come in a white cardboard carton or a greasy paper bag. Now, a little<br />

uncertain about my next shaky steps in a city jam-packed with out-of-work actors skidding in<br />

their own greasepaint, I’ve signed up to work part time as an instructor at an Elaine Powers<br />

Figure Salon. I haven’t found an Elaine Powers salon with job openings in Manhattan—those<br />

places are already staffed by Bob Fosse rejects, soap opera spit-backs, and runway models<br />

who are an inch or two under the 5’9″ minimum. But I’ve nailed down a position as an instructor<br />

at the Flushing, Queens salon, in the shadow of Shea Stadium.<br />

During “Team Time with Deanna” I sit on an Elaine Powers weight bench and take notes. I’ll be<br />

expected to conduct my very own “Team Time with Robin” in the next few days, and there’s<br />

an Elaine Powers protocol I’ll need to follow.<br />

28<br />

Cats have claws! Dogs have fleas! All I’ve got are chubby knees!<br />

I’m not dumb! I’m so wise! Pump away these flabby thighs!<br />

Move those arms! Move those feet! How I hate this cellulite!<br />

Pec-tor-als! Stretch and reach! We’ll look foxy on the beach.<br />

Remember, it’s 1981. “Foxy” is one of our favorite words. Donna Summer blares from the Elaine<br />

Powers sound system. “She Works Hard for the Money” is<br />

the track of choice. The music and the rhymes don’t sync<br />

and I feel like I’m caught in a John Cage nightmare.<br />

Deanna, single mother of four sons, resembles a female<br />

version of Barney Rubble. She is tiny and rock solid—no<br />

chubby knees on her. During my shift, I watch her conduct<br />

Team Time every hour on the hour. No matter how much<br />

she jumps around, her Sue Ellen Ewing hair stays in place.<br />

After Deanna’s third session I head back to the front<br />

desk—a platform that oversees all the weight machines,<br />

vibrating belts, and treadmills. The vibrating belts intrigue<br />

me. The clients strap a belt around their problem zones<br />

and the belts shake-shake-shake the fat. Wow.

“Do those things work?” I ask Deanna.<br />

“Nah,” she says, evading my eyes. “They make your thighs<br />

itch, and that’s about it.”<br />

“Oh,” I say. “Who needs that? Itchy thighs. Blah.”<br />

“Right. So. You understand all about Team Time, now?”<br />

“Yes. I do.”<br />

“Good. Okay, write this next thing down in your notebook.<br />

It’s one of our most critical functions, as, like, Elaine Powers<br />

role models and instructors.”<br />

“Ladies, listen up! It’s time for your ‘Diet Tip of the Day.'” The<br />

gyrating women step down from their weight machines,<br />

treadmills, and vibrating belts. They swivel to face Deanna.<br />

She is their weight-loss queen of Queens, their caloriecounting<br />

pocket-Pope, their great white hope for slimmer<br />

thighs and sleeker silhouettes.<br />

“Okay, ladies, here we go. Your ‘Diet Tip of the Day’—drum roll,<br />

please!” The ladies beat on the purple padded benches of the<br />

weight machines.<br />

“Your ‘Diet Tip of the Day’ is . . . DON’T EAT PIE!”<br />

A startled silence fills the salon. Then the ladies break into<br />

applause. After a few moments, they return to their workouts.<br />

“That’s it?” I say to Deanna. “Don’t eat pie is your diet tip for the<br />

day?”<br />

“Yeah,” she says. “Good, right?”<br />

“But that’s ridiculous,” I say. “Everyone knows not to eat pie if<br />

they’re trying to lose weight. These poor women are paying $11.99<br />

a month—”<br />

“$9.99 a month for the two-year program, $7.99 a month for the five-year plan and a one-time<br />

fee of $499.99 for a lifetime membership.”<br />

“Right. What a deal. But shouldn’t you give them something more than a poem about chubby<br />

knees and a diet tip that tells them not to eat pie?”<br />

Deanna glares at me and I’m really glad she doesn’t have one of those Barney Rubble clubs.<br />

“Sometimes,” she growls, “you just have to hit them over the head with this stuff. It’s not, like,<br />

rocket science. Obvious is good.”<br />

“Obvious is good,” I write in my notebook, which, thirty years later, I will dig out of an old carton<br />

so I can write this story.<br />

***<br />

Cathy, a platinum bottle-blond with an inch of black roots, dangling earrings, water-balloon<br />

boobs, narrow teenage-boy hips, and lavender tights, paces on the magenta carpet of the<br />

violet-walled Elaine Powers back office. Purple, purple everywhere. Working in this place is like<br />

living inside a grape. Cathy (who might be a man) is our manager, a job that involves chain<br />

smoking and convincing middle-aged female citizens of Flushing that they, too, could look like<br />

her if they stopped eating pie, exercised, and forked over<br />

$11.99 a month for the next year.<br />

Cathy has called me into her office to discuss “security” issues<br />

at the salon. Deanna accompanies me. We all light up<br />

cigarettes. It’s 1981. We smoke. No guilt.<br />

“So,” says Cathy to Deanna. “Did you show Robin the panic<br />

button?”<br />

“The panic button?” I say.<br />

“You didn’t tell her?” says Cathy.<br />


I wonder if the panic button has something to do with pie. I haven’t thought about pie for a<br />

couple of years, but now I can’t stop conjuring visions of my mom’s pumpkin, lemon meringue,<br />

pecan, and peach pies. Flaky crusts, whipped cream, the works. I take a drag from my Benson<br />

and Hedges cigarette, a luxury I can’t afford. I scrimp on meals, but I buy these stupid cigarettes<br />

because I like the way the package looks.<br />

“If any man comes into the salon for any reason, one of us has to stand by the panic button and<br />

be prepared to hit it. Because we don’t want a VBI here in Flushing.”<br />

“A VBI?” I say.<br />

“Vibrating Belt Incident,” says Deanna. “Don’t ask.”<br />

***<br />

The following week when I’m alone and closing the salon—I step onto one of the vibrating belt<br />

machines and hook the belt<br />

around my butt. I turn on the<br />

machine. In the mirror—there are<br />

mirrors everywhere in this place—I<br />

catch a glimpse of myself as I<br />

shake, waggle, and roll. Look at<br />

that. Turns out I have a lot of fat<br />

on my skinny frame. There’s a<br />

stout girl lurking inside me, and I<br />

see her, right there in my jiggling<br />

reflection. That’s it. No more pie<br />

for me. I lock up and go home.<br />

***<br />

A miracle! Four months into my<br />

Elaine Powers siege a music<br />

agent calls and offers me a gig at<br />

the Newark Airport Holiday Inn,<br />

where I’ll play the piano five<br />

nights a week for turnpike lounge<br />

lizards, red-eyed truck drivers, and world-weary flight crews—the worker bees of the<br />

transportation industry. For a while I do both jobs, but eventually, I resign from Elaine Powers. I’ll<br />

miss getting paid to exercise and I’m sad about saying goodbye to Cathy and Deanna. During<br />

my final Team Time, I blast Donna Summer’s cassette on the boom box. I work hard for my<br />

money, chase away those chubby knees, and wish my clients well.<br />

“You know what?” I say to the ladies. “A little bit of fat is okay. Be fit. Be foxy. Be healthy. Be<br />

happy. Listen to music. Dance. Keep moving. Don’t worry so much about the pie. ”<br />

Cathy smiles at me. Deanna scowls. I exit. Obvious is good.<br />

30<br />

Robin Meloy Goldsby's solo piano career has taken her from Pittsburgh to posh New York City<br />

venues and exclusive resorts, and on to the European castles and concert stages where she<br />

now performs. Robin, a Steinway Artist, has seven recordings to her name and has appeared<br />

in the USA on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered and Piano Jazz with Marian<br />

McPartland. She is the author of Piano Girl, Rhythm, Waltz of the Asparagus People,<br />

and Manhattan Road Trip.<br />

Currently, Robin is the featured pianist at the Excelsior Hotel Ernst in Cologne, Germany. Her<br />

latest recording, Home and Away, launched on November 26th, 2017. You can visit Robin’s<br />

web page at www.goldsby.de.

Inspiration from Dubai<br />


I am an individual member of FAWCO<br />

From: India, now a US citizen<br />

Lives: Dubai, U.A.E.<br />

31<br />

I was born in Kerala, South India and moved to<br />

Washington, D.C. in 1994. My husband and I<br />

relocated to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in 1996 and<br />

moved again to Dubai, U.A.E. in 2004. I worked<br />

as Administrator for a US law firm in Riyadh and<br />

Dubai. I joined FAWCO in 2011 and served on<br />

the Finance Committee for several years. I<br />

currently am Co-Chair of FAWCO’s<br />

Environmental Team.<br />

I was involved in various sports in my youth. In my 20s I studied yoga and continue to practice<br />

on and off. After I stopped working full time, I took up a number of sports including bowling,<br />

squash, and running and I devoted much of my time to sports – and fitness in general. I currently<br />

spend 1-2 hours in the gym at least 6 days a week. Since 2008, running has become my primary<br />

sport and I have run in several 10 km events, 4<br />

Half Marathons, and 3 Vertical Marathons (52<br />

flights of stairs). In January 2017, I completed<br />

the Dubai Marathon (42.2 km).<br />

It was tough in the beginning. As a lifelong<br />

vegetarian, I was “scrawny” and had very little<br />

muscle development in both my upper and<br />

lower body. I have worked diligently with a<br />

trainer over the past several years and have<br />

also altered my diet, substantially increasing<br />

my protein intake. This has enabled me at a<br />

later stage in my life to develop muscle mass<br />

and increase my stamina. Keeping fit is hard<br />

work but it is well worth it.<br />

I ran my first organized 10 km race after<br />

working out only on a treadmill in the gym. This<br />

showed me the importance of training. In<br />

preparing for my longer races, I made sure<br />

than I ran at least half the total distance in my<br />

training and close to the full distance 5-7 days<br />

before the big day. This has helped me<br />

physically to be sure, but it has also helped me<br />

develop confidence that I could complete the<br />

full distance.<br />

I have learned that maintaining fitness is an

important part of my life and includes not<br />

only exercise but also a proper diet. I<br />

have also developed a great deal of<br />

confidence from my running and other<br />

sporting activities. I could not have<br />

imagined myself running a marathon<br />

when I was in my 20s, but with hard work<br />

and dedication I made it a reality.<br />

One of my most important achievements<br />

was completing my first marathon in<br />

Dubai. I had been training for several<br />

years and while not a particularly fast<br />

runner, I was determined to achieve this<br />

goal. Several of my friends told me, “You<br />

must be crazy,” but I was mentally strong<br />

and ready for this challenge. I displayed<br />

pure grit that day and finished the race<br />

feeling confident and stronger than ever.<br />


If you could try a sport/fitness activity you’ve<br />

not done before, what would it be and why? I<br />

would love to participate in an Ironman<br />

competition, which combines swimming,<br />

biking and running. Sadly, I am unable to swim<br />

despite taking lessons for over a year. The<br />

Ironman is simply beyond my reach.<br />

What personal motto do you live by and how<br />

does it affect what you do/don’t do? “Don’t<br />

make excuses; just carry on.” This applies to<br />

almost everything in life.<br />

If you could meet one person or influential<br />

women, alive or dead, who would it be and<br />

why? There are two such people in my life.<br />

The first is Mother Teresa. She was an<br />

extraordinary person. She had an impact on<br />

my life because she has inspired not only me<br />

but countless others by her selfless actions –<br />

undergoing great personal sacrifice to make<br />

life better for the poorest of the poor and the<br />

sick and dying. She did everything with an<br />

enormous smile on her face. If she were alive, I<br />

would love to have a dialogue with her about<br />

creating opportunities for the most<br />

disadvantaged people to have access to<br />

education, medical care, etc., and to learn<br />

how to plant seeds of empathy in others.<br />

While few of us can emulate Mother Teresa,<br />

we can all aspire to develop and spread<br />

some of her passion and commitment for the<br />

less fortunate in life.<br />

My parents played a huge role in my<br />

upbringing as well, especially my mother. She<br />

taught me the meaning of love and the<br />

importance of caring for and helping others.<br />

She has always maintained an open mind<br />

and warm heart and taught us not to<br />

distinguish between rich and poor, nor to<br />

discriminate based on religion or color. I am so<br />

grateful for that.<br />



A Club Inspires: AWC Amsterdam<br />

There are FAWCO clubs of all sizes and shapes across the world. A Club Inspires is a feature<br />

where you will learn more about one of them. This time we are pleased to share with you one of<br />

the FAWCO clubs based in Region 4: American <strong>Women</strong>’s Club of Amsterdam. Over to their<br />

FAWCO Reps Lauren Mescon and Julie Lehr...<br />

The American <strong>Women</strong>’s Club of Amsterdam (AWCA) was started in 1927 by Carolyn Korthals<br />

Altes. The first meetings were held at the home of the wife of the US Consul General, who was an<br />

early member. While the club was started for social and cultural purposes, they soon began to<br />

get involved in serving the public. The club actually began their own “Marshall Plan” before the<br />

official one started. They would reach out to their friends in the States who would send care<br />

packages full of needed items and the AWCA would distribute the packages. The Americans<br />

back home were so happy to help that this continued for several years until the AWCA actually<br />

had to beg their friends to stop sending them!<br />

We have about 260 members representing a<br />

variety of nationalities. The majority are<br />

Americans but quite a few are not. Many of<br />

our members are here for their husband’s or<br />

partner’s job, although, not exclusively;<br />

many women also came sans partners for<br />

their own careers.<br />

There is an elected board and candidates<br />

are solicited via our nominating committee,<br />

in accordance with club by-laws. We usually<br />

have an amazing slate of officers, with most<br />

positions being filled with co-leaders (i.e. two<br />

people). With the busy schedules of many of<br />

our members as a result of their jobs,<br />

children or travels, they are more comfortable not having sole responsibility for something. The<br />

beauty of our board, though, is that everyone does everything; if someone is missing, even last<br />

minute for unforeseen reasons, the rest of the board does not hesitate to step in.<br />

We have two monthly meetings - a daytime General Meeting (GM) and an evening event the<br />

following week known as At Night. The speakers are different as the At Night meetings tend to<br />

be smaller and attended by members who work during the day. Naturally we also have regular<br />

activities, from book clubs to cooking club to<br />

Pokeno nights to Guys Night Out to pub<br />

nights. There are tons of newcomers’<br />

activities, including a monthly newcomers’<br />

coffee, lunch and a Saturday night cocktail<br />

party. Everyone is welcome and there are<br />

plenty of non-newcomer regulars at each<br />

one. We also have a robust excursions<br />

program which includes day trips and<br />

overnight trips.<br />

34<br />

The club also fundraises for the FAWCO Target<br />

project. This year we were really excited to<br />

have “Raise Your Hand for Education” events<br />

both for members and a corporation. We

painted nails for a fee and<br />

had all of the participants<br />

“raise their hands for<br />

education.” We also had a<br />

fabulous Share Your Gifts for<br />

Good campaign which was<br />

the brainchild of our member,<br />

Margaret Dwyer, after the<br />

Paris Regional, her first-ever<br />

FAWCO meeting attended<br />

shortly before she repatriates<br />

(in February!). Over six weeks<br />

we solicited “gifts” (talents)<br />

from our members which<br />

consisted of things such as<br />

flower arranging, antique<br />

tours, teaching mahjong, dog<br />

sitting, yoga, horoscopes,<br />

foodie tours - you name it and<br />

our members offered it. We then held an online auction where other members bid on the<br />

items. The auction culminated at our newcomers’ cocktail party in November; to ensure that all<br />

members could participate, even if they were unable to attend the party, we offered “buy it<br />

now” prices on everything. As a result, we raised 6005 euros for Hope Beyond Displacement<br />

and created relationships among club members that had not existed before. It was a great<br />

way to promote the Target Project and at the same time build community within our club.<br />

We are very proud of our club’s philanthropic efforts:<br />

• Several members of the club supply the funds for food and cook a meal on a monthly<br />

basis for De Kloof, Amsterdam’s oldest shelter for the homeless.<br />

• One group created their own foundation to support Safe Spaces, an education and<br />

empowerment program that supports 1200 girls and young women in the Eastland slums<br />

of Nairobi, Kenya to get an education, learn life skills and reproductive rights, find their<br />

voice, and take up leadership positions in their community.<br />

• Another group volunteers for<br />

Not For Sale, a nonprofit that<br />

offers victims of human<br />

trafficking a new perspective<br />

on their future. Through its<br />

social enterprises it provides<br />

education and training to<br />

bridge the gap to the job<br />

market and society.<br />

Our club is 91 years old and<br />

evolving with the times. Our<br />

membership is dynamic and allinclusive<br />

with members ranging<br />

from those who have been<br />

members for over 20 years to the<br />

newbies who are stepping up to<br />

join the executive board; they<br />

want to give back and ensure<br />

that all new members have the<br />

same great experiences that they have already had. Our members recognize that FAWCO<br />

takes us from being a local organization to a global one and that together we can have a<br />

larger impact on the things that are important to us all.<br />


Visiting Amsterdam<br />

Julie: Amsterdam is a great city! I had no idea what to expect when we arrived here. I tend to<br />

be a “homebody” and would have been content to spend my whole life in the place I was<br />

born and raised. Needless to say, I was extremely hesitant and nervous to embark on such a<br />

HUGE life change to an unknown place. I was pleasantly surprised at what our new hometown<br />

had to offer! It’s like history come to life in Amsterdam! I love roaming the streets and seeing<br />

signs of the past in the buildings and architecture, some of which date as far back as the<br />

15 th /16 th century. As I stroll the canals, I find<br />

myself thinking of how life must have been<br />

and what insight it took to understand how<br />

to use water to the city’s advantage<br />

instead of fighting it. I also absolutely love<br />

that I can walk or bike anywhere I need to<br />

and that going months without driving or<br />

riding in a car seems completely normal….<br />

Almost to the point that I get frustrated<br />

back in the States when I have no choice!<br />

Some undiscovered gems for you:<br />

• Kinderdijks are amazing (https://<br />

www.kinderdijk.com). It is like the<br />

unknown little sister to Zaanse Schans, the popular tourist destination to see windmills. It‘s<br />

super small and very quaint, with access to some very cool windmills.<br />

• Also taking the ferry across the Ij to bike through towns and along the dykes is another<br />

great thing to do.<br />

• The museums in the city are too numerous to mention but the Amsterdam Museum, Our<br />

Lord in the Attic, Museum of Bags and Purses, and the National Maritime Museum are a<br />

few lesser known ones that are among my favorites.<br />

Lauren: The Dutch are very direct! But once you get past that they can be very friendly! They<br />

love their coffee and everyone, from workers to visitors, must be offered coffee (and a biscuit)<br />

when they come to your house.<br />

For me, King’s Day is the best day of the year - the city is one giant garage sale and everyone<br />

wears orange for the House of Orange, the royal family. Then New Year’s Eve is the best night of<br />

the year (if you like fireworks) as the fireworks are non-stop from midnight until around 2 am and<br />

they are everywhere!<br />

Julie: The thing that first struck me when we moved to the Netherlands was the passion of the<br />

Dutch to bike everywhere! Their bikes are like an extension of themselves. They are so efficient as<br />

they ride and the things I have seen them transport is mind boggling… several bags of groceries<br />

balanced on handle bars and the back, appliances and so much more! This usually done while<br />

also riding multiple children in a cart on the<br />

front of the bike, one on a seat on the handle<br />

bars and one standing, yes standing, on the<br />

back of the bike holding on to their parent’s<br />

shoulders. Oh, and did I mention no one is<br />

wearing a helmet! For this triathlete from the<br />

States, that was shocking! It seems to work<br />

though and I quickly realized that if you want to<br />

fit in and not stand out like a tourist or expat,<br />

you don’t wear yours either unless you’re riding<br />

your race bike. Finally, what I love about their<br />

love of biking is that bikes outnumber cars and<br />

the bikes actually have the right of way and<br />

drivers respect that.<br />



LAUREN<br />

GORDON<br />

MESCON<br />

From:<br />

Savannah,<br />

Georgia, USA<br />

Lives:<br />

Amsterdam,<br />

Netherlands<br />

My life journey has been fabulous, really.<br />

Grew up in Savannah, small town living,<br />

became a lawyer, Guardian ad litem and<br />

mediator, loved my practice and clients<br />

(mostly), worked very hard as I was a single<br />

mom for eight years and am now very happily<br />

married with a total of four amazing adult<br />

children, two daughters-in-law and a<br />

grandbaby (omg - how did I do this without<br />

aging?) on the way! Living in Europe has<br />

allowed me to retire and see places I never<br />

dreamed I would.<br />

My sport is running. I honestly detested it; I did<br />

it with my husband as a way to get my<br />

exercise out of the way early in the morning;<br />

until I moved here. With all of the new things<br />

we have to absorb as expats in a totally new<br />

place, running kept me grounded. I would<br />

plug in my headphones, go outside and run,<br />

simply putting one foot in front of the other. I<br />

think it was the familiarity of it that felt so<br />

good. Now I cannot go for very long without<br />

going for a run.<br />

Tell us about an event in your life that made a<br />

big difference and why it did. I survived a<br />

major illness 28 years ago. I dislike calling<br />

myself a “breast cancer survivor” as that is the<br />

last thing I want to define me. However, as I<br />

approach 28 years of beating that horrible<br />

disease, I would like to think I might have<br />

been able to inspire others to have faith and<br />

a positive<br />

outlook should<br />

they ever<br />

have to face<br />

something<br />

similar in their<br />

own lives.<br />


From: Cincinnati,<br />

OH, then Red<br />

Bank, NJ, USA<br />

Lives:<br />

Amsterdam,<br />

Netherlands<br />

I’ve had a lot of ups and<br />

downs on my journey,<br />

but the ups far outweigh<br />

the downs! I have found<br />

the downs always lead<br />

to<br />

something<br />

unexpected, such as…. I<br />

was a widow with three<br />

children when I met my<br />

husband. Before meeting<br />

him, I wasn’t sure life would ever be the same.<br />

What he brought to our family can’t be put<br />

into words. Today I have one daughter (and<br />

son-in-law) and three sons and have taught<br />

kindergarten, coached swimming (my passion)<br />

over 20 years and now enjoy my expat life!<br />

I was a swimmer from the time I was 10 years

old and swam collegiately for Bowling<br />

Green State University in Ohio. These<br />

days I have found my way back into<br />

the water swimming, but have added<br />

the elements of biking and running as<br />

well. At the age of 51, I started doing<br />

triathlons. Triathlon involves swimming,<br />

biking and running. The distance of<br />

each varies depending on the race<br />

you are doing.<br />

I have done numerous triathlons and<br />

three Half Ironman races as well. But<br />

my biggest accomplishment, and the<br />

one of which I am most proud, is<br />

completing Ironman Lake Placid in<br />

2016 at the age of 56 in 15 hrs and 34<br />

minutes. Nothing will beat seeing my<br />

family as I was getting close to the<br />

finish, running into the Olympic Oval,<br />

crossing the finish line and hearing<br />

Mike Reilly announce…. Julie Lehr of<br />

Red Bank, NJ YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!!<br />

Even writing this now, I can’t believe I<br />

really did it!<br />

I have always had low self-esteem and<br />

lacked a lot of confidence. Through<br />

triathlons I have learned that things will go<br />

wrong, but that doesn’t mean you quit. You<br />

regroup, adapt and keep going. The only way<br />

a failure is a fail is if you choose to not learn<br />

from the experience. In acknowledging this, I<br />

found a fierceness in my heart that allowed<br />

me to believe that I could take on and<br />

conquer Ironman. It was so important to me<br />

not only to finally prove to myself that I indeed<br />

was capable of something I thought<br />

impossible, but to also show my adult children<br />

that you’re never too old to have a dream; if<br />

you work hard and believe in yourself (Wow!<br />

What a change for me!), you will achieve it.<br />

That day in Lake Placid, my heart was filled<br />

with joy all day long and it forever changed<br />

me. What a blessing!<br />

Tell us about an event in your life that made a<br />

big difference and why it did. I think moving to<br />

New Jersey was a huge life-changing event for<br />

me. I had always lived<br />

in Ohio, had a great<br />

circle of friends all<br />

over the city, and<br />

never said no to<br />

anything, especially if<br />

it involved doing<br />

something for my kids.<br />

When we moved, I<br />

knew absolutely no<br />

one, except my<br />

daughter who lived in<br />

NYC at the time. I was<br />

depressed, extremely<br />

overweight and so<br />


out of shape that walking<br />

across the neighborhood was<br />

a challenge.<br />

The summer after we moved,<br />

Emily (my daughter) was<br />

doing the NYC Triathlon. I was<br />

in awe since it involved<br />

swimming, biking AND<br />

running! My husband and I<br />

took the train into the city so<br />

we could be there to cheer<br />

for her and support her. I will<br />

NEVER forget that morning<br />

standing at the entrance to<br />

Central Park waiting to see<br />

her go by. It was my aha<br />

moment as they say! I saw so<br />

many athletes going by me<br />

who had so many<br />

challenges, including a blind<br />

athlete being led by their<br />

sighted partner and a very tiny mother running<br />

with her adult child in a wheel chair. However<br />

the one that got me was the man missing one<br />

arm to his shoulder, the other to his elbow, and<br />

he was running on two prosthetic limbs/hooks<br />

because he had lost both legs as well.<br />

I remember wondering how that athlete had<br />

swum, then biked and was now running??? I<br />

was ashamed and<br />

humbled as I thought<br />

about the fact that I was a<br />

former Division I swimmer<br />

who made every excuse in<br />

the book to not work out. I<br />

was fat, 50 and I was out of<br />

shape, but in light of what I<br />

had just witnessed, those<br />

were NOT valid excuses.<br />

I went home and made a<br />

decision that I needed to<br />

change my life and be<br />

grateful for all the blessings I<br />

had. I started working out in<br />

earnest. I put my name into<br />

the lottery for the race my<br />

daughter had done, got<br />

into it and freaked out a<br />

little bit! I spent months<br />

getting in shape and losing<br />

almost 70 pounds. I did the NYC Triathlon the<br />

following summer at the age of 51 - swimming<br />

a mile in the Hudson River, riding 25 miles on<br />

my bike in the driving rain on the West Side<br />

Highway and then running 6.2 miles down 72 nd<br />

Street and through Central Park - smiling,<br />

laughing and crying like a crazy person the<br />

whole way. It was the best day and I have<br />

never looked back!<br />


More inspiration from Austria<br />


American <strong>Women</strong>’s Club of Vienna, Austria<br />

From: Melbourne, Australia<br />

Lives: Vienna, Austria<br />

I’m originally from Melbourne, Australia. My husband<br />

and I are currently living in Vienna, Austria. I’m<br />

studying for a MSc in Project Management and<br />

Data Analytics. I have previously studied<br />

Engineering, specializing in Applied Electronics, and<br />

I also have a degree in Business and Management. I<br />

really enjoy travelling and experiencing new<br />

cultures, and I have been fortunate enough to visit<br />

over 80 countries (and counting!) so far. When I’m<br />

not training for my cycling I really enjoy jogging<br />

through the Viennese Woods with my little<br />

dachshund-cross dog, Chilli.<br />

Most of my friends currently know me as a road<br />

cyclist; however my first foray in the world of<br />

competitive sport was actually in athletics. In<br />

primary school I showed a talent for running 100m<br />

and 200m sprints, so much so that they had me<br />

racing in the in boy’s events as I was so much faster than the girls my age. I took running more<br />

seriously in high school and regularly trained with my school’s athletics team for 100m, 200m,<br />

400m, high jump and long jump. I<br />

competed in athletics at a national level<br />

for a number of years, but unfortunately I<br />

did not receive the support required to<br />

take things further.<br />

I continued running for enjoyment (and<br />

stress relief!) throughout high school and<br />

then university. In my 20s I became<br />

interested in middle-distance running<br />

and competed in local running meets<br />

and charity fun-runs in distances<br />

between 4km-8km. My favorite event<br />

was the 5km.<br />

When I moved away from Australia and<br />

joined the expat world, the type of<br />

exercise I could do depended on where<br />

my husband and I were living. For<br />

example, in Berlin the streets were clean<br />

and the air was fresh so running out to<br />


the former airport Templehof was easy and<br />

enjoyable. Things were quite different in<br />

Moscow. At one stage I tried running to and<br />

from work but would literally be covered in a<br />

thin layer of grime when I arrived, as the<br />

pollution in central Moscow was so bad. So in<br />

Moscow I stuck mainly to gym workouts<br />

during the week and did horseback riding on<br />

the weekends.<br />

But back to cycling. A few years ago we<br />

moved from Moscow to Vienna. My husband<br />

had been a keen cyclist in Australia and<br />

decided to get back into the sport in Vienna.<br />

In an effort to spend more time with him I<br />

decided to give it a go as well and<br />

discovered that I had a bit of talent for it. In 2014, I joined the cycling club VICC Racing Division<br />

(VICC = Vienna International Cycling Club) and I have been competing for them ever since. I<br />

had a very successful year last year, competing in 21 races and standing on the podium for 18 of<br />

those. My sporting highlight of 2017 has to be when I won the Vienna Masters Championship in<br />

Road Cycling.<br />

Sport has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I believe that being involved in<br />

sport has helped my non-sporting life in a number of ways, such as being a great stress relief and<br />

keeping my body strong and healthy. Competing at a high level in any sport involves<br />

commitment, planning, time management skills, mental stamina, self-discipline, patience,<br />

training, etc., and these are all skills that can be transferred into non-sporting life. In particular,<br />

my mental stamina has evolved: the ability to push through pain or to do a training session when<br />

I’d much rather sit on the couch. Having the fire inside to dig deep and find something extra for<br />

the last km of an event is essential. Pushing your body to its absolute limit is a crazy thing!<br />

In terms of black and white sporting<br />

achievements I am most proud of, being a<br />

state champion in 100m and 200m sprints,<br />

as a teenager. Then as an adult, I am<br />

proud of being the current Viennese<br />

Masters Champion in Road cycling.<br />

In terms of personal achievements,<br />

recovering from a very serious car<br />

accident in 2016 has been an important<br />

achievement. I was out cycling on a quiet<br />

Tuesday mid-morning near Vienna, when<br />

an oncoming car made a sudden left turn<br />

and drove straight into me. Witnesses said<br />

that it was like a scene from a movie as I<br />

was thrown up into the air and landed<br />

head first through the car’s windscreen,<br />

bouncing onto the bonnet and then onto<br />

the road. I was rushed to hospital, my bike<br />

was destroyed, and I was unable to walk<br />

for a number of weeks. That was over 18<br />

months ago. I still have a lot of back pain<br />

from torn lumbar discs, but I have worked<br />

very hard to rebuild my body/muscles.<br />


Fortunately, road cycling does not require a lot of lumbar<br />

movement so it’s been OK for me to do. I have had to give<br />

up other sports that I loved such as skiing, SCUBA diving<br />

and horseback riding.<br />

So how do you get involved in road cycling? It is still quite<br />

a male-dominated sport and can seem a bit intimidating<br />

to a newbie, plus there is the added unknown of what kind<br />

of bike and clothing is required. Having said that, there are<br />

some great women’s cycling groups on Facebook that are<br />

very supportive and welcome all the newbie questions.<br />

Also, you could try visiting your local bike shop as many<br />

offer support and even organize regular social rides.<br />

Cycling is a great exercise for everyone as it offers<br />

supported aerobic activity. If you join a group ride it is a<br />

great social outing as well, and depending on where you<br />

ride you can experience some really scenic views.<br />


Tell us about an event in your life that made a<br />

big difference and why it did. My car accident<br />

was extremely life changing for me. It took me<br />

a long time to accept the reality of how<br />

quickly your life can be changed, even<br />

through no fault of your own. Life is precious.<br />

All life should be respected.<br />

What personal motto do you live by and how<br />

does it affect what you do/don’t do? A<br />

personal motto is not really my thing, but I do<br />

like many of the Dalai Lama’s musings such as:<br />

“Be kind whenever possible. It is always<br />

possible.” I do wish that people would show<br />

just a little more kindness and respect for each<br />

other in their everyday lives.<br />

If you could meet one famous or influential<br />

woman, alive or dead, who would it be and<br />

why? This is a tough one to answer, as I would<br />

have loved to meet some of the pioneering<br />

women mathematicians and physicists.<br />

However one women that stands out for me is<br />

Florence Nightingale but not for being the<br />

mother of modern nursing,<br />

but rather f or her<br />

outstanding skills in research<br />

and statistics.<br />

Tell us something interesting<br />

about yourself that not<br />

many people know. I have<br />

played violin since I was 6<br />

years old, and I even<br />

worked as a violin teacher<br />

when I was younger.<br />


Inspiration from Norway<br />


American <strong>Women</strong>’s Club Oslo, Norway<br />

From: California, USA<br />

Lives: Eiksmarka, Norway (right outside Oslo)<br />

I grew up in Oakland, California with both my<br />

parents and one brother. I went to Catholic<br />

school most of my life and started my career<br />

in telecommunications and technology in<br />

1989. I spent a couple of years in Atlanta,<br />

Georgia before settling in San Jose, California<br />

for most of my working life. After working in<br />

the dot.com industry for several years, I went<br />

back to school to study theology and<br />

marriage and family therapy. In 2008 I<br />

married Tyrone Partee and moved to<br />

Hawthorne, California and then finally in 2013,<br />

I became a trailing spouse when we moved<br />

to Norway.<br />

I started cheerleading, running track and participating in a drill team in elementary school. As<br />

cheerleaders we cheered and danced for our school’s basketball team, the St. Louis Bertrand<br />

Lions. I joined the track team at St. Louis Bertrand mainly because my aunt was the coach. I<br />

usually ran the 50 and 100 yard dash. I can’t say I was the best, but I placed first, second or third,<br />

a few times. One time I snuck into the<br />

440 and came in first place. It was not a<br />

race my coach had signed me up to<br />

compete in, but I wanted to give it a try.<br />

She was very happy when I won and<br />

quickly wrote “440” on my badge.<br />

Track required practice three or more<br />

times a week and a track meet every<br />

Saturday. Drill team, was, however, by<br />

far my favorite. The East Oakland Youth<br />

Development Center had a drill team<br />

that performed in most holiday parades.<br />

We would practice dancing and<br />

marching band steps to drums and other<br />

instruments. I was a natural. I loved<br />

choreographing new dance moves and<br />

steps. We wore pink leotards, wine<br />

colored skirts and shoes with pom poms.<br />

In high school I participated in ROTC and<br />

continued to work with a drill team. This<br />


time we got to add the use of<br />

rifles in the show. We did a move<br />

called “the guillotine” where<br />

one person would level their rifle<br />

and spin in a circle while the<br />

person on either side ducked as<br />

the person turned. This move<br />

continued down a long line of<br />

about 10-15 people.<br />

As an adult I continued to love<br />

dance and started a boys mime<br />

team at a Maranatha Christian<br />

center. They would tell a story<br />

without saying a word. I started<br />

this team because I had three<br />

boys with lots of energy. Along<br />

with the many boys that<br />

attended the church, they wanted to dance. The only option for them at the time was praise<br />

dancing. They were not interested in slow moving dance. They wanted to jump around and<br />

express themselves.<br />

After moving to Norway, I knew I would not find the job I wanted without learning the language,<br />

but I wanted to work. I walked into a gym that needed Zumba instructors. I flew to Virginia to<br />

become a certified Zumba instructor and was hired as soon as I returned. I love that dance is a<br />

language in and of itself. Without speaking a word of Norwegian, I was able to do what I loved<br />

to do - “dance” and lead others in dancing too. Everyone in my class was able to enjoy<br />

themselves, dance and train without one word being spoken. Just a smile, lots of energy and<br />

music – a global language<br />

From there I became a Les Mills Body Vive trainer. Body Vive is a strength, cardio and core<br />

program. After tearing my meniscus, I wanted to do training to rehabilitate my knee and build<br />

up my strength. Body Vive was<br />

perfect to accomplish both.<br />

Currently, I am not training but hope<br />

to start a line dance class in the<br />

future. I want to teach the Chicago<br />

Step, Cupid Shuffle and other group<br />

dances that people at all levels can<br />

participate in. I enjoy being active.<br />

My friends tend to call me the<br />

Energizer Bunny.<br />

My main focus today is inclusion.<br />

Starting out I had to qualify to<br />

participate in a sport. Usually it was a<br />

popularity contest, especially in<br />

cheerleading. I now try to do and/or<br />

lead things where everyone feels<br />

included. That is one reason I loved<br />

Zumba. You could do “you.” As the<br />

instructor, I had a routine but the<br />

participants could add their own<br />

flavor and intensity.<br />


Fitness can be fun. Many believe it must be painful to be fit or that you can’t have fun. I believe<br />

dance mixed with exercise in programs like Zumba can be a great way to stay active and reap<br />

the benefits of being fit.<br />

You never know what people come into a room with. Some may have a disability, be sad about<br />

something, etc. As an instructor, I have the responsibility to make sure everyone feels included<br />

and to put a smile on their face, if only for a moment.<br />


Tell us about an event in your life that made a<br />

big difference and why it did. One year I tried<br />

out for the cheerleading team and did not<br />

make it. You see, I was awkward! I was born<br />

with a disability. Nystagmus is a vision<br />

condition in which the eyes make repetitive,<br />

uncontrolled movements. (My eyes dance<br />

too!) These movements often result in<br />

reduced vision and depth perception and<br />

can affect balance and coordination.<br />

Doctors didn’t know much about it when I<br />

was young. They say that low vision is the most<br />

difficult disability for people to understand<br />

because you look so normal. Teachers did not<br />

understand that I couldn’t see, even with<br />

glasses on. Glasses corrected the stigmatism,<br />

but nystagmus could not be corrected.<br />

So you had this skinny, light-skinned girl whose<br />

eyes danced. My head was always slanted to<br />

the side because that is how I focused. It’s<br />

called the “null point.” My eyes slow down<br />

when I tilt my head.<br />

What personal motto do you live by and how<br />

does it affect what you do/don’t do? ”Be the<br />

artist of your life. With every experience, you<br />

alone are painting your own canvas, thought<br />

by thought, choice by choice." Oprah<br />

Tell us something interesting about yourself<br />

that not many people know. I had the<br />

opportunity to dance in a Disneyland parade<br />

– that was a dream come true.<br />


Inspiration from The Dragon Boat Ladies<br />


American International League of Florence, Italy<br />

From: Annapolis, Maryland, USA<br />

Lives: Annapolis, Maryland and Florence, Italy<br />

46<br />

Three years ago, I had a bilateral mastectomy, and this<br />

trauma, life being what it is, has led me to a rowing team<br />

in Italy. I’m now a proud member of the Florence Dragon<br />

Boat Ladies, a group of over thirty Florentine women, each<br />

of whom is a breast cancer survivor. We’re different in<br />

shapes, backgrounds, and interests, but we’re all the same<br />

in our stories, in our fight against breast cancer. When we<br />

talk with each other about that history, we listen deeply,<br />

respectfully, knowing each other’s walk and honoring the<br />

pain. There are Dragon Boat teams all over the world, and<br />

we join together to demonstrate visibly that there’s not<br />

only life after breast cancer but also unity. We row, stroking<br />

together in synchrony, ahead, vai avanti.<br />

I’m American and the only English speaking member of the team. I came to Florence after my<br />

surgeries to heal physically and emotionally. I have done just that.<br />

In May 2017, our team of 22 women, ages 42 to 76, participated in a kind of rowing rally in<br />

Venice. Our boat was the pink one: pink banner, pink shirts, pink caps, pink, pink, pink. As we<br />

took our position among the other 1,250 boats floating in front of Saint Mark’s piazza, we heard<br />

cries of brave ragazze which in English translates to something like, “You go, girls!”<br />

Under cloudy skies, hundreds of Italian boats were joined by teams from all over Europe<br />

including Finland, Great Britain, and Holland, each identified by flying its country’s flag. As a gun<br />

shot announced the start,<br />

the sun appeared, as if on<br />

command, turning the sky<br />

a celestial blue as church<br />

bells chimed throughout<br />

the city, and Alessandro,<br />

our coach, commanded,<br />

Vai ..avanti ...for za! (G o<br />

forward with strength!). As I<br />

listened to the cadence of<br />

the strokes of our oars and<br />

the laughter and cheers of<br />

those around us, tears<br />

swelled and streamed<br />

down my face. My<br />

teammates and I - we<br />

were there; we were the<br />

lucky ones; we survived.

We wove among small craft with single rowers and among grand and elegant wooden boats<br />

trimmed with copper. The course was 32 kilometers, and knowing that we didn’t have the<br />

stamina to complete the entire course, when the prescribed route turned right, we turned left.<br />

The rescue boat appeared immediately and Alessandro asked the guards to accompany us to<br />

the nearby island of Murano since we were cutting a shorter course. They looked at Alessandro<br />

as if he were crazy and told him with a wave of a hand that we should go on alone. I panicked<br />

as I tracked the large waves cascading in front of us, and then I heard our coach say that we<br />

were a team of women who had had problems. With instant recognition, they lifted their red<br />

flag to signal to the large cruisers bearing down on us that we were under their protection. We<br />

paddled again, a single boat of determined women, kept safe by the rescue boat at our side.<br />

As we neared the docks of Murano, the island famous for hand-blown glass, our protectors<br />

motioned to where we should dock. We smiled, waved, and shouted thanks as Alessandro took<br />

control again with, Vai avanti!<br />

A restroom stop, coffee, and cookies. We then formed a line of pink on the bank of our canal<br />

and cheered others as they passed.<br />

With a final warning from Alessandro to make a good impression at the viewing stand (in Italian<br />

something like, “act like you know what you’re doing”), we clambered back into the boat and<br />

took our positions. Knowing that we would soon approach the finish line, we were silent. Cheers<br />

from the thousands of people who watched our floating parade surrounded us, and as we<br />

passed under each bridge, we raised our paddles upwards to greet the cheering crowd. They<br />

all seemed to understand.<br />

The reviewing stand and floating pier came into view, and although my arms ached even after<br />

our shortened course, I felt proud that we had rowed 14 kilometers. The loudspeaker roared,<br />

“The Florence Dragon Boat Ladies have finished the course.” All 22 names were read, “Vanda,<br />

Francesca, Grazia, Cristina, Adrianna,” and the rest, followed by, “They’re survivors of breast<br />

cancer and they hold a message of hope.” With this, we swung our paddles high into the air,<br />

saluting everyone, to choruses of brave ragazze, brave. Then our team grew silent as Suzanna<br />

placed a pink peony onto the water’s surface, “For Anna Maria.” We quietly lifted our oars<br />

once more, for ourselves this time, and spoke in unison, “Anna Maria,” our teammate who died<br />

this Easter. We dedicated our finish to her memory.<br />

I watched the peony float away while my teammates were lost in private thought. I’d never<br />

met Anna Maria, but I had raised my oar, too. I wanted to remember the woman I didn’t know.<br />


I offered my silent respect to all those women who didn’t make it, who had gone before, who<br />

had no choice.<br />

We didn’t win the race, and I don’t even know if there was a winner. It didn’t matter. We had<br />

already won. Vai Avanti!!<br />

The International Breast Cancer<br />

Paddlers’ Commission is organizing the<br />

Dragon Boat festival in Florence 3-8th<br />

July <strong>2018</strong>. The Festival takes place<br />

every 4 years and for the first time it will<br />

be held in Europe. It will involve 129<br />

teams from 17 countries and for the<br />

very first time since it began all the<br />

continents are represented.<br />

It is an international non-competitive participatory event targeting Breast Cancer Survivors<br />

teams who engage in Dragon Boat activities as post-operative rehabilitation. Born from the idea<br />

of a Canadian sports medicine physician, Dr. Don McKenzie, Dragon Boat paddling has<br />

become a rehabilitation therapy for tens of thousands of men and women worldwide who have<br />

undergone surgery.<br />

Organized and promoted by FIRENZE IN ROSA Onlus as the official Organising Committee, the<br />

Florence Festival will be a sporting event but above all a social occasion in which Florence will<br />

welcome from 4,000 to 5,000 people from all over the world. The participants are mainly women<br />

between the ages of 20 and 80, who will meet to take part in the exciting Dragon Boat races,<br />

paddling together on the Arno. They will also be accompanied by their friends and family, their<br />

faithful and enthusiastic supporters.<br />

AILO Florence is actively involved in the Festival by enrolling and instructing ambassadors for all<br />

the teams. They will be helping with translating, getting around Florence etc. Each team will<br />

have an ambassador to welcome them to Florence and help them during their stay.<br />

The program forecasts three days of intense program activity: demonstrations, workshops and<br />

social events aimed at awareness and dialogue within the large international community of<br />

“Breast Cancer Survivors”, in addition to the dragon boat races.<br />

For more information visit http://www.florencebcs<strong>2018</strong>.org/the-event/ or www.ibcpc.com<br />


Inspiration from Morocco<br />


American International <strong>Women</strong>’s Club of<br />

Casablanca, Morocco<br />

From: London, England<br />

Lives: Casablanca, Morocco<br />

49<br />

I was born in London, GB and moved to the<br />

South of France aged 23. I stayed there for ten<br />

years, teaching English in and around<br />

Marseilles. I then moved on to Casablanca,<br />

Morocco, initially for a 2-year contract teaching<br />

English in a Moroccan state lycée. During that<br />

time, I met hubby Kamal and so I have been<br />

based in Casa ever since. I now work as an<br />

English-French translator and interpreter and go<br />

to France around four times a year on 3-week<br />

interpreting missions. We have no children,<br />

although our niece is our “adopted” daughter.<br />

In my sporting life I go jogging and have run<br />

many marathons and half marathons and did<br />

the Marathon des Sables ultra-marathon in<br />

2010. I also enjoy hiking and have done the<br />

London to Brighton 100km walk, the Cancer Research UK Shine night marathon and have<br />

walked the full length of Hadrian’s Wall in the UK.<br />

I was a volunteer for the London Olympics in 2012 and the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow<br />

in 2014 and have volunteered as course marshal for Cancer Research events. I am also a Park<br />

Run running member and volunteer.<br />

I have always jogged<br />

and walked as a leisure<br />

pastime. I got into<br />

marathon running in<br />

2006, and thanks to<br />

jogging buddy Cynthia<br />

Smith-Ayed (FAWCO<br />

Rep for the Casa club<br />

and former FAWCO<br />

Foundation Board<br />

member) I started<br />

running marathons. I<br />

would never have<br />

dreamed I could do it<br />

without Cynthia’s<br />

encouragement and<br />

run/walk method.

Now I have made new friends through<br />

joining a running group and it has been a<br />

way for me to integrate more into the<br />

local community and become less<br />

oriented towards the expat community. I<br />

have found real support and comfort in<br />

difficult times through friends and<br />

acquaintances in the group. They help to<br />

take the focus off the problem and direct<br />

it on to the goal of the next marathon.<br />

I think my running helps me stay fit and<br />

motivated and able to continue working<br />

past retirement age. For a while I was a<br />

member of a hiking club; through this my<br />

eyes were opened to a completely<br />

different side of the country: rural<br />

Morocco. When I started to get more<br />

involved in running and had elderly<br />

relatives to visit more frequently, I<br />

regretfully gave up the hiking club.<br />

In Morocco, the running club starts runs<br />

at 5:45 a.m. Driving through virtually<br />

empty streets is a real pleasure in Casa in<br />

the early morning. The sea is also<br />

beautiful at that time of day and I have<br />

taken many lovely (or so I think) photos.<br />

Through the running, I have learned that<br />

rest is as important as training. If you do<br />

not rest enough between sessions, you<br />

get injuries or your performance will decline because of tiredness. I have also seen that taking<br />

part in marathons can help people in the grieving process after losing a loved one. It gives<br />

them a goal to work towards and that seems to help the healing process. Running is a mental<br />

sport. Of course, you need to train, but ultimately, it’s mind over matter and it’s determination<br />

that will get me through a marathon when physically I’m completely done. I have found that I<br />

can “dig deep” and I usually do finish a race, even if I have to walk towards the end. It gives<br />

me pleasure to say that although I’m slow (over 5 hours for a marathon), I AM a runner, just like<br />

the Ethiopians are runners, and the medal’s the same for everyone.<br />

Although I am not someone who is “good at sport” and have just plodded away at it, I have<br />

done things that many people have not:<br />

• I have walked 100km without sleeping for over 30 hours.<br />

• I have done the Marathon des Sables and spent the night alone in the desert after<br />

getting lost.<br />

• I have raised money for charity through sponsorship and volunteered at sporting events.<br />

• I have organized walking expeditions and encouraged people to get involved in running<br />

and walking.<br />

• I have started an informal weekend walking group in the Casablanca club for ladies<br />

desperate to get out of the city.<br />

• I organize a yearly fun run/walk for a local association for the visually impaired.<br />



Tell us about an event in<br />

your life that made a big<br />

difference and why it did.<br />

Spending the night alone<br />

in the desert when I got<br />

lost in the Marathon des<br />

Sables and coping with<br />

the idea that I actually<br />

might die if I wasn’t found.<br />

I realised that I had a<br />

choice: panic and go to<br />

pieces or stay calm and<br />

try and find a solution. This<br />

taught me that however<br />

bad things seem, just<br />

hang on in there and don’t panic. Never<br />

give up.<br />

What personal motto do you live by and how<br />

does it affect what you do/don’t do? “Trust in<br />

life.” Most of the time “the sea of life” sends<br />

us what we need. Call it the law of<br />

serendipity, God, whatever. When the time is<br />

right, we receive what we need.<br />

If you could meet one famous or influential<br />

woman, alive or dead, who would it be and<br />

why? What would you talk about with her?<br />

Zaynab, queen of Aghmat (the Moroccan<br />

Almoravid dynasty capital), who lived in the<br />

11 th century. Very little is known about her<br />

and I would like to know her life story. I would<br />

talk to her about how she exercised power<br />

through her husbands.<br />

Tell us something interesting about yourself<br />

that not many people know. I was nearly<br />

sent to a special school as a child because I<br />

was not learning to read. As a last resort, the<br />

doctor told my parents to stop reading to me<br />

at night. This they did and within a couple of<br />

weeks I was reading. It turned out that I was<br />

just lazy!<br />

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next issue of <strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong><br />

as soon as it comes out?<br />

Click here to have it sent<br />

directly to your mailbox! Or<br />

scan the QR code.<br />


Sport & Fitness-Antidotes to Life’s Challenges<br />

52<br />

Through my life coaching practice, I have worked closely with<br />

people who have used sport and fitness as motors for moving<br />

through their challenges. To be clear, I am not talking here about<br />

athletic challenges. Rather, I am talking about moving through the<br />

life challenges of loss, abuse, and doubt – in other words,<br />

emotional suffering. Suffering is part of the human experience, and<br />

moving through it means you are alive. Indeed, every life begins<br />

with the physical suffering experienced in the birth canal.<br />

A life coach accompanies a person as they move from where they<br />

are to where they want to be. As a result of a decade of<br />

coaching, my heart is filled with my clients’ inspiring journeys. I can<br />

rattle off the names of people who used sport and fitness to help<br />

them move forward: among them are Simon, Joanne, Pamela,<br />

Alice, and Peter.<br />

Simon and body building<br />

When Simon was a skinny 14 year old who required extra time for his tests at school, he spent<br />

more than a little time angry and insecure because of the disrespect certain kids showed him,<br />

some of whom were big and strong. He decided to take things into his own hands. His body<br />

building started simply enough a few times a week in his bedroom with 20 push-ups, 20 sit-ups, 10<br />

pull-ups, and an arm work-out using his mother’s one kilogram free weights. Steadily his muscle<br />

mass increased. Simon’s mother would find him in front of the mirror flexing his muscles, and soon<br />

enough his classmates noticed. At 16, his work-out includes 150 push-ups with handles, 50 sit-ups,<br />

and 60 pull-ups. He has moved from 1 to 2 to 5 kilogram free weights. His doctor recently<br />

embarrassed him by mentioning his tres joli buste. When he is disrespected at school it doesn’t<br />

bother him like it used to. Simon built more than his body and the ability to throw a mean punch,<br />

if needed. By sticking to a demanding fitness program, he proved to himself that he is selfdisciplined<br />

and courageous, and that has built his self-esteem.<br />

Joanne and yoga<br />

At 39 years old, Joanne was still<br />

suffering from an event that had<br />

occurred almost three decades<br />

earlier. Upon her father’s sudden<br />

death, her mother “checked out” of<br />

life. Joanne became a dutiful little<br />

soldier, taking care of herself from the<br />

time she was 11, and doing her best to<br />

comfort her mother. She repeated the<br />

pattern by marrying an alcoholic; until<br />

she left him. With a new stable<br />

husband, Joanne became a mother,<br />

and it was then that the little soldier started to fall apart. She had always thought of herself as<br />

resilient, but now the anxiety wouldn’t stop. Motherhood made it impossible not to<br />

acknowledge that she had never come to terms with her own mother’s neglect. When Joanne<br />

was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease, her doctor suggested that she practice yoga.<br />

Among other benefits, yoga can reduce levels of cortisol, the hormone responsible for stress and<br />

linked to auto-immune disease. Joanne followed her advice. At the start, her balance was so<br />

poor that she could hold the tree pose for a mere 10 seconds. Her strength was at a low point,<br />

and her body was inflexible from years of physical inactivity. Nonetheless, she persevered. In

addition to attending class, she practiced her sun salutations each morning and learned to<br />

breathe and be still when meditating. After a year, Joanne was marching like a soldier again.<br />

And at the end of our coaching, she was learning to play the piano, something she had always<br />

wanted to do.<br />

Pamela and martial arts<br />

Pamela wasn’t lucky in childhood. She had been physically abused by her father and<br />

emotionally abused by her mother. In her mid-thirties, in therapy, and very pregnant with her<br />

second child, she requested that her parents and siblings join her for a session. It was there that<br />

she realized that she was the only one who wanted harmony in the family. She told me that she<br />

experienced a profound shift and finally understood that things would never get better. She got<br />

back to the business of raising her own family in a healthy way, and to learning to accept her<br />

“new” old reality. Pamela would tell you that the exploration she did with her therapist and<br />

coach brought her a long way forward. Yet she also gives credit to something else – martial arts.<br />

After a couple of years of three-times-a-week practice, Pamela sparred for the first time. She<br />

faced a macho guy, returning his aggressive punches with her own. She felt a new energy when<br />

they met eyes and bowed at the end of the fight. Unlike what Pamela experienced growing up,<br />

this was a fair fight. She had held her own and departed the match with a new dignity and<br />

strength she could call on going forward.<br />

Alice and tennis<br />

Alice was 45 with four children<br />

ranging in age from 4 to 14<br />

years old when her mother<br />

died. She felt responsible. Her<br />

mother had been with her for<br />

the Christmas holidays when<br />

she had chest pain. Rather<br />

than take her to the hospital,<br />

a neighbor who was a doctor<br />

had checked her out and<br />

told Alice: “Your mother’s<br />

heart beats like a 50 year old<br />

woman’s. She just needs<br />

some rest.” Three weeks later, Alice’s mother was found slumped over her kitchen table, dead.<br />

Alice’s grief was overwhelming, and while she did her best to hide it from her children and<br />

husband, it went on for months. Eventually, she told a friend that she was emotionally exhausted<br />

and didn’t know what to do. Her friend invited her to join her Thursday morning tennis group.<br />

Alice hadn’t played tennis since adolescence, but accepted nonetheless. This was the start of a<br />

love affair that endured for the rest of her life. Alice joined a tennis club and went from taking<br />

lessons, to playing doubles on the C team, to playing doubles on the B team, to captaining the B<br />

team, to being nominated Chairwoman of the Tennis Committee. She brought her children to<br />

the tennis courts and taught them to play. One of her proudest moments was winning the club’s<br />

Parent-Child tournament with her son. When her husband was sick with early onset Alzheimer’s,<br />

Alice would sit him on a chair next to the court while she played, and when she mourned his<br />

death, she played tennis the first thing in the morning because she said if she didn’t, she would<br />

be depressed the entire day. Alice knew instinctively that practicing sport made her right, even if<br />

she couldn’t have told you that it was because it permitted her brain to release endorphins.<br />

Peter and spin class<br />

Peter and his brother-in-law were the second generation to lead a successful family-owned<br />

business. At work he was on the ball. But at home the story was different. Peter spent his evenings<br />

watching sports, drinking wine, and falling asleep on the couch. It had been years that his wife<br />

had watched him slowly gain weight and withdraw from family life. Finally, at 55 years old, Peter<br />

decided that he wanted his life back. He attended AA meetings and stopped drinking. He<br />

looked at his body and was disgusted. Peter had always liked cycling, so he tried out a spin<br />


class. His leg muscles felt the fatigue just five<br />

minutes in, but he loved the rock and roll that<br />

the instructor played good and loud, so he<br />

returned again and again. The pounds<br />

began to drop. Peter felt a new spring in his<br />

step. People told him that he looked great.<br />

Then he caught a cold, missed some classes,<br />

and then missed some more. His weight crept<br />

back up, and he started drinking wine. At<br />

one of our coaching sessions, Peter explored<br />

the impacts of the behavioral choices he<br />

had in front of him: drink or stay sober; spin or<br />

watch sports. By the end of the session, he recommitted himself to the healthy life.<br />

I will say it again. These stories and people inspire me. We can all take comfort in the knowledge<br />

that sport and fitness are available as a way to work through the challenges and suffering that<br />

we will face at different times in our lives. Really, aren’t they the most perfect antidotes?<br />

Jane Mobille is an ICF Professional Certified Coach, as well as a facilitator, editor, writer, and pianist.<br />

Previously, she had a 10-year career in telecommunications and as many again in music. Jane runs a<br />

coaching practice for individuals and organizations representing a diversity of ages, cultures, and<br />

professions. She is a member of AAWE, serving as editor of its quarterly magazine. She also authors a<br />

"Teen Coach" column at online magazine INSPIRELLE. Jane and her French husband have a 24-yearold<br />

daughter, and two teenage sons.<br />

<strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong><br />

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Inspiration from a FAWCO Friend<br />


American <strong>Women</strong>’s Club of The Hague<br />

and Amsterdam, Netherlands<br />

From: Huntsville, Alabama and Colorado<br />

Lives: Houten, Netherlands<br />

I started with ballet and jazz, and then<br />

became interested in gymnastics. I was quite<br />

competitive in that sport, and went to<br />

several state championships and the Junior<br />

Olympics. As I got older, I found other sports<br />

to occupy my time. I played volleyball and<br />

softball, then got certified in scuba diving<br />

and skydiving. For a time, I was interested in<br />

skydiving competitively, but I was travelling<br />

for work too much to pursue that. I also enjoy<br />

hiking, skiing, snowmobiling, paragliding,<br />

riding my motorcycle, and many other sports,<br />

but those are hobbies and not pursued at<br />

advanced levels. I taught ballroom dancing<br />

for a time as well.<br />

I guess I’ve always been interested in sports.<br />

From the time I was very little, I wanted to<br />

dance. I think I’ve also always been a bit of a<br />

thrill-seeker. Part of the reason I moved from<br />

dance to gymnastics was so that I could<br />

learn to flip my body through the air. I used<br />

to watch Nadia Comăneci on TV and I<br />

thought what she did was so beautiful and<br />

also so powerful.<br />

I grew up in Alabama, and have lived in<br />

Maryland, Virginia, Texas, Washington<br />

state, and Colorado. I’ve travelled all<br />

over the world, but outside the US I’ve<br />

only lived in the Netherlands. I married a<br />

Dutchman in 2010 and have 2 stepsons. I<br />

spent most of my adult life working in<br />

v arious engineering, I T, and<br />

management positions, but stopped<br />

working in 2015 so that I could focus on<br />

learning Dutch to pass my residency<br />

exam. Instead of learning Dutch (I’m still<br />

working on it!), I got involved with AWC<br />

Amsterdam, then AWC The Hague, and<br />

then FAWCO.<br />


I think sports have had a major impact on<br />

my life and they continue to help me<br />

evolve through determination and focus—<br />

both lessons that my experience in sports<br />

taught me. Also, even though gymnastics<br />

isn’t really a team sport in the traditional<br />

sense of having to work together when<br />

you’re competing, being part of a team<br />

was still an important part of growing up.<br />

We encouraged each other to do our<br />

best, supported each other when we<br />

failed, and learned to manage realistic<br />

expectations while still pushing ourselves to<br />

extremes. I continue to use all those lessons<br />

and expand on them in my current<br />

sporting activities. Most of all, I think sports<br />

have shown me that taking risks can be<br />

very rewarding. Something I may need to<br />

rethink just a bit as I get older….<br />

So many things have surprised me through<br />

my involvement in sports, mainly the things<br />

I never thought I would see or do. I’ve<br />

fallen through a cloud at 7,000 feet and know what a cloud feels like at that altitude. I<br />

understand that the silence of being underwater brings the world around you into focus like<br />

nothing else can. I know the freedom of driving my motorcycle fast (yes, really fast), and the<br />

sensation of the air trying to stop me as I twist the throttle to go even faster. All these experiences<br />

and so many more are both surprising and memorable.<br />

I discovered that sports can be really good for both body and mind, but I also found out that<br />

doing sports to an extreme when you’re young can have some not-so-great impacts on your<br />

body as you get older. I’m glad to see a lot of new technologies being put in place in all sports<br />

that minimize that later damage. When I started in gymnastics, we didn’t have spring floors or<br />

foam pits, or a lot of the “gentler” equipment that is commonplace now. The biggest thing I<br />

learned about myself is that I’m not interested in<br />

competing with others. My desire is to challenge<br />

myself to the maximum that I can, and<br />

encourage others to do the same.<br />

My most important achievement was just<br />

making the cut for my gymnastics team, after<br />

having never competed at that level before. It<br />

wasn’t a real tryout. We were only going to get<br />

some information and then the coach said,<br />

“Let’s see what you can do.” I wasn’t even in a<br />

leotard, but he put me on the balance beam<br />

and then the floor and asked if I could do<br />

certain tricks. Some I had never done before,<br />

but I had seen them on TV. I was extremely<br />

scared, but I gave it my best and he said he<br />

would think about it. I suspect he was testing my<br />

ability to adjust to stress situations as much as my<br />

skills. I don’t remember being more proud of<br />

myself, even when I was winning ribbons and<br />

medals, than I was the day I found out I made<br />


the team. I was 8 years old and absolutely beaming inside.<br />

I think many people want to find a sport to help get into shape, but don’t know where to start. I<br />

think one of the best things someone can do to get involved is to ask yourself what you’re good<br />

at, or what you want to be good at. Then just go for it! Have you always wanted to learn to<br />

dance? Find a local studio and take a lesson. Want to learn to ride a motorcycle? It’s not too<br />

late! Does scuba diving tickle your fancy? There are classes everywhere! Don’t wait or psych<br />

yourself out. Take a chance and see where it leads you.<br />

Within the FAWCO organization I am the 1 st Vice President for Communications—since 2017.<br />

Locally I am the Club & Community Director and also co-president for The Hague club, and I<br />

was the FAWCO Rep for the Amsterdam club.<br />

My FAWCO role uses both my<br />

technical skills in managing the<br />

website and our communication<br />

platforms, and my editing skills for<br />

all our publications (including the<br />

awesome <strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong><br />

magazine that was launched at<br />

the conference in Mumbai).<br />

I love everything philanthropic that<br />

we do in FAWCO, and my<br />

contribution to that is important to<br />

me, but the “behind the scenes”<br />

work getting the organization<br />

running on the Google platform is<br />

what I’m most proud of so far.<br />

Now I just need to get more<br />

registered users onto our website. We have so much to offer that is only for our members and I<br />

would like to see more people take advantage of that.<br />

For me FAWCO represents the hard work and dedication of SO many amazing and talented<br />

women from across the world!<br />


If you could try a sport/fitness activity you’ve<br />

not done before, what would it be and why?<br />

Bungee jumping or motocross riding. I think I<br />

would really like bungee jumping, and<br />

motocross riding looks like a lot of fun, but I<br />

would not want to get too extreme with it. Just<br />

catching a little air with a motorcycle would<br />

be a blast!<br />

Tell us about an event in your life that made a<br />

big difference and why it did. Losing my<br />

grandmother impacted me greatly. We were<br />

very close, and it’s because of her that I chose<br />

my personal motto.<br />

What personal motto do you live by and how<br />

does it affect what you do/don’t do? Never<br />

stop learning and always strive to be a better<br />

person. It really affects everything I do, and it’s<br />

a good reminder when I feel like I’m<br />

overwhelmed that everything is a learning<br />

experience and there is always a silver lining to<br />

be found. Sometimes you just have to examine<br />

the cloud up close ;-)<br />

Tell us something interesting about yourself that<br />

not many people know. I once passed out<br />

while skydiving, woke up still in the air but blind,<br />

and lived to tell the tale!<br />


Inspiration from Italy<br />


American International <strong>Women</strong>’s Club of<br />

Genoa, Italy<br />

From: Genoa, Italy<br />

Lives: Genoa, Italy<br />

used to ride, roller skate and I was pretty good<br />

at windsurfing, but I never joined a<br />

competition. When I was fifty I got my licence<br />

for scuba diving, and I still enjoy it today.<br />

For me sport is about having fun, not a<br />

challenge. Results are not so important as long<br />

as you enjoy what you do. My life is still the<br />

same, with some additional interest. I think<br />

some people focus too much on their activity<br />

so that it becomes an obsession.<br />

Sport is good both for the body and for the<br />

mind; they are a whole and work together and<br />

one affects the other.<br />

An active life helps to keep fit and it is also<br />

important for our brain. It also helps to fight<br />

stress, which is a real poison for us.<br />

I was born in Genoa Italy in 1950, and I have<br />

been living there ever since. I graduated in<br />

Mathematics at Genoa University and shortly<br />

after I got married. I had two sons, Carlo and<br />

Filippo, but unfortunately my marriage ended<br />

in a divorce. I worked in shipping, informatics,<br />

in an interior decoration shop, in a boutique,<br />

as a technical translator etc. I’m now<br />

involved in research about a photographic<br />

archive of pictures dated around 1900.<br />

I started skiing when I was five, but I never<br />

reached any good results. My mother was<br />

very fond of sports, and she wanted me to<br />

enjoy as many sports as possible since I was a<br />

young child. Later I started playing tennis,<br />

and I still do, but at an amateurish level. I<br />


possible, trying to learn from other cultures and<br />

people. Travelling and reading are the best<br />

ways to broaden our visual angle on the world,<br />

I think.<br />

What personal motto do you live by and how<br />

does it affect what you do/don’t do? Interests<br />

not commitments. I try to be interested in as<br />

many things as possible, but I try not be<br />

involved too much in any of them.<br />

If you could meet one famous or influential<br />

woman, alive or dead, who would it be and<br />

why? What would you talk about with her?<br />

Beryl Markham, the first woman to fly alone<br />

across the Atlantic Ocean. She was clever,<br />

courageous and also beautiful. I think that I will<br />

not have much to tell her, but I’ll have much<br />

to listen and learn from her.<br />


If you could try a sport/fitness activity you’ve<br />

not done before, what would it be and why? I’ll<br />

try to learn how to sky dive. I experienced<br />

tandem paragliding and parachuting, and<br />

that parachute jump has especially been one<br />

of the best experiences in my life.<br />

Tell us about an event in your life that made a<br />

big difference and why it did. The turning<br />

point in my life has been the trip around the<br />

world that I made when I was fifty. I spent two<br />

weeks completely alone, meeting people of<br />

all races and nationalities, and I felt absolutely<br />

free. I understood how much we are<br />

conditioned by other’s judgement and why<br />

we shouldn’t be. Now I travel as much as<br />

Tell us something interesting about yourself<br />

that not many people know. I like writing short<br />

stories, some of which are true, others which<br />

aren’t at all!<br />


How Can You Get Involved?<br />

The next <strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong> will be available in late May <strong>2018</strong>. The theme will be <strong>Women</strong> of<br />

Words and Language. As in this edition, we would like to feature profiles of some of the<br />

wonderful women across the FAWCO world. If you know anyone in this field who has done<br />

something of particular interest and would make a good profile, please contact the editor by<br />

April 6, <strong>2018</strong>.<br />

We would also like to feature cover photos taken by or of FAWCO members. The photo<br />

theme should be <strong>Women</strong> of Words and Language.<br />

Photos must be :<br />

PORTRAIT orientation (landscape photos cannot be accepted);<br />

Digital and Color, 150-300 dpi quality and 5-10 MB max.;<br />

Taken by a FAWCO member with details of where and when the photo was taken.<br />

Deadline for submission is April 26, <strong>2018</strong><br />

Please send to Marie-Bénédicte at inspiringwomen.cover@fawco.org.<br />

N.B. Accreditation will be given for photos used but no payment is possible.<br />


We want this magazine to be interesting for all FAWCO members. In an<br />

effort to provide articles of interest to all of our readers, we have created<br />

an online feedback questionnaire. It should only take a few minutes of your<br />

time to complete and will be a great help to us!<br />

Please click on the link or paste it into your browser<br />

to complete the survey.<br />

https://s.surveyplanet.com/Skx7ski6Uf<br />

Thanks very much indeed!<br />


<strong>Inspiring</strong> You<br />

Founded in 1931, FAWCO is a global women’s NGO (Non-Governmental Organization), an<br />

international network of independent volunteer clubs and associations comprising 63<br />

member clubs in 33 countries worldwide, with a total membership of around 10,000. FAWCO<br />

serves as a resource and a voice for its members; seeks to improve the lives of women and<br />

girls worldwide, especially in the areas of human rights, health, education and the<br />

environment; advocates for the rights of US citizens overseas; and contributes to the global<br />

community through its Global Issues Teams and The FAWCO Foundation, which provides<br />

development grants and education awards. Since 1997, FAWCO has held special<br />

consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council.<br />


FAWCO is an international federation of independent organizations whose mission is<br />

• to build strong support networks for its American and international membership;<br />

• to improve the lives of women and girls worldwide;<br />

• to advocate for the rights of US citizens overseas; and<br />

• to mobilize the skills of its membership in support of global initiatives for education, the<br />

environment, health and human rights.<br />

For more information about this magazine, please contact<br />

<strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong> Editor in Chief Liz MacNiven at<br />

inspiringwomen.editor@fawco.org<br />

For more information on how to advertise in this magazine,<br />

please contact FAWCO Advertising and Sponsorship Manager<br />

Elsie Bose at advertising@fawco.org<br />


Thanks to Alicia, Anna, Gwen, Jill, Krishna, Kirsten, Laura,<br />

Laurie, Libby, Lyn, Maggi, Renuka, Samantha, Sarah, Teresa,<br />

Urte and the ladies of AWC Amsterdam for taking the time to participate in this<br />

edition and for the use of their photos and those of their friends and family.<br />

Liz and Elsie at the Mumbai Conference<br />

Thanks to Robin for her Home and Away thoughts and Jane for her antidotes.<br />

Special thanks to the proofreading team of: Sallie Chaballier (AAWE Paris), Laurie<br />

Brooks (AWC Amsterdam and AWC The Hague), Janet Davis (AIWC Cologne), Mary<br />

Dobrian (AIWC Cologne), Cynthia Lehman (AIWC Cologne), Carol-Lyn McKelvey<br />

(AIWC Cologne and FAUSA), and Jenny Taylor (AIWC Cologne and Düsseldorf).<br />


FAWCO receives financial remuneration for page space from advertisers. Views expressed or<br />

benefits described in any display advert, advertorial or in any webpage visited online directly<br />

from these adverts, are not endorsed by FAWCO.<br />


Don’t Miss the Next Issue of<br />

<strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong> due out May 29, <strong>2018</strong><br />

“<strong>Women</strong> of Words & Language”<br />

She has a Way with Words…<br />

Written, Spoken or Refined. Help us Find Her for our Next Issue!<br />

We want to learn how one becomes successful in the world of words. Written or spoken?<br />

Poetry or prose? Novelist or journalist? Do you have the passion that runs wild as an<br />

author or possess the steely Zen of one who edits? Do you express yourself in your mother<br />

tongue or a second language? We are interested in finding out what makes our profilees<br />

pick up their pens and articulate their thoughts and visions in a way that makes it’s mark<br />

on others.<br />

The process is simple. Send the name of the candidate, her club affiliation, her email address<br />

and a BRIEF description of why she would be an interesting person to profile, to Liz MacNiven:<br />

inspiringwomen.editor@gmail.com not later than April 6, <strong>2018</strong>.<br />

Let the entrepreneurs in your club know that <strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong> is a great place to promote their<br />

products or services. To advertise in <strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong>, Contact Elsie Bose: advertising@fawco.org<br />

Thanks to the Official Premier Sponsor of <strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong>:<br />


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