Inspiring Women Summer 2019

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June <strong>2019</strong>, Volume 3, Issue 2<br />

September 2017, Volume 1, Issue 3<br />



The Travel Issue – A Brief Intro 4<br />

Nairobi, Kenya: A Life Spent in Africa 5<br />

Basel, Switzerland: Guiding Visitors to the City 9<br />

Luxembourg: Small But Perfectly Formed! 15<br />

Bogotá, Colombia: Flying All Over the World 19<br />

Copenhagen, Denmark: Dancing the Tango 26<br />

Casablanca, Morocco: In the Spice Market 30<br />

Lyon, France: Interpreting What I See 33<br />

Nairobi, Kenya: A Second View 41<br />

Bern, Switzerland: From Peru to Europe 44<br />

Genoa, Italy: Cruising Round the World 50<br />

Berkshire, England: From Australia With Love 53<br />

Frankfurt, Germany: Walking Tours 60<br />

Marrakesh, Morocco: Magical Medinas 63<br />

Barcelona, Spain: Remember to Look Up 65<br />


Paris, France: April 15, <strong>2019</strong> - The Fire 13<br />

Be Our Guest. Just Don’t Let the Cat Out 23<br />

Just For Fun 1 32<br />

The Beauty of Kenya: A Poem 36<br />

<strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong> Travel Quiz 37<br />

The Journey: 1975/76 in the USA 48<br />


Inspiration From the Editor 3<br />

From the Cover Coordinator 3<br />

<strong>Inspiring</strong> You 68<br />

Magazine Feedback 68<br />

More About This Issue 69<br />

A Club Inspires: AWC Bogotá 56<br />

Just For Fun 2 62<br />

Dalmahoy Hotel p.12 Janet Darrow p.35<br />

London & Capital p.18 The Pajama Company p.25<br />


INDEX<br />

<strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong> would like to thank our long-term advertisers for supporting us:<br />

Janet Darrow, The Pajama Company and London & Capital. For this special<br />

“travel issue” we welcome the Dalmahoy Hotel and Country Club from<br />

Edinburgh, Scotland, the venue for FAWCO’s recent Biennial Conference.<br />

FAWCO club members - do you 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. We offer great rates<br />

and comprehensive packages for almost any budget.<br />


Inspiration From the Editor<br />

This issue is all<br />

about travel so I<br />

thought I would<br />

see what the<br />

internet had to say<br />

about it:<br />

T r a v e l T r i v i a<br />

( i n f o r m a t i o n<br />

c o u r t e s y o f<br />

Wikipedia)<br />

Travel is the<br />

m o v e m e n t o f<br />

p e o p l e b e t w e e n d i s t a n t<br />

geographical locations and travellers are<br />

those who travel. Personally, I think you<br />

could quite legitimately also define a<br />

traveller as a woman involved in FAWCO!<br />

We’ve all travelled at least once from our<br />

home countries and often many times. The<br />

women in this issue of <strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong> are<br />

no different.<br />

The origin of the word "travel", first used in<br />

the 14th century, may be from the Old<br />

French word travail, which means “work”.<br />

According to Simon Winchester in his<br />

book The Best Travelers' Tales (2004), the<br />

word "travel" has an ancient root: a Roman<br />

instrument of torture called the tripalium. It<br />

makes you realise that travel in ancient<br />

times must have been somewhat different<br />

to what we think of when we use the word<br />

today (although I’m sure we’ve all got our<br />

tale of travel woe to share!)<br />

Today we can travel relatively easily and<br />

quickly depending on our destination. It’s<br />

quite something to remember that<br />

Christopher Columbus took over 10 weeks<br />

to get to his final destination, a journey that<br />

today would take just a few hours.<br />

Travel for pleasure dates back to the<br />

wealthy Greeks and Romans who travelled<br />

for leisure to their summer homes and villas.<br />

Then in the late 16th century it became<br />

fashionable for young Europeans to do a<br />

“Grand Tour” round Europe as part of their<br />

education. It wasn’t until the advent of the<br />

railway networks in the 19th century that<br />

more people could travel for fun as travel<br />

was no longer a hard and challenging task.<br />

Since then a whole travel industry has<br />

grown up and we haven’t looked back!<br />

So that’s travel according to the internet. Now<br />

for travel according to a group of FAWCO<br />

women from around the world. Hope you<br />

enjoy the read! Don’t forget to complete our<br />

survey to let us know what you think (p. 68)....<br />

Best wishes, Liz x<br />

Liz MacNiven,<br />

inspiringwomen.editor@fawco.org<br />

From the Cover Coordinator<br />

The cover photo for this issue is made up of photographs taken by Fannie<br />

Kakonge and Patricia Jentz, the FAWCO Co-Representatives of AWA<br />

(American <strong>Women</strong>'s Association) Kenya. The beautiful Maasai ladies<br />

Fannie met in Nairobi and the animals shot "live" by Patricia, depict the<br />

specificities of this country and reveal its wild beauty .<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 the photo<br />

requirements on page 56 of this magazine. Please note: we can only<br />

accept portrait orientation images.<br />


“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.”<br />

— Susan Sontag<br />

Welcome to our first “travel issue”! We thought that the best way to get you around<br />

the world was to ask FAWCO members to tell us about how they came to fall in love<br />

with the cities that they live in and tell us how they have been able to convert that<br />

love in way that can be shared with others.<br />

When we meet other FAWCO club members we know that we have at least one<br />

thing in common: the desire to take adventures beyond our borders and experience<br />

things that make us grow and expand our personal horizons. We are curious. But we<br />

are not afraid.<br />

And let’s reflect on those experiences. For me, it has been laying a wreath as part of<br />

a delegation commemorating the 50 th anniversary of D-Day in Bastogne, attending a<br />

cocktail party inside the Kremlin, visiting the sights of Jerusalem, taking the most<br />

breath-taking morning run around the Wohlensee in Switzerland (Yes! The hills were<br />

actually alive with the sound of...music!) and achieving a lifelong dream to visit China<br />

and walk on the Great Wall.<br />

Over the years, one of the wonderful aspects of being part of FAWCO is talking to<br />

members of clubs from other cities. No matter how remote or exotic a place is, to<br />

them it is their home away from home and there is something unique about it that<br />

they willingly share. Sometimes it’s something they don’t tell friends and family back<br />

home, but they’ll share with you because as a FAWCO club member we do have<br />

that one thing in common. We are curious. We are not afraid- we get it.<br />

Elsie Bose<br />


Nairobi, Kenya: A Life Spent in Africa<br />


American <strong>Women</strong>’s Association of Kenya<br />

From: California<br />

Lives: Nairobi, Kenya<br />

I spent most of my childhood in sunny Southern<br />

California in a lovely small town surrounded by<br />

orange groves. Everyone knew their neighbors and<br />

were connected in many ways. My father was a big<br />

fan of camping and fishing; he gave me exposure to<br />

wilderness training and a love for nature and the<br />

great outdoors. My mother, “a people person”, had<br />

a passion for helping others and recruited her<br />

children to help her with her church charities.<br />

After high school I attended several colleges over a<br />

period of 8 years and moved to many cities in<br />

California: in South Lake Tahoe, I was a maid; in<br />

Sacramento, I was a live-in attendant for an elderly<br />

person; in Reseda I was a live-in student with a family<br />

while doing mostly computer and office work for companies in the San Fernando Valley and<br />

attending college at night. I graduated from Pierce College with degree in Graphic Design<br />

then went to Northridge University where I studied Business Administration. These experiences<br />

made me flexible and accommodating.<br />

While working for an NGO in Ventura County California I developed a software program to<br />

track and report to 11 affiliate countries 21,000 sponsored children in Africa. Through this I ended<br />

up going to Kenya in the early 80’s, eventually becoming the East African Coordinator and<br />

managing educational programs and working in Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo<br />

(DRC) and Kenya. I found the<br />

women in these countries very<br />

loving and welcoming even if we<br />

didn’t speak the same language.<br />

Our NGO hired an accountant<br />

whom travelled with me to 8 field<br />

offices in three African countries.<br />

While travelling and working<br />

together in very remote unsecure<br />

areas Molongo, DRC and<br />

Karamoja, Uganda we fell in<br />

love. My husband now of 33<br />

years came home to California<br />

with me to ask my father for my<br />

hand in marriage in 1986. I was 29<br />

years old at the time.<br />

5<br />

Me in Africa in the 80’s

Deepak and I lived in Southern California two<br />

years before returning to live in Kenya. In late<br />

80’s Kenya everyone knew each other and<br />

there was trust and bartering between<br />

neighbors and merchants; for example when<br />

you went to the grocery store if you didn’t<br />

have any money, they would just write your<br />

name and amount owed in an exercise book<br />

and you paid on your next visit. Living and<br />

working in Nairobi you felt like you were in a<br />

small town, like the one where I grew up.<br />

In 2002 we returned to the United States and<br />

bought a 55-room franchise hotel in South<br />

Carolina. But after 8 years we sold our hotel Children learning about their culture<br />

and moved back to Kenya. When arriving<br />

back, Nairobi had greatly changed however; I still found many of the friendly generous<br />

accommodating merchants and people I had left behind were still where I had left them. The<br />

newspaper man on the corner selling papers, our vegetable lady still came to my mother-inlaw’s<br />

home and a few of my old friends had not left the country. Nairobi still felt like home.<br />

I joined AWA upon my return to Kenya and found many women were new to Nairobi and<br />

needed to feel comfortable and familiar with their surroundings. My new friends also had many<br />

foreign visitors they wanted to show Nairobi. Taking them around Nairobi the city I know so well<br />

was sheer joy for me and seeing their amazement of the unique animals and places in Nairobi.<br />

They also needed help with practical everyday living in Nairobi as finding similar ingredients to<br />

cook with which can be a challenge for someone from another country. Connecting new<br />

women with Kenyan women is exciting too. We have so much in common and so much we can<br />

learn from each other.<br />


What are your top 5 places to visit where you<br />

live?<br />

1. Daphne Sheldrick’s elephant orphanage<br />

because of all the new personalities of<br />

elephants I see each time I visit and it is in<br />

beautiful nature surrounds on a hill<br />

overlooking the national game park.<br />

2. Zen Restaurant because of the large<br />

Feng Shui designed garden and healthy<br />

locally grown vegetables and, luckily for<br />

me, I know the owner.<br />

3. Hemmingways for High Tea – Love the<br />

décor and landscaping and the ceramic<br />

tea pots and cakes they serve.<br />

4. The National Game Park – I like the<br />

openness and adventure of watching<br />

beautiful African animals in their natural<br />

environment and homes.<br />

5. Sweet Waters in Nanyuke 2 hours drive.<br />

You will see all the game you would see<br />

in the Mara in a small area at the base of<br />

beautiful Mt. Kenya located in Ol Jogi<br />

Wildlife conservancy. Sweet Waters is<br />

clean and comfortable with a tented<br />

camp overlooking wildlife water whole.<br />

One morning I got up and could see the<br />

sun rising above the snow-covered peaks<br />

of Mt. Kenya and about 30 giraffes<br />

drinking at the waterhole. It was like a<br />

ballet. So natural and graceful.<br />


Tell us about a typical day for you. Leave<br />

home at 10 am to miss the traffic. Arrive at<br />

Daphne Sheldrick’s Elephant orphanage<br />

located in the Nairobi National Game Park on<br />

the south side of Nairobi at 11am. The area is<br />

bush like so it is advisable to wear casual jeans<br />

and tennis shoes.<br />

Daphne by God’s grace was given a small<br />

bungalow in the National Park after her<br />

husband died where she started a trust in her<br />

husband’s name for orphaned elephants. I<br />

have found zebra and rhino there on occasion<br />

too. I have been visiting this location since it<br />

started in the 1980’s and seen the babies<br />

increase in number. I am thankful for Daphne’s<br />

compassion and commitment to these<br />

beautiful little ones.<br />

The baby elephants are<br />

fascinating to watch. They<br />

remind me of naughty<br />

children. They sometimes will<br />

come under the perimeter<br />

rope and wipe mud all over<br />

you if you are not careful. The<br />

orphanage is open only for an<br />

hour when they feed the baby<br />

elephants at the waterhole.<br />

12 pm we continue only 10<br />

minutes away to the Giraffe<br />

Manor where we stand on a<br />

wooden gazebo and feed<br />

giraffes for about 30 minutes!<br />

It’s beautiful and breathtaking<br />

to find yourself standing next to<br />

a 6.1 metre tall velvet coated<br />

Tribal dancing display in Nairobi<br />

animal with black eyes the<br />

size of golf balls; the giraffes<br />

are very friendly.<br />

12:45 pm we travel another<br />

10 mins to Utamadumi for<br />

lunch and shopping. It was<br />

started by Maive Leakey, Dr.<br />

Richard Leakey’s wife,<br />

collecting fine African<br />

handcrafts from across Africa.<br />

This is a two-story house with<br />

16 rooms of items from baby<br />

cloths to kitchen wares. The<br />

garden restaurant there has<br />

excellent sandwiches.<br />

After lunch we travel through<br />

beautiful Langata up market<br />

neighborhood to the suburb of Karen (where<br />

Out of Africa was filmed) and the story<br />

originated to a ceramic bead factory for a<br />

tour and shopping.<br />

3 pm we drive a very short distance for High<br />

Tea at Hemingway's, owned by Richard<br />

Branson (Virgin Airways). Stepping out of the<br />

car at the front entrance you feel you are<br />

stepping into another world, very simple, clean<br />

and luxurious. High Tea is served every day<br />

from 3pm to 5pm on the back veranda of the<br />

hotel that looks out over the famous Ngong<br />

hills. Tea includes your choice of hot beverage<br />

and three trays with scones, layered cakes<br />

and finger sandwiches.<br />

4 pm back to Nairobi after a full day.<br />


What is the best-kept secret in your city? First<br />

are the back roads to avoid traffic around<br />

Nairobi and second is Karura Forest (2,570<br />

acres), just 15 minutes away from Nairobi city<br />

center and you are in a beautiful quiet forest<br />

filled with well-posted walking paths and a<br />

large lily pond and a substantial water fall! My<br />

husband and I walk 5 miles through this lush<br />

indigenous forest almost every Sunday.<br />

What is the one thing you see someone do that<br />

makes you know that they are a tourist? Allow<br />

hawkers in the vegetable or artisan markets to<br />

look among the vendors for whatever the<br />

tourists are trying to find. The hawkers will chat<br />

them up then take them to the artisan or<br />

vegetable stands to meet the vendor and the<br />

vendor will add an additional 20% on to the<br />

price to pay the hawker.<br />

If you could travel to one place you’ve never<br />

been, where would it be? Cape Town the<br />

oldest South African City. There are lots of<br />

beautiful beaches, horseback safaris, diverse<br />

landscape, it’s clean, with all the<br />

conveniences of a developed country and I<br />

have two friends that live in the area.<br />

What is your “other” favorite city in the world?<br />

Leicester in the UK. Leicester has lovely green<br />

fields and sheep farms and canals and walking<br />

paths with great shopping areas.<br />

What is your favorite mode of transport? Train<br />

because I like to see the landscape and<br />

people as I travel through and enjoy sleeping<br />

on the train.<br />

You Tube video of Kenya<br />


Basel, Switzerland: Guiding Visitors to the City<br />


American <strong>Women</strong>’ Club of Basel, Switzerland<br />

From: Henderson, North Carolina<br />

Lives: Basel, Switzerland<br />

I grew up in Hendersonville, North Carolina on my family’s<br />

apple farm. I remember my mother would encourage my<br />

sister and me to play outside and imagine what could be…<br />

For me, this meant pretending to prepare and serve elegant<br />

meals to people who were wealthy and world-travelled.<br />

These delicious meals were made out of mud, presented on<br />

the old pottery my parents used when they were first<br />

married. I would also pretend that my bicycle would propel<br />

me to far away lands that I read about in the Encyclopedia<br />

Britannica books that my parents purchased from a door-todoor<br />

salesman one summer. Every Saturday morning meant<br />

that I would get to accompany my mother to the salon<br />

where she had her hair styled. I was inspired by all the<br />

magazines and dreamt about the faraway places I would visit, the exotic foods I could eat and<br />

the fashion I could see.<br />

Once I left home and finished college, I was soon married and then along came my son and<br />

daughter. I worked part-time until Christopher and Megan were in high school. I worked for<br />

Continental Airlines so, as a family, we could travel the world. I believed that traveling outside<br />

our comfort zones and realizing that we<br />

are not the only people on the planet was<br />

the best education I could give my<br />

children. My husband and I love to travel<br />

to any country where we can enjoy the<br />

local culture with cuisine and wine. Our<br />

favorite wine country is Italy. We fantasize<br />

about owning a vineyard one day.<br />

My husband’s job moved us from North<br />

Carolina to Atlanta, Georgia to Miami,<br />

Florida and then to Basel, Switzerland.<br />

Through our life in Basel I’ve found myself<br />

wanting to share its culture and history<br />

with others. In addition to sharing this with<br />

my family and friends who visit, what<br />

better way to help make a memorable<br />

impression of Basel for others than the<br />

captive audience a local river cruise<br />

company provides?<br />



What are your top 5 places to visit where you<br />

live and why?<br />

1. The Muenster Church and Muenster Square<br />

for its rich history dating back to the First<br />

Century. The actual church turns 1000 years<br />

old this year!<br />

2. Mittlere Bruecke - The Middle Bridge:<br />

Originally built in the 13th century by Emperor<br />

Heinrich II. and constructed of wood and<br />

stone so that it could be burned down, if<br />

needed, to protect the city. The bridge today<br />

is reconstructed out of stone to allow the trams<br />

to cross. It is the oldest crossing point on the<br />

Rhine between Lake Constance and the North<br />

Sea. Death sentences were carried out here<br />

by throwing people who committed crimes off<br />

the bridge into the Rhine until about 1600,<br />

when most criminals had learned how to swim.<br />

3. A long walk down Freiestrasse to Marktplatz<br />

to Schifflaende and over the Mittlere Bruecke<br />

every Saturday with my husband after we<br />

have coffee. We shop for food at the farmer’s<br />

market while sampling a variety of cheeses<br />

and have lunch at an Irish pub before<br />

returning home in the afternoon.<br />

4. The Blue and White Houses - Very large<br />

stately homes built just after the reformation<br />

and still well kept today by the Basel<br />

Government and used as offices for Social<br />

Services and Environment. Rich in the history of<br />

the beginning of the chemical industry, which<br />

then morphed into the pharmaceutical<br />

industry that eventually brought us to Basel for<br />

my husband’s career.<br />

At the Muenster Kirche<br />

5. My favorite place to ski is in Zermatt,<br />

Switzerland. We spend a week every<br />

December/January and include our family<br />

from the US whenever possible. It is truly a<br />

Winter Wonderland.<br />

Tell us about a typical day for you A typical<br />

day with guests from our local<br />

river cruise company consists of<br />

helping plan their time in Basel.<br />

Guiding them through the Old<br />

Town of Basel on a 2-hour<br />

historical walking tour, pointing<br />

out monuments, buildings,<br />

churches and giving them facts<br />

and some fun stories about living<br />

in Switzerland. Most guests are<br />

fascinated about what they see<br />

and hear on my tour, but mostly<br />

ask questions about why I came<br />

to live here and how life in<br />

another country compares to<br />

the USA. (95% of our guests are<br />

from the USA).<br />


Skiing at Zermatt<br />

If you could travel to one place you’ve never<br />

been, where would it be? Egypt. I have always<br />

been intrigued by Cleopatra’s history and all of<br />

the pyramids there.<br />

What is your “other” favorite city in the world?<br />

Vienna, Austria. I love the musical history, the<br />

art and the architecture there.<br />

What is your favorite mode of transport and<br />

why? Train. I love taking the train throughout<br />

Switzerland and seeing the snow-covered<br />

villages that you cannot see by car. Also, the<br />

train just lulls you into a peacefulness like<br />

nothing else.<br />

I will also suggest restaurants and make dinner<br />

reservations; teach guests how to use the<br />

trams (public transport); help them find the<br />

museums and/or get them set up at the train<br />

station to take a day trip to the Alps.<br />

What is the best-kept secret in your city/<br />

country? The wine from the Valais region is<br />

exceptionally delicious for Switzerland.<br />

Hosting an AWC Basel Christmas Tea<br />

What is the one thing you see someone do that<br />

makes you know that they are a tourist? When<br />

I hear someone in the Marktplatz farmers’<br />

market asking if the merchants accept US<br />

Dollars for payment. ;-) Or if I hear someone<br />

speaking American English asking for directions<br />

to the Old Town.<br />

You Tube video of Switzerland<br />


12<br />

"Wherever you<br />

go becomes a<br />

part of you,<br />

somehow."<br />

Indian Novelist,<br />

Anita Desai

Paris, France: April 15, <strong>2019</strong> - The Fire<br />

I did not look at the north rose window as I hurried into<br />

the chancel to make my announcement for the 2:30<br />

tour. I never do. The north rose is enchanting. If I look<br />

at it for even a second, I will delay, and I will be late. I<br />

have been doing this for twelve years next month, and<br />

I know my weaknesses.<br />

Announcement made, I walked back to the front of<br />

the cathedral with my new, wonderful, official “ND”<br />

flag in hand, (burnt now, I suppose,) to see the results. I<br />

had 42 people on my tour. Way too many, but most of<br />

the stalwart souls who couldn’t really hear me stuck it<br />

out until the end. I suspect that now they, like me, will<br />

have a story to tell their grandchildren.<br />

I live a three-minute walk from Notre Dame Cathedral<br />

of Paris, on the south side of the Seine. On that day I<br />

was sitting at my computer when I got a text message<br />

from Rebecca Bouygues at 7:28 pm: “NDP on fire! Go<br />

look!” Rebecca is a fellow guide, President of the<br />

American Catholic <strong>Women</strong>’s Organization and the<br />

legendary brownie maker of the Association of<br />

American <strong>Women</strong> in Europe (AAWE). Suffice it to say, she is not given to hyperbole. I grabbed<br />

my coat, my keys, my ND badge and my phone and ran out onto the Quai de la Tournelle. Cars<br />

were still going past. It all happened so very quickly. I saw the flames. I saw the roof on fire. I saw<br />

the spire collapse. I remember holding onto a stanchion for support. Finally, chased out by the<br />

police, I went home to watch TV. I went back out an hour or so later to join the vigil in the street.<br />

I live almost equidistant from Sallie Chaballier and Suzanne Wheeler (and, yes, that does make<br />

for a great volunteer opportunity, my dear FAWCO friends). My internet and TV were out the<br />

following day - because of the fire or all the TV trucks, no idea, so I didn’t see pictures of the TV<br />

cameras posed on Suzanne’s balcony or the soot than fell near her apartment until much later.<br />

Notre Dame has been my pierre<br />

d’angle (Editor’s note: in case<br />

your French isn’t up to it, this<br />

means cornerstone!) since I<br />

arrived in Paris in 2004. Everyone<br />

seems to know this. I have said<br />

an embarrassing number of<br />

times about ND, that I can bore<br />

the living s**t out of every soul<br />

on God’s green earth. So I<br />

received innumerable texts,<br />

phone calls and e-mails<br />

Monday evening - many from<br />

FAWCO friends who have been<br />

subjected to my ranting on<br />

about Louis XI and XIII and XIV<br />

and XIII and XVII and so on.<br />


Hysteria spreads quickly and, at one point, I was told that the bells were melting. The funniest<br />

question was from a friend who asked me if I had a “firesafe.” I replied that I have a dandy, cast<br />

iron Le Creuset pot, in which I keep my passport and some emergency cash. As a fully efficient<br />

FAWCO gal, the passport and emergency cash were, of course, in a Ziplock bag inside the Le<br />

Creuset pot. Still are.<br />

Yesterday I was so bereaved, I could barely speak. When I was out walking, trying to get close<br />

to the cathedral’s north side, I ran into a French friend. He told me the flying buttresses had<br />

moved. Since the flying buttresses were built specifically to withstand stress, that seemed<br />

alarming but okay. As I had given what was, almost certainly, the last tour in English, I got<br />

interviewed by the British TV channel, Channel 4.<br />

Today, things are looking up. The millions and millions of euros needed to rebuild Notre Dame<br />

are pouring in. Most of the<br />

artworks seem to have been<br />

saved. It appears that the<br />

iconic 14 th century Virgin of the<br />

Pillar is still standing. And the<br />

famous pieta in the chancel<br />

seems to have come through<br />

the blaze more or less intact.<br />

Yesterday, it seemed that I<br />

might not get back into the<br />

Cathedral in my lifetime,<br />

remembering that it took Viollet<br />

-le-Duc and his team 20 years<br />

to restore ND in the mid-19 th<br />

century. But, as I write this,<br />

architects are already arguing<br />

(it’s France) and theorizing (it’s Notre Dame before the fire<br />

France) about how to rebuild a<br />

different roof, as there are not 1,300, 800-year-old oak beams to be found anywhere.<br />

I am remembering my own words. When people would ask me, “When was Notre Dame<br />

finished?” I always responded that the custodians were continually fiddling with things. At one<br />

of our obligatory volunteer meetings, the topic under discussion was “The Modern Windows.” I<br />

assumed, of course, that this meant the abstract, post WWII stained glass windows by Jacques<br />

le Chevalier. Nope. In Notre Dame terms, “modern” meant the 19 th century windows by Didron<br />

and his team.<br />

This time round, Notre Dame will be even more modern. By necessity. And with any luck at all, I’ll<br />

still be around to give another tour.<br />

Rebecca DeFraites has called Paris home for 15 years. She and her late husband, Gerry, sold<br />

their house in New Orleans, retired and moved to Paris in 2004. She is a past President of AWG<br />

Paris and is also a member of AAWE. She served as interim FAWCO 2 nd VP, from 2016 – 2017,<br />

and has held the position of FAWCO Membership Chair since 2017. She is also past President of<br />

the American Catholic <strong>Women</strong>’s Organization (of Paris.)<br />

When not in Paris, you will likely find Rebecca on a home exchange. She and Gerry began<br />

exchanging their home in 1987 (New Orleans and then Paris) and, to date, she has completed<br />

50 successful home exchanges. This summer she will be in San Francisco, Washington DC and<br />

New Orleans, while other liked-minded, intrepid souls are in her Paris apartment. Although she<br />

will, sadly, not be giving tours of Notre Dame for a while, she assures me that no grass will be<br />

growing under her feet.<br />


Luxembourg: Small But Perfectly Formed!<br />


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

From: Bexley, UK<br />

Lives: Wasserbillig, Luxembourg<br />

I grew up in Bexley, a suburb just southeast of London,<br />

England, in the county of Kent – a very stable upbringing<br />

attending local schools and making some great friends<br />

who I still see today when I’m back in the UK. I went on to<br />

study chemistry at the University of Exeter and thoroughly<br />

enjoyed student life down in Devon, at the same time<br />

realizing that chemistry was never going to be my<br />

choice of career! As a student, I spent two summers with<br />

friends travelling around Europe by train on an Interrail<br />

pass – so maybe that’s where I caught the travel bug.<br />

A post-university temp job for a major building society<br />

gave me the opportunity to apply for permanent<br />

positions internally – so I landed in the financial services world by chance. My research and<br />

analysis background turned out to be good grounding for analysing competitor companies,<br />

which I did for several years. I stayed with the same business, and the bank that acquired it, for<br />

my entire UK career, morphing into various different roles and lastly a communications position -<br />

writing and editing financial content for different media, amongst other things.<br />

In my single days, I was fortunate to get to travel to several places in the US, courtesy of friends<br />

of friends (so no accommodation costs!) – including Texas, Alaska, California and New York City<br />

– as well as taking plenty of the usual sun-based holidays to various Greek and Spanish islands,<br />

and European city breaks.<br />

In 2010 my husband was asked to<br />

extend his contract with a UK company<br />

in order to cover a vacant role in<br />

Luxembourg, flying in and out each<br />

week from the UK, for six months. He<br />

was soon offered the job on a<br />

permanent basis, and I applied for a<br />

career break from my job in London.<br />

We made the full-time move to Lux in<br />

2011 and have been here ever since,<br />

recently moving from the suburbs of<br />

Luxembourg City to the wine-growing<br />

region along the River Moselle, on the<br />

country’s border with Germany.<br />

Luxembourg is a small country, but<br />

charms many who take the time to<br />

appreciate it, and persuades a lot of us<br />

who only intended to stay a short while<br />

With Ian on the Biltmore Estate<br />


to put down deeper roots. So, I guess I like to share that thought with visiting friends and anyone<br />

who’s interested.<br />

The country’s nationality requirements changed a couple of years ago, making it easier for<br />

foreigners like myself to acquire citizenship. So, after taking a year to learn the Luxembourgish<br />

language and finding out more about the country in citizenship classes, I became keener to get<br />

involved. My citizenship finally came through earlier this year, so I now have dual British-<br />

Luxembourgish nationality. (The reason I’m looking so pleased in my headshot photo is that I’d<br />

just found out I’d passed the language exams!)<br />

I organize a monthly meeting at AWCL called Travel Talk, the main feature of which is that each<br />

month a member talks about her home city, region or country – or one she knows well – as a<br />

potential travel destination. We also make time to share our own recent travel experiences,<br />

recommend upcoming events or ask each other travel questions. It’s proved to be a popular<br />

formula. Thanks to the generosity of our speakers giving their time to prepare and to speak, and<br />

we’ve managed to cover many places<br />

in Europe and beyond, but there are<br />

plenty more still to explore!<br />

Afterwards, we go and try out a local<br />

restaurant – in keeping with the country<br />

theme if possible, or otherwise,<br />

somewhere new to the group.<br />

My Travel Talk co-host, Mary Jo<br />

Magruder, was instrumental in pulling<br />

together a series of chats called “Living<br />

in Luxembourg” to help newcomers<br />

learn about various practical aspects<br />

of life in the Grand Duchy, such as the<br />

health system, public transportation<br />

and pet care, in an informal way. I AWC Luxembourg Travel Talk Group<br />

facilitate the “Ticket to Ride” public<br />

transport chat, explaining how best to use the bus, train and tram here, and hopefully<br />

encouraging members to leave the car at home sometimes.<br />


What are your top 5 places to visit where you<br />

live and why? In Luxembourg City, the Grund<br />

area, for its picturesque bridges, views to the<br />

upper old towns, steep cobbled streets and<br />

the Abbaye Neumunster courtyard, looking up<br />

to the centuries-old Bock casemates dug into<br />

the rock walls of the valley.<br />

Also in Lux City, but in the newer Kirchberg<br />

quarter, for the contrast between the very<br />

modern, multi-pillared Philharmonie concert<br />

hall, the nearby Mudam Museum (Grand Duke<br />

Jean Museum of Contemporary Art) built into<br />

the partly restored Dräi Eechelen fortress,<br />

(which also houses another museum) and the<br />

view back across the valley to the old city.<br />

The Mullerthal, or “Little Switzerland” region, for<br />

its hiking trails between unusual rock formations<br />

and the cute little Schiessentümpel Waterfall,<br />

whose wooden bridge makes me think of<br />

somewhere a hobbit might live.<br />

Bourscheid Castle, although mainly ruined, it’s<br />

one of the few key Luxembourg tourist sights<br />

that stays open throughout the winter. It<br />

occupies the top of a hill in a river bend, so<br />

looks spectacular viewed from the other side<br />

of the river or above.<br />

The Moselle River, for enjoying a view of the<br />

river or the rows of vines from a winery terrace<br />

with a glass of Luxembourgish wine or crémant<br />

(the local sparkling wine).<br />


What is the best-kept secret in your country?<br />

Probably the wines – they’re virtually unknown<br />

outside Luxembourg itself, but there are some<br />

fantastic white wines, some crémants to rival<br />

champagnes, and even the few red wines<br />

produced have increased hugely in quality in<br />

the time we’ve been here.<br />

and affordable. From March 2020 Luxembourg<br />

will become the first country in the world to<br />

make its entire public transportation network<br />

free to use, which will hopefully encourage<br />

even more residents to leave their cars at<br />

home and take the bus or train.<br />

What is the one thing you see someone do that<br />

makes you know that they are a tourist?<br />

Puzzling over a tourist office map, looking for<br />

the Corniche… If I see someone looking<br />

confused with a map in Luxembourg City, I’ll<br />

often ask them if I can help. More than one<br />

has asked how to get to “the<br />

Corniche,” (which is a road marked as a tourist<br />

sight, but a bit hard to locate as the paths<br />

double back on themselves,) and I can’t help<br />

giving my personal opinion that you want to<br />

look down onto it, not get onto it yourself, as<br />

it’s more scenic viewed from above.<br />

If you could travel to one place you’ve never<br />

been, where would it be? I’ve travelled a lot in<br />

Europe and North America, a little in southern<br />

Africa and a few other places, but the place<br />

that tops my lengthy bucket list is New<br />

Zealand. It looks to be beautiful, rugged,<br />

outdoorsy and varied – great for the ultimate<br />

fly-drive holiday, and did I mention the wines?<br />

Plus it has none of the deadly creatures that<br />

Australia does!<br />

What is your “other” favorite city in the world?<br />

Hmmm, Paris or Rome … Rome or Paris? I’ll say<br />

Paris – as it’s so photogenic and very walkable<br />

I can’t imagine running out of places to visit or<br />

areas for strolling and exploring; new modern<br />

sights are springing up among the older<br />

architecture, it’s very accessible, plus I can at<br />

least speak the language (enough) and …<br />

there is of course the food!<br />

What is your favorite mode of transport and<br />

why? Other than walking, I’d say the train.<br />

There’s more room, and usually more comfort,<br />

than on a bus or plane. Plus you can see so<br />

much out of the window (and the view is often<br />

of more countryside than from a bus), and as<br />

get up and stretch your legs if you want to on<br />

a longer journey. Plus you can use the time to<br />

read a book, which you can’t if you drive, so<br />

should arrive less stressed than if you’d driven. I<br />

very much advocate for using public transport<br />

system here though; while it doesn’t cover the<br />

country comprehensively, it’s pretty reliable –<br />

Grund Bridge, Luxembourg<br />

You Tube video of Luxembourg<br />

Editor’s Note: The next FAWCO<br />

INTERIM MEETING is being held<br />

March 20-22, 2020 in Luxembourg.<br />

Visit www.fawco.org for more details<br />

and ...maybe see you there!<br />


“<br />

“<br />


Bogotá, Colombia: Flying All Over the World<br />


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

From: Florida, USA<br />

Lives: Bogotá, Colombia<br />

Despite my early love for travel, my first<br />

international trip wasn’t until I was 19. I threw<br />

caution to the wind and signed up for a study<br />

abroad program to Limerick, Ireland. There were<br />

tons of reasons why I shouldn’t have taken that<br />

trip, money was one of them. But I kept asking<br />

myself, Why not me? Why not now? So, I went.<br />

My three months in Ireland were transformative.<br />

More than anything, it taught me that the world<br />

is full of people. It seems so simple, but it’s true!<br />

People are out there! People, living their<br />

everyday lives, going to the grocery store,<br />

making dentist appointments and picking their<br />

kids up from school. They were doing it before I<br />

got there, and they will continue to do it after I<br />

leave for sure.<br />

I always had a sense that the world was bigger than<br />

my home in Florida. I knew it was complex, I knew there<br />

were things I would never understand. After a report on<br />

the life of Amelia Earhart in the fourth grade, I became<br />

fascinated with air travel and knew from a very early<br />

age that I was meant to fly.<br />

My family didn’t travel much as I was growing up. My<br />

father was a merchant marine, taking three-month jobs<br />

in which he would sail to all sorts of exotic places -<br />

Turkey, Morocco, Israel, Panama, the Philippines.. He<br />

never failed to send back postcards from the places he<br />

traveled. I can say with certainty that this is where my<br />

interest in the world stemmed from.<br />

After college, I joined the US Navy as an aviator<br />

flying the EA-6B Prowler. My two ship-board<br />

deployments took me across the Pacific Ocean,<br />

visiting many countries through out Asia and the<br />

Middle East - countries I might never have<br />

experienced otherwise. On one such port call in<br />

Chennai, India, I encountered a group of<br />

women gathered in the empty warehouse<br />

building of the port where we were disembarking<br />

from the aircraft carrier. I remember them so<br />

Flying the EA-6B Prowler, a carrier-based electronic attack<br />

jet<br />


clearly; they were of all different ages gathered in a<br />

stairwell, simply sitting. I couldn’t help but wonder, Who<br />

were they? Who or what were they waiting for? Were<br />

they there by their own choice? Where did they sleep?<br />

What was their story? I often think about them.<br />

For years, I had been yearning for an opportunity to<br />

experience the world. Not simply through one vacation<br />

a year, but by living in it. So, once my military<br />

commitment was complete, my very young family<br />

made the choice to join the US State Department’s<br />

foreign service. Not long after, I found myself with a 20-<br />

month-old baby in Yerevan, Armenia. I guess you can<br />

say I jumped into the deep end of living the life. Those<br />

two years as an expat in Armenia taught me more than<br />

I could ever hope it would. It was hard, really hard. It<br />

was lonely sometimes, really lonely. It was beautiful,<br />

really beautiful. I made unbreakable friendships, and a<br />

piece of my heart will be in Yerevan forever.<br />

But foreign service life is a temporary one. Just as soon<br />

as you get settled into one town, one house and one<br />

tempo, it’s time to go again. We live our lives in two-to<br />

three-year increments, recreating normal wherever we<br />

go. New schools, new doctors, new hairdressers. The<br />

Max and I goofing off on a boat trip in San Andrés,<br />

one of Colombia’s own Caribbean Islands<br />

only thing constant in my life is change, which is how we ended up in Bogotá, Colombia. And<br />

before long, we’ll be off again to new adventures.<br />

Once my children were born, my entire mission in life<br />

was to make sure they were raised in a global<br />

environment. This seemed more important to me<br />

than any other part of their development. The more I<br />

researched what it means to be a global citizen, the<br />

more I wanted to share my knowledge. I believe<br />

that the only way to truly learn about the world is by<br />

seeing it. Through travel, children learn valuable<br />

basic lessons that set the stage for global interest<br />

and future change.<br />

I launched my travel blog, Bambinos Without<br />

Borders, in 2017, which strives to encourage parents<br />

to travel more with their children and to teach<br />

empathy, respect and cultural tolerance. The blog<br />

even made its debut as a podcast earlier this year,<br />

in which I explore how we can raise our kids to be<br />

global citizens, by interviewing parents from around<br />

the world.<br />

While hiking to La Chorrera waterfall, I stopped to<br />

hug the Tree of Wishes.<br />

The concept of transformative travel has had such a<br />

strong impact in my own life that I wanted to give<br />

back in some way. So I became involved with an<br />

organization called FLYTE, the Foundation for<br />

Learning and Youth Travel Education, which helps<br />

students in underserved communities make their first<br />

international trips and begin their global education<br />

through transformative travel experiences.<br />



What are your top 5 places to visit where you<br />

live? Paloquemao Market: No visit to Bogotá is<br />

complete without a trip to Paloquemao. It’s<br />

big, it’s overwhelming, it’s confusing, it’s many<br />

different colors and textures of fruit and<br />

vegetable stands. Smells of lunch stalls cooking<br />

el menú del día, usually a soup and rice and<br />

Usaquen: Usaquen is a small, trendy<br />

neighborhood of Bogotá on the north side of<br />

town with serious bohemian vibes. While only<br />

spanning a few square blocks, Usaquen is<br />

packed full of incredible restaurants, cozy<br />

cafes and off-the-wall shops. Make sure to visit<br />

on Sunday mornings to catch the weekly<br />

Mercado de las Pulgas. Stalls overrun the<br />

streets to bring the best handicrafts in the city,<br />

artisanal snacks, art, jewelry and much more.<br />

Ciclovía: Not so much a place to visit as an<br />

excellent opportunity to stay active in the city.<br />

Every Sunday and federal holiday, the city of<br />

Bogotá closes over 125 km of roads to auto<br />

traffic, opening them instead to cyclists,<br />

joggers, walkers, scooters, strollers, etc. It’s a<br />

great opportunity to get outside and move. If<br />

you’re visiting, you can rent a bike and head<br />

out on your own or join a tour of the city!<br />

I take all visitors to Paloquemao, our largest fruit and<br />

vegetable market, for an authentic food experience<br />

Monserrate: This is another tourist-must.<br />

Monserrate is one of the most iconic spots in<br />

the city. Sitting 10,000 ft above the city, the<br />

summit provides a breath-taking view of the<br />

enormity that is Bogotá. And it’s literally breathtaking<br />

because you’re at 10,000 ft in elevation!<br />

At the peak, you will find a few restaurants, a<br />

small market and the centerpiece, the<br />

sanctuary of Monserrate. You can even see its<br />

sister monastery, Guadalupe, on the<br />

neighboring hill. There are three methods to<br />

ascend: a cable car, funicular and a walking<br />

path - if you enjoy climbing stairs for an hour.<br />

chicken plate. One of the best ways to<br />

experience Paloquemao is through a guided<br />

tour to try traditional Colombian breads, exotic<br />

fruits and typical picada lunch. Go early in the<br />

morning for an unforgettable flower market!<br />

Orso Heladería: Colombia may not be known<br />

for its ice cream, but when you’re ready for a<br />

sweet treat, Orso is the place to go. In addition<br />

to the decadent traditional flavors, such as<br />

stracciatella and salted-caramel cookie<br />

dough, they also routinely have local flavors<br />

that are out of this world. Try lulo, a local sour<br />

fruit that makes great juice - akin to lemonade,<br />

but an even better ice cream. Or maybe<br />

bocadillo con queso, which is a common<br />

Colombian snack consisting of cheese and<br />

guava paste. That’s right. Cheese in ice<br />

cream. Don’t knock it until you try it.<br />

Bogotá is for coffee lovers<br />


y the selfies they take. That’s not to<br />

say I don’t also take selfies while<br />

traveling. Perhaps by being a shortterm<br />

expat, I am also considered a<br />

long-term tourist. And, hey, there’s<br />

nothing wrong with being a tourist in<br />

your own city!<br />

La Candelaria, Bogotá<br />

What is the best-kept secret in your city? While<br />

it’s no surprise to anyone that we have some<br />

of the best coffee or chocolate you can find,<br />

the real hidden gem in Colombia is its actual<br />

gems. Colombia is rich in emeralds, which can<br />

be found in plenty and rather inexpensively.<br />

Colombian emeralds have grown in popularity<br />

in recent years and account for 70-90% of the<br />

world’s emerald market. Said to be among the<br />

purest in the world, you can find all types, from<br />

raw, uncut stones to the most valuable deep<br />

green gemstone. Although gem mining<br />

doesn’t have the most reputable history,<br />

Colombia has taken great efforts to ethically<br />

source the jewels. There are many high-profile<br />

dealers in the city, but it’s always good to do<br />

your research before buying.<br />

If you could travel to one place<br />

you’ve never been, where would it<br />

be? I would love to do a wine tour<br />

around the Tuscan region of Italy.<br />

While I’ve been to some of the larger<br />

Italian cities before, I’ve never had<br />

the chance to explore the<br />

countryside. Like most things in life,<br />

I’m sure it’s been over-romanticized<br />

in movies and TV, but it doesn’t<br />

mean I don’t want to do it. Sign me<br />

up for all the wine!<br />

What is your “other” favorite city in the world?<br />

My favorite city in the world is unequivocally<br />

Edinburgh, Scotland. It’s dramatic, gothic,<br />

moody, alive, and is steeped in such<br />

interesting history. And how fortunate that it<br />

was the site of the <strong>2019</strong> FAWCO Biennial<br />

Conference! It’s one city in the world I will<br />

never tire of visiting over and over.<br />

What is your favorite mode of transport? I have<br />

to say airplanes, and it’s not just because I was<br />

an aviator! While I’m all for “enjoying the ride,”<br />

I also love efficiency. I really just want to get<br />

where I’m going. I’ve had a few too many<br />

road trip disaster stories, so I try to fly whenever<br />

I can.<br />

What is the one thing you see someone do that<br />

makes you know that they are a tourist? Selfies!<br />

It probably makes me a terrible Millennial to<br />

say, but it’s true. You can always spot a tourist<br />

You Tube video of Colombia<br />


Be Our Guest. Just Don’t Let the Cat Out<br />

We recently moved to Amsterdam and love having visitors and showing off the wonders of our<br />

new city, but it didn’t take us long to realize there are some aspects of hosting that grow old<br />

quickly. Luckily there are a few simple things you can do to get the most out of your visit without<br />

vexing your host.<br />

23<br />

Do Your Research<br />

It’s best to arrive with a general knowledge of the major attractions<br />

and a plan for your activities. Your hosts will likely have some good<br />

pointers but it’s best not to expect them to plan your whole itinerary.<br />

Look online to see if you can book tickets in advance. Things sell out,<br />

particularly during high season, and it’s disappointing to arrive excited<br />

for your adventure and not be able to do the things you want.<br />

Independence is Bliss<br />

This is tricky because you don’t want to make your hosts feel like<br />

they are providing a free hotel, but the truth is, no matter how<br />

much your hosts love you, there are only so many times a person<br />

can visit the Van Gogh museum. My favorite guests come<br />

prepared with a list of things they want to do independently<br />

(including eating some meals out) but leave time to hang out.<br />

Also keep in mind that your host isn’t necessarily on vacation<br />

when you visit. In our case, we had four sets of visitors in three<br />

months (hooray for tulip season!). If your hosts work or have kids<br />

in school they need their routine to stay intact as much as<br />

possible. Venturing out on your own a bit will help your host’s real life stay on track.<br />

Phone, Keys, Wallet<br />

Before you leave home contact your bank to make sure your credit<br />

and ATM cards are authorized and will work. It’s surprising how<br />

many people don’t do this and show up with no access to their<br />

money. Buy a data plan so you can use your phone. Relying on WiFi<br />

is dodgy. We advise our guests to download WhatsApp for talking<br />

and texting. Public transportation is usually the best way to get<br />

around in a city. Learn how it works and download transportation<br />

and ride sharing apps.<br />

Pack Smart<br />

Check the weather forecast and pack appropriately. Make<br />

wise choices about footwear especially. If you live in the<br />

suburbs but are visiting a city, know the shoes you wear to drive<br />

to Target may not be comfortable enough for hours of walking<br />

on cobblestones.<br />

If traveling to Europe, keep in mind your host has European<br />

appliances, which tend to be small and take several hours per<br />

load (dryers aren’t standard – lots of line drying in Europe so get<br />

ready for crispy towels). It’s generally okay to ask to wash one<br />

small load, but keep it limited to socks and underwear and a few<br />

other items. Your host will be washing extra loads of towels and<br />

bedding for your visit, so keeping your personal laundry needs<br />

minimal will help a lot.

Try to Adjust to the Time Change Quickly<br />

Do your best to get on schedule as quickly as you can. We recently had a<br />

guest who didn’t emerge from her room before noon (and not before 3pm<br />

one day) so by the time she was ready to go out the markets and museums<br />

were about to close.<br />

Devil in the Details<br />

We only have one bathroom, which is literally a bath room -- as in<br />

there’s a tub and a shower, but no toilet. There’s a separate toilet room,<br />

which doesn’t have a sink. This charming arrangement creates some<br />

challenges. We had a guest who settled in for a long bath just before it<br />

was time for our son to get ready for bed on a school night. Be mindful<br />

and do your business quickly. Another quirky thing about our European<br />

apartment is the front door locks automatically when it closes. We<br />

came home to discover our cat had escaped when our guest left her<br />

bedroom window open so she and the cat were sitting outside in the<br />

rain waiting for someone to let them back in.<br />

On Being “Helpful”<br />

We have a narrow galley kitchen with small European-sized appliances. It’s<br />

lovely that guests want to help, but it’s not very practical for everyone to be<br />

in there while we’re cooking or trying to do post-meal dishes. One of the best<br />

things a guest offered to do was take our dog for a walk while we were busy<br />

getting ready to leave for the day. Taking out the trash and recycling is<br />

always awesome.<br />

Catching the (wrong kind of ) Travel Bug<br />

Planes, trains, and trams are a festival of germs. The last guest we had<br />

picked up a nasty stomach bug and barfed on a city bus, then<br />

twelve hours later our son caught the same bug (I blame the<br />

aforementioned shared toilet/no sink situation). Obviously there’s not<br />

a lot you can do about being exposed to germs, but do engage in<br />

lots of soapy hand washing, my friends. Bring meds with you as many<br />

aren’t available abroad – our Dutch doctor tells us to put an onion by<br />

our bed when we’re not feeling well. You’ll probably prefer to take<br />

your own NyQuil!<br />

A Gift Goes a Long Way<br />

One of the best ways to show your host some love and<br />

appreciation is the good-old-fashioned offering of<br />

gifts. It doesn’t have to be fancy. The absolute best<br />

gifts we’ve gotten are bags of microwave popcorn,<br />

packets of ranch dressing seasoning, and, for our little<br />

guy, York Mints. Find out what your host misses most<br />

from the States and bring it to them. They will love you<br />

for it and you’ll probably even score an invitation to<br />

come back!<br />

Jennifer Barnett is from Falls Church, Virginia and currently lives in Amsterdam with her husband,<br />

son, cat, and very spirited dog. She is a member of AWC Amsterdam.<br />


Visiting your Favorite City this <strong>Summer</strong>? The Pajama Company<br />

has the Perfect Sleepwear for Traveling on the Road!<br />

The Cat's Pajamas team searched the globe for the<br />

perfect knit fabric for their pajamas. They started with<br />

hand-pulled Peruvian Pima cotton, which is known for<br />

its silky luster and unbelievably soft hand. They<br />

combined this Pima cotton with Modal to get the<br />

perfect drape and added Elastane to give it stretch and<br />

recovery so they look and feel great with every wear.<br />

Ellie Badanes, FAUSA Member and The Pajama Company Founder<br />

“Surely, of all<br />

the wonders<br />

of the world,<br />

the horizon is<br />

the greatest."<br />

Anglo-Italian<br />

Explorer, Freya<br />

Stark<br />


Copenhagen, Denmark: Dancing the Tango<br />


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

From: New York City<br />

Lives: Frederiksberg, Copenhagen, Denmark<br />

I grew up in Europe, due to my Dad’s postings in<br />

the military, so you could say that being an Army<br />

Brat is a defining element in my life story. We<br />

were fortunate to spend a block of years in one<br />

place, so although we were subject to the<br />

tumbleweed character of military family life, we<br />

had the opportunity to sink some roots. The good<br />

is that in military communities, people tend to be<br />

friendly and open because everyone has<br />

experienced what it’s like to be the new kid on the block. Not to mention that there are almost<br />

always common acquaintances around the world… making it a small place.<br />

We lived in Orleans, France and Augsburg, Germany. I remember my childhood fondly and lived<br />

a charmed life. I was active as a Girl Scout; our family was musical and my two older sisters and I<br />

all had different activities and friends. My younger brother was just the annoying little kid who<br />

got in the way, but we loved him. We traveled<br />

Europe and I became an international citizen<br />

in my early years.<br />

My father’s family lived in Catskill, NY. But I was<br />

always particularly fascinated by New York<br />

City. It was the City of Oz! It was the place<br />

where all dreams could be fulfilled and where<br />

one could become whatever one wished - all<br />

were welcome and all contributed to the mix.<br />

So a year or so after I graduated from college<br />

at Johns Hopkins University, I moved to live in<br />

New York City where I accepted a job as a<br />

director of graduate admissions at Pace<br />

University in Manhattan.<br />

While living in New York, one fateful night I met<br />

my future husband while dancing Argentine<br />

tango! The Fates had to work hard to make this<br />

happen… My future husband, Erik, was in the<br />

USA on a business trip to New England and<br />

NYC. While in Denmark, he had lined up a<br />

place to dance that particular Sunday night.<br />

He arrived in NYC that particular evening after<br />

concluding meetings in New Hampshire earlier<br />

in the day; he arrived at the address for<br />

dancing, but the dance had been cancelled<br />

that evening. Events/places where one<br />

26<br />

Dancing with Erik

dances Argentine tango are called “milongas”. He returned to his hotel and had decided to<br />

call it a day, but a nagging voice urged him to find another milonga. He did so and wound up<br />

where I was. For my part, I never danced at this particular milonga on Sundays because there<br />

was a milonga in New York City’s South Street Seaport by The Brooklyn Bridge that was outdoors<br />

and more fun. However, this was the week of a heat wave and my regular dance partner<br />

wanted to dance in air-conditioning… therefore I was in the dance hall where Erik arrived later<br />

that evening. We married after a whirlwind courtship and I moved to Copenhagen, Denmark.<br />

Through the Argentine tango I met my husband, but it also helped me find a fantastic career as<br />

a tourist guide. Erik had attended a milonga without me one evening and reported back about<br />

meeting one of his tango friends who worked as a tourist guide. They had spent the evening<br />

chatting about this fellow’s work with groups from all around the world and the University<br />

education that is required to qualify for a particular international certification. Erik and I agreed<br />

that this sounded good and after researching the program further at Roskilde University, I<br />

applied and was accepted.<br />

I completed the tourist guide curriculum full-time … in Danish and graduated as a certified<br />

guide in 2010. I have never taken a more demanding exam. It requires examinees to be<br />

proficient in the details of a three-hour bus route that covers one’s city, proficient in a<br />

designated walking tour and proficient in museum guiding in at least one museum. The exam<br />

requires all of the guiding to be done in two languages. Mine were Danish and English. Passing<br />

this exam with high marks was one of my proudest moments in life!<br />


Tell us about a typical day for you A typical<br />

day involves work beforehand where I prepare<br />

things. I design the route with the sights we will<br />

see, the rest stops and weather shelters if<br />

needed. Construction, visits in town by VIPs,<br />

valuable items on loan to exhibitions,<br />

Working as a tour guide<br />

accidents or merely the unexpected<br />

“whatever” can mean changes in routes or<br />

itinerary. Doing one’s homework in advance<br />

can cut down on surprises!<br />

Next is meeting the day’s clients. It could be<br />

an individual on a private tour or it could<br />

be a group from a cruise ship and<br />

certainly everything in between! Our tour<br />

could be the standard sights of<br />

Copenhagen or it could be a specialized<br />

tour based on hobbies or professional<br />

activities. I’ve worked for example with a<br />

WWII historian on Denmark’s history of the<br />

period and I’ve worked with porcelain<br />

collectors looking for old pieces of Royal<br />

Copenhagen. I’ve worked with guests<br />

looking for original pieces of Danish<br />

Modern furniture/lighting and I’ve<br />

worked with others shopping for unique<br />

designer clothing. I call my company<br />

“Copenhagen Your Way” because I<br />

tailor private tours to the individuals and<br />

their interests/hobbies/professions/etc.<br />

After the tour is over, I hang around a bit<br />

to make sure that all questions are<br />

answered or advise on restaurants or<br />

sites, as called for. I learn all the time from<br />

my guests. A question or comment leads<br />

me to explore a new angle of a subject<br />


opposite, English landscape<br />

architecture.<br />

The Little Mermaid: ‘Nuff said. Who<br />

would come to Copenhagen and<br />

not see her?<br />

Castle Island in Copenhagen: It<br />

i n c o r p o r a t e s m a n y o f<br />

Copenhagen’s must see sights<br />

directly on the Island or within sight<br />

from the Island. Sights such as The<br />

House of Parliament, The Queen’s<br />

Reception Rooms, The Danish<br />

Supreme Court, The Old Stock<br />

Exchange, Holmen’s Church,<br />

Absalon’s Statue, The National<br />

Museum, Stroeget, and more!<br />

Copenhagen<br />

or down a different path. It’s impossible to<br />

know EVERYTHING, so I can simply relax about<br />

what I don’t know. This is the best job in the<br />

world because I get to explore my interests in<br />

history, art history, material culture, current<br />

events, architecture, philosophy, psychology…<br />

and more… sharing these interests with other<br />

people and enhancing their visit to my<br />

backyard at the same time.<br />

What are your top 5 places to visit where you<br />

live<br />

Fanø: Denmark’s westernmost island with a<br />

unique topography and unique culture that is<br />

alive and well.<br />

What is the best-kept secret in your<br />

country? The best-kept secret in<br />

Denmark is that as a country it strives, even<br />

today, to uphold an ideal articulated in the<br />

1830s by its philosopher, N.F.S. Grundtvig of<br />

creating a society where “few have too little<br />

and even fewer have too much.” The<br />

egalitarian ideal is expressed throughout<br />

Danish society in numerous ways.<br />

What is the one thing you see someone do that<br />

makes you know that they are a tourist? How<br />

does a tourist stand out? One can spot a tourist<br />

on bicycle from a mile away! A friend once<br />

said that he could sum up Danes on bicycles in<br />

one word… that word is “confident”.<br />

Egeskov Castle: Located on the<br />

island of Fyn, it’s the historic home<br />

of Count Michael Ahlefeldt- Laurvig<br />

-Bille whose family has lived here<br />

over 460 years. One can visit public<br />

wings of the ancestral home and<br />

other parts of the ground are like a<br />

tasteful theme park.<br />

Frederiksborg Castle: a 35 minute<br />

drive north from Copenhagen,<br />

Frederiksborg Castle is stunning<br />

structure created as a royal<br />

residence in the 1500s and after a<br />

devastating fire in the 1860s was<br />

restored as a museum to the Danish<br />

people. The grounds are devoted<br />

to both French landscape<br />

architecture and its intellectual<br />

The Storm Bridge, Copenhagen<br />


Tourists on bicycles are the exact opposite.<br />

They do not follow established traffic rules and<br />

are pretty shaky on the bicycle path.<br />

If you could travel to one place you’ve never<br />

been, where would it be? As a new travel<br />

destination, I would go<br />

to Budapest, Hungary.<br />

I’m very interested in<br />

their spa culture. I like<br />

the idea of thermal<br />

baths, massage, body<br />

oils, soaps, etc. Then<br />

sleep. Then there’s<br />

great food and<br />

pastries! Sounds like an<br />

indulgent vacation!<br />

What is your “other”<br />

favorite city in the<br />

world? Paris is my<br />

favorite city in the<br />

world. It’s a difficult<br />

a n d c h a l l e n g i n g<br />

place, but it changed<br />

In the Botanical Gardens<br />

my life. I had visited as a child when we lived<br />

in Orleans and the magic of Paris was already<br />

part of my psyche.<br />

Believe it or not, at a certain point of my life I<br />

was bored living in New York City. Then I was<br />

given a business trip to Paris. I combined all of<br />

my outstanding vacation time for the trip so I<br />

could be there for as long as possible. I would<br />

be there for almost a month.<br />

The trip was exhausting and exhilarating. Then<br />

I started to feel depressed the week before<br />

my return to New York. “ Oh bummer, gotta<br />

go back to New York…” is what ran through<br />

my head. Then I gave myself a good shaking<br />

and talking to. I reminded myself that I lived in<br />

one of the most exciting cities on the planet<br />

and I just needed to rediscover it, block by<br />

block, on foot… just as I had discovered Paris.<br />

I immediately<br />

felt better and<br />

h a p p y . I<br />

b e c a m e<br />

excited about<br />

the return home<br />

and I identified<br />

three unknown<br />

neighborhoods<br />

to discover. I<br />

bought a “little<br />

red book” in<br />

w h i c h t o<br />

document my<br />

discoveries and<br />

make notes. I<br />

i d e n t i f i e d<br />

appropriate bus<br />

routes so I could<br />

ride through unknown areas and cover more<br />

ground. I made lots of new friends, became<br />

involved in new activities and came to know<br />

New York City in ways that astounded my<br />

friends. I became involved with East Village<br />

artists and jazz musicians. I began working as a<br />

volunteer with a major jazz producer and got<br />

to meet and attend the concerts of a number<br />

of big name artists. I had definitely<br />

regenerated my life.<br />

The final chapter of this incident is that I<br />

started taking Argentine tango lessons when I<br />

returned from Paris. A few years later I met Erik<br />

and the rest, as they say, is history!<br />

You Tube video of Denmark<br />


Casablanca, Morocco: In the Spice Market<br />


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

Casablanca<br />

From: Casablanca, Morocco<br />

Lives: Casablanca, Morocco<br />

I was born in Casablanca in a modest and<br />

conservative family. We lived then in Derb<br />

Sultan (Sultan's quarter), not far from the Royal<br />

Palace and the mythic Habous.<br />

world and meet people with different horizons.<br />

After graduating from high school, I joined the<br />

National Airlines company as a flight attendant.<br />

Such a lovely experience! Through my work I<br />

was able to see many big cities around the<br />

After a few years I got married and today I have a 33-year-old daughter who's married and is<br />

living in France. My husband and I live an area called California these days. It’s a quiet place<br />

though quite far from the city center.<br />

In 2000, I joined AIWCC, the American <strong>Women</strong>'s Club of Casablanca. I love volunteering with<br />

such inspiring ladies coming from different countries.<br />

In 2010, I heard about some heritage days being organised by an association called<br />

Casamemoire. I went on one of their visits of the Habous area, loved it and joined the<br />

association right away as<br />

a volunteer cultural<br />

mediator. As part of this I<br />

lead visits to the different<br />

sites and monuments of<br />

my city.<br />

Through this experience I<br />

became eligible to sit a<br />

p r o f e s s i o n a l e x a m<br />

sponsored by the Tourism<br />

ministry. So, I am now an<br />

authorised official guide.<br />

I’m love this role as it gives<br />

me the chance of some<br />

income from time to time,<br />

but I’m still volunteering<br />

with the Casamemoire.<br />

Celebrating my birthday with my husband<br />



Tell us about a typical day for you. At the<br />

moment we are in the Ramadan month,<br />

during which people love to go out after they<br />

break the<br />

fast. This<br />

year we’ve<br />

had the<br />

idea of<br />

organizing<br />

nocturnal<br />

g u i d e d<br />

visits of the<br />

city. The<br />

days have<br />

been very<br />

long and<br />

we’ve had<br />

to recruit<br />

and train<br />

some new<br />

Introducing the Habous area to a group of guides and<br />

children<br />

do some<br />

p u b l i c i t y<br />

about the tours too. My days vary depending<br />

on what is going on.<br />

What are your top 5 places to visit where you<br />

live?<br />

Habous area: of course! I grew up there, and I<br />

love its architecture, a mix of traditional and<br />

modern styles.<br />

“secretly" consult some fortune tellers hidden<br />

behind their stores!<br />

What is the one thing you see someone do that<br />

makes you know that they are a tourist? When<br />

I see someone looking for an open shop at<br />

sunset during Ramadan! It's closed<br />

everywhere, except some restaurants who<br />

serve the breaking fasting meal (iftar)!<br />

If you could travel to one place you’ve never<br />

been, where would it be? I'd like to visit some<br />

villages in deep Kenya. There are some tribes<br />

who resist strongly any kind of modernism and<br />

who live with Mother Nature in a complete<br />

symbiosis… for still how long?<br />

What is your “other” favorite city in the world?<br />

Lyon in France is my favourite city. It’s not too<br />

big but its history is very rich and there are so<br />

many museums and the cultural activities are<br />

so varied.<br />

What is your favorite mode of transport? I love<br />

to travel by train. It allows you to admire the<br />

scenery and sometimes exchange nice ideas<br />

with your compartment neighbors.<br />

The Ancient Medina: not really as beautiful as<br />

the medinas of Marrakech and Fes, but It’s full<br />

of history and the modernism got into<br />

Morocco through its gates!<br />

Hay Mohammadi: that labor quarter where<br />

workers revolted against the French occupants<br />

during the first half of the 20 th century. Many<br />

famous artists come from it too.<br />

Ain Diab: the so beautiful seaside area! Sunsets<br />

are stunning and there's animation all day and<br />

night long!<br />

The spice market Jmiaa: I love the flavors of<br />

the spices and the diversity of the fresh veggies<br />

and fruit.<br />

What is the best-kept secret in your city? A<br />

Polichinelle’s one actually! It’s a small street<br />

behind the spice market, where women are<br />

sure to find all kinds of rare plants and spices<br />

for some old remedies. They can also<br />

Dancing in Tangier<br />

You Tube video of Morocco<br />


If You Could Own A Famous Building Which Would It Be?<br />

The Sydney Opera House because of<br />

its design, location, the talented<br />

people who are invited there to<br />

entertain and of course I would stage<br />

a 4 th of July celebration there annually.<br />


It’s not a building, but The Brooklyn Bridge in New<br />

York City. The bridge is a suspended structure<br />

connecting two of New York’s borroughs, Manhattan<br />

and Brooklyn, and traveled by car, bike or by foot.<br />

The views of<br />

NYC by night<br />

and the<br />

A t l a n t i c<br />

Harbor by<br />

day are just<br />

gorgeous.<br />

DEANNA<br />


The Palazzo Farnese in Rome, now<br />

the French embassy. You can only<br />

visit it on a pre-booked guided tour<br />

and can’t take photos of the<br />

amazing Caracci Gallery. By<br />

owning it I’d get to see that every<br />

day and enjoy the walled garden<br />

at the back. Plus it’s in Rome!<br />


The Chrysler Building in New York City. It’s<br />

heart-stoppingly beautiful with its Art Deco<br />

towers and spires. It’s as though the building<br />

itself is reaching out to the heavens,<br />

embodying the<br />

strivings of millions<br />

who make their way<br />

to New York City in<br />

the hope of realizing<br />

their dreams… doing<br />

s o m e t h i n g ,<br />

b e c o m i n g<br />

something or simply<br />

finding a place<br />

where they can be<br />

themselves.<br />


WWF building in Switzerland! I'd take care of<br />

wild animals around the world and prevent the<br />

extinction of some of them. I would also make<br />

vote laws to banish the exploitation of animals<br />

in circuses and aquariums. Having in Morocco<br />

so many stray cats and dogs and injured<br />

working animals such as horses, mules and<br />

donkeys, I would, of course, do everything to<br />

allow them to have a very comfortable life.<br />



Lyon, France: Interpreting What I See<br />


American Club of Lyon, France<br />

From: Berkeley, CA<br />

Lives: Lyon, France<br />

I was born in Baltimore but spent my early<br />

childhood in Gulfport and New Orleans. My family<br />

moved to Berkeley when I was 10 and I suppose I<br />

mostly consider myself a Californian, though I left<br />

for good at the age of 23.<br />

In the summer after my sophomore year at UC<br />

Berkeley, with a little French and Italian under my<br />

belt, I travelled across Europe with 3 friends and<br />

eventually struck out on my own – the others were<br />

too slow getting up in the morning! That was my<br />

first real taste of travel, and it became a passion of<br />

mine after that.<br />

In time I married a Frenchman I had met at UC. His first job was in the north of France, then we<br />

did a 3-year stint in Japan. We returned to France (with 2 babies in tow), settling in Lyon, and<br />

have been here ever since, except for a one-year sabbatical in Oregon.<br />

I got involved in tourism in Lyon by taking on interpreting assignments for Lyon City Hall, the<br />

town planning agency and the transit authority. I learned a great deal about the city and often<br />

found myself providing visiting delegations with insights about local life. There is so much to<br />

admire and enjoy in Lyon that it’s easy to convey my love of the city.<br />



Tell us about a typical day for you. Often in<br />

the course of my interpreting assignments,<br />

during lunch breaks or casual activities,<br />

foreign delegates ask me questions about<br />

Lyon or for advice on what to visit in the area.<br />

I have even found myself informing French<br />

Lyon, France<br />

down a corridor and come out on a different<br />

street. The locals often use them as shortcuts.<br />

What is the best-kept secret in your city? Lyon<br />

is something of a secret itself, often<br />

overlooked by French and foreign tourists. The<br />

French think of it as the place they get stuck in<br />

traffic on the freeway to the Mediterranean,<br />

and foreigners only go to Paris, Mont Saint<br />

Michel, and perhaps a Loire Valley castle or<br />

two if they are especially adventurous!<br />

What is the one thing you see someone do<br />

that makes you know that they are a tourist?<br />

Taking pictures of everything! You have to<br />

wonder if some people actually see the place<br />

they’re visiting because their eyes are always<br />

glued to their mobile phone screens.<br />

visitors! I find American visitors, even<br />

professional ones, rather ignorant about<br />

France (and Europe in general). I have to<br />

admit I enjoy the look on their faces when I tell<br />

them that tuition at French universities is<br />

around €350 and that we get five weeks<br />

annual paid vacation.<br />

What are your top places to visit where you<br />

live? The historic part of Lyon is a listed<br />

UNESCO World Heritage site (1000 acres!), so<br />

just walking around and admiring the different<br />

eras of architecture, starting from the Romans,<br />

will keep you busy for a while. The thing I like<br />

to do most with visitors is explore the traboules,<br />

which are passageways running through the<br />

oldest buildings. It’s fun to push a street door<br />

open, venture up the corridor and perhaps<br />

discover a fabulous Renaissance courtyard in<br />

the heart of the building. Then you continue<br />

Modern Lyon<br />

If you could travel to one place you’ve never<br />

been, where would it be? India since I’m<br />

interested in the people, architecture, food<br />

and colorful everything.<br />

What is your “other” favorite city in the world?<br />

London, but with a lot of money.<br />

What is your favorite mode of transport?<br />

Walking. I like having the time to see details.<br />

You Tube video of Lyon<br />

Lyon traboules<br />


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The Beauty of Kenya: A Poem<br />

Butterflies fluttering in my tummy<br />

then blue & lilac birds arrive<br />

peace<br />

impala males a few with many delicate ladies with young<br />

giants galore trumpeting<br />

butterflies again<br />

missing something so much<br />

then a hippo snorts and splashes with baby<br />

zebra stripes everywhere and long necks saunter by<br />

here come those butterflies<br />

and giants again and again<br />

so quietly they tread<br />

Water bucks with white circled bottoms<br />

it’s a never ending live show<br />

& the butterflies never go<br />

Dust, warm breeze and pink desert flowers<br />

silence but so much sound<br />

my heart beats fast & those butterflies abound<br />

My love is aching and about to burst<br />

tears fill my eyes with the thought of leaving such beauty and wonderment<br />

now baby giants & naughty baboons<br />

two herds meet and greet with trunks & tusks<br />

water splashing & excitement<br />

butterflies again<br />

I dare not move or blink.<br />

Judi Roselli-Cecconi is English but born and raised in Kenya, currently living in Tuscany, Italy. She<br />

is the President of The American International League of Florence and spends her time, when not<br />

writing, enjoying helping charities, water colour painting, taking photographs, looking after<br />

guests visiting her home in the Chianti and she loves to travel.<br />


In this issue we are proud to present<br />

photos from <strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong>’s recent<br />

“Project 62” photo competition. We<br />

have also created a “cheeky” little quiz<br />

to test your global knowledge. The<br />

answers are located on p. 67 Give us<br />

your feedback (CLICK HERE FOR THE<br />


and let us know how well you did!<br />

Q1: This city gave the world<br />

famous Toblerone chocolate<br />

bars. 100% of all of these<br />

bars are produced here:<br />

Madrid<br />

Genoa<br />

Basel<br />

Bern<br />

Q2: Karl Marx wrote much of<br />

his Das Kapital in this city:<br />

Vienna<br />

Berlin<br />

London<br />

Amsterdam<br />


Q3: 70% of the world’s<br />

emeralds are mined in:<br />

Dublin<br />

Bogotá<br />

Casa Blanca<br />

Malmö<br />

Q4: Gustave Eiffel<br />

proposed that the Eiffel<br />

Tower be located in this<br />

famous city:<br />

Barcelona<br />

Zurich<br />

Paris<br />

Cologne<br />

Q5: This country is the largest<br />

country in the world without<br />

a river:<br />

Lebanon<br />

Kenya<br />

Saudi Arabia<br />

Germany<br />


Q6: The world’s<br />

largest functioning<br />

bell is located in this<br />

city:<br />

Cologne<br />

Rome<br />

Antwerp<br />

Gothenburg<br />

Q7: In the 17th century,<br />

this city was run by<br />

pirates under the<br />

Republic of Bou Regreg:<br />

Seoul<br />

Rabat<br />

Aquitaine<br />

Bogotá<br />

Q8: In 1899, the first<br />

international peace<br />

conference was held in<br />

this city:<br />

Heidelberg<br />

Oslo<br />

Lyon<br />

The Hague<br />


Q9: The world’s most<br />

expensive house is<br />

located in:<br />

Mumbai<br />

Paris<br />

Lichtenstein<br />

Dublin<br />

Q10: This city has the biggest<br />

library in Europe<br />

Brussels<br />

Moscow<br />

Frankfurt<br />

Luxembourg<br />


Nairobi, Kenya: A Second View<br />


American <strong>Women</strong>’s Association of Kenya<br />

From: Prague, Czech Republic<br />

Lives: Nairobi suburbs (Karen), Kenya<br />

I grew up in the heart of Europe in one of the<br />

most beautiful cities in the world, Prague, the<br />

capital of Czech Republic. Since my early<br />

childhood I was introduced to theatre,<br />

museums, galleries and nature.<br />

I always loved travelling and I left home<br />

when I was 16 for an exchange program in<br />

Switzerland, where I spent the whole of a<br />

wonderful winter season.<br />

Fast forward a few years to one cold evening<br />

in July 2010, when my husband and I arrived in Kenya. He was transferred to one of the leading<br />

hotels in Nairobi from our former post in South India.<br />

Nairobi is a great city, and Kenya is a great country which can flourish with a little bit of help. The<br />

social workers, NGO representatives and project leaders are very grateful for any kind of<br />

assistance or help. It is the best sense of achievement to see the projects one supports going<br />

ahead and becoming self-sufficient. A visit to a children’s home, self-help group or shelters for<br />

abandoned animals always charges me up and makes me count my blessings.<br />

On a visit to Kitengela, Kenya<br />



What are your top places to visit where you<br />

live?<br />

Nairobi National Park – It’s a very unique<br />

place. Kenya is the only country in the world<br />

with a safari park inside its capital city and is<br />

home to many varieties of animals. There is<br />

nothing better than an early morning game<br />

drive followed by bush breakfast overlooking<br />

the lush green plains with giraffes walking on<br />

the horizon. If you’re not really an early bird,<br />

than an evening game drive with a<br />

sundowner on the terrace of one of the hotels<br />

facing the park will do just fine for you.<br />

Brown’s Cheese Farm – Nairobi is not only<br />

about wildlife: we have many local producers<br />

of yummy delicacies, like Brown’s Cheese. This<br />

amazing family company is a proud winner of<br />

many prestigious international awards, making<br />

their cheese one of the best in the world. To<br />

come closer to their customers, they offer<br />

farm and factory tours followed by cheese<br />

tasting and a proper farm lunch. Come<br />

hungry and wait for their dessert to be served.<br />

In my opinion the mango baobab frozen<br />

yoghurt is to die for .<br />

Kitengela Glass Factory – Situated on the<br />

edge of Nairobi National Park, this place is a<br />

paradise for art lovers and shoppers. Entering<br />

the compound of Kitengela Hot Glass &<br />

Amselm Croze, you can get lost walking on<br />

the mosaic pavements, discovering the<br />

workshops of artisans transforming recycled<br />

glass materials into works of art, jewellery or<br />

home decor objects. Hint: stop by the factory<br />

At Brown’s Cheese Farm with AWA members<br />

workshop where you can buy many items for<br />

discounted prices. Part of the village has an<br />

unusual hippie hotel with the most amazing<br />

pool, well worth a look.<br />

Kiambethu Tea Farm – If you feel like going<br />

back in time, be sure to visit Kiambethu Tea<br />

Farm. This lovely colonial house is surrounded<br />

by cushions of tea bushes and indigenous<br />

forest with medicinal<br />

plants and trees.<br />

Kenya tea is famous<br />

worldwide, and here is<br />

the place to learn<br />

everything about this<br />

delicious drink: what<br />

happens from the<br />

moment one of the<br />

skilled farmers harvests<br />

the finest green leaves<br />

until the moment you<br />

pour yourself a cuppa.<br />

And why not taste<br />

some and have an<br />

elegant lunch with a<br />

lovely host, Fiona?<br />


What is the best-kept secret in your city? The<br />

best secret is surely the Boho restaurant – a<br />

great place in Hardy, an upscale suburb of<br />

Nairobi. This small, cosy eatery offers an<br />

eclectic menu of the most delicious dishes<br />

from the Far East, accompanied by the best<br />

selections of wines. Although it’s a very low-key<br />

venue, this place has hosted several show<br />

business icons from all around the world.<br />

Friendly staff and a passionate owner equal a<br />

winning combination.<br />

What is the one thing you see someone do that<br />

makes you know that they are a tourist? For<br />

sure walking around in a safari outfit with a<br />

camera hanging over their shoulder.<br />

Tell us about a typical day for you. My usual<br />

day starts with dropping the kids off at school,<br />

followed by an exercise lesson in a local gym,<br />

which always concludes with a coffee in some<br />

cosy coffee shop in the neighborhood. My mid<br />

-morning is usually dedicated to meeting<br />

friends and discovering new places to visit.<br />

And in Nairobi, we are not lacking places to<br />

go. Every day we have something new<br />

popping up – a gallery, a boutique with<br />

upscale fashions, coffee shops or restaurants.<br />

Sometimes we also go to visit an NGO or a<br />

charity project that needs support or visibility.<br />

Tuesdays are exclusively dedicated to AWA<br />

events. In Kenya, schools are over by 3 pm, so<br />

afternoons are dedicated to children. We go<br />

to swim in one of the ice-cold Nairobi pools,<br />

have a treat in some ice cream parlor or just<br />

lounge in the lush green gardens. Dinner is<br />

usually served at home, as I love cooking and<br />

it’s a good opportunity to meet as a family<br />

after a long day. A majority of my food supplies<br />

comes from farmers’ markets. Late nights are<br />

usually reserved for a movie or a cosy time at<br />

home, and in cold season, with a lit fireplace.<br />

If you could travel to one place you’ve never<br />

been, where would it be? Iceland. I share this<br />

dream destination with my teenage son.<br />

We’re both enchanted by the wild beauty,<br />

mystical Northern lights and cold weather.<br />

What is your “other” favorite city in the world?<br />

My favorite city is Lucerne, in Switzerland,<br />

because that’s where I met my husband more<br />

than 20 years ago.<br />

What is your favorite mode of transport and<br />

why? As I said, I love to travel and it doesn’t<br />

really matter how. I enjoy business class in an<br />

A380 as much as I enjoy taking a rikshaw to<br />

discover a downtown area of an Indian city.<br />

At Kazuri Beads in Nairobi<br />


Bern, Switzerland: From Peru to Europe<br />


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

Switzerland<br />

From: Lima, Peru & Bern, Switzerland<br />

Lives: Bern, Switzerland<br />

I grew up in Lima, the capital of Peru. I was an only<br />

child. My father was Swiss and my mother Peruvian.<br />

At home we spoke Swiss German, French and<br />

Spanish. We travelled once a year to Switzerland to<br />

visit my father’s mother and family. I liked to read a<br />

lot and enjoyed spending time with my cousins.<br />

My great passion was sports, and I started early taking<br />

ballet lessons, swimming and horse riding classes. In<br />

school I was good at athletics and team sports:<br />

softball and basketball. I particularly excelled in<br />

basketball and joined a club; then I was selected to<br />

represent Lima in a national championship and later<br />

became a player in the Peruvian national team<br />

which won the championship at the Bolivarian Games in Tachira, Venezuela in 1972.<br />

The political situation in Peru in the 1970s was very unstable, and the economy suffered. This<br />

situation deteriorated further following a military coup, when a junta took power and remained<br />

in power for many years. There were student protests and marches; universities were closed;<br />

foreign companies were nationalized; an agrarian reform was initiated and land expropriated.<br />

Under those unstable conditions, my parents decided I should further my education in Europe. I<br />

travelled with my mother first to Switzerland, then to Spain. Afterwards I was sent to boarding<br />

school in England, where I<br />

o b t a i n e d m y l a n g u a g e<br />

proficiency certificate and my<br />

Advance-Levels in English, History<br />

of Art and Spanish Literature. It<br />

was a complex period in my life<br />

with many changes: country,<br />

language and friends. I joined that<br />

tribe of foreign students who<br />

attend schools in Europe, stay at<br />

school at midterm and public<br />

holidays, only to return home for<br />

the summer break.<br />

I did my university studies in the US,<br />

where I attended college in New<br />

Jersey. The fact that the college<br />

was only 45 minutes from New<br />

York City influenced my choice.<br />

Me with my family<br />


After about six months, I moved out of campus and shared a flat on Main Street with two other<br />

foreign students.<br />

I studied philosophy and religion with a minor in art. It was then that I discovered a new passion,<br />

photography. I used to work in the darkroom with my flatmate until late in the evening,<br />

fascinated by all the possibilities photography offered. I took part in photo competitions and<br />

won first place at the annual photography exhibition.<br />

In the summers I travelled back to Europe. I visited northern Italy, Paris, London, Munich and a<br />

few other cities on the continent. In my junior year I took some time off and travelled with two<br />

friends through Europe, from London to Zurich and from Bari in southern Italy by ferry to the<br />

island of Corfu. From there to Athens and to Crete. We worked in Crete as olive pickers for the<br />

season from September to January. My Greek was rudimentary, but I somehow managed to<br />

pick up enough of the language to work and fend for myself. Travelling was different back<br />

then: it was more of an adventure, not an organized and paid-for trip. There was the risk, of<br />

course, of running out of money and having to go back, so whatever job was available on the<br />

road, we took, and in this way financed the next leg of the trip. We travelled to Israel, where we<br />

visited friends in Jerusalem and got a job working on a farm in the Negev desert.<br />

Cityscape of Bern, Switzerland<br />

After the trip I returned to school in New Jersey to complete my studies. Before returning to<br />

Europe I worked in New York City as a photo researcher, a photo agency assistant and as a<br />

temp in a bank on Wall Street.<br />

As the economic and political situation in Peru did not get any better, my father decided to<br />

return to his home town of Bern, the capital of Switzerland. I joined him after my stint in New<br />

York City. Although I had visited Switzerland often, I had never lived in the country, so it was a<br />

completely new experience for me: a new country, a different language and culture, new<br />

friends. I was lucky, however, and within three months I had a job. I worked for the British<br />

Embassy in the public affairs section and later for the American Embassy where I was<br />

responsible for protocol and the organization of events. I married, and my two children were<br />

born in Bern.<br />

One day I saw an advertisement in a local newspaper for tour guides that caught my eye and I<br />

decided to apply for the position. The thought of changing careers, reducing my working hours<br />

and doing something different had long been in my mind. When I was invited for an interview,<br />

then a second, I realized that this was a unique opportunity to start anew. I did the required<br />

four months intensive training in the history, institutions, attractions and customs of Bern<br />

specifically, and Switzerland in general, before obtaining my certification as a city tour guide.<br />



What are your top 5 places to visit where you<br />

live?<br />

Bern’s foundations go back to the twelfth<br />

century. It was built on a narrow peninsula<br />

surrounded on three sides by the river Aare.<br />

The buildings on either side of the streets are<br />

from that period and are still standing; so are<br />

the first and second gates of the city, built in<br />

1191 and 1255, respectively. Despite a major<br />

fire in 1405, after which much of the city was<br />

rebuilt in sandstone, and substantial<br />

construction efforts in the eighteenth century,<br />

Bern's old city has retained its medieval<br />

character to today.<br />

The landmark of the city is the Clock Tower<br />

(Zytglogge). At three minutes to the hour,<br />

crowds of visitors gather below the tower to<br />

watch the sixteenth-century clockwork figures<br />

move, from the rooster to the golden man<br />

with a hammer at the<br />

top, tolling in the hour.<br />

The Paul Klee Centre was built in 2005 by the<br />

renowned Italian architect Renzo Piano. The<br />

bold and modern masterpiece made of steel<br />

and glass symbolically recreates the hills of the<br />

Emmental. It is more than just a museum<br />

housing Paul Klee’s works; it also hosts a<br />

number of activities such as readings,<br />

concerts, a children’s museum and frequently<br />

temporary exhibitions.<br />

What is the best-kept secret in your city? The<br />

fact that Albert Einstein, the Nobel Prize<br />

winning physicist, lived and worked in Bern for<br />

seven years. Between 1903 and 1905, he<br />

rented a small flat on the Kramgasse, one of<br />

the old town main streets. At the time he<br />

worked as a clerk at the Swiss Patent Office<br />

and was married to Mileva Maric, a<br />

mathematician whom he had met while both<br />

were studying in Zurich. They had a son called<br />

The Bear Park – the city<br />

of Bern has had live<br />

bears since 1513: until<br />

1857 in the town itself,<br />

then in the bear pit and<br />

since 2009, in the new<br />

and spacious bear park.<br />

Currently there is a family<br />

of three brown bears:<br />

Finn, Björk and Ursina.<br />

T h e B e rn M i n s t e r<br />

(Münster) is the largest<br />

ecclesiastical building in<br />

Switzerland and the most<br />

impressive example of<br />

late Gothic architecture.<br />

Construction started in<br />

1421 and continued with<br />

a series of builders for<br />

generations. The spire was<br />

finally completed in 1893. The main portal with<br />

its depiction of the Last Judgement is<br />

remarkable. The minster with its spire towers<br />

over the Bern cityscape.<br />

The Rose Garden is a mecca for flower lovers<br />

and gardeners. Located across the river, it<br />

provides the best birds’ eye view of the old<br />

city. It is not only a park with a lily pond but<br />

also a recreational area with a restaurant and<br />

a playground.<br />

46<br />

City tour with the AWC Bern ladies<br />

Hans Albert. The miraculous years (Annus<br />

Mirabilis) papers, which presented<br />

Einstein's theory of relativity and contributed<br />

substantially to the foundation of modern<br />

physics, were written here and published in<br />

the Annalen der Physik.<br />

Today the Einstein house (Einsteinhaus) is a<br />

museum showing the living conditions of<br />

Einstein and his family in the apartment on the<br />

second floor with furniture from that period.

Einstein's biography and his life's work are<br />

presented on the third floor.<br />

Tell us about a typical day for you. I work as a<br />

tour guide for the city of Bern. A regular day<br />

starts when I meet the visitors at an appointed<br />

hour in town and take them for a walking tour<br />

through the old city. I start in front of a map<br />

where I summarize the history of the city of<br />

Bern from its foundations through the modern<br />

city of today. We walk through the old town,<br />

stopping at monuments and buildings of<br />

historical interest; we visit the weekly markets<br />

which specialize in “slow food” and sell local<br />

produce; and I point out curiosities and<br />

peculiarities typical of the city of Bern. Legends<br />

and funny anecdotes are also part of the<br />

repertoire. In addition, I also explain our system<br />

of government, the political structure, the<br />

military and schooling systems, taxation, health<br />

insurance and social services, among other<br />

current matters the visitors may find of interest.<br />

What is the one thing you see someone do that<br />

makes you know that they are a tourist? The<br />

look of awe some visitors have when they stroll<br />

through the streets of the old town (Altstadt).<br />

If you could travel to one place you’ve never<br />

been, where would it be? I would love to travel<br />

to Argentina and spend a few weeks there.<br />

Not just visit Buenos Aires, but the hinterland as<br />

well, with its changing geography and nature,<br />

the Pampas and the Andes. That combination<br />

of customs, culture, Catholicism and tradition<br />

appeals to me.<br />

What is your “other” favorite city in the world? I<br />

love to visit London. It is a vibrant city, a real<br />

metropolis with its ethnic mix, great food and<br />

culture. Spending a morning at the market on<br />

Portobello Road, followed by a visit to an art<br />

exhibit at the Tate or Victoria & Albert Museum<br />

and a meal in Chinatown is my preferred way<br />

to spend a weekend away. Not to forget a visit<br />

to the bookshop Waterstones with its four floors<br />

full of books.<br />

What is your favorite mode of transport? I am<br />

aware this is not a politically correct answer,<br />

but I love cars and I like driving them. My<br />

father imported American cars to Peru, so<br />

every year he had the latest model. He was<br />

also an amateur rally driver, so I was exposed<br />

to cars since I was very young. One of the<br />

games I used to play as a child during long<br />

drives was to count Volkswagens (the Beetle).<br />

A white one was 20 points, a black 50 and a<br />

red was 100; the rest just counted as 10. I<br />

usually won the game.<br />

“I feel like B sides<br />

Me with a tour group in Bern<br />


The Journey: 1975/76 in the USA<br />

USA or bust… off to Buffalo from England we went, for a year. An exchange of university<br />

professorship for my husband meant swapping houses too, so we redecorated our home,<br />

cleaned it to the point of insanity (mine) and packed up, while looking after an eighteen-month<br />

old toddler and a three-year-old, all in a heat wave (yes, despite what you might think, even in<br />

the UK we do get heatwaves occasionally).<br />

The children stayed awake throughout the flight, until on landing we were enveloped in the<br />

warm marshmallow of a summer's night in Washington. A good night’s sleep restored us all,<br />

because our offspring had stayed awake so long on the journey that they slept through the<br />

time change. We picked up our car, an impressive 6-cylinder Ford, a little shorter than a jumbo<br />

jet and just about as difficult to park, and drove north.<br />

Our house in downtown Buffalo, NY, was straight out of Lady and the Tramp, two minutes from<br />

the police watering-hole of Dunkin’ Donuts. We inherited a network of friends in the Buffalo<br />

Philharmonic and the faculty, and we spent every vacation travelling, while John still managed<br />

to fit in holding an exhibition of his work and teaching people to climb, up in Canada.<br />

The car broke down on every trip - Alabama in a tropical storm, the middle of Kansas on a<br />

sweltering summer Sunday, the Quebec hinterland with nothing between us and the North Pole<br />

but moose and caribou.<br />

We gazed in wonder at the Fall in New England<br />

and Niagara Falls in the winter. We experienced<br />

“Lake Effect” snow and an ice storm. We visited<br />

Santa in his workshop, and we met a hungry bear.<br />

An Algonquin elder in his long house became<br />

aggressive with my husband when he realized that<br />

he came from Gravesend - “Give us back<br />

Pocahontas!” We went down the Mississippi to New<br />

Orleans and up the Eastern Seaboard to Maine. We<br />

survived a hurricane in the Delta and lost the car<br />

keys forever beneath the sands of Florida. We<br />

endured the wettest summer for years in the<br />

Rockies, complete with mudslides, and got altitude<br />

sickness going over the Great Divide. We camped<br />

in Monument Valley and bought Navajo jewellery.<br />

We walked in the desert in 49 degrees Celsius. We<br />

marvelled at Bryce, Arches, Zion, Yellowstone,<br />

Mount Rushmore, Mesa Verde, the Grand<br />

Canyon… so many places.<br />

Our fearless two-year-old daughter tried to hurl<br />

herself down every canyon and over every<br />

precipice. She survived the trip only due to welltethered<br />

baby reins.<br />

At the top of the Grand Canyon<br />

We met a rich cross-section of intelligent, fascinating people (musicians, conductors, professors,<br />

artists, writers ) and idiots (“Mummy, are those people supposed to be feeding popcorn to the<br />

bears?”), (“Gee, you come from England… what language do they speak there?”), and<br />

benefited from great kindness - “I’ll jess leave my [nearly 7-foot tall] son here to guard your wife<br />

and kids while we go into town and find a garage that’s open on a Sunday afternoon.”<br />


Rules for long-distance driving with small kids:<br />

-Drive at night whenever possible.<br />

-Don’t stop to eat - you eat in the car, and<br />

you stop to run around!<br />

The years were 1975 and 1976 - the Bicentennial! On<br />

our trip through New England we coincidentally<br />

arrived in Concord, Massachusetts, 200 years to the<br />

day after the first shots of the Revolution were fired…<br />

The re-enacting “militiamen” of varying ages and<br />

girths did their best to impress us. I quote from<br />

Garrison Keillor - “All in all, these were not the sort of<br />

people whom you would want firing muskets around<br />

a crowd…” By the end of ‘76 the children thought<br />

that the only colors in America were red, white and<br />

blue, with silver stars.<br />

When the time came to leave we held a potluck<br />

party and said a reluctant good-bye to the amazing<br />

friends we had made, swapping last-minute recipes<br />

which are still family favorites.<br />

The journey home - a mad dash to Hamilton, Ontario<br />

(before visa expires and we can’t get back in to the<br />

States!) with a huge crate of accumulated<br />

possessions to be shipped home, including bales of<br />

items from the summer White Sales, which we are still<br />

using. Clean up Buffalo house in summer heat<br />

(again!) - forget the windows (because I keep losing<br />

count at 44), collapse in hot train, catch plane, oof!<br />

John and the kids, Arches National Park at 49 °C<br />

We landed back in London in an all-consuming heat wave (again!), the hire car took hours to<br />

collect and was the wrong size, being too small by a factor of at least 4! We crammed in and<br />

piled the luggage on top of ourselves. The long drive north in the non air-conditioned car,<br />

became the journey from hell, the children remaining wide awake. They had slept on the plane<br />

- their mother had not.<br />

Mummy: “I’ll drive… please let me drive!”<br />

Daddy: “Oh no need, really! I’m fine, you just amuse the kids.”<br />

It was like coming home to Hades… without even a Dunkin’ Donut to comfort us.<br />

Rosie Bevis is from the UK and currently lives in Montpellier. She is a member of the AWG of<br />

Languedoc Roussillon, and when not writing spends her time teaching, travelling and<br />

volunteering. She is a very bad patchworker, loves walking and exploring the region, being with<br />

her grandchildren, reading and playing with the cat.<br />


Genoa, Italy: Cruising Round the World<br />


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

Genoa, Italy<br />

From: Chicago, IL<br />

Lives: Genoa, Italy<br />

I was born in Chicago and I lived in three other states<br />

on the east coast while growing up. I moved back to<br />

a Chicago suburb to finish high school and complete<br />

nursing school.<br />

After graduating from nursing school I moved to<br />

Chicago’s south side and worked an intense 2 years<br />

at Cook County Hospital female gynecology city<br />

prison facilities and psychiatric unit and, to calm my<br />

nerves on the weekends, I worked at Children’s<br />

Memorial, now known as Lurie Children’s Hospital.<br />

Immediately after graduation I had this inner necessity<br />

to serve and assist. So as you can tell, in these two<br />

years I worked and worked.<br />

To experience a different side of nursing I moved to<br />

Atlanta, Georgia to help a friend open his private practice. On my first vacation I took a cruise<br />

with this friend and his family to the Caribbean and that is where I met my future husband, deck<br />

officer on “The Love Boat” and, from that day forward, my passion for travel and overall cruising<br />

began. Eleven months later I moved to Italy to start a new life beginning with a new work<br />

experience at an international hospital in Genoa. Because I did not speak a single word of<br />

Italian, the tales of many funny language stories came into being.<br />

As a young mom, it seemed<br />

only natural to get involved<br />

at my children’s school, their<br />

sports activities and events,<br />

and at our church. I was the<br />

only nurse (and still am) in our<br />

small village. So everyone got<br />

to know me as a lot of inhome<br />

care is routine in Italy.<br />

At the hospital where I<br />

worked, I introduced the first<br />

Christmas party and grab<br />

bag gift exchange. Then it<br />

was one party after another.<br />

The Italians loved it.<br />

I have been involved with<br />

FAWCO for many years and<br />

had many positions, both in<br />

my local club and in FAWCO.<br />

Porto Antico of Genoa<br />


To me FAWCO is an exciting no-pay<br />

work sector, which is full of challenges<br />

and surprises. It engages my head<br />

and my heart. It motivated me from<br />

within to give the most of myself for<br />

the welfare of others. It meets my<br />

values in life. I’ve met and become<br />

friends with numerous people in<br />

different positions and walks of life.<br />

Being a FAWCO volunteer has made<br />

me a better person. I’ve been saying<br />

it since 1990: FAWCO is my passion, it is<br />

what I do for myself.<br />

There are three things that have<br />

happened through my involvement in<br />

FAWCO that make me happy. First<br />

was my own “Kids Help” project for<br />

the Target Project which created Target cruise with FAWCO friends<br />

awareness among our members’<br />

children of the less fortunate kids in the world. It consisted of gift certificate in the name of a child<br />

of your choice. This certificate, piece of paper that it was, earned thousands of dollars for Target.<br />

With the sponsorship of my club and their trust in me, I happily organized the charity cruises for<br />

the various Foundation projects: 384 passengers raised more than $32,000 while being together<br />

in a harmonious group of friends, old and new, being on the same track and giving from the<br />

heart. Third was receiving the Caroline Curtis Brown Spirit Award in 2007 which was special.<br />


What are your top 5 places to visit where you<br />

live? My favorite region in Italy is Tuscany and<br />

the city of Florence only a few hours’ drive<br />

away from my home. It is packed full with<br />

amazing architecture, history, it’s the<br />

birthplace of the Renaissance, culture and<br />

let’s not forget the Chianti wine. I encourage<br />

everyone at least once in their lifetime to visit.<br />

My second choice is the Amalfi Coast, which<br />

requires more than a day to visit. You can’t go<br />

there without seeing the cliff-side village of<br />

Positano and stopping in at the church of<br />

Santa Maria Assunta, which has a majolica<br />

dome and holds the sacred Byzantine icon of<br />

the Virgin Mary. Enjoy the Isle of Capri boat<br />

experience and visit the Blue Grotto and the<br />

Gardens of Augustus. Sorrento hosts a majestic<br />

cathedral and is home of the delicious<br />

limoncello liqueur. Amalfi is a waterfront village<br />

with colorful houses and famous beaches. No<br />

visit would be complete without going to<br />

Pompeii or Herulaneum to see the ancient<br />

ruins.<br />

Third, Verona is a city in northern Italy that<br />

won’t disappoint you if you are looking for<br />

romance. You can walk or bike the footsteps<br />

of Romeo and Juliet. You’ll find the pink<br />

marble amphitheater that dates back to 1 st<br />

century AD, which today host thousands of<br />

people for the annual summer opera and rock<br />

music festivals.<br />

Fourth, Venice is the ideal honeymoon<br />

destination which I can attest for in person.<br />

This, fairy-tale city is best known for its lagoons,<br />

magical alleyways, romantic bridges and<br />

golden domes. If you’re in Venice you must<br />

take a gondola ride down the Grand Canal.<br />

Fifth, Rome is the place where you can step<br />

back in time and have one of the best history<br />

lessons ever. Known as the Eternal City.<br />

Ancient fountains, Renaissance palaces,<br />

classical ruins, places of worship, museums and<br />

a smorgasbord of eateries will make your time<br />

in the city fly by.<br />


What is the best-kept secret in your city?<br />

Genoa probably is not on most people’s list<br />

when they start to plan a trip to Italy, but it is a<br />

great place to start for experiencing the<br />

“dolce vita,” and why not start at the gateway<br />

of the Italian Rivera. The city hosts the largest<br />

harbor aquarium in Europe, kids love visiting<br />

the life size pirate ship permanently docked in<br />

Porto Antico and only a few steps away you<br />

can discover the charm of the old city and its<br />

medieval winding streets, historic center and<br />

the UNESCO Palazzi dei Rolli. Most people<br />

don’t know that pesto sauce and foccacia<br />

bread originated right here .<br />

What is the one<br />

thing you see<br />

someone do that<br />

makes you know<br />

that they are a<br />

tourist? It is almost<br />

impossible for any<br />

tourist to resist the<br />

special inexpensive<br />

treat of gelato with<br />

its more than 80<br />

flavors, so when I<br />

see the crowds of<br />

happy faces<br />

outside the icecream<br />

shops, I<br />

could bet my<br />

bottom dollar they’re tourists.<br />

If you could travel to one place you’ve never<br />

been, where would it be? I couldn’t possibly<br />

pick just one place with so much of the world<br />

I’ve yet to discover but one continent, yes, I<br />

could do that. Spectacular nature, music,<br />

dance and great passion: South America is a<br />

single destination full of life. I could choose to<br />

stay on the splendid beaches of Brazil and<br />

explore lively cities or go to Uruguay and<br />

search out its colonial heritage corners, visit its<br />

famous Finger Beach, which is host to the giant<br />

fingers emerging from the sand. Head to<br />

Argentina and the city of Buenos Aires, the<br />

water falls of Igazù and the blue glaciers of<br />

Patagonia. This seductive continent could<br />

conquer me for sure.<br />

What is your “other” favorite city in the world?<br />

One of the cities that I enjoyed immensely<br />

during a 28-day stay was Tokyo. The Skytree is<br />

the world’s highest skywalk, and its view is<br />

different from all the others I’ve ever seen.<br />

Tsukiji fish market with its everyday 5 am live<br />

tuna auction is a crazy moment of adrenaline<br />

rush for many. If you like trains, then you’ll love<br />

the Shinjuku railway station, which moves 3.5<br />

million passengers a day. It is actually a station<br />

where 5 stations all come together. No wonder<br />

it took me 30 minutes to find my platform! A<br />

fascinating fact about Tokyo is that every few<br />

meters you’ll find vending machines. They sell<br />

everything, really everything. Clothes, toilet<br />

paper, umbrellas, hot and cold food and drink,<br />

batteries, fresh flowers and vegetables, to<br />

name just a few. The Hanami festival in April,<br />

which lasts<br />

a b o u t t w o<br />

weeks, features<br />

the national<br />

s y m b o l o f<br />

Japan, the<br />

c h e r r y<br />

b l o s s o m s .<br />

People are<br />

always in awe<br />

when they view<br />

my photos of<br />

S h i b u y a<br />

Crossing, where<br />

2500 people<br />

cross the street<br />

At the Shibuya train station in Tokyo, watching commuters cross the<br />

road<br />

i n s e v e r a l<br />

directions all at<br />

the same time. What about the invention of<br />

the capsule hotels? Just a cubby hole space<br />

to spend the night that is cheap and cozy.<br />

Most of all, I loved feeling safe while I walked<br />

the streets alone at night to see the neon-lights<br />

and the kindness of the local people.<br />

What is your favorite mode of transport? A<br />

cruise ship of course. I love being able to visit<br />

several places during a holiday and then<br />

choose to go back for a longer stay at the<br />

places I enjoyed the most.<br />

You Tube video of Italy<br />


Berkshire, England: From Australia With Love<br />


AWBS International <strong>Women</strong>’s Club,<br />

England<br />

From: Sydney, Australia<br />

Lives: Ascot, Berkshire, England<br />

I was born and raised in the eastern suburbs of Sydney,<br />

Australia, in Rose Bay, between Bondi Beach and Watsons<br />

Bay. My immediate family was pretty run of the mill for the<br />

time: mum, dad, younger brother. My brother and I attended<br />

local schools and I never really ventured far from home. My<br />

family is very close-knit, surrounded by aunts and uncles and<br />

cousins and friends who were as close as family could be. My<br />

father once said in a speech, you can choose your friends but<br />

not your family and we are blessed with both. He was<br />

right! Family celebrations are HUGE and that’s just my father’s<br />

side. Mum’s side is just as big, but we are not as close with that<br />

part of the family.<br />

I’m the second youngest of first cousins; they are all married<br />

now and some of them have had kids and, yes, we are so close that 3rd, 4th cousins are seen<br />

often, and are counted as friends.<br />

I always knew I wanted to work in advertising and marketing. Despite doing well at school, I<br />

failed my final year exams. My dream disappeared in seconds. I remember slamming my<br />

bedroom door and howling for hours. My parents said there are many ways to get into the<br />

industry; I just had to think of a different approach. And so I went to secretarial school instead<br />

and set off into the world.<br />

I had several secretarial/administration jobs in various local businesses. But I still wanted to get<br />

into the advertising/marketing industry, so I enrolled into a part-time evening course at college. It<br />

was there that I met<br />

T o d d , w h o j u s t<br />

happened to work at a<br />

large multinational<br />

advertising agency. He<br />

told me they were<br />

desperate for a<br />

receptionist in the<br />

media department and<br />

that he thought I’d be<br />

perfect. I was the worst<br />

receptionist ever, but<br />

somehow, somewhere<br />

they saw promise.<br />

Long story short, after a<br />

while as receptionist I<br />

got an interview with<br />

At the rugby with my family<br />


the advertising director of a leading women’s magazine and I never looked back. I had a stellar<br />

career on some of Australia’s leading women’s magazines, and ultimately The Australian<br />

newspaper. I have had many proud career moments, but the biggest one, was leading the<br />

change from black-and-white newspapers to colour in Sydney and Melbourne for News Limited.<br />

When my (now) husband and I decided to have a baby, we moved about an hour and 15<br />

minutes away from home/mum/family, and I stepped back from my career. To be honest, I<br />

struggled for a few months in this new area, so several days a week, I would pop bub in her car<br />

seat and drive “home” to hang out with friends in familiar surroundings. The funny thing is,<br />

moving to Dublin with no<br />

friends, not knowing my way<br />

around and with a toddler<br />

was in many ways so much<br />

easier. I think it was the<br />

excitement of a move; the<br />

unknown was kind of thrilling,<br />

and even when things got<br />

tough home was too far<br />

away so I had to just put on<br />

my big girl pants (yet again)<br />

and deal with it.<br />

M y h u s b a n d w a s<br />

r e c o m m e n d e d f o r a<br />

contract assignment in<br />

Dublin by several colleagues,<br />

and after a bit of discussion<br />

we thought why not? It was a<br />

2-year contract. There was a<br />

beginning, a middle and an<br />

end, so why not?<br />

Still Aussie through and through!<br />

This was to be just the start of an international life. We’ve lived in Dublin; Japan; Winchester, UK;<br />

back to Dublin and now Berkshire, England. We’ve had tons of visitors over the years and<br />

travelled around the places we’ve lived. We are probably going to move on to our 6th<br />

adventure summer 2020, but who knows?!<br />


What are your top 5 places to visit where you<br />

live? Windsor Castle – the history, the artwork,<br />

the grounds, King George’s Chapel, the fact<br />

it’s still used today as the Queen’s main<br />

residence when she’s not at Buckingham<br />

Palace, all great.<br />

Great Fosters for afternoon tea – Dating back<br />

to 1224, Great Fosters was King Henry VI’s<br />

hunting lodge. The building is stunning. The<br />

grounds are magnificent. And afternoon tea is<br />

truly delicious.<br />

The Great Windsor Park – the magnificent<br />

grounds, the abundance of nature and open<br />

space. Perfect open space for families.<br />

Winchester – the Saxon capital of England.<br />

Winchester Cathedral, the resting place of<br />

Kings and Queens and Jane Austen (who lived<br />

a few streets away for a few months before<br />

she died); pretty High Street, farmers’ markets,<br />

River Itchen, Winchester College, lots of small<br />

villages surrounding the centre with great<br />

restaurants and thatched-roofed houses.<br />

London – a mere 40 minutes by train from our<br />

home to one of the world’s most dynamic<br />

cities. Museums. Galleries. Theatres.<br />

Architecture. Shopping. Restaurants. The list<br />

goes on.<br />


Highclere Castle with AWBS<br />

To walk into the Louvre, where millions of<br />

people have gone before me and will go after<br />

me, was just incredible. To stand in front of so<br />

much art that I had only seen in books. To hear<br />

our then 4-year-old, say “there’s Julia” when<br />

she saw Degas’, Little Dancer, made me cry<br />

tears of joy. She had been watching Little<br />

Einstein's children’s TV, and knew all about<br />

Egyptian hieroglyphics and Roman statues,<br />

and was eager to explore that section of the<br />

gallery herself.<br />

One visit back to Paris was to see a friend’s<br />

daughter from Sydney perform her last show at<br />

the Moulin Rouge! She had been there two<br />

years, and we simply had not got around to<br />

visiting, but there was no way we were going<br />

to miss her very last show.<br />

If you could travel to one place you’ve never<br />

been, where would it be? Just one? That’s not<br />

fair. Since becoming an expat I found that<br />

there are simply too many places to explore.<br />

Our bucket list just keeps expanding as friends<br />

post their holidays onto social media and we<br />

think, wow, that looks great, let’s go there. But<br />

IF I have to choose one, it would be Africa to<br />

see the animals, visit a school/s and help with<br />

the kids, experience a home stay.<br />

What is your favourite mode of transport and<br />

why? My car (as bad as that might be). Why?<br />

Because it gives me control over when and<br />

where I go. It gives me independence. It can<br />

be packed to the brim for a driving holiday, or<br />

take friends on an adventure.<br />

Or Egypt. Friends just got back from spring<br />

break there and it looked amazing!<br />

What is your “other” favorite city in the world?<br />

Paris, because it was our first visit to an<br />

international city as a family. To finally be<br />

there, when I had only seen it in movies, or<br />

books or friends’ photos, was incredible. I<br />

walked around with my eyes bulging and my<br />

mouth open in WOWness and my husband<br />

needed to grab my arm several times as I was<br />

in a world of my own, oblivious to the other<br />

people on the street or the crazy drivers.<br />

At the Greenwich Mean Time line<br />

There are just so many heart-warming firsts for<br />

us. Our daughter turned 4 years old on our first<br />

trip (I have been fortunate to have been 3<br />

more times), and she was engaged and<br />

curious, which obviously helped us enjoy the<br />

few days we were there.<br />


A Club Inspires: AWC Bogotá<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 introduce to you the<br />

American <strong>Women</strong>’s Club of Bogotá, Colombia, from Region 10. Over to their president, Mary<br />

Stange...<br />

When, why, and by whom was your club started?<br />

The American <strong>Women</strong>’s Club of Bogotá has been<br />

operating and flourishing for over 72 years since its<br />

founding in November 1947 by a group of 30 North<br />

American women residents of Bogotá. With President<br />

Florence Smith at the helm, the group wished to<br />

“promote unity and good fellowship in the American<br />

community” while furthering “social, cultural, and<br />

benevolent activities” within Bogotá.<br />

AWCB President Mary Stange<br />

How many members do you have and what is their<br />

nationality? Today, Bogotá is a very multi-national city<br />

with tons of international business and a large<br />

diplomatic community. Within our club, we have 185<br />

women representing countries all across the world!<br />

Our club breaks down to approximately 46%<br />

Americans, 24% Colombians, and 30% other<br />

nationalities representing countries such as Canada,<br />

Germany, Russia, and Peru.<br />

Additionally, there is a great variety of reasons why<br />

each member is in Colombia to begin with. Many are expats, either diplomats, brought by a<br />

spouse’s job, or married to a Colombian, but many members are also locals who have lived in<br />

Colombia their entire lives. Our club is diverse and cultured, much like the land of Colombia!<br />

How does the club run? The<br />

board of our club consists of 16<br />

members elected annually in<br />

November, serving a one-year<br />

term. Many board members<br />

have served more than one<br />

term in their current positions.<br />

All clubs, no matter their focus<br />

or agenda, desire higher<br />

participation and volunteerism<br />

f r o m t h e i r m e m b e r s .<br />

Considering the size of AWC<br />

Bogotá, our members have a<br />

high level of activity and<br />

engagement in the club.<br />

What kind of events do you<br />

have in your club? Our Program<br />

Coordinators do an excellent<br />

job at bringing unforgettable,<br />

The AWCB Shopping Group visited a local carpet factory<br />


unique activities to club members. These range from a trip to a private orchid garden, a visit to<br />

the presidential palace, and informative general meetings on the current Venezuelan crisis.<br />

Members remain active through many exclusive activities only found within AWC.<br />

Since our club is so large, we have had to find a way to break it down to effectively engage<br />

our members. While we have many programs that cater to the club at large, most of our<br />

activities are centered around smaller, interest-based sub-groups. There is truly something for<br />

everyone in AWC Bogotá!<br />

One of the most popular<br />

sub-groups is the Shopping<br />

Group. And let’s be honest<br />

— shopping really is most<br />

people’s favorite thing to<br />

do when they travel. The<br />

Shopping Group really<br />

serves two major functions<br />

within the club: first, to<br />

organize monthly shopping<br />

outings to unique, off-thebeaten-path<br />

locations,<br />

and second, to provide<br />

shopping and living tips<br />

around the city.<br />

Our popular Shopping Group with Mario Hernandez, handbag designer<br />

Several of our sub-groups<br />

focus on physical activities:<br />

cooking clubs, out-to-lunch groups, coffee meetups, happy hour, dancing, hiking, playgroups,<br />

book clubs, etc. But many of our sub-groups are information based, centered on sharing<br />

information on the city and different activities! The “Getting Glam,” Families, Travel, and Arts &<br />

Crafts groups are the most popular.<br />

Which cause do you raise money for and how do you do raise it? AWC Bogotá supports 13<br />

local charities through donations of milk and groceries. We help a diverse population, from<br />

young girls in rehab to<br />

paraplegics, elderly care to<br />

after-school programs. The<br />

extremely dedicated<br />

members of the Social<br />

Services team spearhead<br />

this effort, visiting each<br />

organization quarterly to<br />

ensure recipients are<br />

following ethical practices<br />

and effectively using our<br />

donations. Our club is<br />

poised in a very good<br />

position to help local<br />

o r g a n i z a t i o n s s i m p l y<br />

because there is so much<br />

need within Colombia itself.<br />

We have immediate<br />

access to our organizations<br />

and are very hands-on in<br />

their development.<br />

Ladies of the Hiking Group explore a new trail every month<br />


Much of our philanthropic<br />

giving is sustained through<br />

m e m b e r d u e s ,<br />

supplemented with the<br />

occasional fundraiser. In the<br />

past, those have included<br />

larger events: fashion shows,<br />

galas, or concerts. As the<br />

club has grown and<br />

changed in recent years, we<br />

have felt the necessity to<br />

change with the flow and<br />

interest of members. Today,<br />

we sustain our fundraising<br />

through smaller events such<br />

as bingo, trivia night, and a<br />

Christmas bazaar, with even<br />

smaller, “micro-fundraisers”<br />

thrown in the mix.<br />

Members of the Melting Pot group donated pies to our annual Thanksgiving Lunch. A<br />

treat for all!<br />

What was your own favorite activity last year?<br />

This past year, my favorite activity was our annual Thanksgiving lunch. What made this event so<br />

special was the way it incorporated many segments of our club that might not otherwise<br />

interact. Rather than being provided by one group or committee, our sub-groups were all<br />

engaged to donate specific dishes. Potatoes and stuffing were provided by the Cooking Club,<br />

green bean casserole by the Vegetarian Cooking Group, pies from the Melting Pot and drinks<br />

from the Out to Lunch Bunch. It was truly a celebration of coming together and cooperation to<br />

create a truly amazing meal with local flair. And to me, there’s no better way to come together<br />

than through food.<br />

Tell us a little about your city and country in general? Is it as you imagined? Colombia might be<br />

most known for its dark and violent history, but there is so much cultural beauty that is present<br />

just below the surface. With artists such as Gabriel García Márquez and Fernando Botero, not to<br />

mention the enormous music scene, Colombia is bursting with color, flavor, and personality. A<br />

simple walk through Bogotá’s La Candelaria neighborhood will show the heritage this city holds<br />

with its colorful facades and small, cobblestone streets.<br />

A collection of hats in the traditional style of Colombia’s<br />

coastal regions<br />

It’s been uplifting to<br />

see young Colombian<br />

entrepreneurs doing<br />

everything they can to<br />

c h a n g e p u b l i c<br />

perception of their<br />

home country in any<br />

way they can, mostly<br />

through tourism. They<br />

want to remove that<br />

negative stigma about<br />

Colombia that you still<br />

h e a r t o d a y .<br />

Everywhere you look,<br />

you’ll find young<br />

people engaged in<br />

opening their hearts<br />

and culture to show<br />

the real Colombia, the<br />


one that’s full of life, food, a<br />

little pain, but most of all, pride<br />

in who they are and where<br />

they came from.<br />

Colombia has some of the most<br />

diverse land on the planet,<br />

from misty mountain climates to<br />

sunny Caribbean beaches,<br />

both rich in fauna and flora.<br />

Moreover, Colombia has some<br />

of the greatest agricultural<br />

diversity in the world and even<br />

has the capacity to be a future<br />

world food reserve!<br />

Tell us about any unusual/<br />

interesting traditions or traits of<br />

the locals. My favorite<br />

Government buildings inside Bogotá’s largest plaza, Bolivar Square<br />

Colombian phrase is que pena.<br />

It can mean anything from “excuse me” to a laid-back “what a shame”. If you bump into<br />

someone on the street… que pena. If your fork falls on the floor… que pena. If you’re caught in<br />

the rain without an umbrella… que pena.<br />

I’ve been told this flexible phrase has different connotations in other Spanish-speaking countries<br />

and one might even take offense if it’s used to a non-Colombian…. But I suppose all one can<br />

do is shrug and say… que pena.<br />

Why not come and visit us one day! Mary x<br />

An aerial view of Bogotá’s most well-known vista and accompanying church, Monserrate. It sits on a hill above the city and can<br />

be reached via cable car, funicular, or hiking path.<br />


Frankfurt, Germany: Walking Tours<br />


American International <strong>Women</strong>’s Club<br />

Frankfurt Taunus Rhein-Main, Germany<br />

From: Columbus, OH<br />

Lives: Frankfurt am Main, Germany<br />

I grew up in Columbus, Ohio. I was an only child. My<br />

parents divorced when I was 4, then Mom remarried<br />

and my step-dad adopted me. He died of ALS when I<br />

was 12 and she remarried again when I was 15, giving<br />

me 4 step-siblings.<br />

After high school I tried college for 2 quarters, then<br />

moved to Florida for 2 years, then back to Ohio. I<br />

worked in fast food management and joined the Army Reserve when I was 26. At 28 I had my<br />

son and married his father. Sadly, this only lasted for 2 years.<br />

My Army Reserve unit came to Germany<br />

in 1986 and I met a German man whom I<br />

later married and had a daughter with.<br />

We divorced when she was 5. In 2001, a<br />

childhood friend found me on<br />

Classmates.com and we reconnected,<br />

leading to marriage 2 years later. We<br />

have been happily married since 2003.<br />

I have always been a history buff and<br />

living in Frankfurt provides me with tons of<br />

material to choose from. My husband<br />

and I began a walking tour business in<br />

2008, which lets us indulge our passion for<br />

history and get paid for doing it.<br />

it feels like I have led an adventuresome<br />

life, grabbing for the gusto wherever I<br />

could, laughing as often as possible. It<br />

has also been a rather poor life with true<br />

struggles just to pay rent, raise my kids as<br />

a single mom, living in a foreign country. I<br />

h e l d b a c k f r o m j o i n i n g<br />

the <strong>Women</strong>’s Club here for many years<br />

because I wasn't sure if it would be a<br />

good fit. Frankly, I wish I would have<br />

joined a long time ago. The women are<br />

fantastic and I have made lots of friends.<br />

My worries were unfounded.<br />

In my Army Reserve Unit<br />



Tell us about a typical day for you.<br />

Many days, I am at the airport picking<br />

up a tour, as we specialize in layover<br />

tours in Frankfurt. We tour the city for<br />

several hours and then they fly away.<br />

On days off, I may go to a nearby<br />

town to explore or go on a tour in<br />

Frankfurt led by one of my many tour<br />

guide friends.<br />

What are your top 5 places to visit<br />

where you live? The Rhine and the little<br />

towns along it. Büdingen, which is a<br />

walled, medieval city. Frankfurt<br />

Höchst, which is a charming<br />

neighborhood in our city. Limburg, a<br />

town filled with unique half-timbered buildings.<br />

What is the best-kept secret in your city? The<br />

Carmeliter Cloister. Beautiful, old wall paintings<br />

from the 1500’s and it is not in any guidebook.<br />

What is the one thing you see someone do that<br />

makes you know that they are a tourist?<br />

Waiting to cross the street at zebra crossings.<br />

Everyone else just walks because the cars and<br />

trams have to stop there. There is also the<br />

“Tourist Clutch,” people holding on to their<br />

bags for dear life, afraid that someone will<br />

grab them.<br />

What is your “other” favorite city in the world?<br />

San Francisco. It’s beautiful, historical, multicultural,<br />

great food, and it is on the water.<br />

What is your favorite mode of transport and<br />

why? Trains. So comfy and fast. It is scary riding<br />

in cars after only using trains and buses for the<br />

past 32 years.<br />

If you could travel to one place you’ve never<br />

been, where would it be? I would go to Egypt. I<br />

have always wanted to go there since I was a<br />

child. I longed to be an archaeologist.<br />

You Tube video of Frankfurt<br />


If You Could Own A Famous Building Which Would It Be?<br />

Burj Khalifa in Dubai would be my dream building<br />

to own. It always impresses me … how could<br />

something so tall be built? Dubai is fun – fun for<br />

the whole family with a pinch of a dream …<br />

perfect holiday destination. Everything in Dubai<br />

seems perfect, which gives me hope that there<br />

would not be much<br />

to do to maintain<br />

“my building” and I<br />

could just interact<br />

with the incredible<br />

international mix of<br />

its visitors.<br />



The White<br />

H o u s e<br />

because<br />

then I<br />

would be<br />

President<br />

a n d<br />

could try<br />

and get our country straightened out as I<br />

have common sense. I wanted to be<br />

President when I was a child and<br />

everyone told me I couldn’t because I<br />

was a girl.<br />


The Longaberger basket making company building<br />

in Newark, Ohio. Its got the WOW factor. Happy<br />

memories pop into mind! Wouldn’t it be marvelous<br />

to give away picnics to the hungry people in the<br />

w o r l d ? T h i s<br />

wouldn’t just be<br />

an act of charity,<br />

it would make a<br />

happy memory<br />

for someone by<br />

creating a unique<br />

and dignified<br />

experience. ANN DeSIMONI<br />

The Sydney Opera<br />

House simply<br />

because it is unique<br />

and brings such joy<br />

to so many people<br />

for so many different<br />

reasons.<br />

It’s in my home city,<br />

on the most stunning harbor in the world. It’s<br />

located on Tubowgule, a place of gathering and<br />

belonging. The Gadigal and Sydney Basin clans<br />

would meet on the island, dance, feast and sing,<br />

exchange knowledge and share stories - and that<br />

spirit lives on under the sails.<br />


The buildings around the Piazza Santo<br />

Stefano in Bologna. The view of the<br />

churches, the windows of the very old<br />

buildings, the square itself, is breath<br />

taking. There is one particular flat<br />

there that has a terrace with a huge<br />

bouganvilla that I love looking at.<br />


Warner Brothers’ studio in Los Angeles.<br />

It’s a very interesting place for someone<br />

who works in the movies. I could see<br />

behind the scenes and all the hard work<br />

going on 17 to 18 hours a day. I could<br />

be on<br />

the spot<br />

to see all<br />

that.<br />

JEANY AL<br />

SAHURI<br />


Marrakesh, Morocco: Magical Medinas<br />


American International <strong>Women</strong>’s<br />

Association of Marrakesh, Morocco<br />

From: Germany & Morocco<br />

Lives: Marrakesh, Morocco<br />

I was born and raised in Stuttgart, Germany. My<br />

father is from Palestine. My mother is half-<br />

German and half-Moroccan.<br />

My grandmother and mother were a big part<br />

of my early life. They ran a Versace boutique,<br />

which was full of celebrities. So, in my early<br />

childhood there was lots of laughter and I often<br />

saw racing drivers, football players and other<br />

well-known figures.<br />

In 2000, my father got very sick and was in hospital in Leipzig, Germany, 700km away from<br />

Stuttgart. So, we spent six months there, sleeping in the hospital to be near him.<br />

Then, in 2003, my mother who<br />

was in Morocco, asked me to<br />

go there. Since I fancied some<br />

better weather, I decided to go.<br />

I left Germany on Friday and by<br />

Sunday I was in Morocco.<br />

Marrakesh caught me and now<br />

I will never go back to live in<br />

Germany. I just go there to visit<br />

and see family.<br />

I remember vividly my first visit to<br />

Morocco at the age of 3. Since<br />

then, I have always been<br />

inspired by the religion, the<br />

food, the culture and the<br />

people. The country is magical<br />

for me. Every day, I am inspired<br />

by everything. It’s the full<br />

package. Now thanks to AIWA<br />

Marrakesh I have been able to<br />

get involved in charity work and<br />

fund-raising so that I can give<br />

something back to this country<br />

that I love so much.<br />

Shooting with SJP for Sex in the City 2<br />


If you could travel to one place<br />

you’ve never been, where would it<br />

be? I would travel to Japan. I<br />

would love to wear a kimono, take<br />

part in the tea ceremony and<br />

experience a culture that I have<br />

never experienced before.<br />

What is the one thing you see<br />

someone do that makes you know<br />

that they are a tourist?<br />

They have big cameras and they<br />

are wearing sandals and shorts. In<br />

the medina they are on their cell<br />

phones looking for Google Maps.<br />

The Medina<br />


What are your top 5 places to visit where you<br />

live?<br />

The Medina – it’s so colorful and never sleeps.<br />

Bahia Palace – the architecture is stunning and<br />

it’s full of history. It is a very impressive building<br />

and full of positive energy.<br />

Selman Hotel – it does a wonderful brunch and<br />

is very child-friendly. It also has a stud farm.<br />

An organic pharmacy (for example Herboriste<br />

Marrakesh) –- with argan oil and spices. It is<br />

very interesting to sit and listen about natural<br />

products and medicines. We are used to<br />

medical things, but I think natural things are<br />

much better.<br />

Spa and hammam (the Mamounia hotel or<br />

Selman hotel, for example) – to relax after a<br />

day’s sight-seeing.<br />

What is your “other” favorite city in<br />

the world?<br />

New York is my favorite city. My<br />

father was there in the 1990s. We<br />

all visited him for a month. It’s an<br />

amazing place and I would like to<br />

live there for a year or two, in a<br />

big apartment in a 40-floor<br />

building. I also love all the food;<br />

especially the food in Chinatown.<br />

What is your favorite mode of transport? With 3<br />

children or VIP guests, the car is definitely my<br />

favorite form of transport. (Even in Marrakesh!)<br />

Tell us about a typical day for you. I like to<br />

show people the medina, the streets, the<br />

spices, the carpets and rugs. There is no typical<br />

day. Every day there is something new; it’s like<br />

an adventure, a story book. Sometimes, I<br />

receive a message requesting a VIP tour of the<br />

medina, the Atlas Mountains, Essaouira or a<br />

movie or photo shoot, with vintage clothes.<br />

Jeany in Marrakesh<br />


Barcelona, Spain: Remember to Look Up<br />


Barcelona <strong>Women</strong>’s Network, Spain<br />

From: Bologna, Italy<br />

Lives: Barcelona, Spain<br />

I was born in Bucharest, but I left when I was 3 and a<br />

half owing to World War II. My mother and 3 girls<br />

(including me) went to Bologna (Italy) to her father´s<br />

house. My father stayed behind because of his work<br />

and was able to come to Bologna only two years<br />

later. From Bologna we moved to Madrid.<br />

I lived in Madrid until I married and went to Milan.<br />

That was my first winter in Italy, since, as children we<br />

only went to Bologna and to the Dolomites for the<br />

summer. After a year of marriage, my husband and I<br />

went to live in Venezuela, where my son was born.<br />

Daily life there was not easy due to crime.<br />

After two years we moved to New York/<br />

New Jersey and then, after another three<br />

years, we went back to Milan. We lived<br />

happily in Milan for five years before my<br />

husband was offered a job in Lagos<br />

(Nigeria). We lived in Lagos for what felt like,<br />

three long years.<br />

Life was very difficult because of scarcity of<br />

food. Driving not advised without a driver.<br />

We could not walk in the streets. Other<br />

factors were: lack of water and electricity<br />

(only two hours a day of the latter for days<br />

and days), unknown diseases and scarcity<br />

of medicines, etc. etc.<br />

But one good thing about our time in<br />

Nigeria was that, after so many years away<br />

from the country, we were able to return to<br />

Spain at the end of the assignment: not<br />

Madrid this time, where my family was still<br />

living, but Barcelona.<br />

When I got to Barcelona, I took many<br />

courses on the art of the buildings and the<br />

city in general and I loved them. So, when<br />

the BWN was founded, as a devotee of<br />

A BWN Outing<br />


group excursions, I volunteered to organise outings for members once a month. Talking<br />

inspiration from Barcelona architect and academic, Joan Bassegoda i Nonell, whose<br />

architecture tours of the city I had long enjoyed as a participant, I set up our club activity,<br />

Outings, and it has grown and developed continually for the last two decades.<br />

I try and seek out something extra, so the visits take in not just the touristic highlights - of which<br />

there is no shortage in Barcelona - but also hidden gems and more painstakingly arranged trips<br />

to see interesting places in and within easy reach of the city. I keep my ears to the ground for<br />

newly - opened sites and insider suggestions for captivating trips. We have been to all kinds of<br />

places over the years.<br />


What are your top 5 places to visit where you<br />

live? People who come as tourists all want to<br />

see the same things, Sagrada Familia Church,<br />

Casa Battló, Casa Milá, Walk along Ramblas<br />

and Passeig de Gracia, Boquería Market,<br />

Museums. I like to take members of BWN to<br />

places they wouldn´t normally go as they<br />

wouldn´t know them unless they lived here for<br />

a long time.<br />

What is the best kept secret in your city? I<br />

always recommend going to Colonia Güell , a<br />

few kilometres from the city. There is a chapel<br />

designed by Gaudi before attempting the<br />

Sagrada Familia and a village that gives a<br />

good picture of industrial life in the early 1900s.<br />

And there are very few tourists.<br />

If you could travel to one place you’ve never<br />

been, where would it be? I would like to know<br />

Italy more deeply. I know Spain well but I have<br />

never been to the south of my own country, so<br />

that would be good. Also, I would like to visit<br />

Doing a tour in Barcelona<br />

Germany. I know some cities but I would like to<br />

know more of them.<br />

What is the one thing you see someone do that<br />

makes you know that they are a tourist? I hate<br />

to see these groups of people following the<br />

guide with an umbrella or a stick, all busy<br />

taking selfies and not really looking at<br />

buildings. One of my favorite quotes is this:<br />

“When you walk in Barcelona, you cannot look<br />

at your feet, you have to look up!” – Joan<br />

Bassegoda i Nonell. It is so very true.<br />

What is your “other” favorite city in the world?<br />

The older I get, the more my favorite city<br />

becomes Bologna.<br />

What is your favorite mode of transport? When I<br />

was younger, we liked to travel by car. Now I<br />

prefer airplanes.<br />


Photo 62 Quiz Answers<br />

We hope you have enjoyed our quiz. Please note all information for this quiz can be<br />

verified at YOUR leisure on Google!<br />

Q1: Bern<br />

Q2: London<br />

Q3: Bogotá<br />

Q4: Barcelona<br />

Q5: Saudi Arabia<br />

Q6: Cologne<br />

Q7: Rabat<br />

Q8: The Hague<br />

Q9: Mumbai<br />

Q10: Moscow<br />

Thanks to the Photographers<br />

Barcelona - Farhat Tyebji : Barcelona's <strong>Women</strong>'s Network<br />

Bern : Denise O'Gorman - AWC Bern<br />

Cologne : Gerda Kohrs - AIWC Cologne<br />

Bogotá : Mary Stange - AWC Bogotá<br />

London : Christine Humphreys - AW Surrey<br />

Moscow : Deborah Hoehner - AWO Moscow<br />

Mumbai : Karen Boeker – AWC Denmark<br />

Rabat : Cecilia Zhuang - AIWA Rabat<br />

Saudi Arabia : Therese Hartwell - FAUSA<br />

The Hague : Greetje Engelsman-Postma - AWC The Hague<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 60<br />

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More About This Issue<br />

For more information about this magazine, please contact <strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong> Editor in<br />

Chief Liz MacNiven at inspiringwomen.editor@fawco.org.<br />

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Advertising and Sponsorship Manager Elsie Bose at advertising@fawco.org.<br />

Acknowledgements:<br />

Thanks to Ann, Becky, Deanne, Denise, Francesca, Helena, Jana, Jeany, Jodean,<br />

Jonelle, Mary, Nezha, Shelley, Teresa and the ladies of AWC Bogotá for taking the<br />

time to participate in this edition and for the use of their photos and those of their<br />

friends and families. Thanks also to writers Jennifer, Judi, Rebecca and Rosie for their<br />

pieces, too.<br />

Special thanks to the proofreading team of Karen Boeker (AWC Denmark), Sallie<br />

Chaballier (AAWE Paris), Laurie Brooks (AWC Amsterdam/AWC The Hague), Mary<br />

Dobrian (AIWC Cologne), Carol-Lyn McKelvey (AIWC Cologne/FAUSA), Janis Kaas<br />

(AAWE Paris/FAUSA), Lauren Mescon (AWC Amsterdam), Mary Stewart Burgher (AWC<br />

Denmark) and Jenny Taylor (AIWC Cologne and Düsseldorf).<br />

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