Inspiring Women Magazine May 2023

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WOMEN<br />

Goodbyes<br />

&<br />

New Beginnings<br />

<strong>May</strong> <strong>2023</strong> Volume 8 Issue 2

Contents<br />

<strong>May</strong> <strong>2023</strong>. Volume 8, Issue 2<br />

profiles<br />

features<br />

Our Editor's <strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong>, 2017 to 2022<br />

15<br />

61<br />

8<br />

Revisiting 2017<br />

Bella Paola Guerrero<br />

De Cohen, member<br />

of AWC Helsinki.<br />

40<br />

Revisiting 2020<br />

Tamara Krautkramer,<br />

member of AWA<br />

Kenya.<br />

Inspired Reader<br />

In October we<br />

launched our<br />

newest initiative, a<br />

quiz to find the<br />

Inspired Reader for<br />

each issue. See our<br />

latest winner!<br />

Through My Lens<br />

A compilation<br />

feature focussed on<br />

the current issue’s<br />

theme with a photo<br />

and short caption from<br />

multiple contributors.<br />

16<br />

30<br />

Revisiting 2018<br />

Priscilla Heffelfinger,<br />

member of AWC<br />

Philippines and AWC<br />

Thailand.<br />

54<br />

68<br />

Revisiting 2021<br />

Sarah Grant,<br />

member of AWBS.<br />

23<br />

A Club Inspires:<br />

IWC Moldova<br />

Maria Marinuta, of<br />

IWC Moldova,<br />

introduces her club<br />

to us. IWC Moldova<br />

is 1 of 9 clubs in<br />

FAWCO's Region 5.<br />

75<br />

24 Hours in ...<br />

Aberdeen<br />

Who best to tell<br />

us about the best<br />

places to visit in a new<br />

city than those who<br />

live there?<br />

Revisiting 2019<br />

Karen Lewis,<br />

member of FAUSA.<br />

88 98<br />

The "Pandemic<br />

President"<br />

Emily van Eerten,<br />

member of<br />

AWC The Hague.<br />

Revisiting 2022<br />

Sandra Montgomery,<br />

member of<br />

AWC Bogotá.<br />

Moving FAWCO<br />

into a post<br />

COVID-19 world<br />

Ann Marie Morrow,<br />

member of<br />

AWC Finland.<br />

37<br />

Embracing Change<br />

Danielle Kuznetsov,<br />

Heidelberg IWC, and of the<br />

FAWCO Health Team on<br />

using stepping stones to<br />

help cope with change.<br />

49<br />

In My Own Words:<br />

Liz Janson, a member<br />

of FAUSA says: "When<br />

one door of happiness<br />

closes, another opens."<br />

95<br />

<strong>Inspiring</strong> Reads:<br />

Secrets of a<br />

Summer Village<br />

Munich IWC member<br />

Saskia Akyil's comingof-age<br />

novel Secrets of a<br />

Summer Village is about<br />

modern, middle-class<br />

Turkish culture as seen<br />

through the eyes of an American teenager.<br />

105<br />

Who Are We?<br />

Introducing the <strong>Inspiring</strong><br />

<strong>Women</strong> Team.<br />


5<br />

6<br />

in every issue<br />

A Note from the Editor<br />

Advertisers Index<br />

118<br />

119<br />

Photo feature<br />

Our Next Issue<br />

7 Introducing This Issue 120 More About This Issue<br />

<strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong>: Through My Lens<br />

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

We are looking for your photos of friends, family or yourself that you think embody<br />

the next issue's theme of "We are Talking Fashion: Innovators, Trendsetters,<br />

Changemakers and ... Activists".<br />

Photos should be in color and a minimum of 300 dpi. Send your photo with your<br />

name, FAWCO Club and a maximum 50-word caption explaining why the photo fits<br />

the theme to:<br />

The deadline for submitting features<br />

and photos for our next issue is ...<br />

June 12, <strong>2023</strong><br />

121<br />

That’s Inspired!<br />

inspiringwomenfeatures@fawco.org.<br />

“T he last time always seems sad,<br />

but it isn't really. The end of one thing<br />

is only the beginning of another.”<br />

– Laura Ingalls Wilder,<br />

These Happy Golden Years<br />

In the summer of 2016, out of the blue, I<br />

received a phone call from Sallie Chaballier, then<br />

1st VP Communications for FAWCO, in which she<br />

said the FAWCO Board had decided to launch a<br />

new magazine and my name had been<br />

suggested as editor.<br />

I had been in Cologne for three years and was<br />

AIWCC club newsletter editor. When Sallie called,<br />

we were in the process of negotiating a return to<br />

our home in Great Britain, but our imminent<br />

departure was under wraps. Mere days before<br />

she called, I had said to Paul that I would like<br />

to find a way to stay involved with FAWCO once<br />

home. My first thought on speaking to Sallie<br />

was: did she have a hotline to Ford HQ!<br />

Over the next few months I got to know the<br />

amazing Elsie Bose, who had first pitched<br />

the magazine‘s concept to the Board, as we<br />

thrashed out our ideas for the magazine.<br />

Between the two of us we found ten courageous<br />

women who trusted us with their stories and<br />

got it printed in time for the launch at the 2017<br />

Biennial Conference<br />

in Mumbai. <strong>Inspiring</strong><br />

<strong>Women</strong> was born!<br />

Over the last six<br />

years I have led the<br />

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

team as it has grown<br />

and developed while<br />

publishing an<br />

incredible 32 issues<br />

featuring over 400<br />

women from more<br />

than 65 FAWCO clubs.<br />

That is a lot of words<br />

and a lot of<br />

inspiration in<br />

anyone’s book and I<br />

am so proud of what<br />

we have been able<br />

to achieve.<br />

a note from<br />

the editor<br />

But as John Irving puts it: “You only grow by<br />

coming to the end of something and by<br />

beginning something else.” So it is time for<br />

me to hand over the editorship into the very<br />

capable hands of Michele Hendrikse Du Bois.<br />

(Thanks so much for agreeing to take my baby<br />

on for me, Michele!) But in this my last issue<br />

as editor, the team has allowed me to have a<br />

look back through our archives to find my six<br />

favorite profiles and update them for this<br />

issue: Goodbyes and New Beginnings.<br />

As well as these profiles, we have interviews<br />

with the outgoing and incoming FAWCO<br />

presidents, an article introducing the new<br />

<strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong> Team and a series of other<br />

interesting features for you.<br />

Before I go I would like to give a big shout out<br />

and massive thank you for all your hard work<br />

to Berit, Hayley and Karen, who are also moving<br />

on to new things. I wish you success in your<br />

new endeavours. The rest of the team, past<br />

and present, also deserve huge kudos and have<br />

my sincere thanks, as do the FAWCO Board for<br />

giving me the opportunity. My biggest thanks of<br />

all go to the wonderful Elsie Bose. It has been<br />

a real pleasure working closely with you for the<br />

last six years Elsie, and I will miss<br />

our working camaraderie very<br />

much (I hope you realise this<br />

is definitely not Goodbye to<br />

our friendship).<br />

So finally thanks to you, our<br />

readers, thanks for six wonderful<br />

years of inspiration, learning and<br />

development. For the record,<br />

I think all FAWCO women are<br />

inspiring and that definitely<br />

includes YOU, not just the<br />

women featured in the <strong>Inspiring</strong><br />

<strong>Women</strong> pages!<br />

Best wishes!<br />

Liz<br />

<strong>Inspiring</strong>women.editor@fawco.org<br />

Raising a toast to the last 6 years<br />


advertisers<br />

index<br />

introducing<br />

this issue<br />

Janet Darrow Real Estate p. 13<br />

Around the corner or a world away, contact<br />

Janet Darrow, FAUSA member, to find the<br />

best properties. FAWCO referrals to Janet<br />

help the Target Program!<br />

LAUNCH p. 14<br />

LAUNCH is an independent education<br />

consultancy and a Target Program Sponsor.<br />

Lauren Hensel, founder of LAUNCH,<br />

and Sara Bittner are members of the<br />

AWC Amsterdam.<br />

The Pajama Company p. 21<br />

The Pajama Company, founded by<br />

Ellie Badanes, member of FAUSA and<br />

AW Surrey, sells pajamas that are cozy,<br />

cheerful and available online!<br />

London & Capital p. 28 & 29<br />

Whether you are a US Citizen living abroad<br />

or a foreign entity with US reporting, their<br />

dedicated teams take care of your wealth,<br />

giving you time to concentrate on the things<br />

that matter to you. London & Capital has<br />

been supporting FAWCO since 2016.<br />

Tharien's Art p. 53<br />

AWC Antwerp member and former Target<br />

Program Chair Tharien van Eck is a superb<br />

artist. She creates beautiful hand painted<br />

cards and prints. Proceeds from her cards<br />

continue to support education programs<br />

for Hope for Girls and <strong>Women</strong> Tanzania.<br />

MyExpatTaxes p. 59<br />

MyExpatTaxes.com guides you through<br />

the tax return process online, smoothly<br />

and efficiently. MyExpatTaxes.com was a<br />

Sponsor at the FAWCO <strong>2023</strong> Biennial<br />

conference. The founder and CEO, Nathalie<br />

Goldstein, is a member of AWA Vienna.<br />

London Realty Intl. p. 93<br />

London Realty Intl. is owned by AWC London<br />

member Lonnée Hamilton, who is a<br />

worldwide property consultant. Her firm<br />

works with the best agents across the globe<br />

to fulfill your property needs.<br />

The Existential Traveller p. 97<br />

Owned by FAUSA member Linda Johnson,<br />

offers bespoke cultural experiences.<br />

Contact her to arrange a dream vacation.<br />

Every goodbye is a new beginning.<br />

When I was young, I seldom had a problem walking up to a group of kids in my new<br />

neighborhood to introduce myself. I think I benefited from the fact that in the early days<br />

when we moved it was into military housing, so everyone was in the same boat. By the time<br />

we started living in “civilian” neighborhoods it came naturally for me.<br />

Whenever it was time to move, it was sad to be sure, but I had done it enough to know two<br />

things, that the people who meant the most to me would stay in my life and there was the<br />

excitement that I would make new friends in the new place. When it was time to go there<br />

would be the occasional tears and tantrums. “This is the best place we EVER lived,” all of us<br />

would say, but by the time the car was out of the neighborhood we were all looking ahead.<br />

I do respect and admire those who live in one place, as they come to know those places and<br />

their people at a very granular level. Sometimes the predictability IS magic. Familiarity can<br />

be a warm and calming state of grace. Watching friends or the place where you live progress<br />

and grow can be deeply felt and gratifying.<br />

I am often asked “Where did you enjoy living the most?” and my reply is that in each place,the<br />

wonderful people I have met and the experiences that we shared make it special. Yes, in some<br />

places it rained too much and in others no one knew how to drive. But on balance, each place<br />

brings the promise of something new, great people and fresh ideas.<br />

This issue is a deeply personal one for the IW Team. In 2016 I wanted to create a magazine<br />

focusing on the amazing women in our FAWCO clubs. Little did I know that one of the most<br />

amazing would become my friend, collaborator, and partner. Liz MacNiven, the editor from<br />

the beginning, was the perfect choice.<br />

She took a leap of faith with me (who does that?) and we clasped our virtual hands together<br />

and went flying along on the journey that has taken <strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong> magazine from an idea<br />

to what it is today. For the last six years, four times a year she pulled together the pieces<br />

of the magazine with amazing enthusiasm as if it was the first issue – without complaint or<br />

resignation. (There is no “whinging” at <strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong>.)<br />

Throughout the years FAWCO has relied on advertisers and sponsors to augment its<br />

income. This revenue has allowed FAWCO to improve services and gives it the flexibility to try<br />

the latest innovations to enhance the FAWCO experience. FAWCO’s advertising<br />

partners believe in our mission and support our goals; some directly support<br />

our activities and projects.<br />

We encourage club leadership throughout the FAWCO network to<br />

share our publications with their membership. Our advertising<br />

partners have valuable products and services and we want your<br />

members to take advantage of what they offer. Please support them!<br />

For more information on these advertisers or if you have any questions about<br />

FAWCO’s advertising program, please contact Elsie Bose: advertising@fawco.org.<br />

To evolve the magazine, we ran a lot of ideas up the flagpole to see if they would fly. Many<br />

limply clung to the flagpole. But we always learned something from the experience and for Liz<br />

that was important. All voices were heard, no ideas were dumb.<br />

Liz did all of this through weddings, funerals, and becoming a grandmum. She worked through<br />

COVID, Brexit and the death of the Queen. Now she’s ready to move on to the next adventure.<br />

We love her and we will miss her. IW’s new leader Michele Hendrikse Du Bois is fabulous, and<br />

the team is poised for the future. But Liz’s legacy of excellence through caring and community<br />

will always be woven into every issue.<br />

Elsie<br />

Founder<br />


profile<br />

Revisiting 2017...<br />

Bella Paola Guerrero De Cohen<br />

Liz introduces us to her <strong>Inspiring</strong><br />

Woman of 2017, wine maker<br />

Bella Paola Guerrero de Cohen,<br />

AWC Finland.<br />

"W<br />

hen we first started<br />

<strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong> in 2016 we<br />

had no idea if anyone would<br />

be willing to share their<br />

inspiring stories with us. The first nine profilees<br />

therefore have a special place in my heart.<br />

They were willing to trust us, even though we<br />

were completely untested, to tell their story.<br />

Paola’s story is one that I really remember. Here<br />

was the story of a woman who had been sent<br />

away from home in Ecuador (language and<br />

culture number one) by her parents to study<br />

in the USA (language and culture number two).<br />

While there, she met the love of her life, David,<br />

and subsequently moved with him to Finland<br />

(language and culture number three). The<br />

courage and strength to make all those moves<br />

is impressive to me, especially since, even with<br />

my limited knowledge, I know they are<br />

culturally and linguistically rather different!<br />

Then while she was living in Finland, as well as<br />

caring for her young family, she decided to start<br />

a winemaking business, Ainoa Winery; she had<br />

previously made wine as a hobby while in the<br />

US. Wine is not something many of us would<br />

associate with Finland and indeed Paola found<br />

it would be a challenge to grow grapes there<br />

so had to learn about how to make it from<br />

berries instead.<br />

Paola Guerrero de Cohen<br />

After many ups and downs, the business she<br />

and her husband have today is thriving and<br />

their wine has won more than 50 international<br />

medals. In 2017 Ainoa’s 2015 wine Vaapukka<br />

was placed on the list of the best produced<br />

wines in the world by Œnologues<br />

de France and the wines have<br />

been on the best produced<br />

wines list every year since." Paola tending<br />

to her fruit.<br />


Excerpt from the original article.<br />

My name is Bella Paola Guerrero de Cohen,<br />

but my friends call me Paola! I am an active<br />

member of the AWC Finland, where I attend<br />

meetings, events and help with fundraising<br />

activities. We live in Espoo, Finland, which is<br />

about a thirty minute drive from Helsinki.<br />

I was born in Ecuador to a working class family.<br />

My parents grew up poor and had to work to<br />

survive from a very early age; their lives were<br />

not easy. My father had only finished<br />

elementary school when he suffered the loss<br />

of his mother in an earthquake. My mother<br />

was born in the countryside and was sent to<br />

the city to live with an older sibling, but did<br />

not have the opportunity to finish elementary<br />

school. As they set up a life together and had<br />

children of their own, they wanted a better<br />

future for them. They realized the importance<br />

of education and worked very hard to make<br />

that possible for us. Therefore, my siblings and<br />

I were the first ones in our extended family to<br />

attend university and in my case, the first one<br />

to study at a university in the United States.<br />

What I will always remember is that no<br />

matter how much work my father had – and<br />

he worked three different jobs at a time –<br />

Sundays was our sacred day. We started our<br />

mornings with some old-time classics my<br />

mother used to play in her LP player. Our day<br />

continued with a nice brunch of shrimp or clam<br />

ceviche, and then off to the countryside to play<br />

volleyball, basketball, tennis, swimming, etc.<br />

My life was carefree through the end of high<br />

school, when I moved to the United States.<br />

I love my family, and having to be separated<br />

from them took such a big toll on me that for<br />

many years I resented my parents for having<br />

sent me away. Of course, they knew what<br />

they were doing. They were also hurt by my<br />

absence, but nothing hurt them more than<br />

when I said I would not be coming back, as I<br />

had found the love of my life. A month and a<br />

half after arriving in Boston, I met David. We<br />

became friends and soon after, a couple. I<br />

married him a year later.<br />

<strong>2023</strong> update<br />

We have been growing organically since the<br />

original story. We found the perfect location to<br />

set up our own facilities about one hour north<br />

from the capital.<br />

Our wines have received more than 50 awards<br />

internationally for quality. We have also<br />

received recognition for advancing the level<br />

of Finnish cuisine and for creating world class<br />

wines using Nordic ingredients. Every year<br />

more people discover our wines and fall in<br />

love with them.<br />

“Goodbyes and New Beginnings”<br />

Of all the people and situations you have said<br />

goodbye to in your life, tell us about two that<br />

you miss the most. Why is that?<br />

One of the things I miss the most is the time<br />

spent with our young children when we first<br />

moved to Finland. We enjoyed focusing solely<br />

on them. Having come from the US, where our<br />

life was pretty hectic, it was very refreshing to<br />

be told it was okay to take time off from work to<br />

focus on our growing family.<br />

Family has always been very important to me<br />

and being able to experience a new place, learn<br />

a new culture and share this together as a unit<br />

was the peak of fullness and happiness.<br />

I also miss being near the rest of my family,<br />

scores of them. While there is new technology<br />

that connects us 24/7, nothing compares to the<br />

live connection.<br />

Of all the “new beginnings” in your life, tell<br />

us about two that you really remember/that<br />

turned out to be unexpectedly important.<br />

Moving to Finland. I would have never imagined<br />

that I would fall in love with a country in the<br />

arctic – cold and dark. However, I fell in love with<br />

the way of life, the balanced life that it provides<br />

its citizens and the natural and clean<br />

surroundings. It is no wonder that Finland tops<br />

the charts in many categories: happiness,<br />

education, safety, environmental, freedom of<br />

the press and many other measures.<br />

Setting up a winery. My love for wine started in<br />

the US and while traveling with David on various<br />

business trips, particularly in Europe. Our wine<br />

making hobby started just over 20 years ago.<br />

We were excited when we moved to Finland to<br />

be able to make wines from European grapes.<br />

However, since grapes were not available in<br />

Finland and we did not want to give up our<br />

wine making hobby, we decided to use local<br />

ingredients instead. And boy were we amazed!<br />

Finland has some of the best berries and, when<br />

treated right, they can create some of the best<br />

wines in the world.<br />

Read more/rest of original article by clicking here:<br />

www.yumpu.com/en/document/read/65829992/<br />

inspiring-women-magazine-spring-2017/23<br />

Checking the hives (above)<br />

Boxing up the finished wine (right)<br />


As a way of celebrating our new home country,<br />

we wanted to share what we had created with<br />

the world – changing a whole industry and<br />

making our mark along the way.<br />

What goodbyes do you anticipate for you<br />

in the next two years? How do you feel<br />

about them?<br />

Children grow up and leave the house. It’s<br />

something every parent goes through. We all<br />

know it. Time passes by so quickly. Our children<br />

still live with us, but our oldest one is already<br />

an adult and ready to explore the world. My<br />

emotions are mixed. I love having my family<br />

together, but I cannot wait to see what the<br />

future has planned for them.<br />

Moving out of the start-up phase. Our business<br />

is growing and soon I will have to give up the<br />

excitement of being a start-up. We have grown<br />

organically and every step is a little bit bigger.<br />

The next couple of years will be very telling and<br />

the longer steps will turn into leaps. I am ready<br />

for it, even with the anxiety that it brings, but<br />

very optimistic and full of faith in every step/<br />

jump we take.<br />

What new beginnings do you see for yourself<br />

in the next two years? How do you feel<br />

about these?<br />

My fourth baby is reaching adulthood and with<br />

growth comes different responsibilities.<br />

Moving to the next step from a start-up to a<br />

growing company will be a new beginning. I<br />

look forward to not having to<br />

do everything myself but being<br />

able to focus on the part I enjoy<br />

most – interacting with people.<br />

Running a tasting (left)<br />

Waiter of the Year competition<br />

(below)<br />


feature<br />

Inspired Reader<br />

We are delighted to announce that the Inspired<br />

Reader for our "Evolving to Maturity" issue is:<br />

Rebekka Klingshirn of Heidelberg<br />

International <strong>Women</strong>'s Club.<br />

A $50 donation has been made to the Target<br />

Project in her name.<br />

Look out for the next quiz, which will be launched on our<br />

Facebook page at the start of June!<br />


profile<br />

Revisiting 2018 ...<br />

Priscilla Heffelfinger<br />

Liz introduces us to her <strong>Inspiring</strong><br />

Woman of 2018, founder of Thrive,<br />

Priscilla Heffelfinger, AWC<br />

Philippines and AWC Thailand.<br />

"I<br />

was inspired by Priscilla’s story<br />

because almost without meaning<br />

to she has created an organization<br />

that really is having a direct positive<br />

impact on children’s lives. It began with<br />

something as simple as visiting a school in a<br />

country she was living in and finding that by<br />

donating 250 bananas (costing just $30) a week<br />

she could help children do better at school as<br />

their diet would be improved. She saw a need<br />

and took action.<br />

The follow up from this simple action grew over<br />

time and by 2018 when we met up with her for<br />

the magazine, she, with others, had set up a<br />

charity that was serving 1000 nutritional meals<br />

a week to children in two countries, Bangladesh<br />

and the Philippines.<br />

Priscilla Heffelfinger<br />

Sometimes when we see things in the world that<br />

aren’t right we tell ourselves there isn’t anything<br />

we can do, that the problem is too big for us to<br />

solve. I liked the fact that Priscilla had started<br />

with something small and manageable that she<br />

could do: donate bananas. Then when that went<br />

well she was determined not to give up and<br />

stop there. I was encouraged to hear that she<br />

believes everyone can make a difference. She<br />

doesn’t look at something and think “why would<br />

I do that?”. She looks at it and says<br />

“why not?” I admire that trait and<br />

I hope that I would do the same if<br />

faced with what she found in the<br />

school all those years ago."<br />

Carrying<br />

bananas to<br />

snack time<br />


Excerpt from the original article.<br />

I grew up as the youngest of six children on a<br />

small lake in the midwest where I learned to<br />

swim before I walked or talked. I spent my<br />

childhood living 90% of the day outdoors,<br />

surrounded by a gaggle of neighborhood<br />

friends for make-believe and mischief.<br />

I studied English and psychology as an<br />

undergraduate, and education in graduate<br />

school. Since then I’ve worked in a variety of<br />

roles in a variety of sectors, including research,<br />

nonprofit management and higher education.<br />

The common denominator throughout has<br />

been a desire to improve children’s lives.<br />

I’ve always been one to say, “Why not?” My<br />

husband and I had four kids in six years; we<br />

moved from state to state and eventually from<br />

country to country. I believe that adding<br />

discomfort and/or challenge to my day (and<br />

life!) offers me the opportunity to expand my<br />

world and live more vibrantly.<br />

For me, activism = service. I put my whole life<br />

toward service. It’s what gives me a sense of<br />

purpose and pure joy. In order to best be of<br />

service, I divide my days and my energy into<br />

four pillars:<br />

• z Family: Nurturing four children to be<br />

citizens of the world, to follow their passions<br />

and to take risks.<br />

<strong>2023</strong> update<br />

Priscilla now lives in Bangkok, Thailand.<br />

Since my story was shared, I’m excited to<br />

share that Thrive has expanded its reach and<br />

is feeding even more hungry children a daily<br />

school meal across Bangladesh and the<br />

Philippines. Our growth reflects deepened<br />

global and local community commitment<br />

and mobilization.<br />

“Goodbyes and New Beginnings”<br />

Of all the people and situations you have said<br />

goodbye to in your life, tell us about two that<br />

you miss the most. Why is that?<br />

My sister, Judy, died of cancer much too young.<br />

I miss her continual sideline boost and<br />

mischievous humor. I try to follow her deep<br />

loyalty — being there for those you love no<br />

matter what. I have found the practice to be an<br />

immeasurable gift.<br />

Nutritious food being handed out to Bangladesh school<br />

children. (above left)<br />

Helping Jaago school children wash their hands before<br />

their Thrive meal. (below left)<br />

As an expat, so many friendships stopped<br />

unwillingly by distance, often suddenly and<br />

unexpectedly. A few, such as Ebba Rusten, came<br />

into my life with such a swoosh of connectivity<br />

on so many levels that replacing it seems<br />

implausible. Of course, modern technology<br />

keeps us informed of each other's days, but<br />

direct interactivity gives way over time.<br />

Of all the “new beginnings” in your life, tell<br />

us about two that you really remember/that<br />

turned out to be unexpectedly important.<br />

I grew up in a small midwest town and had the<br />

same bedroom throughout. By sneakingly<br />

applying (my parents didn’t approve) to study<br />

abroad at Oxford, I think I set our unintentional<br />

nomad life into motion. Unlike many expats I<br />

met, I wasn’t running away from anything<br />

stateside, but rather saying, “why not?” that has<br />

led to an unimaginable, transformable life. A<br />

decade overseas taught me to slow down (at<br />

least a bit) to connect with my family and guided<br />

me, unexpectedly, to find my life’s purpose,<br />

Thrive (feeding school children).<br />

Her brother, James Perry, joining Bangladesh<br />

school visits. (below)<br />

• z Passion: Developing Thrive, the<br />

organization I founded with two other women<br />

in Dhaka, Bangladesh in 2012, feeds more<br />

and more schoolchildren in some of the<br />

world’s poorest places.<br />

• z Work: Managing Director at Smarter<br />

Good, supporting non-profits around the<br />

world to achieve their goals.<br />

• z Self: Yoga or spin class most afternoons,<br />

and long hikes with family and friends<br />

for rejuvenation.<br />

Read more/rest of original article by clicking here:<br />

https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/<br />

read/62062427/inspiring-women-fall-2018/9<br />


Thrive started on a whim without a plan. I<br />

and two others had just arrived in Dhaka,<br />

Bangladesh, and were alarmed by children<br />

begging on the streets. We asked a school in<br />

the nearby slums how we could help, and the<br />

resounding response was to bring food. The<br />

children were either not showing up or, when<br />

they did, were too tired to learn. We started<br />

with bananas, and with international and local<br />

community support, including many women<br />

from the American <strong>Women</strong>'s Club, we grew to<br />

become an organization that provides healthy<br />

meals to over 2,500 children each school day<br />

at 17 schools.<br />

These “new beginnings” are strung together by<br />

the same motto — “why not?”<br />

What goodbyes do you anticipate for you<br />

in the next two years?<br />

How do you feel about them?<br />

We are gearing up to move back to the States.<br />

Will it happen? <strong>May</strong>be. And if so, what are<br />

the trade-offs? The walk-out-your-front-doorguaranteed-unexpected<br />

will likely carry initial<br />

relief, followed by potential dullness. I know the<br />

daily awareness that I am a visitor in a foreign<br />

land will dissipate, but I hope both are woven<br />

deep within to keep my senses and curiosity<br />

forever heightened.<br />

What new beginnings do you see for yourself in<br />

the next two years?<br />

How do you feel about these?<br />

I plan to continue with the mantra my father<br />

passed to me: life is a leap of faith. I will<br />

continue to jump into many more deep-endof-the-swimming<br />

pool opportunities along the<br />

way. So far, it seems life’s wonder resides in<br />

the unexpected.<br />

Volunteers bring bananas to Bangladesh schools. (right)<br />

Co-founder Regina Landor selects market fresh eggs for<br />

today's school delivery. (below)<br />


feature<br />

A Club Inspires:<br />

IWC Moldova<br />

Maria Marinuta, International<br />

<strong>Women</strong>’s Club of Moldova’s<br />

(IWCM) Administrator,<br />

introduces us to FAWCO’s<br />

newest member club. IWCM<br />

joined FAWCO in 2022 and is<br />

part of Region 5. "Our motto<br />

is connecting people and<br />

cultures, and it says a lot about<br />

us. We are open-minded,<br />

tolerant, ready to help and do<br />

good deeds as women power,<br />

and our treasure is the<br />

diversity of our cultures<br />

and traditions.”<br />

IWCM's members visiting one of the club's many beneficiaries in<br />

the north of Moldova.<br />

Founded in 1997 by the initiative of the<br />

spouse of the USA Ambassador in<br />

Moldova, Georgia Stuart, the<br />

International <strong>Women</strong>’s Club of Moldova<br />

(IWCM) is a community of women from<br />

all over the world who are dedicated to making<br />

a positive difference in the lives of those around<br />

them. It is a unique organization with the aim<br />

of creating a platform where women can meet,<br />

network, and give back to their community.<br />

IWCM brings women together to promote the<br />

values of success, charity, sorority, kindness,<br />

and inspiration.<br />

A collage of<br />

club activities<br />

What does your current<br />

membership look like?<br />

The IWCM is also a hub for<br />

cultural diplomacy, bringing<br />

together women from all<br />

different backgrounds and nationalities to share<br />

their experiences and learn from one another.<br />

This unity of women from all over the world is<br />

a testament to the power of diversity and the<br />

importance of building bridges across cultures.<br />

We have 54 active members now from: Moldova,<br />

USA, Latvia, India, Turkey, Indonesia, Sierra<br />

Leone, Romania, Korea, Myanmar, France, Serbia,<br />

Ukraine, Poland, Switzerland, Kazakhstan, Italy,<br />

Belarus, United Kingdom, and Lithuania.<br />

How does the club run?<br />

Led by Club President Olesia Shevchenko, wife<br />

of the Ambassador of Ukraine to the Republic<br />

of Moldova, the IWCM has become a prestigious<br />

organization that is widely respected for its<br />

dedication to charitable projects, kindness, and<br />

cultural diplomacy. The club brings together<br />

women from all different backgrounds and<br />

nationalities to share their experiences and<br />

learn from one another, creating a unity that<br />

is both inspiring and powerful. The Club has a<br />

President, an Administrator, a Board<br />


consisting of seven elected members (four<br />

international and three local women), auditors<br />

and its members, of course. We used to have<br />

a Grants Committee, but now the Board fulfills<br />

this role. The board is elected once every<br />

three years by a majority of votes at a General<br />

Meeting of the members.<br />

Does your club have a signature event?<br />

As women, we have the power to change<br />

the world when we come together and work<br />

towards a common goal. The International<br />

ICB is IWCM's biggest fundraising event. Because<br />

of its popularity and success we are able to<br />

support several charitable initiatives during the<br />

following year.<br />

What other kinds of events do you have in<br />

your club?<br />

The impact of IWCM's charitable initiatives<br />

cannot be overstated. The beneficiaries of<br />

IWCM's projects include orphanages, schools<br />

for children with disabilities, hospitals, and<br />

organizations that provide support to victims of<br />

<strong>Women</strong>'s Club of Moldova is a shining example<br />

of what can be achieved when we harness that<br />

power and use it for the greater good. Our<br />

signature event is the International Charity<br />

Bazaar (ICB), held on the first Sunday in<br />

December, with about 30 Embassies and IOs<br />

participating and dozens of local businesses,<br />

artisans and artists from different countries. A<br />

wide range of products are available, including<br />

handmade crafts, clothing, jewelry and food.<br />

domestic violence. The IWCM also supports<br />

various cultural initiatives, such as promoting<br />

local artisans and supporting local festivals.<br />

Besides this we organize events for socializing,<br />

for our members and our friends, and possible<br />

new members: sports, crafts, travel and wine<br />

tasting, cooking, book reading and meeting<br />

local artists.<br />

International Charity Bazaar (above)<br />

IWC Moldova walking and yoga group (top right)<br />

Tea Party for participants of International Charity<br />

Bazaar 2022 (bottom right)<br />


We raise money for charitable projects<br />

supporting women and children in Moldova.<br />

We also try to be sensitive about major crises<br />

and respond if we can. For example, in the<br />

COVID-19 pandemic we joined a civic movement<br />

in Moldova to help hospital staff with protection<br />

sets, food and oxygen supply. In the recent<br />

refugee crisis we channel our support into<br />

refugee centers. And more recently, we<br />

answered the call of the Turkish Embassy and<br />

bought heaters for earthquake victims.<br />

Tell us a little about your city and Moldova<br />

in general.<br />

Chisinau is a green and beautiful city to visit,<br />

and to live and work in with lovely and friendly<br />

people. There are a lot of museums, theatres,<br />

concert halls, restaurants and coffee shops with<br />

nice entertainment options, affordable and very<br />

delicious food. There are a lot of local festivals<br />

like Descopera, wine festival, and Ia Mania that<br />

value national dress, culture and traditions,<br />

history, and the wine and food of Moldova.<br />

Moldava produces some of the best red wine<br />

in the world. In 2022, the emblematic red blend<br />

Negre by Fautor Winery was awarded the prize<br />

as the best red wine in the world at one of<br />

the most prestigious international wine<br />

competitions – “Concours Mondial de Bruxelles”,<br />

during the “Red & White” Session. The country<br />

has a lot more to be discovered and enjoyed at a<br />

relaxed pace, with hospitable hosts and<br />

adventurous local guides. Cricova underground<br />

wine city with its numerous culture events is the<br />

number one tourist attraction in Moldova.<br />

Plant a million trees global action (below)<br />

Martisor rehearsal; wearing national dresses are Olesya<br />

Sevcenko, IWCM Prezident, Ukraine Ambassador's spouse<br />

and Maria Marinuta, IWCM Administrator (top right)<br />

Bees-y crafting for ICB club booth (bottom right)<br />


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profile<br />

Revisiting 2019...<br />

Karen Lewis<br />

Liz introduces us to her <strong>Inspiring</strong><br />

Woman of 2019, Pathways to<br />

Safety International member<br />

Karen Lewis, FAUSA.<br />

"During the FAWCO Biennial<br />

Conference in 2019 in Edinburgh,<br />

I had the opportunity to attend a workshop<br />

hosted by Keri Potts of Pathways to Safety<br />

International and learn more about this<br />

important organization. It’s one of those<br />

organizations that we all secretly hope we<br />

never need to use and would prefer if the<br />

world was a place where it wasn’t necessary for<br />

something like that to exist. But that is a<br />

non-existent pipe dream, so I for one am very<br />

grateful that Keri and the team at Pathways do<br />

the work that they do.<br />

So in 2019 when we published our Health and<br />

Well-Being issue I was fascinated to learn more<br />

about the story of Karen Lewis and thus<br />

Pathways. Karen got involved in Pathways while<br />

she was living in Amsterdam in the early 2000s.<br />

When she repatriated in 2008 she became a<br />

volunteer and even served as president of the<br />

organization from 2013 to 2019.<br />

Karen Lewis<br />

I was also very interested to read more about<br />

her involvement in community health. I think<br />

this is such an important aspect of wellness<br />

and one that can be forgotten in the busyness<br />

that is life in the 2020s. I had no idea that there<br />

was something like the Lady Docs organization<br />

that she mentioned and was impressed to<br />

learn about the ways they support their<br />

local communities."<br />

Karen and her<br />

husband in<br />

Paris at<br />

Christmastime<br />


Excerpt from the original article.<br />

I grew up in Fort Worth, Texas, as an only child.<br />

As a young teenager, I loved being around<br />

younger children and started babysitting. I did<br />

a training to babysit for special needs kids in<br />

high school and volunteered in a hospital in the<br />

summers and thought I might want to become<br />

a pediatrician. My grandfather was a dentist but<br />

there were no doctors in my family; my dad is<br />

a chemical engineer and my mom is an English<br />

professor. I loved ballet, reading and going on<br />

outdoor adventure trips.<br />

I went to college at Stanford, where I was<br />

pre-med, majoring in psychology and biology.<br />

I volunteered in a low-income school, teaching<br />

health and movement classes, and<br />

participated in Best Buddies all 4 years,<br />

developing a close relationship with a girl<br />

with Down Syndrome and her family. I worked<br />

as a counselor at a summer camp for kids and<br />

adults with disabilities and then as a part-time<br />

caretaker in a group home for adults<br />

with disabilities.<br />

I currently live in Charlotte, NC; we moved<br />

here nearly two years ago for my husband’s job.<br />

His career has brought us to live in many<br />

places, including Amsterdam and most<br />

recently Washington, DC.<br />

I am not really sure where my desire to get<br />

involved in medicine came from, but I<br />

remember always having a strong desire to<br />

help others, especially children who had<br />

health problems, which led me to my<br />

profession. When I was in medical school<br />

and residency, I found that the education I<br />

received was intensive for diagnosing and<br />

treating illnesses but did not have as much<br />

focus on developing healthy lifestyles. I worked<br />

long hours as a resident and though I tried to<br />

make sure to eat well and get exercise, it was<br />

often difficult and I struggled to keep a<br />

positive attitude.<br />

Read more/rest of original article by clicking here:<br />

https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/<br />

read/62776601/inspiring-women-fall-2019/16<br />

<strong>2023</strong> update<br />

I did get to meet Lissa Rankin, in her virtual<br />

“Memoir as Medicine” workshop last year!<br />

“Goodbyes and New Beginnings”<br />

Of all the people and situations you have said<br />

goodbye to in your life, tell us about two that<br />

you miss the most. Why is that?<br />

My paternal grandmother loved me<br />

unconditionally, even from afar. Until age three,<br />

I had spent countless hours and weekends<br />

with my grandparents, and missed her after we<br />

moved away. She was always so excited to see<br />

me and so supportive of me through many ups<br />

and downs. I was heartbroken when she died<br />

when I was 14, but her energy and love continue<br />

to inspire me in my everyday life.<br />

My husband, Kevin, and I moved to Amsterdam<br />

in August, 2001. On September 11, I was on a<br />

walking tour with the AWCA during the<br />

horrific events of that day. This group provided<br />

a great community through my years there. Our<br />

daughters, Saskia and Anneke, became<br />

regulars at AWCA events, and I volunteered in<br />

many roles. In March 2008, at the FAWCO<br />

conference in Seoul, Korea, My-Linh Kunst and I<br />

petitioned for the formation of the Ending<br />

Violence against <strong>Women</strong> and Children<br />

Committee, which evolved into the Human<br />

Rights Task Force. I was sad to leave<br />

Amsterdam that summer, but also grateful for<br />

the development it brought me.<br />

Of all the “new beginnings” in your life, tell<br />

us about two that you really remember/that<br />

turned out to be unexpectedly important.<br />

After leaving Amsterdam, we lived briefly in<br />

Corvallis, Oregon, with my in-laws, as Kevin<br />

looked for his next job. Coincidentally, Paula<br />

Lucas, the founder and executive director of<br />

Pathways to Safety International, lived in nearby<br />

Portland. I had been advocating for her<br />

organization within FAWCO, and I was thrilled<br />

to meet her in person. Through deepening<br />

our friendship, training as a call volunteer and<br />

continuing advocacy work, I found meaning and<br />

connection during those uncertain days and laid<br />

the foundation for serving as President of the<br />

Board of Pathways over the next several years.<br />

Daughters Saskia and Anneke at Blowing Rock<br />


In early 2018, soon after we<br />

moved to North Carolina, Saskia’s<br />

intermittent migraines turned<br />

chronic and severe. As a<br />

pediatrician, I felt like I should be<br />

able to make her well. Guilt and<br />

doubt plagued me. I’ve learned<br />

to ramp up my own self-care,<br />

spiritual practices and ability to<br />

tolerate uncertainty. I still want<br />

her pain to go away, but I am<br />

grateful for the ways in which<br />

these experiences have<br />

strengthened our resiliency.<br />

What goodbyes do you anticipate for you in<br />

the next two years?<br />

How do you feel about them?<br />

Answering these questions inspired me to<br />

call my parents, initially to ask for the photo<br />

above. I found myself expressing my love and<br />

gratitude for their presence in my life and their<br />

relative good health. I know that they will pass<br />

(though hopefully not in the next two years!),<br />

and I hope to be present and supportive, no<br />

matter what challenges these next several<br />

years bring.<br />

Karen celebrating her third birthday with<br />

her grandmother. (above)<br />

From Amsterdam times, family outing to<br />

the Keukenhof Gardens (below)<br />

Karen with their dog Audrey (top right)<br />

2009 trip with Paula Lucas for a Pathways<br />

training (bottom right)<br />

If all goes well, both Saskia and Anneke will<br />

graduate in <strong>May</strong> 2024, and head to college. I<br />

have conflicting feelings about this; I will miss<br />

them dearly, and I can’t help but worry about<br />

Saskia’s health, but I am excited to see where<br />

their journeys will take them.<br />

What new beginnings do you see for yourself<br />

in the next two years?<br />

How do you feel about these?<br />

Hopefully no more moves! After living no<br />

more than four years in any one place since high<br />

school, I’ve been celebrating reaching the five<br />

year mark here! Saskia and I have been<br />

training our Vizsla as a therapy dog, and I am<br />

really excited to get started bringing her to the<br />

local library to help shy readers. I am also<br />

cultivating ideas about supporting other<br />

parents of chronically ill children, teens and<br />

young adults; this may be through a new<br />

practice opportunity, a non-profit, writing a<br />

book, or some other avenue, but I feel inspired<br />

and hopeful about this goal.<br />


feature<br />

Embracing Change<br />

Danielle Kuznetsov of the FAWCO<br />

Health Team on using stepping<br />

stones to help cope with change.<br />

We all know that there are not many<br />

guarantees in life. Many people<br />

joke that death and taxes are<br />

the absolutes we can count on. I<br />

would add CHANGE to that short list as well.<br />

Change is something that most people avoid like<br />

the plague. It is unpredictable, uncomfortable,<br />

and usually uninvited. Yet, making peace with<br />

it is vital to our health as individuals, couples,<br />

families, and communities, big and small.<br />

FAWCO is in the midst of exactly this kind of<br />

change; a circle of endings that are beginnings<br />

and beginnings that are endings. What happens<br />

on a small level in our private lives supersizes<br />

in organizations. Creating the space and<br />

opportunity for the people's real needs and the<br />

time to adjust is key in transitioning successfully<br />

from where you are to where you want to go.<br />

As expats we have unique experiences that help<br />

us thrive in change. Generally, planning<br />

strategically, maintaining adaptability and<br />

flexibility, and leading by example are the<br />

staples that keep us moving forward. What<br />

other criteria are needed to celebrate the good<br />

and build upon it so the return on investment<br />

(ROI) of change has lasting value?<br />

As a Life Coach and a woman who has<br />

experienced a huge life transition in the last<br />

few years (empty-nest and moving), I have been<br />

exploring this issue, with many ups and downs.<br />

Danielle Kuznetsov, Heidelberg IWC<br />

Retooling is not something that comes quickly,<br />

and there is no roadmap to follow. Each path<br />

for each person or organization is different.<br />

That being said, I have found common stepping<br />

stones to use as my guide. Here they are:<br />

1. Identify your values. A value is a<br />

principle that gives our life meaning and helps<br />

us to keep going when the going gets tough.<br />

Change, whether internal or external, requires<br />

that we reassess what is meaningful and<br />

necessary for us to move on in a stable and<br />

healthy fashion. A little bit of reflection can bring<br />

great clarity. The internet provides many free<br />

value inventories, making this reflection exercise<br />

fairly easy.<br />


only saw the thing that was on my mind.<br />

Unfortunately, I hurt many people before<br />

I realized that I needed to practice the<br />

Golden Rule daily in all circumstances with<br />

all people. Time and aging have their benefits.<br />

I have improved.<br />

• z Exercise Hope. Hope is a VERB and a skill<br />

set. Augustine of Hippo said, “Hope has two<br />

beautiful daughters; their names are<br />

Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things<br />

are, and Courage to see that they don’t<br />

remain as they are.” Hope starts with the<br />

belief that things can be better, and we all<br />

have a role in making that better happen.<br />

Hope is always in motion.<br />

personal or corporate, helps to see how<br />

close one is hitting the target and if impact<br />

is taking place.<br />

As we celebrate endings that bring about<br />

beginnings, I wonder how effective these<br />

stepping stones would be for an organization<br />

such as FAWCO to continue to strengthen its<br />

foundation, prepare for the unexpected, and<br />

empower its members to live victoriously when<br />

change is just around the next corner.<br />

• z Measure results. Results are where<br />

internal and external change pop like a<br />

firecracker. It is the ultimate accountability<br />

partner. In Change Your World, John Maxwell<br />

and Rob Hoskins propose a positive change<br />

rubric: Discover, Design, Deploy, and<br />

Document. This combination, whether<br />

2. Set your priorities. Priorities may be big or<br />

small, but knowing them and creating intentions<br />

around them is key. In order to keep moving<br />

ahead, I have found that committing to activities<br />

the evening prior is extremely beneficial and<br />

creates order and balance that keeps me<br />

moving in the right direction.<br />

3. Be honest about opportunities and<br />

obstacles. YES! So often, we have high integrity<br />

when it comes to serving others, but not to<br />

ourselves. This is a daily discipline of review<br />

of self.<br />

Are we following through on what we say we<br />

want and is important to us, and are we<br />

delivering in the relationships that matter most?<br />

• z Commit yourself to ongoing learning,<br />

improvement, and development. Change on<br />

the outside is the invitation for change within.<br />

I miss this common sense invitation often,<br />

instead bucking reality. Mistakes have been<br />

my friend in this process as I keep polishing<br />

my skill sets by picking myself up and moving<br />

on. Being teachable is one of my values.<br />

• z Engage in activities that contribute to<br />

the cause. Whether as an individual or an<br />

organization, focus is imperative so the way is<br />

not lost in the process. Having clear, defined<br />

goals or aspirations and a structure that<br />

allows for continual contribution requires<br />

rigorous commitment.<br />

• z Communicate effectively. Francis<br />

of Assisi said, “Use words if necessary.” I<br />

will always be a student when it comes<br />

to communication.<br />

• z Move from good intentions to good<br />

actions. It is ironic that we judge others by<br />

what they do and ourselves by our intentions.<br />

Principle number 3 helps me to assess daily<br />

whether or not my actions are a good<br />

reflection of my hidden intentions.<br />

• z Add value to people every day. My<br />

“Saved my Life” mentor of my 20s would<br />

always repeat, “People are more important<br />

than things.” I was dumbfounded at that<br />

statement until I began to see how often I<br />

failed to see the person in front of me and<br />

Photos courtesy of Annelize Smith, FAWCO member.<br />

Danielle Kuznetsov currently lives in<br />

Speyer, Germany, with her husband Alex.<br />

While in this season of transition, she is<br />

serving the local Russian/Ukrainian<br />

community, maintaining family ties with<br />

kids and grandkids, and helping clients<br />

grow into their best selves. Danielle<br />

enjoys traveling with her husband,<br />

reading, investing in and developing<br />

young mothers, and pursuing God in<br />

prayer. She is a member of the<br />

Heidelberg International <strong>Women</strong>’s Club.<br />

She can be reached at:<br />

Kuznetsov.danielle@gmail.com<br />


profile<br />

Revisiting 2020...<br />

Tamara Krautkramer<br />

Liz introduces us to her <strong>Inspiring</strong><br />

Woman of 2020, photographer,<br />

Tamara Krautkramer, AWA Kenya.<br />

"In 2020 the <strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong> team<br />

decided to launch an issue to<br />

feature some of the many<br />

wonderful photographers from around the<br />

FAWCO world. We knew that there were<br />

plenty of these and we were not disappointed.<br />

The issue, <strong>Women</strong> Visualizing a Point of View,<br />

became more about images than words as<br />

a result.<br />

Tamara Krautkramer<br />

Tamara Krautkramer from AWA Kenya was<br />

nominated. I still remember receiving the<br />

images Tamara sent us. I had visited Kenya<br />

in 2018 myself and so some of her photos<br />

brought back many of my own memories.<br />

The vibrance of the colours in her photos and<br />

the sheer range of subject matter impressed<br />

me greatly.<br />

From her original profile, I especially love the<br />

sad photo of the lioness. Looking into her<br />

eyes, you can see that she is sad, even if you<br />

don't know the background story. Tamara<br />

has definitely captured that emotion in a<br />

wild animal.<br />

I also like her last image, taken before<br />

COVID-19 struck, of the Samburu girls feet.<br />

Somehow even though you can’t even see<br />

the warriors they are hoping to dance with,<br />

you can tell they are anxiously waiting for<br />

something. It’s such a skill to be able to use a<br />

static image to portray something moving.<br />

The new photos Tamara has sent us for<br />

this article are equally beautiful,<br />

and I am sure you will love seeing<br />

them too."<br />

Metal lion<br />

found at tennis<br />

courts in<br />

Nairobi.<br />


Excerpt from the original article.<br />

“Where are you from?” has always been a<br />

difficult question for me to answer as my father<br />

was an Air Force pilot, so growing up, we moved<br />

every couple of years. As the new kid in school,<br />

I had to put myself out there to meet other<br />

children or be lonely. I knew the meaning of<br />

“loquacious” very early in life.<br />

We spent five years in Madrid during my<br />

formative teenage years, so Spain has always<br />

felt a bit like home, but I have also lived all<br />

around the US. As an adult, I have mostly lived in<br />

the Seattle area and Sonoma, California.<br />

My parents gave me an SLR camera for my 16 th<br />

birthday while we lived in Madrid. They were<br />

avid travelers and history buffs, so I was<br />

fortunate to travel extensively with them and<br />

credit them for my lifelong obsession with<br />

exploration, adventure and travel photography.<br />

I have been to more than 50 countries.<br />

At university I studied Economics and Art<br />

History, and photography for me has always<br />

been a mix of left and right brain, to use a cliché.<br />

Going from film to digital was a reinvigorating<br />

challenge, and being able to process images at<br />

home rather than in a dark room made<br />

photography a great hobby again. I joined<br />

photography organizations to improve my skills,<br />

meet other photographers and participate in<br />

competitions and gallery shows. Now my<br />

husband would say I am obsessed.<br />

My husband Harold and I were retired and living<br />

in Sonoma, California, but looking for our next<br />

chapter. Luckily we managed to combine our<br />

desire to give back with our love of adventure,<br />

as Harold is currently a volunteer Business<br />

Coach for the Stanford Institute for Innovation in<br />

Developing Economies. Stanford partners with<br />

entrepreneurs in emerging markets to build<br />

thriving enterprises to help end the cycle of<br />

global poverty. We had been in Nairobi for less<br />

than two years when COVID-19 arrived,<br />

temporarily sending us back to the US while we<br />

wait out the pandemic. We love being home in<br />

Seattle but enjoy Kenya and really look forward<br />

to returning.<br />

Read more/rest of original article by clicking here:<br />

https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/<br />

read/63740012/inspiring-women-fall-2020/6<br />

<strong>2023</strong> update<br />

The pandemic was, of course, a very difficult<br />

time for most people worldwide. With airports<br />

shutting down, we had to leave Kenya with 48<br />

hours notice and no time for goodbyes.<br />

However, once back home in Seattle, I spent<br />

time with my aged parents, even if behind<br />

masks and shields at first. My father passed at<br />

92 years of age, and I was at his bedside at the<br />

end. The silver lining of Covid-19 for me was the<br />

priceless gift of time with my parents and<br />

siblings. And I found out I could spend 24/7 with<br />

my husband and enjoy every minute of it. We<br />

returned to Nairobi last year and are thrilled to<br />

be back in Africa.<br />

“Goodbyes and New Beginnings”<br />

Of all the people and situations you have said<br />

goodbye to in your life, tell us about two that<br />

you miss the most. Why is that?<br />

As I mentioned, I lost my 92-year-old father in<br />

2021. I loved and respected him, and while he<br />

led a full and happy life, losing a loved one is<br />

always difficult. I am fortunate his wife of 66<br />

years, my 90-year-old mother, is still with us,<br />

albeit a long way away from Nairobi, and I miss<br />

her terribly. Leaving her to return to Kenya in<br />

2022 was difficult, but thank goodness for<br />

instantaneous email, text, and FaceTime. Back<br />

in the Dark Ages, I remember waiting in line for<br />

a phone booth to make an international call<br />

home when traveling for long periods of time.<br />

International phone calls were so expensive we<br />

used to time ourselves so we didn’t talk too long.<br />

Now we can video chat anytime, which really<br />

helps bridge long distances.<br />

Of all the “new beginnings” in your life, tell<br />

us about two that you really remember/that<br />

turned out to be unexpectedly important.<br />

1. My family moved to Spain when I was 12<br />

years old. It was a life-changing experience and<br />

set the stage for a lifetime of exploration. My<br />

parents enthusiastically embraced new<br />

adventures, pitfalls and all, and instilled the<br />

same in all of us. On our first family outing, we<br />

packed everyone into our big Chrysler station<br />

wagon, drove into Madrid and found ourselves<br />

facing oncoming traffic, going the wrong<br />

direction down a major boulevard. My father<br />

managed to turn around safely and just said,<br />

“First lesson learned!” We continued into town,<br />

trying not to get the huge vehicle stuck in the<br />

narrow old streets.<br />



2. The move to Kenya, at 59 years old, was for<br />

a one-year posting, but it is a hard country to<br />

leave. Exploring Kenya and Africa has been<br />

incredibly rewarding; it is an amazing vast<br />

continent with wonderful people and we have<br />

only scratched the surface. We have convinced<br />

many friends in the US to make the long trip to<br />

Africa. They never would have come if we were<br />

not here to encourage them, and every single<br />

one wants to return.<br />

What goodbyes do you anticipate for you<br />

in the next two years? How do you feel<br />

about them?<br />

It will be bittersweet leaving Kenya in the next<br />

few years. New adventures await, but saying<br />

goodbye to friends and life here will be difficult.<br />

The expat life is always filled with hellos and<br />

goodbyes, as we all know too well. At the last<br />

American <strong>Women</strong>’s Association coffee I<br />

attended, I learned a wonderful friend I had<br />

just met at AWA a few months ago is already<br />

leaving. Sad, but so happy I met her, and as she<br />

said, “Now you have a friend in a new country to<br />

come to visit!” Leaving my Kenyan friends will be<br />

difficult but at least I know I can return and see<br />

many friendly faces in one visit to Nairobi.<br />

What new beginnings do you see for yourself<br />

in the next two years? How do you feel<br />

about these?<br />

Who knows? Bring them on! The pandemic<br />

was a reminder that things can change very<br />

quickly. We should never assume anything is<br />

permanent. Remember, our actions affect other<br />

people and always live each day to the fullest!<br />

Photos:<br />

Southern Ground Hornbill eating a snake in<br />

the Massai Mara, Kenya. (page 43, top)<br />

Oxpecker looking for bugs. (page 43, bottom)<br />

Sambura tribal women gather to sing at<br />

sunset. (pages 44 and 45)<br />

Lovely leopard posing in Botswana. (left)<br />


feature<br />

In My Own Words -<br />

"When one door of happiness<br />

closes, another opens"<br />

Liz Janson is the president<br />

of FAUSA, the social and<br />

philanthropic network for former<br />

FAWCO club members and others<br />

repatriating to the United States<br />

and Canada. Liz grew up mostly<br />

in Indiana before starting her<br />

moving ways. She and her<br />

husband have moved an<br />

average of every four years in<br />

their 45 years together, raised<br />

three sons and have four young<br />

grandchildren. With all these<br />

opportunities for reinvention,<br />

Liz has been a museum educator,<br />

knit wire jewelry maker and is<br />

currently passionate about<br />

all things beekeeping. Her<br />

slogan is "Bloom where you’re<br />

planted!" (The bees approve!)<br />

As current and recovering expats, we<br />

all know the bittersweet feelings of<br />

saying goodbye while looking forward<br />

to new beginnings. It’s not easy to say<br />

goodbye, and it’s not easy to start over, be it<br />

in a new country or returning home. As the<br />

president of FAUSA, I’ve heard so many times<br />

how surprising it is to come<br />

home, having had so many<br />

new experiences as an expat,<br />

Hiking in<br />

the UK<br />

only to find returning more<br />

challenging. Old friends are<br />

Liz Janson<br />

often not super interested in hearing about<br />

adventures in Tuscany, weekends in Spain,<br />

desert Jeep tours, safaris in Kenya, and (fill in<br />

the blank!). And our worlds have expanded as<br />

we live in and learn about other ways of living,<br />

health systems, languages, cultures, etc.<br />

I’ve had the fortune of living in five different<br />

countries and coming home to the US three<br />

times. As a 21-year-old returning from a year<br />

as a nanny for an American diplomat’s family in<br />

Moscow, USSR, that readjustment was the most<br />

difficult of all of my homecomings. I wasn’t an<br />

exotic American anymore; no one clamored to<br />

speak English or buy black market blue jeans. I’d<br />

traveled extensively: the trans-Siberian railroad<br />


to Ulan Ude (China wasn’t open to Americans<br />

yet in 1976), the Baltic republics, Uzbekistan<br />

and Leningrad. I’d strayed outside of the area<br />

permitted by my visa and was taken in for<br />

questioning by the KGB, stayed up all night<br />

at an Orthodox Easter vigil in the Moscow<br />

countryside, and learned to drink vodka (though<br />

never very well!). Leaving the USSR was hard;<br />

coming back to the US was harder.<br />

When our sons were 9, 11 and<br />

13, we jumped at the<br />

opportunity to move to Munich,<br />

Germany. We dove into life<br />

there, making dear friends who<br />

still figure prominently in our<br />

sons’ and our lives, traveling<br />

extensively throughout Europe<br />

and feeling like we had wholly<br />

integrated. Sound familiar?!<br />

When we were yanked back to<br />

the US with less than a month’s<br />

notice, we had little time for<br />

goodbyes. Lucky for us, though,<br />

we were able to keep in touch<br />

with friends and goings-on<br />

through emails and visits.<br />

Goodbyes are easier when you<br />

don’t have to schedule a phone<br />

call or wait weeks between<br />

those thin, blue hand-written<br />

letters … remember those?! We threw ourselves<br />

into activities and school upon returning to our<br />

small community in eastern Pennsylvania. I<br />

trained and became a docent at our local<br />

museum and loved it.<br />

Munich International <strong>Women</strong>’s Club members at<br />

Oktoberfest (top left)<br />

Without intending to, however, I stumbled<br />

onto what became a successful strategy when<br />

repatriating: have something new to focus on…<br />

channel the optimism of new beginnings:<br />

look ahead to new<br />

adventures. As the<br />

Buddhist saying goes,<br />

when one door of<br />

happiness closes,<br />

another opens; you<br />

just have to want to<br />

see it. For my first repat<br />

experience, I transferred<br />

to a new school, moved<br />

to a new city, and<br />

hunkered down to learn,<br />

explore and find new<br />

friends. One of these<br />

became my husband of<br />

almost 44 years, Eric,<br />

a fellow midwesterner<br />

who had also lived<br />

abroad, racing cars in<br />

the UK before we found<br />

each other.<br />

Liz Janson, Patricia Lawrence and Hope Moore at<br />

Oktoberfest (bottom)<br />

Liz and family in Yangshuo, China (son Nils and wife<br />

Alicia) (top right, page 51)<br />

A short two years later we moved again, to<br />

Dallas, TX. I sometimes say that move was<br />

similar to moving to a foreign country for me!<br />

I again found a docent gig and upped the ante<br />

by becoming a docent instructor. My biggest<br />

new beginning in Dallas was to go back to<br />

school full time and get my master's in museum<br />

education. Goodbyes weren’t difficult as we<br />

packed and moved to Cambridge, UK. The new<br />

beginnings there included learning how to be<br />

an empty nester for the first time, with all three<br />

kids back in the US, either in university or freshly<br />

graduated. With no option for a work permit<br />

to continue working in the museum world, I<br />

studied for the CELTA certificate to teach<br />

English as a second language. A Munich friend<br />

and I started our tradition of one-week hiking<br />

tours on the UK National Trails. We just<br />

completed our 14th hike together last summer<br />

in Slovenia/Italy/Austria.<br />

The goodbye to Cambridge was easy when Eric’s<br />

job took us back to live in our beloved Munich.<br />

We still had many good friends from our first<br />

time in Munich. One of my new beginnings<br />

was to learn German; I studied at the local<br />

Volkshochschule for the first year so that I<br />

could pass the language and citizenship classes<br />

required for my permanent residence visa.<br />

Another new beginning that was to become a<br />

very important part of my life was to join the<br />

Munich IWC the first week after we moved to<br />

Munich. Our lives were and continue to be<br />

enriched immensely by connecting with this<br />

wonderful community and organization of<br />

international and German women and their<br />

partners. After 18 months in Munich, we had<br />

the opportunity to move to Shanghai for six<br />

months with a group from Eric’s company.<br />

These six months were pretty much one big new<br />

beginning! I immediately joined the FAWCO club<br />

in Shanghai and hit the ground running with its<br />

many activities and volunteer opportunities.<br />

The president of that club lived in our apartment<br />

building and was a big FAWCO fan; she<br />

encouraged me to become more active, and<br />

I became the FAWCO rep for MIWC upon our<br />

return to Munich.<br />


My husband retired in 2017, and we returned to<br />

the US but not to a place we’d ever lived before:<br />

Boulder, CO. As much as we loved living in<br />

Munich, it was the least difficult goodbye and<br />

the easiest new beginning as we had much to<br />

look forward to. We built a new home, and I got<br />

involved in FAUSA. Our children married, and<br />

we now have four grandchildren.<br />

Goodbyes and new beginnings are the circles of<br />

my life. Although we leave parts of ourselves<br />

behind when we move, we take what we’ve<br />

learned and use it to reinvent ourselves, grow<br />

and move forward.<br />

As a member of FAUSA, I’ve been able to stay<br />

connected to friends, teams, and priorities from<br />

my FAWCO and The FAWCO Foundation lives.<br />

I’ve met wonderful people who share and<br />

understand the experience of living globally.<br />

We gather annually at the FAUSA Getaway to<br />

socialize, explore new locations and have our<br />

annual meeting. We share virtual activities and<br />

events across North America. I encourage you<br />

to join FAUSA when you return! You’ll find likeminded<br />

people who are Globally Connected,<br />

Locally Active. And you’ll find that many of those<br />

past doors are not really closed.<br />

Liz and her bees (above)<br />

Liz and Eric in Xi'An, China (below)<br />

Liz as a museum docent, Münchner Stadtmuseum<br />

(Munich City Museum) (top right, page 53)<br />

Tharien’s Art is a boutique art studio in<br />

Antwerp, Belgium,<br />

specializing in hand-painted greeting<br />

cards, prints and paintings.<br />

Painting with a Purpose<br />

Are you looking for a unique greeting card<br />

to send to family or friends, or artwork to<br />

brighten up your home?<br />

Browse the collections on the website –<br />

www.thariensart.com<br />

– now to find a special piece of art.<br />

Proceeds from all sales go to Hope for Girls<br />

and <strong>Women</strong> Tanzania to support the tertiary<br />

education of the girls at the safe houses.<br />

Special announcement:<br />

Tharien’s Art will be<br />

supporting the Target<br />

Program Environment<br />

2022-2025 with a<br />

number special offers.<br />

More details will be<br />

provided in the next<br />

newsletter.<br />


profile<br />

Revisiting 2021...<br />

Sarah Grant<br />

Liz introduces us to her <strong>Inspiring</strong><br />

Woman of 2021, nutritionist<br />

Sarah Grant, AWBS.<br />

"T<br />

here were so many inspirational<br />

women featured in our <strong>May</strong> 2021<br />

issue of <strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong>, which<br />

was all about wellness. But I was<br />

especially drawn to Sarah as she is a fellow Brit<br />

and she even went to the same university as I did,<br />

Leeds. I also happen to think that what she says<br />

about the importance of nutrition for our overall<br />

health and well-being is an important message<br />

for us all.<br />

She had become interested in nutrition after<br />

having had a successful experience herself with<br />

a nutritionist and this had led on to her studying<br />

for various qualifications and setting up her<br />

nutritional practice. Although I didn’t end up<br />

studying the topic, I had also had a similar<br />

experience working with a nutritionist where I<br />

learned how important nutrition is for my overall<br />

health and well-being.<br />

I was particularly interested to read her thoughts<br />

on the importance of eating a rainbow of plantbased<br />

foods daily as this is something I have<br />

been working on incorporating into my life too.<br />

I was also interested to read about her need to<br />

take regular walks in nature and that she had set<br />

up a walking group in her local area to do this<br />

and help others do it too.<br />

Reading her profile made me think that here was<br />

yet another FAWCO woman with whom I would<br />

be very interested to chat, either sitting down<br />

over a coffee or going for a walk."<br />

Sarah Grant<br />

Sarah with<br />

"Friend for Life"<br />

homeopath<br />

Rowena<br />

54 INSPIRING WOMEN Prescot.<br />


Excerpt from the original article.<br />

I grew up in and around Warwickshire, a<br />

leafy green county nestled in the middle of<br />

UK. There was a lot of history to be enjoyed<br />

living on the doorstep of Warwick Castle,<br />

one of England’s finest medieval castles,<br />

and Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of<br />

William Shakespeare.<br />

I was shy as a child but still enjoyed having<br />

lots of lovely friends, including a core group<br />

with whom I’m still close. I was an allrounder<br />

at school, grasping the arts and<br />

sciences, but my creative streak is possibly<br />

the thing that most of my peers at school will<br />

remember me for.<br />

A stand-out memory was the school putting<br />

a painting of mine forward for a national<br />

exhibition and finding out it was accepted to<br />

be exhibited at the Mall Galleries in London,<br />

which I proudly attended with my mum!<br />

Moving on ...<br />

I went to Leeds University to study History of<br />

Art, which I really enjoyed, but I didn’t feel<br />

compelled to work in a gallery or museum.<br />

Instead, I decided to apply myself to a career<br />

in digital marketing and online project<br />

management. This was at a time (around<br />

2001!) when most companies and<br />

organizations were still yet to launch their<br />

first websites. The work I did enabled me to<br />

use my creative streak through contributing<br />

to the creative strategy, planning and<br />

design of online media, as well deploying<br />

and developing my organizational and<br />

people skills.<br />

“Goodbyes and New Beginnings”<br />

Of all the people and situations you have said<br />

goodbye to in your life, tell us about two that<br />

you miss the most. Why is that?<br />

I don’t tend to miss situations, even the good<br />

ones, as goodbyes inevitably evolve into new<br />

beginnings anyway.<br />

For example, I have moved house a handful of<br />

times in the past five years, some out of choice<br />

but some through circumstances. This has<br />

presented a challenge for me as I relish feeling<br />

grounded, and having a home environment that<br />

I can really relax in and enjoy is important to me.<br />

However, I have also learned that I can<br />

embrace the challenge of moving and can adapt<br />

to new situations. Looking back, I also value the<br />

contrasting living and life experiences that have<br />

presented themselves as a result of moving.<br />

When it comes to people, I lost my father in my<br />

mid-twenties and I shall always miss him. He<br />

was a rock and his love for me, and all the<br />

family, was unequivocal.<br />

Wellbeing Walk in Great Windsor Park.<br />

Of all the “new beginnings” in your life, tell<br />

us about two that you really remember/that<br />

turned out to be unexpectedly important.<br />

I moved from Kenilworth, Warwickshire to<br />

Englefield Green, Surrey in 2018 to be with<br />

someone. Whilst the relationship didn’t turn<br />

out, the experience proved to be a fantastic<br />

new beginning for other reasons!<br />

Living there for four years, I connected with<br />

wonderful people who helped me create a life<br />

in a new part of the country, and who continue<br />

to play an important role, despite the distance,<br />

now that I’m living in Warwickshire again.<br />

Through groups like AWBS and Real Networking,<br />

and also setting up my own walking group, I met<br />

inspiring, supportive, like-minded people who<br />

have become friends for life.<br />

What goodbyes do you anticipate for you<br />

in the next two years? How do you feel<br />

about them?<br />

I have been through a lot of change and sadly<br />

said goodbye to many people I love who have<br />

passed away. I am currently growing my<br />

Read more/rest of original article by clicking<br />

here:<br />

https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/<br />

read/65608060/inspiring-women-magazinemay-2021/17<br />

<strong>2023</strong> update<br />

Disordered eating habits and poor body<br />

images are rife. At a time when we are all<br />

exposed to so much noise and contradictory<br />

information in the media and diet culture about<br />

what we should and shouldn’t eat, I am more<br />

committed than ever to helping people connect<br />

with their health in meaningful, intuitive ways<br />

that empower them to nourish themselves<br />

physically and emotionally.<br />


Hosting a Wellbeing Talk at the Savill Garden. (above)<br />

Representing Gut Reaction at AWBS International<br />

<strong>Women</strong>'s Club's first Wellbeing Day at Wentworth.<br />

(top right)<br />

www.MyExpatTaxes.com<br />

business and creating a home in Warwickshire.<br />

So, whilst we never know quite what life will<br />

bring, I’m hoping for more stability and less<br />

goodbyes in the next two years.<br />

However, there are some things that I am ready<br />

to let go of in order to help me continue to grow<br />

as a person and in my business. An example is<br />

trying to present everything I do perfectly to the<br />

world! I know this tendency can sometimes get<br />

in the way of me being more vocal and visible<br />

in the wellness industry, and I would love to say<br />

goodbye to it!<br />

What new beginnings do you see for yourself<br />

in the next two years? How do you feel<br />

about these?<br />

My business, Gut Reaction, is ten years old this<br />

year. Whilst this milestone is an opportunity<br />

to celebrate all that I have achieved and<br />

helped others to achieve, it also signifies a<br />

new beginning for Gut Reaction.<br />

I’ve recently consolidated all my learnings from<br />

the past decade into The Gut Reaction Method,<br />

my tried and tested approach that harnesses<br />

the power of nutritional science and intuition<br />

to help people find peace with food and eat in<br />

optimal alignment for their own bodies.<br />

The Gut Reaction Method is the basis of my<br />

personalized holistic nutrition coaching<br />

program, Reconnect, and the Mind-Body-Food<br />

Freedom retreats I host in Turkey. I am also<br />

working on a book – a new beginning that fills<br />

me with both trepidation and huge excitement!<br />

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Offer valid for 2022 tax year when filed<br />

by Dec 24th, <strong>2023</strong>. Not combinable<br />

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feature<br />

Through My Lens<br />

"Through My Lens" is a compilation feature<br />

with a photo and short caption from<br />

multiple contributors.<br />

For this "Through My Lens" feature, we have<br />

several FAWCO women's contributions on the<br />

subject matter of Saying Goodbye or New Beginnings.<br />

Kristin D. Haanæs, AWC Oslo<br />

S. Earl Dubbel<br />

From the beginning of my life, my grandfather and I forged a special bond. He was<br />

a brilliant,unassuming man who graduated both from Harvard and Princeton then<br />

took six years off just to read. My grandfather was 69, a Professor Emeritus in English<br />

and a semi-retired Presbyterian minister when I came into his life and was 88 when<br />

he left mine.<br />

Having been an English professor and owning over 4000 books, he quite naturally<br />

shared his love of books and reading with me. He instilled this love of books in me<br />

at a very young age. I was told that he started to read to me every evening from the<br />

time I was three years old, and from the time that I can remember, he would read to<br />

me everything from myths and legends to Shakespeare. When I didn’t understand<br />

something, i.e. Shakespeare, he would explain it to me, so by the time I was seven I<br />

was well versed with Shakespeare’s comedies! From the time I could read myself, he<br />

bribed me into reading many of the classics, such as Austen, Dickens and the Brontë<br />

sisters. After I had read them, we would then discuss the books’ themes and their<br />

characters. That helped me sail through all my English classes in high school and<br />

college! Unfortunately, he died during my first year in college and did not get to see<br />

my A from a graduate English literature course on King Arthur. On the first day of this<br />

class the professor suggested that I drop the course because I was an undergrad and<br />

NOT even an English major. As it turned out, I was the one who received the highest<br />

grade in that course. To this day, thanks to my grandfather, I am a huge bookworm.<br />

Kristin, her<br />

grandfather and<br />

their nightly<br />

reading sessions.<br />


Two empty chairs. The end of a magical holiday, saying goodbye to family and<br />

friends, until next time.<br />

Catharina Hechter<br />

Tharien van Eck, AWC Antwerp<br />

A new beginning – our “lives” are being packed into a container many years ago!<br />

The question in our minds: “What will it be like to live in a new country?”<br />


At the end of a long cypress-lined avenue in the Garden of Alcazar stands the<br />

statue of Christopher Columbus greeted by the Catholic monarchs Isabella<br />

and Ferdinand II. The "New World" discovered on October 12, 1492 was a new<br />

beginning in history that has affected us all! This picture was taken on a tour of<br />

Andalusia in the fall of 2022; the gardens are in Cordoba.<br />

Linda De Keulenaer, AWC Antwerp<br />

Michele Hendrikse Du Bois, FAUSA<br />

Star Magnolia<br />

While we officially celebrate the new year on January 1, for me, the first sign<br />

of the new year is when my star magnolia starts to bloom. The bursting of the<br />

flowers from their winter beds is my signal we are saying goodbye to the old<br />

and welcoming the new year.<br />


The last night – October 2, 2022<br />

Taking my last walk in the beautiful city of Moscow, where I've spent the previous<br />

nine years, discovering the depth of my soul, was a combination of the usual<br />

awe and appreciation, thankfulness and love that I have developed for this<br />

diverse nation. Zaryadya Park was my last stop, with a panoramic view of all<br />

the architecture I fell in love with. My eye caught this huge patch of Yellow<br />

Coneflowers and combined with the night light this image is a true reflection of<br />

my heart. Sad, for what is happening at the moment, but always keep hope for a<br />

future filled with peace and unity for all of us.<br />

Annelize Smith, AWO Moscow<br />

Outgoing and incoming FAWCO Presidents, Emily van Eerten and<br />

Ann Marie Morrow, represent the many goodbyes and new beginnings<br />

as FAWCO leadership roles transitioned at the <strong>2023</strong> Biennial Conference<br />

in Bratislava, Slovakia.<br />


profile<br />

Revisiting 2022...<br />

Sandra Montgomery<br />

Liz introduces us to her <strong>Inspiring</strong><br />

Woman of 2022 gardener, Sandra<br />

Montgomery, AWC Bogotá.<br />

"Our <strong>May</strong> 2022 issue of <strong>Inspiring</strong><br />

<strong>Women</strong> featured all things gardening<br />

and also went on to become our<br />

very first "live" event with the<br />

Garden Party that we hosted online in June.<br />

Sandra’s story started with a great deal of<br />

trauma in her early years which could easily<br />

have broken her; in fact she was in a life<br />

threatening car crash during this period. But<br />

from those early, very dark years she has moved<br />

on and developed into a woman who is clearly<br />

at peace with herself and her life.<br />

Reading about someone who uses what they<br />

learned through their own personal difficulties<br />

is inspiring. After many years working in the<br />

corporate world, Sandra decided to resign and<br />

retrain in psychology. She subsequently set up<br />

a physical space for others, especially pregnant<br />

teens and those in other vulnerable situations<br />

like the one she had been in many years before,<br />

to come for rest and healing.<br />

While she does this she also has developed a<br />

real passion for gardening and finds it brings<br />

peace to her mind. Not having any formal<br />

training and dealing with gardening in Colombia,<br />

she has learned, mainly by trial and error, what<br />

she can and can’t grow. It clearly has become a<br />

real passion.<br />

Sandra Montgomery<br />

She was good enough to agree to<br />

be one of the presenters at the<br />

Garden Party and it was a real<br />

pleasure to get to know her better<br />

through that experience."<br />

Sandra out in<br />

her gorgeous<br />

garden<br />


Excerpt from the original article.<br />

I am from Bogotá, Colombia. As the<br />

second of four daughters, most of the<br />

time I lived in a small town where my<br />

mother had grown up. Think hot weather,<br />

light clothes. I was a happy girl, a free<br />

spirit who loved to play on the streets<br />

with my friends until late. I did not like<br />

school at all; I used to ride bikes, play<br />

basketball, hide, swim in the river and<br />

enjoy family gatherings.<br />

My early years were hard. I became a<br />

single mother at 15 years old. My first<br />

jobs were cleaning floors and selling<br />

underwear at a chain store. During this<br />

time I went through a period of true<br />

darkness and was using psychoactive<br />

substances and alcohol. Then, in 1993, I<br />

faced death as a result of a car accident<br />

that disfigured my face and my soul. Due<br />

to the trauma, I suffered from panic<br />

attacks, depression, anxiety and being<br />

overweight for many years. But today<br />

I live in Tenjo, Colombia, and enjoy a<br />

harmonious, light and airy figure,<br />

without the need for surgery. Presence,<br />

self-observation, self love and care,<br />

acceptance of emotions and fasting are<br />

my best allies today.<br />

I worked for fifteen years in well-known<br />

corporations, specializing in human<br />

resources management and<br />

administration. In 2006, I decided<br />

to resign to pursue my dream to study<br />

psychology. So in 2007, I began<br />

professional studies in psychology,<br />

integrative Gestalt therapy, integral yoga<br />

and TRE® stress and trauma releasing<br />

exercises, disciplines that today are part<br />

of my everyday life; I specialize in<br />

mindful eating.<br />

Read more/rest of original article by clicking here:<br />

https://www.yumpu.com/xx/document/<br />

read/66787490/inspiring-women-magazinemay-2022/25<br />

“Goodbyes and<br />

New Beginnings”<br />

Of all the people<br />

and situations you<br />

have said goodbye<br />

to in your life, tell us<br />

about two that you<br />

miss the most.<br />

Why is that?<br />

My most difficult<br />

goodbye was when<br />

my youngest son left<br />

home to start his own<br />

life. My husband and I<br />

were both sad to see<br />

him move to the big<br />

city, but it was a<br />

beautiful opportunity<br />

to understand how<br />

attached we were to him and how focused<br />

our attention was on him. It was a chance for<br />

us to redefine our relationship as a couple<br />

and move on.<br />

Now we enjoy more experiences together. I<br />

also have more time for myself to do the<br />

creative things that I love. I can read, write<br />

and experience new adventures only for me.<br />

That is a treasure!<br />

Of all the “new beginnings” in your life, tell<br />

us about two that you really remember/that<br />

turned out to be unexpectedly important.<br />

I was involved in a car accident, which became an<br />

important “new beginning” for me. It made me<br />

begin a new life, with a new face and new<br />

priorities. I was determined to replace complaints<br />

with gratitude. That’s right, I could have kept<br />

crying and suffering about how my face got<br />

disfigured, how I had to endure surgeries<br />

Harvesting<br />

blackberries in<br />

our garden.<br />

(far left, page 70)<br />

Sitting in her<br />

sanctuary –<br />

her studio used<br />

for workshops<br />

and consulting.<br />

(above)<br />

Corporate<br />

workshop about<br />

stress<br />

management<br />

and selfcare.<br />

(left)<br />


With her husband and number one supporter, Thomas. (right)<br />

What goodbyes do you anticipate for you<br />

in the next two years? How do you feel<br />

about them?<br />

Goodbye to following diets, demanding<br />

exercises, famous models and fitness gurus.<br />

I just want to be myself: authentic, transparent,<br />

living in the present, aware of my own<br />

breathing and listening to the wisdom of my<br />

own body by spending time with myself.<br />

How do I feel? Free! Yes, free. Allowing myself<br />

to enjoy variety, colors, smells and all the<br />

abundant medicinal fruits that Mother Nature<br />

unconditionally provides to us. I want to nurture<br />

myself with self-compassion and appreciation,<br />

to value myself by accepting each part of my<br />

body as it is, including my feelings, emotions<br />

and my cravings! Goodbye to old habits of<br />

looking for external recognition, validation,<br />

appreciation and acceptance.<br />

What new beginnings do you see for yourself<br />

in the next two years? How do you feel<br />

about these?<br />

Every morning is a new beginning, an<br />

opportunity to be grateful to be alive to the<br />

miracle of being able to see, feel, move, think<br />

and to manifest creativity, giving the best to<br />

myself and to the world.<br />

I wish to continue to be surprised with simple<br />

things in life — a flower, a tree, a landscape,<br />

the rain, the sun, a hummingbird — as if I were<br />

always on vacation. That’s right, I want my life to<br />

become an endless vacation: no rush, no need<br />

to run, just be calm and joyful. I see myself<br />

enjoying life in acceptance and presence,<br />

continuing with my passion of leading corporate<br />

workshops, facilitating fasting and silent retreats,<br />

sharing knowledge for others’ self-care, personal<br />

development, self-regulation and multiplying<br />

physical, mental and emotional wellness.<br />

and lost my job, but I never lost my positive<br />

attitude. I was happy because I had made it<br />

out alive, and that allowed me to recover and<br />

move on. We humans are resilient beings.<br />

I have been thankful about everything ever<br />

since — the good stuff and also the not so<br />

good stuff — because that’s life: suffering<br />

and joyfulness, pleasure and pain, life and death,<br />

frosts and droughts. Every day is an opportunity.<br />

It is up to us to use days as trampolines for our<br />

personal evolution.<br />

Fountain where hummingbirds and other colorful birds<br />

come to play. (above)<br />

Facilitating a visualization/meditation during a silent and<br />

72 INSPIRING WOMEN fasting retreat. (right, page 73)<br />


feature<br />

24 Hours in ... Aberdeen!<br />

Who best to tell us about the best<br />

places to visit in a new city than<br />

those who live there? AWA<br />

Aberdeen members Kristen<br />

Belknap and Mimi Glimore-<br />

Maurer take us on a whistlestop<br />

tour of Aberdeen, Scotland.<br />

The Association of American <strong>Women</strong> of Aberdeen<br />

was originally founded by six American women<br />

who felt there was not enough contact among<br />

the US expatriate community in Aberdeen. The<br />

club was formed to make social contacts with<br />

fellow expatriates, help newcomers settle in,<br />

provide support when the going got tough and<br />

make lasting friendships. February 1, 1985 was<br />

the first meeting of our club.<br />

We have 71 members, who are mainly expats.<br />

We are women from all walks of life, united in our<br />

interest to foster and develop a fun, welcoming<br />

environment for newcomers and expatriates in<br />

Scotland while getting involved in the local<br />

community through charity and volunteer work.<br />

We organize the largest Holiday Craft Fair in<br />

Aberdeen in November, as well as many other<br />

social club events and philanthropic fundraising<br />

events. Each year our membership votes on a<br />

local charity to sponsor for the upcoming year's<br />

philanthropic events.<br />

Bullers of<br />

Buchan<br />

Aberdeen has a population of 227,430<br />

(2021) and is the third most populous city<br />

in Scotland. The city is a combination of<br />

Scots and expatriates due to Aberdeen<br />

being the oil capital of Europe. Aberdeen has the<br />

highest proportion of expatriates in Scotland.<br />

People are mostly brought to our city through the<br />

oil and gas industry or the fishing and shipping<br />

industries. Aberdeen is also known as a major<br />

fishing hub in the UK. The largest population<br />

group is aged 25-44 and the smallest is aged 75<br />

and older.<br />


When to visit...<br />

April - October, with June and July, are the<br />

premium months to visit Aberdeen. The<br />

glens, forests, rivers and beaches are all at<br />

their most glorious. You get a taste of all<br />

seasons in those months, as well as access<br />

to all attractions that close during snowfall<br />

months. Being on the east coast we have<br />

fewer issues with midges.<br />

ADay in Aberdeen<br />

Start the day well...<br />

It is not common to go out for breakfast in<br />

Scotland; however, a traditional breakfast<br />

could be porridge, Scotch pancakes, or a<br />

cooked breakfast. A cooked breakfast would<br />

usually include sausage, maybe Lorne (a<br />

square sausage slice), black pudding, eggs,<br />

baked tomato, tattie scone, baked beans<br />

and bacon. Normally, locals might go out for<br />

coffee, scones, cake, and/or a breakfast roll.<br />

The breakfast roll is usually sausage or<br />

bacon, possibly with egg if requested, in a<br />

white bread roll with a choice of HP/brown<br />

sauce or tomato/ketchup sauce. Most cafés<br />

tend to offer a brunch menu rather than a<br />

breakfast menu, as most do not open until<br />

10:00 am. Your hotel is where you are most<br />

likely to find a full Scottish breakfast at a<br />

more average time for breakfast.<br />

But if in fact you want to go out of the hotel ...<br />

Scottish Cooked Breakfast<br />

Boxcar Coffee & Yard<br />

Banchory Lodge<br />

Time for a break...<br />

It is really a mix and depends on what<br />

you want. Restaurant services tend to<br />

run very leisurely and slow; you can end<br />

up at a sit-down restaurant for upwards<br />

of 2 hours. However, cafés offer a range<br />

of sandwiches and snacks for a quicker<br />

option. There are really many good<br />

lunch spots, both casual, on-the-go and<br />

more formal.<br />

Banchory Lodge<br />

Not right the city - it’s out in Banchory –<br />

but a total gem<br />

Dee St, Banchory AB31 5HS<br />

https://www.banchorylodge.com/<br />

Amuse 1<br />

Queen's Terrace, Aberdeen AB10 1XL<br />

htts://www.amuse-restaurant.com/<br />

The Silver Darling<br />

Pocra Quay, Aberdeen AB11 5DQ<br />

https://www.thesilverdarling.co.uk/<br />

The Craftsman Company –<br />

Coffee & Ale House<br />

2 Guild St, Aberdeen AB11 6NE<br />

https://thecraftsmancompany.com/<br />

The Albyn<br />

11 Albyn Pl, Aberdeen AB10 1YE<br />

https://thealbyn.co.uk/<br />

CUP Tea Salon<br />

Best picks for breakfast –<br />

Foodstory<br />

11-15 Thistle St, Aberdeen AB10 1XZ<br />

https://foodstorycafe.co.uk/holding.php<br />

Boxcar Coffee & Yard<br />

1 Station Rd, Cults, Aberdeen AB15 9NP<br />

https://www.facebook.com/boxcarcults<br />

CUP<br />

9 Little Belmont St, Aberdeen AB10 1JG<br />

https://www.cupteasalon.com/<br />

Climate...<br />

Always be prepared for four seasons<br />

in one day; for instance in one day you<br />

can experience rain, hail, sunny blue<br />

skies, wind, snow and fluctuations in<br />

temperature. The winter can be quite<br />

cold and wet with limited hours of<br />

daylight and a handful of snows.<br />

However, the long, temperate summer<br />

days make up for it. Late spring,<br />

summer and early fall can be absolutely<br />

gorgeous and the outdoors beckon.<br />


A<br />

fternoon activities...<br />

Aberdeen City Beach<br />

If you head out to the west slightly to a small<br />

town called Banchory, you can take a short<br />

hike up Scolty Hill and then end with tea at<br />

Banchory Lodge. If you fancy a bit of beach,<br />

but not far, you can head down to Aberdeen<br />

city beach and enjoy a stroll on the boardwalk,<br />

but don’t forget to check the tide table before<br />

venturing. It wouldn’t be much fun if most of<br />

the beach was under water. We have drastic<br />

tides in these parts.<br />

Puffin Watching at<br />

Bullers of Buchan<br />

A great place to stop is<br />

BrewDog Brewery in<br />

Ellon on the way back<br />

from Cruden Bay.<br />

Unit Balmacassie<br />

Industrial Estate,<br />

Ellon AB41 8BX,<br />

www.brewdog.com<br />

Puffins at<br />

Bullers of Buchan<br />

Ruins of Slains Castle<br />

If you fancy a beach, a<br />

castle and a natural wonder<br />

in rock formations with puffin<br />

sightings, you can head up<br />

to Cruden Bay Beach. It’s a<br />

dramatic cliff-side walk that<br />

takes you past the ruins of<br />

Slains Castle, the inspiration<br />

for Dracula, and then on to<br />

the Bullers of Buchan, where<br />

there is a blowhole, along<br />

with several natural arches<br />

and puffin sightings in the<br />

spring. You can walk back the<br />

same way you came for three<br />

hours total or catch a bus on<br />

the main road back to Cruden<br />

Bay. You should note that,<br />

while the sun is out past<br />

midnight in the summer,<br />

restaurants for dinner still<br />

prefer to close somewhere<br />

near 9:00 pm. You can have a<br />

late afternoon adventure, but<br />

not too late if you still want a<br />

good meal.<br />


Greyhope Bay is on the south side of<br />

Aberdeen harbor and close to where<br />

the brand-new, additional Aberdeen<br />

harbor is now located. It is a lovely<br />

beach where you can go tide-pooling,<br />

watch ships going in and out of the<br />

harbor and stop at the new, little café<br />

with great dolphin watching. The café<br />

is at the top of the hill near the parking<br />

for the beach, with toilets and superb<br />

views of the city and the North Sea.<br />

It’s called The Liberty Kitchen.<br />

Greyhope Bay Center, Greyhope Rd,<br />

Aberdeen AB11 8QX,<br />

https://www.greyhopebay.com/<br />

This page and next, Greyhope Bay<br />

View from The Liberty Kitchen<br />


Or ...<br />

afternoon shopping, anyone?<br />

Many of the shops are local and showcase<br />

unique gifts, many from local crafters, in<br />

small quaint settings. They are not brand<br />

names and are a pleasure to visit for things<br />

that will give you a feel for Scotland.<br />

Cloudyblue<br />

165 Rosemount Pl, Aberdeen AB25 2XP<br />

https://www.facebook.com/people/Cloudy-<br />

Blue/100044418056609/<br />

Rosemount Market<br />

217-219 Rosemount Pl, Aberdeen AB25 2XS<br />

https://www.rosemountmarket.co.uk/<br />

Juniper<br />

35 Belmont St, Aberdeen AB10 1JS<br />

https://juniperaberdeen.co.uk/<br />

Curated Aberdeen<br />

George St, Aberdeen AB25 1HZ - located<br />

inside Bon Accord Aberdeen<br />

https://www.facebook.com/CuratedAberdeen/<br />

Garden Centers<br />

Garden centers are popular here and have<br />

cafés attached to them. They have a wide<br />

range of gifts and local crafts. They are our<br />

go-to for when we are getting gifts and<br />

Scottish treats to pack in our suitcases for<br />

family and friends back in the USA.<br />

Dobbies Garden Center<br />

Whitemyres House, New Park farm, Lang<br />

Stracht, Aberdeen AB15 6AX<br />

https://www.dobbies.com/<br />

aberdeen?utm_source=google&utm_<br />

medium=organic&utm_campaign=LPM_<br />

google_Aberdeen<br />

Raemoir Garden Center<br />

Raemoir Rd, Banchory AB31 4EJ<br />

https://www.raemoirgardencentre.co.uk/<br />

Union Square (for high street stores)<br />

Guild St, Aberdeen AB11 5RG<br />

https://www.unionsquareaberdeen.com/<br />

After-dark fun...<br />

The locals like to arrange to meet<br />

for drinks and dinner, which<br />

usually turns into walking around<br />

going for more drinks at the unique<br />

bars and pubs. Late-night<br />

transportation post-COVID-19 is an<br />

issue in this city, so be prepared for<br />

cab lines or late nights due to lack<br />

of transport.<br />

Cafe Boheme<br />

23 Windmill Brae,<br />

Aberdeen AB11 6HU<br />

https://www.cafebohemerestaurant.co.uk/<br />

Moonfish<br />

9 Correction Wynd,<br />

Aberdeen AB10 1HP<br />

https://moonfishcafe.co.uk/<br />

Nargile<br />

77-79 Skene St,<br />

Aberdeen AB10 1QD<br />

https://www.facebook.com/<br />

NargileRestaurant?locale=en_GB<br />

Tarragon (traditional)<br />

137 Rosemount Pl,<br />

Aberdeen AB25 2YH<br />

https://tarragoncatering.co.uk/<br />

https://www.facebook.com/tarragonbygrahammitchell/<br />

Aberdeen's Nightlife …<br />

Yes, there are many great places for dinner,<br />

drinks, and more drinks from whiskey dens to<br />

wine bars and cutting-edge bars. You can find<br />

upscale establishments with creative drink<br />

menus or live Irish music in a pub at Malones<br />

Irish Bar. There are theater options, concerts<br />

at P&J Live Arena, live music in pubs, breakout<br />

rooms, bowling and candlelight concerts.<br />

Kristen Belknap at BrewDog<br />

Malones Irish Bar<br />

90 Shiprow, Aberdeen AB11 5BZ<br />

https://malonesbaraberdeen.com/<br />

Cheerz Gay Bar (late night)<br />

2 Exchange St, Aberdeen AB11 6PH<br />

https://www.cheerzbar.co.uk/<br />

Krakatoa<br />

2 Trinity Quay, Aberdeen AB11 5AA<br />

https://krakatoa.bar/<br />

Soul Bar<br />

333 Union St, Aberdeen AB11 6BS<br />

https://www.soulaberdeen.co.uk/<br />


City Snaps<br />

Aberdeen City<br />

Photo- Michelle Sandra Aitken<br />

The Mercat Cross<br />

Marischal College<br />

Brig o'Balgownie over the River Don<br />

(from left to right)<br />

Aberdeen city mural<br />

(page 84)<br />

Marischal Square<br />

Leopard<br />

(page 84)<br />

Looking east on<br />

Rosemount Viaduct<br />


Out and About<br />

Doonies Rare Breeds<br />

Farm (right)<br />

Sunset at Aberdeen City<br />

Beach (below)<br />

New Slains Castle<br />

(middle, page 87 )<br />

Stonehaven Sculptures<br />

Walk (far right and below<br />

right, page 87)<br />


profile<br />

The "Pandemic President"<br />

FAWCO’s outgoing President, Emily van Eerten, AWC The Hague, says<br />

"goodbye" to her role as President.<br />

Emily van Eerten<br />

I<br />

grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma and until I<br />

was 12 had never been further than the<br />

surrounding states. That year, my older<br />

brother was part of a local youth<br />

symphonic band that toured Europe. My<br />

parents had never been abroad at that point<br />

either, so they signed up to be chaperones and<br />

my younger brother and I got to tag along as<br />

well. It was a “if this is Tuesday, this must be<br />

Belgium” kind of tour, with concert stops in<br />

London, Edinburgh, Amsterdam, Copenhagen<br />

and Oslo. I loved it.<br />

When I was 16, my life changed dramatically<br />

when my older brother and his best friend<br />

were broadsided by a concrete-mixer truck.<br />

Nothing can prepare a family for that news,<br />

and although we still got up every morning and<br />

got through the subsequent days and years,<br />

the harsh lesson that life is a gift with an<br />

unknown expiration date hit me in such a<br />

way that I approached every future decision<br />

with the question, if not now, when? I decided<br />

I would see the world, starting with Rice<br />

University out of state. In my sophomore year, I<br />

decided somewhat late that I should go abroad<br />

for my junior year. Too late for any established<br />

programs, I wrote to the British consulate,<br />

got a list of universities, wrote to ten of them,<br />

applied directly to three, and chose the one<br />

with the most appealing brochure, St. Andrews<br />

in Scotland. Luckily this ended up being even<br />

cheaper than Rice, so my parents reluctantly<br />

agreed. It was a fabulous<br />

experience, which included a<br />

spring break trip to Israel and<br />

Egypt, acting in a theatre group<br />

and performing at the Edinburgh<br />

Emily as<br />

FAWCO<br />

President in<br />

2005<br />


1990: Attorneys by day, theatre producers by night<br />

(left, page 90)<br />

1995: Officer's wife (top right)<br />

2021: North Sea sailing (bottom right)<br />

Fringe Festival that summer. After finishing<br />

my philosophy degree at Rice the next year,<br />

I returned to Tulsa for law school, where I<br />

continued to do theatre on the side. After<br />

sitting for the bar exam, I toured Europe for two<br />

months until the results were in and I had to<br />

start my adult life as a lawyer. Still bitten by the<br />

theatre bug, I also helped found and run a new<br />

theatre company, producing and directing four<br />

to five contemporary American plays per year<br />

for the next five years.<br />

One of my law school friends invited me to join<br />

her in Cheyenne, Wyoming, for Frontier Days,<br />

the Daddy of ‘em All Rodeo Festival. She<br />

promised a great girls' week, and it was. Of<br />

particular note, though, was a Dutch naval<br />

officer I met briefly in the Cheyenne Club one<br />

night. We only shared a couple of dances and<br />

some conversation that evening, but we exchanged<br />

addresses. He sent me a postcard a<br />

couple of days later, and I wrote back. To make<br />

a long three-and-a-half-year story short, we<br />

married. As we were discussing who would<br />

quit their job and move where, he was offered<br />

command of a ship on Curaçao, and we decided<br />

starting our married life on a Caribbean island<br />

was the way to go. In the FAWCO world, this kind<br />

of leap of faith is not uncommon, but it remains<br />

the defining moment of my life, uprooting<br />

myself, leaving my legal career and my theatre<br />

company, my family and friends.<br />

Getting involved with FAWCO<br />

As a newlywed on the Dutch island of Curaçao, I<br />

was relieved to discover the American <strong>Women</strong>’s<br />

Club and their Out to Lunch bunch, allowing me<br />

to make some English-speaking friends and get<br />

to know the island. We then moved to Somerset<br />

in the UK, where there was no such group. When<br />

we moved on to Haarlem in the Netherlands,<br />

with a baby in tow, one of my first calls was to<br />

the AWC Amsterdam. They had a Haarlem-area<br />

group and I was quickly involved in a Moms and<br />

Tots Group and book club as I adjusted to life<br />

in the Netherlands. One of the members also<br />

offered a class on HTML and I was happy to sign<br />

up. She had just been to her first FAWCO<br />

conference in London and had offered to<br />

redesign the infant FAWCO website and signed<br />

me up to help. Soon after, she divorced and<br />

repatriated and I took over, getting FAWCO’s<br />

new Virtual Clubhouse up and running, as well<br />

as starting the FAWCO web hosting program.<br />

I attended my first FAWCO conference in<br />

Washington, DC in 2000. The next year I joined<br />

the Board as 1st Vice President. Within a few<br />

months I discovered I was pregnant with my<br />

third child. Thinking I would resign, my husband<br />

asked incredulously, “What kind of women’s<br />

organization would make you resign just<br />

because you were pregnant?” Indeed. I kept my<br />

position and ended up bringing my six-week-old<br />

baby (and my mother) to the Florence<br />

conference. I was elected FAWCO President for<br />

the 2005–2007 term, and ended up having to<br />

negotiate an international move (to Norfolk,<br />

England). More international moves followed,<br />

to Ontario, Canada, and eventually back to the<br />

Netherlands. During that time I served in<br />

several other FAWCO capacities. I was shocked<br />

in 2019, though, when I was contacted three<br />

weeks before the Edinburgh conference. The<br />

presidential nominee had to withdraw and<br />

would I be willing to take on the presidency once<br />

more? My family was surprisingly supportive<br />

and I agreed.<br />

As we approached the 2020 conference, not<br />

only did we have to deal with the onslaught of<br />

the pandemic, but one of my daughters was<br />

diagnosed with an extremely rare disease that<br />

required immediate surgery. I am so grateful to<br />

the FAWCO Board and members who helped get<br />

the organization through those dark days, while<br />

I was also dealing with her care. Because of<br />

COVID-19, FAWCO ended up having to embrace<br />

newer technologies that included virtual<br />

meetings and conferences. This abrupt change<br />

in work-ways made it difficult to recruit a new<br />

president for 2021–<strong>2023</strong> so I ended up signing<br />

on for another term.<br />

The role of FAWCO President is as a conductor<br />

for an orchestra. FAWCO is active: providing<br />

organizational support for our member clubs;<br />

engaging our members on global issues;<br />

advocating for the interests of Americans<br />

abroad; and actively pursuing philanthropic<br />

goals. We have over 150 volunteers who are<br />

passionate about their respective areas. There<br />

is a need thus to keep the organization in<br />

balance, remaining non-partisan, adopting new<br />


technology as necessary, and all the while being<br />

mindful of good governance, avoiding<br />

information overload and respecting data<br />

privacy. The most satisfying part of working<br />

with FAWCO is the exceptionally high quality<br />

of our volunteers, who are well educated,<br />

engaged with their local and global communities<br />

and passionate about their FAWCO and club<br />

work. The presidency is a full time commitment<br />

at times, but I have always felt that I have gotten<br />

more out of it than I put in — and I have had the<br />

privilege of meeting hundreds of amazing<br />

people along the way. The work can be intense,<br />

and, although I will be happy to pass the baton<br />

to Ann Marie, I will miss all of the wonderful<br />

people I have been in constant contact with<br />

for the past four years. I will think of my four<br />

years as the Pandemic Presidency, dealing with<br />

canceled conferences, virtual engagement and<br />

new thinking on contracts and communications,<br />

but as FAWCO moves forward we are poised<br />

once again to set our sights on larger goals.<br />

“Goodbyes and New Beginnings”<br />

Of all the people and situations you have said<br />

goodbye to in your life, tell us about two that<br />

you miss the most. Why is that?<br />

I try not to think in terms of goodbyes as much<br />

as au revoirs. The worst goodbyes of my life<br />

were during those years before my husband<br />

and I decided we would get married. We spent<br />

more than three years writing actual letters and<br />

making expensive phone calls. When we did get<br />

together in Amsterdam or Oklahoma, when I<br />

was on vacation or he was on leave from<br />

the navy, the farewells at the airport were<br />

devastating because we literally did not know<br />

if we would see each other again. Long-distance<br />

relationships are brutal and not for the faint of<br />

heart. But we overcame our fears and doubts.<br />

For the 28+ years I have been abroad I have<br />

maintained relationships with those who are<br />

important in my life; distance hasn’t broken<br />

our connections.<br />

Of all the “new beginnings” in your life,<br />

tell us about two that you really<br />

remember/that turned out to be<br />

unexpectedly important.<br />

New beginnings are a hallmark of our<br />

lives to date. Having already made four<br />

international moves, when we moved back<br />

to the Netherlands in 2011, my husband<br />

promised that our kids would be able to<br />

complete their high school education here,<br />

and they have. One of the by-products of an<br />

international life, though, is that your<br />

children have learned to think internationally.<br />

My oldest went to the UK for university, with<br />

summer internships in France, Austria and<br />

Germany, and now is in Germany for her<br />

PhD. My son ended up getting recruited to<br />

play pro rugby in France and will complete<br />

his bachelor's there this year on the side.<br />

Another daughter is now on a semester<br />

abroad in Chile, while my youngest is<br />

thinking of law school in the US. Where will<br />

they be — where will we be? Who knows<br />

what is ahead of us? I have learned to live<br />

life as it comes, without a net.<br />

Emily and her mom on the FAWCO Foundation<br />

Cruise (left, page 92)<br />

Emily with Giulia and Silke (above)<br />


feature<br />

<strong>Inspiring</strong> Reads: Secrets<br />

of a Summer Village<br />

Born and raised in Atlanta,<br />

Georgia, Saskia E. Akyil<br />

began her art by keeping a<br />

journal and writing letters<br />

to her friends, pen pals,<br />

cousins and grandparents.<br />

Since moving to Germany<br />

with her husband in 2005,<br />

she hasn’t been able to use<br />

her “ very useful degree” in<br />

Teaching English as a<br />

Second Language. As a<br />

hobby, she writes stories<br />

and articles, does metalsmithing<br />

and feeds her<br />

husband and three sons. In<br />

pursuit of a new career, she<br />

is now studying towards a<br />

MSc in epidemiology. She<br />

hopes that one day she can<br />

combine her interest in<br />

writing and science.<br />

Ashort summary of the book<br />

When she doesn’t get a place in a Mexican<br />

study abroad program, Rachel anticipates another<br />

summer behind the counter of a coffee shop until<br />

an unexpected opportunity to spend a month with a<br />

family in Turkey drastically changes the course of her<br />

summer. In a summer village on the western coast of<br />

Turkey, you’ll meet Rachel, who doesn’t know what<br />

she wants; Aylin, who doesn’t know if she wants the<br />


one who wants her; and Leyla, who knows<br />

who she wants, but doesn’t know if she’ll get<br />

him. Love and romance are secret pleasures<br />

in the summer village, which only make them<br />

more exciting.<br />

Can coffee grounds tell your future? Will fate<br />

bring you to your soul mate thousands of<br />

miles from home? Would the evil eye dare<br />

stop two souls on their paths to each other?<br />

Travel with Rachel on her journey far from the<br />

comforts of home, to a place that will captivate<br />

her and leave her changed forever.<br />

Secrets of a Summer Village is a novel in which<br />

modern, middle-class Turkish culture is seen<br />

through the eyes of an American teenager. In<br />

the coming-of-age story, Rachel learns that<br />

many aspects of Turkish culture are different<br />

from her own, but that family, friendship and<br />

love are universal.<br />

What was your inspiration for the book?<br />

My husband’s stories were my inspiration for<br />

the book. His parents have a summer house<br />

on the Aegean coast of Turkey and, like the<br />

characters in the book, he spent his summers<br />

there. I can already hear you asking – no, I did<br />

not meet him on an exchange program and the<br />

story is not autobiographical.<br />

How long did it take you to write the book?<br />

From start to finish, including all edits, it took<br />

me about two years. I started writing this book<br />

when my second son was six weeks old, and<br />

he was a few years old by the time I completed<br />

the book. I mostly wrote in the evenings, after<br />

the children had gone to bed.<br />

What kind of research do you do, and how<br />

long do you spend researching before<br />

beginning a book?<br />

I didn’t do dedicated research prior to<br />

starting to write. I had already experienced<br />

many weeks visiting my husband’s summer<br />

village, and had been hearing his stories about<br />

it for eight years before I started to write.<br />

While writing, I did research as appropriate.<br />

What is the most important thing you want<br />

readers to take away from your book?<br />

I’d like them to get a taste of secular Turkish<br />

culture and traditions from the book. News<br />

media provide a very different picture of<br />

Muslim-majority countries than<br />

the reality lived by many people,<br />

and vacationing in a country is not<br />

the same as spending time there<br />

with locals.<br />

When did you start writing?<br />

I started writing as soon as I learned<br />

how to write. I believe I wrote my<br />

first book when I was in first or<br />

second grade. It was about Cabbage<br />

Patch Kids.<br />

What’s your favorite underappreciated<br />

novel?<br />

My favorite novel is The Poisonwood<br />

Bible by Margaret Kingsolver. I don’t<br />

think it’s underappreciated, but it<br />

may have somewhat fallen off the<br />

radar. Is The Little Prince a novel? If so, that’s<br />

also my favorite novel. Fortunately, it’s not<br />

underappreciated, either. I haven’t answered<br />

your question, have I? I am incredibly picky<br />

when it comes to novels, so I tend to read<br />

more non-fiction books.<br />

What is your favorite childhood book?<br />

As a child, I loved Anne of Green Gables. As<br />

for my favorite children’s book now, I would<br />

say that it’s too hard to pick. Children’s<br />

books are often much better than books<br />

intended for adults because they are more<br />

straightforward, more succinct, and are<br />

usually unpretentious. My favorite picture<br />

books are possibly The Gruffalo by Julia<br />

Donaldson and Axel Scheffler and Lost and<br />

Found by Oliver Jeffers.<br />

What are you reading now?<br />

I most recently finished reading What My<br />

Bones Know by Stephanie Foo and can<br />

absolutely recommend it.<br />

If you could tell your younger writingself<br />

anything, what would it be?<br />

To join a writing group because it helps<br />

immensely on many levels, from improving<br />

writing through workshopping to providing<br />

a community – writing can be a very<br />

isolating activity.<br />

What’s next for you? Are you working on<br />

anything new you’d like to share with<br />

our readers?<br />

I’m not actively writing fiction at the<br />

moment, though I do have one more<br />

published work – a children’s picture<br />

book about the winter solstice called<br />

Moonflower and the Solstice Dance, which is<br />

available in four languages – English,<br />

Turkish, German and Swedish. I also have<br />

a completed manuscript that I may<br />

publish one day, and I have a partiallywritten<br />

manuscript that I have shelved for<br />

now, but hope to get back to one day.<br />

The Existential<br />

Traveller<br />

Bridging Borders since 1984<br />

Explore your dreams…<br />

Enhance your mind…<br />

Enrich your soul…<br />

Why US?<br />

Professional and Personal Service<br />

• We are personally connected to the places you’ll visit.<br />

• We are committed to preserving environmental integrity and<br />

to supporting local economies.<br />

• We are dedicated to your enjoyment and pleasure.<br />

Special Tours available for FAWCO Clubs!<br />

For More Information:<br />

Contact: Linda Johnson, FAUSA member<br />

linda@theexistentialtraveller.club<br />

Phone: +212693842357<br />

Books presented in the<br />

<strong>Inspiring</strong> Reads feature are<br />

available for purchase via<br />

the FAWCO website in the<br />

Books by Members or Books<br />

by Clubs sections.<br />

Enjoy!<br />


profile<br />

Moving FAWCO into a<br />

Post-COVID-19 World<br />

Ann Marie Morrow, AWC Finland, tells us about herself and her<br />

"new beginning" as FAWCO’s incoming President.<br />

We moved around a lot when I was<br />

younger, mostly within upstate New<br />

York. I remember enjoying moving<br />

to new places, starting new schools<br />

and getting to know new people. Changing high<br />

schools was perhaps more challenging than<br />

changing a school when I was younger, but I was<br />

always on board for another adventure. I even<br />

went to three different universities, but managed<br />

to graduate a year early. I was somehow in a<br />

hurry, taking extra classes, working, volunteering,<br />

and, of course, partying too. My Finnish husband<br />

and I met at university in the US. I never imagined<br />

that I’d live so long in one place as I have now. I’ve<br />

been in Finland for more than 20 years; I came<br />

for one year and continue to “renew my contract”<br />

each year.<br />

Ann Marie<br />

A defining moment in my life was when I was a<br />

freshman at university. I spent a lot of time with<br />

my three-year old cousin, who was getting cancer<br />

treatment. She and her family were staying at a<br />

nearby Ronald McDonald House, and I would stay<br />

there on Fridays as well (Pizza Fridays!) Meeting<br />

all the families and children going through such<br />

battles for life and death was a real perspective<br />

wakeup call for an 18-year-old. The wisdom and<br />

grace of the children and their families was<br />

humbling. It really shaped my outlook and<br />

perspective on what is important in life. I<br />

realized how short and fragile life is.<br />

I don’t want to waste my time doing<br />

things that don’t matter and I try to<br />

spend my time in a way that I won’t<br />

Winter<br />

wonderland<br />

in Finland.<br />


Saying goodbye to those who move off the<br />

board is bittersweet. You get so used to being in<br />

regular contact via WhatsApp or email that it<br />

feels like you’ve lost a friend for a while when<br />

jobs change. But, FAWCO being what it is, luckily<br />

we still get to see each other on various teams<br />

and at in-person meetings. How fabulous it was<br />

to see Rozanne in Belgium this past November<br />

and to bump into Shweta at sunset at the top of<br />

the MAS building in Antwerp! I haven’t tested it<br />

much yet, due to COVID-19 restrictions the past<br />

years, but it really feels like the FAWCO family<br />

will welcome you wherever you go. I love seeing<br />

pictures of people I now know meeting up for<br />

coffee in Paris, a museum tour in New York<br />

or wine in London! A worldwide circle of<br />

friendly connections.<br />

As I look forward to the next board term, I<br />

imagine helping support this dynamic<br />

organization into a post-COVID-19 world by<br />

building on the strengths we have, bridging the<br />

virtual with in-person meetings and becoming<br />

stronger with diversity and inclusiveness, helping<br />

to make FAWCO a place where members will<br />

feel empowered and have agency and a sense<br />

of belonging.<br />

“Goodbyes and New Beginnings”<br />

Of all the people and situations you have said<br />

goodbye to in your life, tell us about two that<br />

you miss the most. Why is that?<br />

I don’t think I’m alone in sometimes missing the<br />

person I thought I was going to be. I never<br />

imagined I would live in a foreign country, let<br />

alone one so close to the Arctic Circle. I often<br />

tell the story of how I didn’t want to date anyone<br />

from Canada – just in case – as I didn’t want to<br />

live anywhere cold. I somehow skipped that<br />

geography class where they talked about Finland.<br />

I do miss not having my own family or circle of<br />

friends from childhood around me. It has been<br />

tough at times. Luckily I really like my kids,<br />

husband and dog, and we have carved out a life<br />

Ann Marie with family on Bourbon Street, 2016<br />

2012 Regional meeting group photo in Stockholm (below)<br />

regret. There is an old adage that when<br />

someone is dying, no one regrets not having<br />

worked more. They wish they had spent more<br />

time with family and friends. Living in Finland<br />

has given me that possibility. Life is a lot slower<br />

here. When I first arrived, I couldn’t imagine<br />

what anyone would do with four weeks of<br />

vacation! Now I know, and we have enjoyed<br />

amazing family trips together most every year.<br />

Getting involved with FAWCO<br />

My first taste of FAWCO connections happened<br />

in Stockholm at a Regional I attended there in<br />

September 2012 while I was president of AWC<br />

Finland. It was exciting being around other<br />

women who were living such similar lives. We<br />

swapped stories and bonded over shared<br />

experiences of Nordic life.<br />

A standout memory was on the Sunday<br />

walking tour of the old town, Gamla Stan. We<br />

were in an ideal spot along the waterfront on<br />

this foggy morning, enjoying the iconic view of<br />

the Stockholm City Hall, when a local member<br />

from China asked if we’d like to try an<br />

impromptu Tai Chi session. I can still feel the<br />

mist on my face and see the peace and glow on<br />

everyone’s faces as we stretched and moved as<br />

one. Amazing experiences like this seem to<br />

happen whenever FAWCO friends gather.<br />

I helped organize a Regional in Helsinki in April<br />

2017, during Finland’s 100-year anniversary of<br />

independence, while I was FAWCO Region 2<br />

Coordinator. We hosted and met FAWCO<br />

members from seven different countries –<br />

connections that led somehow to my being<br />

asked to serve as 1st VP Communications. This<br />

was an unexpected new beginning for me, and<br />

I’m glad I was open to new challenges.<br />

I have learned so much and gained so much<br />

from all my work and time on the FAWCO<br />

board since March 2019. Our first board served<br />

during the beginning of COVID-19. What a time<br />

of upheaval, isolation and turmoil. The women<br />

on that board in 2019–2021 were kind, smart,<br />

caring and resilient, and after working with<br />

colleagues like that, I only wanted to continue<br />

being around that inspiring energy. Many of<br />

us stayed on for the 2021–<strong>2023</strong> board and I’m<br />

grateful for the time I get to be around and<br />

learn from all of them.<br />


that was unexpected, but one that ticks all the<br />

boxes. Plus, did I mention vacations are long<br />

and lovely in the Nordics?! I continually check<br />

in with myself and make sure that I’m trying to<br />

make the most of my time. I’ve had family<br />

members and friends pass away too young.<br />

These are goodbyes one is never prepared for<br />

or gets used to.<br />

I look around me and think – what would I want<br />

to do with my time if it were limited? And guess<br />

what? All our time here on earth is limited! If<br />

I live to 90, perhaps I’ll have eaten too much<br />

chocolate, not worked enough, cleaned enough<br />

or made enough money. But, one never knows.<br />

I’m not a hedonist, but I have tried to gauge my<br />

choices along these lines of making the most of<br />

today. I have a quote in Finnish on my fridge –<br />

it says “Tämä päivä on aina täällä, huominen ei<br />

koskaan.” There are many popular versions of<br />

it, but it roughly translates to, “Today is always<br />

here, tomorrow never comes.” In other words,<br />

a new beginning is always here.<br />

Ann Marie in Bali with monkey on her shoulder in 2017<br />

(above)<br />

Ann Marie in the Haaga Rhododendron Park, Helsinki (right)<br />

FAWCO Board 2019 (far right top, page103)<br />

2022 Luxembourg Conference, Region 2 group picture<br />

(far right bottom, page 103)<br />


feature<br />

Who Are We? ...<br />

Introducing the New<br />

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

With this issue, <strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> is saying goodbye to several long-serving<br />

members and welcoming a new team. We are saying goodbye to Editor Liz MacNiven,<br />

Distribution Manager Karen Boeker and Profiles Coordinator Haley Green. Last year,<br />

we said goodbye to Social Media Manager Berit Torkildsen.<br />

As we knew these transitions were approaching, we took the time to redesign the<br />

roles and responsibilities of the team. Last year, we welcomed Kristin Haanæs as our<br />

Layout Coordinator. She’s been a huge asset to the team as she continues to improve<br />

the magazine’s layout and design. We also decided to create a Marketing Manager<br />

position which would combine the work of the Distribution, Social Media, and PR<br />

Managers. Elsie Bose is remaining on the team as Advertising and Sponsorship<br />

Manager, and Michele Hendrikse Du Bois is moving from Features Coordinator to<br />

Editor-in-Chief. Connie Phlipot will be taking over the Features Coordinator position.<br />

Cristin Middlebrooks is the new Profile Coordinator, and Hollis Vaughen is filling the<br />

new Marketing Manager position.<br />

We thought you’d like to meet the new team, so we asked each team member to tell<br />

you a little about where they grew up, their involvement with their local clubs and<br />

FAWCO and what they are looking forward to as part of the <strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong><br />

<strong>Magazine</strong> team.<br />


Michele Hendrikse Du Bois Editor<br />

FAUSA<br />

2011 FAWCO Conference in Morocco<br />

(above)<br />

Kunu and a young Michele (above right)<br />

Michele's family (middle right)<br />

Michele and husband Remco in The<br />

Dalles, 2011 (bottom right)<br />

Michele and Remco, Belfast 2017 (below)<br />

While our extended family stayed in Kentucky<br />

and Illinois, my parents put their 6-month-old<br />

daughter (me) and Alaskan Malamute in their<br />

Plymouth Fury station wagon and ventured<br />

west. After a short stop in Idaho, where my<br />

sister joined us, we moved on to Bellevue,<br />

Washington and settled in. As a teen and young<br />

adult, I always wanted to travel to Europe, but<br />

my personal budgeting habits never allowed me<br />

to save enough for that type of travel. No one<br />

at that time would have guessed I’d end up<br />

managing multi-million-dollar budgets (and<br />

getting an international corporate award for my<br />

budgeting management skills)! In the spring of<br />

1991, I met a “nice Dutch boy” who was finishing<br />

up his LLM at the University of Washington. I got<br />

my first passport, and that December I took my first trip overseas to meet Remco’s<br />

family and tell them we were getting married the following summer. We have now<br />

enjoyed over 30 years of wonderful adventures together. In addition to living near<br />

Amsterdam and in Munich, we enjoyed two shorter secondments in Singapore and<br />

Istanbul. Between my travels with FAWCO and The FAWCO Foundation and my<br />

husband’s business travel, we had the opportunity to visit many countries.<br />

I love cooking, reading, traveling, hiking/walking, and photography. Having the<br />

opportunity to live in different countries and explore so many different places has been<br />

a true gift.<br />

My husband and I wanted to live in Europe, but we never intended to live in the<br />

Netherlands. Then, in 2005, a unique opportunity arose with my husband’s company,<br />

and we spent the next three and a half years living in a small town just outside of<br />

Amsterdam. While there, I joined the AWC Amsterdam, serving in several roles,<br />

including club president. That is also when I discovered FAWCO and started attending<br />

conferences. One of my favorite roles was as speaker coordinator at the 2008<br />

conference in Seoul, South Korea. After a short return to Washington, we jumped on an<br />

opportunity to go back to Europe and live in Munich. Even before moving, I contacted<br />

the Munich IWC, and on December 31, 2011, our second night in town, we attended our<br />

first social event with the club. At the same time, I became the president of The FAWCO<br />

Foundation. I loved working with The Foundation’s board, attending regional meetings<br />

and gifting Development Grants and Education Awards to inspirational and deserving<br />

FAWCO club charities, their club members, and members’ children. In 2017, after five<br />

years in Munich, we returned to Washington, and I joined FAUSA, where I coordinate the<br />

Seattle Metro/PNW Region, FAUSA in Motion, and the virtual Mah Jongg group.<br />

After two years as Features Coordinator, I am looking forward to moving into the<br />

Editor position and working with the new <strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong> team. We are excited to<br />

explore fresh ideas and introduce renewed energy to the production of this beautiful,<br />

informative, and engaging magazine that brings the stories of FAWCO’s inspiring women<br />

alive and delivers them directly to our subscribers’ inboxes.<br />


Elsie Bose Founder &Advertising Manager<br />

FAUSA & AWG Paris<br />

Elsie making a new friend at the<br />

Abu Dhabi Falcon Clinic. (above)<br />

AWC Brussels Board, breaking ground<br />

for the clubhouse renovation,1996.<br />

(above right)<br />

AWC Toronto donated $60,000 to the<br />

University of Toronto scholarship<br />

program. (middle right)<br />

Elsie was the keynote speaker at the<br />

AWG Paris 100th Anniversary Gala held<br />

last April. (bottom right)<br />

Elsie with Speaker of the House of<br />

Commons, Gilbert Parent, in Ottawa.<br />

(below)<br />

I was born in New York, the eldest of four girls.<br />

My dad was a Navy pilot, so moving and living<br />

in different places was normal to me. I studied<br />

at Mary Washington College in Virginia, but<br />

graduated from the University of Maryland<br />

with a BA in criminology. My grandfather, who<br />

was a judge in New York, got me an interview<br />

with his local congressman for an internship on<br />

the Hill. The interview went very well, and the<br />

congressman referred me to the Interns’ Office<br />

to sort out the details. I walked in behind a<br />

man who was also being considered for an<br />

internship. He was directed to an interview<br />

room. When it was my turn, I was directed to a<br />

typewriter. When I asked why, the receptionist<br />

said, “We don’t expect men to type.” I said, “Well,<br />

don’t expect me to either.” And I left. I had a job in the local DC department store while<br />

in school and went full time. That led to a career as a buyer and executive with several<br />

major retail chains.<br />

I met and married my husband Bob in Washington. Opportunities and promotions for<br />

both of us sent us to Pittsburgh, then Denver. From Denver, a major career move for<br />

Bob included a chance to move to Brussels, Belgium. Unsure what I was going to do, I<br />

joined the American <strong>Women</strong>’s Club of Brussels. I served on the board as Vice-President<br />

and chair of the clubhouse renovation committee, and I am proud to say that the<br />

renovation came in on time, and under budget. In 1997, we relocated to Toronto,<br />

Canada. We lived downtown. It was so exciting! I became active in the American<br />

<strong>Women</strong>’s Club of Toronto, becoming its president.<br />

In the fall of 1999, Bob told me he had been offered a new job, and what would I think<br />

about living in Paris? I went to the closet, got a suitcase, and turned to him and said,<br />

“let’s go!” I joined AWG Paris and was President from 2002–2005. We had an enthusiastic<br />

Board and vibrant membership. AWG began the Woman of the Year awards, the OOPS<br />

Auction, and published a cookbook.<br />

I attended my first FAWCO conference in Stockholm, Sweden. Later, I was asked to join<br />

the Board of The FAWCO Foundation. I oversaw the Development Grants program and<br />

went on to serve as The Foundation’s president from 2008–2010. In 2013, we moved<br />

to Dubai, where we lived until 2017. The FAWCO President, Monica Jubayli, lived there<br />

too, and she seemed to think I needed something to do, so she asked me to be the<br />

Advertising and Sponsorship Manager for FAWCO, a role in which I continue to serve<br />

from Texas.<br />

The intent of the magazine is to create a fun and informative magazine with “mass”<br />

appeal to individual club members by introducing them to other FAWCO members,<br />

clubs, and countries. The <strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong> team loves the “what if?“ question. Answering<br />

that question has helped us grow a loyal readership, add social media, organize<br />

workshops, and host live events. I hope we will continue to accept that challenge with<br />

our new team and have a blast doing it!<br />


Kristin D. Haanæs Layout Coordinator<br />

AWC Oslo<br />

My mother, who is Norwegian, married my<br />

father in Norway and moved to central<br />

Pennsylvania, to my father’s hometown of<br />

Huntingdon, in the late 1950s. In the mid-80s I<br />

did the exact opposite and married a Norwegian<br />

and moved to Norway.<br />

All dressed up! (above left)<br />

Kristin's family out celebrating her 60th birthday (above)<br />

I grew up with one set of grandparents living in<br />

Oslo and the other set just literally a field away.<br />

Both of my parents were teachers and had<br />

summers off, so by the time I was 12, I had<br />

crossed the ocean by boat nine times for<br />

summer visits to my Norwegian grandparents.<br />

During the school year, with both my parents<br />

teaching, my paternal grandparents were the<br />

ones who were there for me and my two sisters.<br />

My father was not only a history teacher, but also became a professional photographer.<br />

So, by the time I was in high school, my summer job was the occasional gig as a<br />

photographer’s assistant for weddings – but mainly I was set to hand mask and crop the<br />

negatives that were going to the lab for printing. Thus began my<br />

interest in layout and design. Some of my other interests include<br />

playing the bodhrán (badly), cooking and handicrafts. I always have<br />

felt that the best way to learn something is to just jump right in with<br />

both feet.<br />

Upon moving to Norway with my husband, I have worked as a<br />

restaurant manager in an Oslo hotel and have been the owner of a<br />

gourmet chocolate shop. In the 1990s, due to medical problems, I<br />

was given the opportunity to reschool myself. I chose layout and<br />

design and I have been working with that since then. Going into design<br />

led me down another hobby path, one of creating silver jewelry.<br />

Playing the bodhrán at a "session" at an Irish pub<br />

in Oslo<br />

Receiving the Caroline Curtis Brown Spirit Award<br />

at the Biennial Conference in Edinburgh<br />

During the early 90s, I became involved with our women’s club in<br />

Oslo. Through the years I have held board positions of president,<br />

newsletter editor, website coordinator, librarian and FAWCO Rep<br />

(for which I was honored by receiving the FAWCO Rep Appreciation<br />

Award). At one of the FAWCO conferences, I ended up volunteering<br />

my services to the new 1st VP, Monica Jubayli, and became part of<br />

the Communications team. Since then I have helped with layout<br />

and design of several conference newsletters and directories, been<br />

website updater, designed the Target Education Project donor<br />

badges and been layout editor for The Forum. At the Biennial<br />

Conference in Edinburgh, I was gobsmacked at receiving the<br />

Caroline Curtis Brown Spirit Award for just doing something that I enjoy doing.<br />

With the decision to cut out production of The Forum, I was at loose ends, so when I was<br />

approached last year to join <strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong>’s team as layout editor and help redesign<br />

the magazine I was flattered to be asked and jumped at the chance. I have enjoyed<br />

working with the team so far and look forward to working with my new team members.<br />


Hiking in Austria (top left)<br />

Favorite SDG (middle left)<br />

In Verona (bottom left)<br />

Connie's grandparents (top right)<br />

Hiking with her husband (middle right)<br />

Connie Phlipot Features Coordinator<br />

AWA Vienna<br />

In Paris (bottom right)<br />

A summer studying Russian in the Soviet<br />

Union 47 years ago ignited my passion for living<br />

abroad. I grew up in a rural area near Cleveland,<br />

Ohio, home to one of the largest settlements of<br />

Eastern European immigrants in the US. My own<br />

maternal grandparents – whom I admired and<br />

adored – emigrated in the early part of the<br />

20th century from the Russian Empire, in what<br />

is now Belarus. My Soviet studies experience<br />

navigating culturally and logistically in unknown<br />

lands inspired and empowered me to pursue a<br />

career as a US diplomat. Early on in my career, I<br />

met and subsequently married a wonderful<br />

fellow US diplomat. This June we will celebrate<br />

our 35th wedding anniversary. Many countries later – sometimes in the same place,<br />

sometimes not – we ended up retiring in Vienna. The Organization for Security and<br />

Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) played – and continues to play – a big role in our life<br />

in Vienna.<br />

My second passion is writing and reading. Soon after I moved to Vienna, I joined the<br />

Sunday Writers Club, a fabulous group of English-speaking writers from a multitude<br />

of countries who come together on Sundays to write and share their works in a café<br />

or online. On my own, I’ve been working (slowly) on a novel loosely based on my<br />

experiences in Eastern Europe. At least once a year, I join an election observation<br />

mission under OSCE auspices as either a short-term or long-term observer. I’ve recently<br />

joined the local Vienna organization of <strong>Women</strong> in International Security and eagerly<br />

participate in forums on international relations in Vienna. I am also an obsessive<br />

runner, hiker, biker, word puzzler and – if there is ever enough snow – cross-country<br />

skier. I began running in college to accompany a friend who was taking jogging to<br />

meet her phys. ed. requirement. After twenty years of making fun of my running habit,<br />

my husband joined me and together we began to participate in races, including<br />

half-marathons.<br />

I discovered FAWCO during a discussion on the Target Project soon after I became an<br />

AWA member in 2019. Excited to find a group of women interested in the global issues<br />

that I care about, I joined AWA’s small FAWCO liaison team. During the COVID-19 years,<br />

we took advantage of social media to raise our club’s awareness of SDGs and the UN<br />

campaign against violence against women. My first major FAWCO event was helping<br />

organize the 2022 Region 5 FAWCO meeting in Vienna. Currently, I am co-chair of the<br />

local organizing committee for the <strong>2023</strong> Bratislava Conference. I have also contributed<br />

to the AWA magazine, Highlights, as writer and editor.<br />

Two of the writers I most admire are the Russian and Belarusan women Svetlana<br />

Alexievich and Lyudmila Ulitskaya, whose works focus on the lives of so-called “ordinary”<br />

women doing extraordinary things – like the inspiring women of FAWCO. I hope that my<br />

contribution to the <strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong> team will be to help promote their fabulous stories.<br />


Cristin Middlebrooks Profiles Coordinator<br />

AWC Antwerp<br />

I come from Portland, Oregon – home to<br />

mountains and beaches that I still miss every<br />

day. After graduating from the University of<br />

Oregon – a proud third-generation Duck – I<br />

worked as an editor at a small Portland paper<br />

and then taught kindergarten for several years.<br />

I married my husband, Scott, in 2005. A year<br />

later our son Sawyer was born, and we moved<br />

to the Netherlands. My husband had an expat<br />

contract to work for ASML, a software company<br />

outside of Eindhoven. Within a year, our son<br />

Parker was born, and our lives were full of good<br />

friends and adventures. We were only supposed<br />

to be in Europe for three years, but when ASML<br />

offered Scott a local contract, we began looking for a house of our own.<br />

Missing the space we were so spoiled with back in Oregon, we bought a house in<br />

Belgium with a big backyard, where we've been happy ever since. I'm not really sure<br />

where the years have gone; watching my boys grow up has been bittersweet. It's been a<br />

blur of non-stop activity, acting as chauffeur, personal chef, study coach and all-around<br />

cheerleader. Now that their college days loom near, it's time for me to figure out the<br />

next part of my story: how to make my life more meaningful beyond my boys.<br />

A few years ago I began taking piano lessons at the local music academy. It’s fun, but<br />

performing in front of people still makes me nervous. I love reading historical fiction<br />

novels that have some romance thrown in and have begun writing my own. I also enjoy<br />

baking, watching old movies and going for long walks. I’m even training to walk a<br />

marathon along the Belgian coast this spring.<br />

With her son Parker (top left)<br />

With her son Sawyer (bottom left)<br />

Cristin and her boys (top right)<br />

Hiking outside Antwerp with<br />

AWCA friends (bottom right)<br />

In 2021, I joined the AWC Antwerp, hoping to connect with other Americans, make<br />

some new friends, and go on new adventures – best decision I've made in a long time.<br />

Everyone has been so kind, welcoming and incredibly inspirational. Last spring, I joined<br />

the board as Activity Director and served on several committees, including organizing<br />

our annual Founders' Day lunch, hosting a monthly writers workshop and organizing<br />

monthly nature hikes outside of Antwerp. In December, our FAWCO Rep, Tharien van<br />

Eck, heard about vacancies at <strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong> and suggested I contact them. I’m so<br />

glad I did.<br />

The team is amazing, and the women profiled by the magazine truly are inspiring,<br />

proving that every woman, everywhere has a story. For some women, inspiration comes<br />

from the simple need to help others. Others inspire with their desire to live each day to<br />

the fullest. I’m so happy to be part of an organization that provides a way for their<br />

stories to be told.<br />


Hollis Vaughen Marketing Manager<br />

AWC Berlin<br />

I am originally from Kentucky and went to<br />

college in Virginia. I have lived, worked and<br />

studied in North Carolina, Japan, California,<br />

Germany and Washington State. It’s hard to say<br />

exactly why I moved around so much – some of<br />

it was by design, some by circumstances out of<br />

my control – but it’s been an adventure to<br />

experience a teeny portion of the world this<br />

way. My number of moves pales in comparison<br />

to those who relocate every two or three years,<br />

but as someone who didn’t get to explore much<br />

beyond the southeastern US for her first 25<br />

years, it’s been a wild ride.<br />

November 2021 – my favorite SDGs at the FAWCO Region 5<br />

meeting in Vienna;<br />

photo credit My-Linh Kunst (top left)<br />

<strong>May</strong> 2022 with AWC Berlin FAWCO Rep Frances Durocher at the<br />

FAWCO Interim Meeting in Luxembourg;<br />

photo credit My-Linh Kunst (top right)<br />

April 2022 with my family in Madrid, Spain;<br />

photo credit Jovan Gibson-Aviance (bottom)<br />

Career-wise, I’m a Recovering Engineer – i.e. I<br />

have the degree and two-plus years of work<br />

experience but it didn’t suit me. So, I left the industry and went to business school for an<br />

international MBA. I sort of fell backwards into marketing and have done a wide array<br />

of jobs for a wide array of companies. About ten years ago, I started doing social media<br />

management, first for my kids’ school and the non-profit organizations I belonged to,<br />

then later for paid clients.<br />

My husband and I have three kids, ages 13, 15 and 18. We lived in Berlin from 2017 to<br />

2018 and moved back in August 2021. We really like living in this one-of-a-kind European<br />

capital and exploring the surrounding continent. In addition to going to many places<br />

within Germany as a family, we’ve visited Poland, Belgium, the Netherlands, France,<br />

Spain, Italy, Slovenia, Austria, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Cyprus. (We’ve all been<br />

able to take some solo trips as well.) Most recently was spring break in Switzerland<br />

because our oldest was a FAWCO Youth Cultural Ambassador Volunteer in Zurich!<br />

We’re hoping for more trips in the second half of <strong>2023</strong>, because our list of places to visit<br />

is very long.<br />

I love conversation, traveling, volunteering, reading, walking, yoga, and swimming. I’ve<br />

always been interested in learning about other cultures and languages. In Berlin, I<br />

relish trying new-to-me cuisines and visiting at least one museum per month. My<br />

German classes are another source of enjoyment.<br />

When we first moved to Berlin, the wife of my husband’s co-worker was an AWC<br />

member and I joined on her recommendation. I have been the club‘s treasurer, the<br />

Nominating Committee Chair, and have been the co-Social Media Manager since 2020.<br />

The Marketing Manager role for <strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong> is my first FAWCO position.<br />

I wasn’t able to attend any FAWCO events until the Region 5 meeting in November 2021<br />

and am excited to make up for lost time! They check so many boxes for me –<br />

travel, community, education and more. In 2022, I attended the Interim Meeting in<br />

Luxembourg and the Region 5 meeting in Frankfurt. This year, I went to the <strong>2023</strong><br />

Biennial Conference in Bratislava and plan to attend the Region 5 meeting in the fall.<br />

As part of the <strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong> magazine team, I’m excited to try and learn new things,<br />

as well as getting to know my fellow FAWCO members. There’s still so much I don’t know<br />

about FAWCO and the amazing work our organization does!<br />


our next issue<br />

To nominate candidates for profiles, please send the candidate's name, candidate's email<br />

address and a brief description (50-100 words) of why you think they are inspiring and fit the<br />

theme for the issue. Send the information to inspiringwomenprofiles@fawco.org<br />

To submit a feature: We use features to complement the theme. This can be broadly applied;<br />

let us know what you'd like to write about! Our features are 700-800 words plus photos.<br />

Contact Connie at inspiringwomenfeatures@fawco.org<br />

Deadline for Nominations<br />

The deadline for submitting<br />

nominees and feature topics for<br />

our next issue is ...<br />

Call for September Nominees!<br />

Coming in<br />

September <strong>2023</strong><br />

"We are Talking Fashion: Innovators,<br />

Trendsetters, Changemakers and ... Activists"<br />

For the next issue of <strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong>, we want to<br />

examine the who, what and why of clothes. It is a<br />

world of creativity, color, and cloth. The elements that<br />

go into a garment and the process that gets them<br />

from the sketch pad to the shop floor are fascinating.<br />

We are looking for women in our clubs to profile who<br />

have interesting stories to tell about their experience<br />

in the world of fashion – designers, influencers,<br />

stylists, models, marketers, and retailers. We read<br />

about fashion so who writes about it? Let’s hear<br />

about all of them.<br />

Is there someone in your club who has worked in a<br />

non-traditional role in the fashion world, “activists"<br />

who have made the industry look at their customers in a different way? Challenging brands to<br />

make clothes to fit real bodies. Or calling on manufacturers to make sustainable clothing and<br />

treat workers fairly. And we plan to have some real fun in this issue with some features that<br />

reflect how the FAWCO “gets their fashion on.” Let’s take advantage of our worldwide<br />

community and give us your ideas for good fashion. And what would a fashion issue be<br />

without your photos?<br />

<strong>May</strong> 30 th<br />

inspiring 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 58 member<br />

clubs in 31 countries on six continents. FAWCO serves as a resource and a voice for its members;<br />

seeks to improve the lives of women and girls worldwide, especially in the areas of human rights,<br />

health, education and the environment; advocates for the rights of US citizens overseas; and<br />

contributes to the global community through its Global Issues Teams and The FAWCO Foundation,<br />

which provides development grants and education awards. Since 1997, FAWCO has held special<br />

consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council.<br />

our mission statement<br />

FAWCO is an international federation of independent organizations whose mission is:<br />

• to build strong support networks for its American and international membership;<br />

• to improve the lives of women and girls worldwide;<br />

• to advocate for the rights of US citizens overseas; and<br />

• to mobilize the skills of its membership in support of global initiatives for<br />

education, the environment, health and human rights.<br />

Advertising disclaimer<br />

FAWco receives financial remuneration for page space from advertisers. Views expressed or<br />

benefits described in any display advertisement, advertorial or in any webpage visited online<br />

directly from these adverts are not endorsed by FAWCO.<br />

copyright <strong>2023</strong> fawco<br />

<strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong>© <strong>Magazine</strong> is owned and published electronically by FAWCO.<br />

All rights reserved. All bylined articles are copyright of their respective authors as indicated herein<br />

and are reproduced with their permission. The magazine or portions of it may not be reproduced<br />

in any form, stored in any retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means – electronic,<br />

mechanical, photocopy or otherwise – without written consent of the publisher.<br />

Photographs are integral to our magazine.<br />

We end each issue with a page of a photograph<br />

that offers a unique perspective on its theme.<br />

The photo can be provocative, amusing,<br />

entertaining and/or a photo that you think says<br />

"That's Inspired!" for each issue.<br />

Please contact:<br />

inspiringwomen.editor@fawco.org<br />

Our photo-centric feature "Through My Lens" is a<br />

compilation of photos and short captions in<br />

keeping with the issue’s theme.<br />

Please contact:<br />

inspiringwomenfeatures<br />

@fawco.org.<br />


more about<br />

this issue<br />

The <strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong> Team<br />

That's<br />

Inspired!<br />

Liz Elsie Kristin Michele Cristin Hollis<br />

For more information about this magazine, please contact a member of the <strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong> team:<br />

Editor in Chief, Liz MacNIven*, inspiringwomen.editor@fawco.org<br />

Advertising and Sponsorship Manager, Elsie Bose, advertising@fawco.org<br />

Layout Coordinator, Kristin D. Haanæs, inspiringwomen.layout@fawco.org<br />

Features Coordinator, Michele Hendrikse Du Bois*, inspiringwomenfeatures@fawco.org<br />

Profiles Coordinator, Cristin Middlebrooks, inspiringwomenprofiles@fawco.org<br />

Marketing Manager, Hollis Vaughen, iw.marketing@fawco.org<br />

(*As of <strong>May</strong> 12, Editor in Chief, Michele Hendrikse Du Bois and Features Coordinator, Connie Phlipot)<br />

Acknowledgements:<br />

Thanks to our profilees (Ann Marie, Bella, Emily, Karen, Priscilla, Sandra, Sarah and Tamara) and<br />

our feature contributors (Catharina, Danielle, Kristen B, Kristin H, Linda, Liz, Maria, Michele, Mimi,<br />

Saskia and Tharien) for their work on the articles and also for the use of their photos and those of<br />

their friends and families.<br />

The cover photo was taken by Paul MacNiven in Coventry, England in February <strong>2023</strong>. Liz says<br />

“Tristan (16 months old) has only recently started walking, actually he definitely toddles to be<br />

honest. We were waiting for his play activity to start but he was determined to see what was at the<br />

bottom of the field. So I took his hand and off we went. I think we look rather like Pooh and Piglet<br />

walking off into the distance together.”<br />

While Liz is saying "Goodbye" to us at <strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong>, she has, amongst other things, the "New<br />

Beginning" that Tristan represents to look forward to.<br />

Special thanks to the proofreading team of Karen Boeker (AWC Denmark), Laurie Brooks (AWC<br />

Amsterdam and The Hague/FAUSA), Mary Stewart Burgher (AWC Denmark), Sallie Chaballier (AAWE<br />

Paris), Kit Desjacques (AAWE Paris), Mary Dobrian (AIWC Cologne), Janis Kaas (AAWE Paris/FAUSA),<br />

Carol-Lyn McKelvey (AIWC Cologne/FAUSA), and Jenny Taylor (AIWC Cologne and Düsseldorf).<br />

Please note: images used in this publication are either sourced from our team, the authors<br />

themselves, or through canva.com or pixabay.com.<br />

Please post the link for this issue of <strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong>,<br />

"Goodbyes and New Beginnings," in your club<br />

publications until "We are Talking Fashion ..." is published<br />

on September 14, <strong>2023</strong>.<br />

Finnish lake<br />

at sunset<br />

Photo by<br />

Ann Marie Morrow,<br />


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