Saturday, July 30, 2011

One Night at the US Embassy

I am still so excited that I was chosen from the US Embassy Facebook fan list to attend the first ever facebook reception!

The process to be chosen was easy, just click LIKE on the US Embassy page and wait for the drawing of the names! How easy is that.

What impresses me the most is that the US Ambassador to Jamaica is thinking about the avenues that people use today and especially the young. You had to be 18 to qualify but I was so impressed with the young adults that were present at the reception. They are truly desirous to see the US/Jamaica relations be strong and helpful to each other.

What happened a year ago with the extradition of Christopher Dudus has left a bad taste in many Jamaican's mouths regarding the United States. Ambassador Bridgewater was appointed by the president 2 months after the violence in Tivoli Gardens. She came into a hot spot for sure.

Ambassador Bridgewater was born in Virginia. She is the daughter of a jazz trumpeter. Her staff introduced her to us last night with naming some of the famous songs he played. I thought that was really neat. Ms. Bridgewater has held posts in Brussels, Benin, Bahamas, Ghana, South Africa where she was a personal friend of Nelson Mandela. President Obama appointed her to Jamaica July 9, 2010.

It truly was an honor to meet her. She is a people person for sure! She loves to chat, loves to socialize, loves to smile, and loves to say positive things! I like that!

I received an email of instructions before attending the reception with the dress code, what would happen when we arrive at the compound, how to address the ambassador, and basically what to expect while there.


(Me and the beautiful American flag on the compound)


(a picture of the official invitation and the napkins with the American eagle symbol)


After arriving and presenting my passport and leaving my phone with the officers, I went through the metal detector, then I was escorted through a courtyard to the library. The library has all American resources and is available to anyone. There we were introduced to some of the public relations staff. Everyone was giddy! Everyone was laughing and talking and getting to know one another. I mean we are all friends, right?? We are on Facebook!!






At 5:00 we were then lined up to enter another part of the embassy and this is where we would meet her Excellency. The initial email said that it is proper to address her as Ambassador Bridgewater, Madame Ambassador or Your excellency. I chose to say Madame Ambassador.





When the photo op with the ambassador was concluded we then proceeded to the food table and drinks. Lovely callaloo quiche tarts, ackee quiche tarts, jerk chicken wings, tuna/chicken salad sandwiches, vegetable tray, festivals, fruit tray.






Everything was delicious and many times the ambassador was heard saying, eat some more. Keep eating! She was a beautiful hostess and made sure that all felt comfortable and "at home." I was so very impressed. I have been in way too many "stuffy" cold situations unfortunately. Those receptions don't go down in the memory bank as enjoyable. Last night was truly enjoyable with all strangers! wait, they are not strangers....we were chosen because we are facebook friends!!

The ambassador went to the microphone to answer some questions that had been asked. Some were government related, others were personal, like, "what is your favorite Jamaican food?" Her answer.....pumpkin, ackee and callaloo. No wonder the quiches were ackee and callaloo! Another question was, "where is your favorite place in Jamaica?" no surprise, she became very diplomatic as everyone began cheering their home town and she responded..the shores of Montego Bay, the mountains of Mandeville, the beauty of Portland, and so on! She knew her audience!




A gift was given to the person who had become the 9500th facebook fan! That was really neat. She received a Kindle reader with 250 books already loaded. That was a special moment and then after that they asked the ambassador and the 9500th fan to cut the cake!






The cake was the US Embassy facebook page! so neat!

Another surprise happened, when I left the large room and would enter the courtyard there was a reception gift for everyone! I was so happy to receive a mug and 6 postcards of the Obama family. I look at it this way. They are beautiful photos and wonderful prayer reminders, not cards that I want to send but cards to remember this moment of one night at the US Embassy!






There are over 700 photos posted on their facebook page this morning so below are a few of them!




Well time for Dunkin's coffee in my Embassy mug!

3 comments:

  1. Very cool evening. I'm so glad you participated. I'm sure you are a tremendous witness whereever you are and who ever you are with. God Bless you. Uncle Ray and Aunt Sharon Hall

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  2. Sounds like it was quite amazing! You can learn much about the embassy from the inside, not only attend a meeting. I'm happy for you! :)

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