Friends in DC

So, I am attending a conference in Washington DC at the US Institute for Peace.  
It’s quite amazing the number of people who are willing to get together in the name of peace.  You don’t hear so much about this on the news – violence sells.  Sensationalism rules in media, unfortunately. 
I have met people from all over the world at this conference who care about the well being of the world. How refreshing! We have active duty military officers (from both the U.S. and Canada), a member from an NGO in Pakistan, a Diplomat from the Democratic Republic of Congo, people from the State Department and the National Democratic Institute, a Spanish UN Program Officer currently stationed in Ethiopia, among other people in other arenas who simply care about peace and the importance of proactive and sustainable relationships between nations. 
Beyond what I am learning, I am humbled by the ability of human beings to forge relationships despite cultural, language, any barriers!  I have made a friend.  She is a gorgeous woman from Congo.  She is about 6 feet tall, without her heels that she wears daily.  Furthermore, she wears these gorgeous dresses of bright colors, exquisite patterns, shoulder ruffles and textile belts of matching color and pattern, around her waist.  When she walks in the room she commands attention.  And then you say “Bonjour, you look beautiful today!” and she erupts “Baaa!” Throwing her head back in embarrassed laughter as she softly touches your arm.
English is her third language as the official language of Congo is French, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be friends!  It doesn’t mean I can’t tell her she is beautiful every day and smile at her embarrassed laugh.  I hope somebody similarly embarrasses you today.  

Washington Monument, view from the US Institute for Peace building

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