Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Gulf Coast Citizen Diplomacy Council

I have a friend from church; she is a woman I admire greatly. Older than I am, though not much, she participates in the Spartacus Program at the “Y”, she is good at running things, she is good at making phone calls and even sounds like she enjoys them, she enjoys social life and she sparkles.

She is always thinking.

“I think I know just the group for you!” she exclaimed as we were working on a project. “Have you heard about the Gulf Coast Citizen Diplomacy Council?”

No, no, I hadn’t heard about that. Having lived here six months now, there is a lot I don’t know.

She told me all about it and she was right. It is right up my alley. The Gulf Coast Citizen Diplomacy Council greets foreign visitors and performs a variety of services, escorting them to appointments, showing them the area, even taking them shopping or inviting them for a dinner in your private home, all in the name of hospitality and showing the best side of this beautiful part of the United States.

The Gulf Coast Citizen Diplomacy Council is a non-partisan, non-profit organization whose mission is to create and encourage collaboration between like-minded community stakeholders who value sharing the Central Gulf Coast with the rest of the world by:

° Facilitating professional and personal interaction for international leaders during official visits to the Central Gulf Coast

° Enhancing respect and communication through international exchanges and alliances
Forging cultural, educational, and business relationships with the global community through citizen diplomacy

° Promoting greater understanding of global affairs in our community through a balance of public events, educational activities, and the International Visitor Leadership Program

° Promoting the Central Gulf Coast as an important center of commerce, culture, and tourism

How cool is that? Even AdventureMan is excited about joining this club; we are so grateful for all the wonderful hospitality shown us through many years of adventures abroad. We feel grateful for an opportunity to be hosts in turn.

In this club I am not so alien. The club members are people who have a broad world view. I met other people who have lived or visited in Qatar or Kuwait, and other parts of the world where I have never been. Oh, what fun.

Many of the members are former military, and I found myself listening to a discussion of an upcoming meeting. As this is a community that parties hearty during Mardi Gras, I assumed it must be the name of a Krewe, a Mardi Gras social club, all these high-testosterone men were discussing camellias, must be a code word for some secret society, right?

Wrong. As it turns out, many people here, men and women, are passionate about gardening, and there is a club devoted to turning out perfect camellias, and they are having a show coming up in December. I learn new things ever day. 🙂

The Gulf Coast Citizen Diplomacy Council was only founded a short couple years ago, and has already won awards for its programs and hospitality. A truly impressive group. 🙂

November 20, 2010 - Posted by | Adventure, Civility, Community, Cross Cultural, Entertainment, ExPat Life, Friends & Friendship, Interconnected, Kuwait, Leadership, Living Conditions, Pensacola, Qatar

4 Comments »

  1. I can’t imagine them having anyone more perfect to be one of their diplomats! Congratulations on finding the organization – as with most things you work with, I’m sure you’re going to get as much out of it as your visitors.

    Comment by Ken | November 20, 2010 | Reply

  2. Thank you for your vote of confidence, Ken. 🙂 I really am having a good time here in Pensacola.

    Comment by intlxpatr | November 20, 2010 | Reply

  3. this sounds like a great program – so neat for visitors, and a great fit for you!

    Comment by adiamondinsunlight | November 23, 2010 | Reply

  4. Thanks, Little Diamond. I had a lot of fun at the meeting, and I am excited about the program. 🙂

    Comment by intlxpatr | November 23, 2010 | Reply


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