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Industry Briefs
Receptions At Barbados, Bahamas & South African Embassies
Lou Fields

Saturday, August 29, a beautiful, humid day, I traveled the 45-minute drive from Baltimore to Washington, DC. Instead of taking the usual route down the Baltimore Washington Parkway or Interstate 95, I opted to try I-70 to route 29 taking the exit for New Hampshire Avenue south into the District of Columbia. Although they were not having an event, I decided my first stop would be 1531 New Hampshire Avenue at the Embassy of Botswana

Last year I had the pleasure of visiting the Embassy and meeting with Ambassador Her Excellency Tebelelo Mazile Seretse.  In November 2014, Ambassador Secretse served as my keynote speaker at Baltimore's Reginald Lewis Museum during my Charm City Cultural Heritage Tourism Symposium.   New Hampshire Avenue is home to over a dozen foreign embassies including on this block of the Republic of Mozambique and Jamaica embassies. Usually an appointment is required to gain entry to visit these diplomatic missions.

The next stop on my embassy visits was A Taste of the Barbados outdoor event at their Embassy at 2144 Wyoming Avenue, NW.  I think this one was the most enjoyable embassy event of the day.

Their hospitality was outstanding, providing complimentary valet parking, free food samples, music by DJ Pumpkin, a delicious buffet filled with the cuisine of Barbados. The Rum Punch was especially delightful on such a warm and humid day.  First Secretary Angela Kinch and Jan Brathwaithe were such great hosts, introducing me to everyone including Randy Maxwell, president of the Barbados Association.   Cobia "Soldier" Breedy, the Bajun national boxing champion, passed out autographed color photos.

Guests were also treated to a tour of the Embassy building and given a complimentary DVD of the Barbados experience.

Next stop was the South African Embassy where Jan Du Plain and Stephanie Misar were hosting the American Society of Travel Agents ( Global Convention reception.  Du Plain is an official Embassy liaison. Over 900 travel professionals were in WDC to attend the convention. As I drove into the 3000 block of Massachusetts Avenue, I was surprised to see the life-size statue of President Nelson Mandela.  Of course, we had to stop and take pictures with this great man of Africa!

At ASTA they say "The Travel Experience is better when you use a travel agent".   

Attendees included Tamika Gauvin, Jasmine Johnson, Lwazi Mofokeng Pamela Arthurton, Wanda, Stephanie Misar, Tamika Gauvin

Ms. Lwazi Mofokeng served as the master of ceremonies. She is the Third Secretary Socio Economic & Development for the South African Embassy. Ms. Jasmine Johnson is a coordinator with ASTA.  After showing a short video, guests dined on some exquisite and authentic foods from South Africa. All guests went home with a red bag of items from the Motherland.  ASTA's upcoming events include a 2:00pm webinar on October 8 and the National Association of Career Travel Agents (NACTA) 2015 annual conference on November 8-12 at the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa in Keauhou Bay in Kona, Hawaii.

Last stop on this embassy tour would be theEmbassy of the Bahamas located at 2220 Massachusetts Avenue, WDC.  As night had fallen, we approached this embassy in slight darkness. Once inside we were escorted to their courtyard where a small group of people were enjoying some hot dj reggae music while others were in the buffet line anxious to try those Bahamian fritters and other foods stuff. 

Ms. Bonide serves at the Bahamas Embassy Consul General and Mr. Bullard is the Third Secretary and Vice Consul-OAS.  All in all, it was a great day visiting Embassy Row in Washington, DC.  Now, let's get to cruise!                        


Lou Fields is a freelance photojournalist in the MD/WDC area. He can be reached at .