Background Image
Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  44 / 80 Next Page
Basic version Information
Show Menu
Previous Page 44 / 80 Next Page
Page Background

44

MAY 2015

|

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL

Throughout our time

abroad, it was our

privilege to know many

women who, in one way

or another, were in the

forefront of the hardships

and drama of this period.

health and education that required them to balance domestic

life with travels, near and far. One successful project, introduced

under American auspices during the ‘Year of the Child,’ was a

program whereby pre-school Botswanan children were given a

kind of “Sesame Street” glimpse of school life by their first- and

second-grade brothers and sisters. The approach has since been

incorporated into the Botswanan school system.

Throughout our time abroad, it was our privilege to know

many women who, in one way or another, were in the forefront

of the hardships and drama of this period. When I think of the

overburdened ministers in these emerging countries, the faces of

their wives come also to mind: Gladys Masire, wife of Botswana’s

vice president; and Lena Mogwe, wife of its peripatetic foreign

minister; as well as Mamie Kotsokwane and others in Lesotho

and Swaziland.

The memorable times we shared were only a part of the

duties they had long been performing: attending graduations

and award ceremonies, and participating in activities of the

Red Cross, YWCA, Professional Women’s Association and other

charitable organizations. There were also the fairs, benefits and

bazaars, the military parades of the small defense forces, the

official trips and receptions, the celebrations and funerals.

Then, as now, in recalling the remarkable individuals we have

known in these young countries, there glimmered throughmy

mind a familiar phrase from the past: Nonministrari sedminis-

trare (Not to be ministered unto but tominister), Wellesley Col-

lege’s motto.

Over the years, the women we met and worked with have

been fully engaged in encouraging their countrymen to join in

moving, for better or worse, into the modern world. Beneath

their modesty lie strength and a great willingness to serve. The

same, I dare say, is true of Foreign Service spouses, as well.

n