Wednesday, February 21, 2007

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carleton in the embassy

i was at the embassy today for a meeting at usaid. being in the embassy is a crazy experience because as soon as you pass thru security you are in the u.s. no joke. familiar things everywhere – the soap dispenser in the bathrooms, the library with a wall poster of mlk, the standard office furniture. i got to my meeting 30 minutes early, so i had time to kill. i’m a punctual person by habit, a habit that can’t be broken by the standard ugandan habit of being late to everything, and i never know how long it’s going to take to get thru the multiple layers of security. supposedly the u.s. embassy in uganda was also on the list of targets when the dar and nairobi embassies got bombed some years back; the embassy here was relocated and is now a fortress on the hill. you need an escort o get thru the final layer of security, but interestingly enough the security guards and marines didn’t mind me wandering around in the embassy waiting for my escort. i found a cool (literally cool – the embassy is one of the only climate-controlled buildings in all of uganda) hallway with lots of art pieces from the embassy’s permanent collection. my wandering eventually took me to an offshoot hallway dedicated to u.s. colleges. there were four wall-sized maps of the u.s. (south, northeast, midwest, northwest) showing all of the cads (whatever that is) colleges/universities in those areas. also on the wall was a poster board advertising specific colleges. looking at the seven colleges that made the selective board i was thinking to myself how cool it would be if carleton was there. to my pride, sure enough there was carleton front and center. there i was standing in the middle of the u.s. embassy in kampala unexpectedly staring at a picture of the skinner memorial chapel in autumn. if you know carleton, you know the picture. of all the colleges in the u.s. seven (seven!) had posters hanging in the embassy and carleton was one of them. i’ll brag about that.

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