Off to Africa:
With Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Grace/ Photo by Jim D’Angelo/Ruby Media Group

Penned July 28, 2012:  “On July 21, I received word from the U.S. State Department that I was invited to join Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, with her staff and a group of 12 journalists, on a multiple country, 10-day trip to Africa, from July 31-August 10. At this writing, my staff and I have been working vigorously not only to close this issue a week early (without revealing why!), but to also follow State Department instructions on getting vaccinated and completing visa and press credential applications. Soon I will also receive the Secretary’s itinerary to gain a clear sense of her overall mission across that continent and specific goals for each destination.

Wondering how this incredible opportunity came about? At the start of covering the Memorial Day parade, in a precious two minute exchange with Secretary Clinton, and on a whim, I told her that I dream of the chance to fly with her–anytime, anywhere–on one of her missions.

She appeared interested and suggested I follow up with her director of operations, which I did. He, in turn, forwarded my eventual proposal to key staff at the State Department. I had written that I’d bring news of her travels home to her neighbors in a fun and engaging way. That is now my intent in the upcoming November issue.
As excited as I am by this honor, part of me knows that I will be relieved to come home to Chappaqua to my family and friends. In the meantime, welcome home to all of you too from your summer travels!

Please enjoy this issue which highlights our incredible local firefighters and features stories about the new and growing Chappaqua-Millwood Chamber of Commerce and the people behind it, including Rob Greenstein and executive director Linda Degelsmith. Check out too a story about Chuck Napoli’s “Bell Area Plan” intended to transform our town. I hope it happens. For now, I gotta go pack for Africa.”

Below: a quick preview of pics from Africa!

The publisher’s new photo was shot at a “Go Red” event early this summer on behalf of the American Heart Association.

August 5: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton accepting a gift from 17-year-old Triza Lapari: the traditional “chitenje” skirt wrap during a festive visit to Camp GLOW for girls in Malawi—a highlight in her nine country tour throughout the continent. In her remarks, Clinton commended efforts at the camp “to imbue young women with an understanding of their own internal talents and opportunities and aspirations, and then to develop your own God-given potential and make a contribution not only to your families and communities but indeed to your country.” She also commended and met with Peace Corps volunteers at the Camp “to give young people in the world today a chance to come together and to learn skills that will last you a lifetime.”
Photo by Grace Bennett ©2012

Photo by Grace Bennett ©2012

Extensive coverage coming inside the November 2012 edition!



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