Today I had a *cool job* day...
And by job, I mean one of my 4 (or more) volunteer gigs, this one being First Vice-President for AAFSW. I've extolled the group's virtues many times before (Livelines, Playgroup, local events, SOSA, Happy Hours....) and the offerings are just some of the reasons that I have been working and/or volunteering for them since the year 2000. I can't tell you in how many ways the group has helped and enriched our Foreign Service experience.
Now, not that every volunteer opportunity is not terribly interesting, but today's had a touch of star power. AAFSW was able to organize a discussion with Tony Mendez regarding his role in the exfiltration now detailed (with a few changes) in the movie Argo. This event is in addition to the events we have held in the past with Kathleen Stafford (one of the 6 who escaped the Embassy) who is quite an artist and very enchanting in her own right.
Tony arrived a bit early with his wife, Jonna, and spent over an hour signing books. I played book cashier and photo op photog, so had the opportunity to hear many a person compliment his service to our country. In addition to the signing, he and his wife then spent over an hour in the adjoining auditorium discussing the events leading up to Argo, the escape, and interesting tidbits that have taken place since then.
Even better? Kathleen Stafford was in attendance, and she joined Tony and his wife on stage about halfway through the event. The discussion became even more interesting as Kathleen added her memories and they continued through the Q&A to highlight the differences between the movie and reality (such as the final scene, when they were not actually chased down the runway...).
I had been looking forward to this event for months and I can say that without a doubt, it went beyond my expectations. I am so very excited to work with such an amazing group of people who unite to make the Foreign Service a community and thrilled with our turnout. As my term is winding down, I should put out the reminder that we always need new volunteers. Consider throwing your name in the hat if you will be in the area, and you, too, will have similar enriching experiences, I can guarantee.
And, yes, it was just really cool to meet someone who pulled off such an amazing feat....