Monday, October 3, 2011

Life as a US ambassador in the Arab world

Today, October 3rd, Minnesota Public Radio's Midday program with Gary Eichten talks with Sam and Sylvia Kaplan.  Sam Kaplan is a  Minneapolis attorney who was recently appointed U.S. Ambassador in Morocco.  They join MPR's Midday to talk about diplomacy in a time of upheaval in North Africa, and their life in Morocco.  They also discuss Peace Corps service in Morocco, so listen carefully for a special surprise (about 19:50 minutes into the show).

Listen here  
The program starts about 2 minutes in.

Sam Kaplan, U.S. ambassador to the Kingdom of Morocco, 
and his wife Sylvia visit the Minnesota Public Radio 
studios in St. Paul, Minn., on October 3, 2011. 
(MPR Photo/Nikki Tundel)

Some highlights from the interview:

"The State Department is probably harder to adjust to than the country of Morocco...the Morocco people are so extraordinarily warm and welcoming...that it makes you feel comfortable."

"It's too scary to drive in Morocco." (Peace Corps volunteers are not allowed to drive cars in Morocco!)

"We are very proud to the fact that we have the second largest Peace Corps contingent in the world.  The Peace Corps in Morocco is invaluable."

"I just want to tell you how impressed we are with the Peace Corps volunteers."

"I don't know what Kate's future plans are, but I can tell you a significant number of Peace Corps volunteers then become so enthusiastic about the roles they're playing in making a difference that they become foreign service officers." :)