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Strengthening (damaging?) U.S.-Honduras relations

June 9, 2009

Today we received an e-mail at 4:26 pm that read: “The UNFCCC secretariat and Ministry of Environment jointly invite all participants to a buffet reception at 19.00 tonight at the Beethovenhalle in honour of the Lady Mayor of Bonn, Ms. Bärbel Dieckmann.”

The only important words here are buffet and reception. Buffet implies all you can eat, and reception implies free. Both are good.

On the way to the dinner, another student noticed that the four-person Honduras delegation was on our bus. They recognized us from the conference, and  began laughing and joking with us in Spanish.  Although I cannot speak Spanish well, I do know enough words to have an introductory conversation. But when the man turned to me, I froze.

“Cómo te llamas?” he quickly asked, throwing me a softball to see if I had any knowledge of his language. My mind raced, as I knew that I was blanking on the most basic question that every Spanish 1 professor in the world asks every student every week of the entire year.  Come on, come on, don’t forget. This is embarassing. If you mess this up you’ll have to blog about it! I responded in a voice barely above a whisper: “Bien, y tu?” Epic, epic fail.

Fortunately I recovered and spoke with the delegate for awhile. He really liked his camera, so he asked another delegate to pose in front of a monument of Beethoven’s face with Blaine, a college student from California, and me.

We walked into a room with a beautiful ceiling and got in line for the buffet. The man assured me that negotiations were going very well (atypical, see Taylor’s previous post). When I asked if Honduras was in the G-77, he replied, “Yes, we are in the G-77 AND China.” My eyes lit up. Maybe here was the answer to my earlier post about why the G-77 is called the G-77 AND China!

“You’re right, you’re right. And why do they call it the G-77 and China?” He looked at me blankly.

“I don’t know, ask her,” he said, pointing to another delegate. Disappointed but still hopeful, I explained my question to the other delegate.

“Well,” she said patiently, “China came into the G-77 after the 77 countries had formed, so that is why.” I sighed.

“But there are 130 countries in the G-77, so lots of countries joined after the group was formed, right?” She shrugged.

“Oh, well I don’t know,” and reached for a glass of red wine.

The search continues.


One Comment leave one →
  1. the artist formerly known as "mad dog" permalink*
    June 11, 2009 11:06 pm

    AND china. Awesome. I really hope there isn’t an answer.

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