Monday, November 08, 2010

Peaceful Greeting

Dear Teresa (I don't know if you speak Spanish),

I am a Costa Rican citizen, former government official and retired diplomat. I served under Oscar Arias in his recent presidential term.

I would like to invite you to see other pictures of me either on Twitter, LinkedIn or my blog. Alternatively, you can see my photo albums on Facebook. I believe all of them are public.

I have a master degree in Peace and Conflict Transformation that I obtained in Norway. It is a very nice story, because the man who created that first peace program in Norway, Dr Ole Mjøs, was inspired by a speech Oscar Arias gave at a UNESCO conference in Paris in 1998.

I was the first generation to graduate from the program and it was very symbolic that I was Costa Rican. Everyone related me with Oscar Arias because of that.

Dr Mjøs then led the Nobel Peace Prize committee for six years and retired in 2009.

The picture on my Facebook profile was taken in 2004 at Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica's Caribbean coast, after two years of living in Northern Norway, in the city of Tromsø, which lies within the Arctic circle (at 70 degrees latitude North). Not only the long hair protected me during the 9-month winter, but having a haircut cost some $60, unaffordable for the student budget I had at the time.

A week after the photo was taken in the hot and humid Caribbean, I cut it off and it is the only picture I have that reminds me both of my time in Norway and my beautiful Caribbean.

I spent two years at the Costa Rican Embassy in China and am now finishing a one-year master in Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon in South Australia. I miss my country every hour of every day.

This photo has become an icon in my Facebook profile. That's my avatar and people accept it as it is, even President Arias, with whom I have interacted before.

I really want to talk about peace. I think our country needs it desperately, and there is no better person to dialogue in and about peace than him.

I appreciate your attention and interest. I hope my evident lack of shirt on my picture has not given you the wrong impression about me. The picture will not change.

Best regards, and I await your invitation to befriend you on Facebook.

Álvaro Cedeño Molinari.

1 comment:

Anna Guthleben said...

Cool, context explains so much...