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     Nohra and I want to give you the warmest welcome to our residence in such a beloved event for us as it is the opportunity to bid farewell to His Excellency, the Most Reverend Gabriel Montalvo Higuera, Apostolic Nuncio Emeritus to the United Status of America.

    – For us it is a great pleasure to have in our house such a select group of people to honor and to accompany somebody that is not only a great priest and a great diplomat, but also, for our pride, a countryman born in Bogotá, the capital of Colombia.

    – I want to tell you that the menu of this day is a traditional plate from Bogotá that some of you have maybe never tried, called “ajiaco”, with which we want to honor archbishop Montalvos’ origins.

    – Ajiaco is a traditional version of potatoes and chicken soup from Colombia. It typically contains chicken, corn, at least two or three kinds of potatoes (specially one called “papa criolla”, a kind of potato that only grows in Colombia), sour cream, capers, avocado, and “guascas”, a weedy, aromatic herb native to Colombia that lends the dish part of its distinctive flavor.

    – In Colombia the “ajiaco” is a plate that is been good to share with the family and the friends, in special events as Christmas Eve or in holiday days as Sundays. Today we feel among friends and, for that reason, we want to share with you this recipe of our country.

    – Monsignor Montalvo has had a diplomatic career of immense importance that has taken him to so diverse countries as Nicaragua, Honduras, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Yugoslavia, Belarus and the United Status of America.

    – We are all here because we want to honor his career and to bid farewell to a good friend, a charismatic leader and, in our case, a countryman that makes us proud.

    – It is a great honor for us to have today the presence of Chief Justice Roberts whose appointment for the president George W. Bush we all celebrate and applaud.

    – Chief Justice is an excellent example of “buen juicio”, and of professional success based on the ethics and the knowledge. We want all the best to you in your position as Chief of the Supreme Court of this magnificent country.

    – I also want to thank the important presence of all the other guests that today honors us with their company. As I said before, this is a meeting of friends gathering around a good friend and I want you to feel at home.

    – Monsignor Montalvo: Our families have known each other for decades and today I feel very happy of being the host of this fair homage.

    – May God accompany you in all your future activities and reward you for all you have done for the Church and for the good relationships among the countries.

    – Thank you, dear friends, and enjoy the ajiaco!

    Lugar y fecha

    Washington, Estados Unidos
    24 de enero del 2006


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