by civil war, genocide, and poverty, members
of the humanitarian aid group Socialites Without
Borders spent several hours this week
teaching destitute Rwandans how to mingle.
Volunteers are hopeful future
generations may one day know how to properly lift a champagne flute. (?)
"These poor souls, there's so much we
can do to help to them," said Tinsley Rothschild,
an event planner for the non-profit organization,
while surveying the country's bleak
and arid landscape.(Hard to believe)
"Just look around, there's nothing
here: no hors d'oeuvres, no towering
ice sculptures, nothing.
Nobody should have to live like this."
"I bet most of these people have
never even seen a Bellini, let alone know
how to sip one," Rothschild continued.
"Unless we do something fast,
these men and women stand
no chance of surviving
a high-society dinner party."
Arriving on private jets from
their headquarters in Martha's Vineyard,
volunteers from Socialites Without Borders
touched down in northern Rwanda
early Sunday morning.
Following an extravagant luncheon held
in their honor, the charitable luminaries
were driven by limousine to a nearby
refugee camp, where they provided
impoverished villagers with emergency
lessons in everything from making small talk,
to name-dropping, to drastically improving
one's life by marrying a wealthy steel magnate.
"Always remember to keep things light
and breezy when mingling,"
Danielle Watters, a real estate heiress,
was overheard advising a group
of war-ravaged amputees. "
Talk about where you recently summered,
or what boarding school you went to.
When you feel at a loss for words,
perhaps try remarking on the stunning
architecture of the tent you're in."
Ordinary Rwandans have been urged to put aside any latent tribal hostility and never forget to place water goblets to the left of red wine glasses.
While the outreach program stresses
the fundamentals of being a warm
and friendly host, the socialites were
reportedly concerned when several
Rwandan villagers failed to make eye contact,
exchange pleasantries, or
offer flattering compliments
More disturbing was the apparent lack
of effort shown by many of the emaciated
citizens to appear fascinated
by the conversations going on around them.
"What I witnessed was appalling," said
Adelina Thornton, an accomplished equestrian,
who was moved to tears by the sight
of a young orphaned child dressed
in horizontal stripes.
"Not a single person expressed
any interest whatsoever in how long
our estate has been in the family."
Added Thornton, "The people here
are even worse off
than we could have imagined."
Despite initial concerns, volunteers reported
that some progress was made
by Monday afternoon, with many pointing
to the look of elation and joy on the faces
of several men and women moments
after being shown the proper way
to hold stemware.
In addition, the fact that many Rwandans
seemed to already know how
to speak French seemed promising, if nothing else.
Still, sources said, the work ahead
of them was astronomical.
"That is not how we eat a deviled egg,"
said volunteer Yvonne Chantecaille,
playfully knocking the protein-rich
appetizer from an elderly villager's hand.
"We do not gobble it up.
We savior the complexity of flavor
profiles, and leave the garnish around it alone."
"Also, we do not bring up how
a senseless genocide ravaged our family,
leaving scores of dead as far
as the eye can see,"
"Not even over dessert."
Due to Rwanda's widespread unemployment
and limited access to basic necessities
such as food and clean water,
Socialites Without Borders made it
their top priority to rebuild
the nation's confidence.
The volunteers reportedly boosted
the self-esteem of poor Rwandan
farmers by referring to them
as "organic agriculture tycoons,"
while women suffering from Hepatitis A
were touched up with
foundation to conceal their jaundiced appearance.
"See—all better now," said Roberta Furlein,
wife of steel magnate Michael Furlein,
applying makeup to the face
of a sickly Rwandan woman.
"A little bit of color was all you needed."
Furlein, who has donated more
than $20 million to improve living accommodations
for Columbia University students,
blamed the sub-Saharan nation's education
system and illiteracy rate for
many of its current problems.
"Reading is so important
to bettering yourself," Furlein said.
"No one here seems to ever look
at New York Times style section,
or even Vogue for that matter."Added Furlein, "It's scary,
but I don't think people here even
knew who we were.
Gsm: (250) (0) 78-847-0205 (Mtn Rwanda)
Gsm: (250) (0) 75-079-9819 (Rwandatel)
Home: (250) (0) 25-510-4140
P.O. Box 3867
Kigali - RWANDA
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