A gala night in Ashgabat

Team A.S. Press Attache

Ashgabat, TURKMENISTAN  — The Ambassador of the United States of America Allen Mustard and his lovely wife Ann, here in Ashgabat Turkmenistan, hosted a reception for the athletes and delegation members from American Samoa at their residence on Thursday, September 21, 2017.

Samoa News coverage of the 5th Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan is sponsored by Carl's Jr.

The reception included invited guests, staff members of the US Embassy here in Turkmenistan, and former athletes, grand masters of sports here in Turkmenistan who shared their experience and showed Team American Samoa was welcomed with a speech by the Ambassador who then presented ASNOC Sec. General, Ethan Lake with a gift for the American Samoa Delegation. 

In his speech the Ambassador encouraged the American Samoa Delegation to share their culture, language and experiences with the local people. “For many Turkmen, you and your delegation represent not only American Samoa and the United States, but a whole new world.  I hope you will take every opportunity to meet with the volunteers and other competitors, and to describe your home, your lives, and your passion for sports,” Ambassador Allen Mustard said.

ASNOC Secretary General Lake presented the Ambassador and his wife with gifts from American Samoa. Lake said that it was an honor to be invited by the US Ambassador to his residence for dinner and with his local Masters of  Sports guests including masters in Wrestling. Lake was glad that the young athletes had a chance to experience this night and to be treated like the dignitaries they are and as ambassadors for American Samoa. 

“The athletes seemed to enjoy themselves, and we all were able to experience Turkmenistan through their eyes.  In a way it was like being invited to the White House for a state dinner.  It was elegant and sophisticated and an experience to cherish forever.  I am sure everyone will remember this night.  Our hosts were wonderful and generous,” Lake said.

It was a fun filled night full of laughter, good company, good food, and a cultural sharing of Samoan song and dance . The American Samoa Athletes got a rare opportunity to talk and share with former medalists who were invited to the reception for inspiration and to share their experiences with our athletes. The athletes were very happy to entertain the hosts and guests with Samoan singing and dancing. 

It was such an incredible feeling to be in the presence of such movers and shakers in this part of the world who represent the United States of America. Thank You so much for your hospitality and kindness and for the opportunity to share a glimpse of our culture with you.

A special thank you to Mrs. Teri Steffany and Island Image Creations who provided Team American Samoa's beautiful island formal dress for the reception Thursday night. Fa'afetai tele lava.

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