A bit of Fells Point waterfront took on an international flavor as people from dozens of countries gathered to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Jhpiego, a non-profit health organization affiliated with Johns Hopkins University which helps provide services to women and their families around the world. The party capped off a week of meetings in which Jhpiego folks exchanged information about their various programs in different countries.

"They need to celebrate. They're extremely hardworking health professionals," explained Jhpiego president/CEO Leslie Mancuso.

"This is a little like being overseas," noted Alain Damiba, vice president of global programs, as he surveyed a scene where folks in saris mingled with those in kaftans and dashikis.

"What other party could you go to in Baltimore and talk to people from 40 different countries, who are all lively?" questioned Pamela Lynam, Jhpiego Kenya country director.

You could get a geography lesson just by walking through the crowd and reading name tags; Liberia, Rwanda, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Tanzania, Zambia, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Pakistan ... And that was only the first 20 feet.

"What's funny in this situation is that I'm the exotic one because everyone else [other international guests] is from Africa or Asia," said Betty Ugaz, a team leader from Peru.

Local folks were impressed, too. Local guests included: David Gillece, Colliers Pinkard president, and his wife, Nancy Roberts, principal of NRCS; Bryce Turner, Brown Craig Turner president/CEO; Greg Barnhill, Brown Advisory partner; and Nina Merkel, principal at Merkel Design Studio.

"What an incredible cause," said Michel Modell, community volunteer.

Sloane Brown can be contacted at sloane@sloanebrown.com.

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