District 26 - Serving Colorado, Wyoming and Western Nebraska


Fellow Toastmasters, I felt privileged to carry the Swaziland flag in the opening ceremonies of the 2018 International Convention.


To give you a perspective of why I wanted to carry the Swaziland flag, let me take you back four decades to when I was a young woman traveling to a distant country in the continent of Africa, a nation called Swaziland.

Located in the southeast quadrant of Africa, Swaziland experiences its hottest temperatures in January. The difference was between 30 degrees below zero in Chicago where we flew out of O’Hare Airport, and 105 degrees when we landed in Johannesburg, South Africa.

My brother-in-law (below left in both photos) was a native citizen of the small reservation-turned-independent nation. The blacks and whites were equal in Swaziland, unlike the apartheid system in the surrounding nation of South Africa in the 1970s.

If you compare the shield in the flag I carried at the convention’s opening ceremony (above left) to the actual shield in the photo (below right), you see that they are constructed in a similar manner: half black and half white. It signifies that Swaziland is a nation of equality between blacks and whites.




Coming full circle to Chicago four decades later, I carried the Swaziland flag in recognition of this young man and his family determined to live the dream and survive despite adversity.

Thanks, Toastmasters International, for the opportunity to relive my memories and share them with all of you.


Marcia Wood, DTM, District 26 Director 2018/2019


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