Sunday, June 21, 2015

Award of Honor and a cake to eat

I had a real shock at the last general meeting of the year for the American Women's Association of Bahrain. I was recognized as the Outstanding New Member of the Year.

Named in honor of long standing member Lynne Al Wazzan, The Lynne Al Wazzan Award is given each year to the Outstanding New Member of AWA.

I was stunned and thrilled to receive the award.  As it happened, I had chosen to sit right next to Lynne at that meeting.  She has been a member of AWA for over 20 years but doesn’t always make it to the meetings so I had taken the opportunity to sit next to her so I could spend some time visiting with her.

While I was producing the Tribute Book, Lynne’s photo came up time and time again as she was deeply involved in so many things with AWA over the years. I knew her by sight and hoped to get to know here a bit better in person.

When it was announced that I had won the award named in her honor, I was quite surprised.  We took several pictures together and she invited me to her house to visit some more the very next week.



Lynne and Brenda with the award.

DR, the current President of AWA presented the awards and here is what she said about me.  I was blushing.

“Brenda Hyde – there are only three words I have to say – Bahrain Tribute Book! This was a massive job and she did it brilliantly!  For it not for Brenda, the book would still not be published!  She put the book together when it was foundering and due to her background of being a former owner of a magazine she saved it!!  She lead the committee with professionalism and encouragement and was determined to keep a very tight deadline.  Her expertise was instrumental in the book becoming a reality.  It was a huge job on her part and she took it.  Her delightful spirit is something that was shown each time she talked about it at the General Meeting.  Her dedication, professionalism and enthusiasm is why she is so deserving of this respectable award.  Thank you Brenda for your dedication, wonderful spirit, leadership, and professionalism!”

To be recognized by your peers as having done something important is indeed a great honor. I gained so much from publishing the Tribute Book for AWA, and receiving this honor is icing on the cake. I hope that all the members of AWA realize that when you put your mind to it, we can all do extraordinary things. Just keep trying.

I was honored to get a photo of the American Ambassador, William Roebuck and his wife at the meeting.  I had met Anne before and seen the Ambassador at a distance. He is really tall.



The next week when I visited Lynne at her lovely villa in Saar, we took this photo out by the pool.




Lynne has a beautiful collection of teapots. Many years ago, she opened a tearoom with a friend. She also shared a cookbook with me that was a tribute to the tearoom. It is a treasure trove of fantastic recipes and information.


Her home has beautiful gardens and a gorgeous wrought iron fence with shapes of grapes. It is a lovely home and Lynne is an amazing woman with a myriad of wonderful life stories.


Lynne also shared something particularly special with me, a carrot cake.  She is famous for this cake. In fact, it was voted the best carrot cake in the world by the members of the AWA.

The recipe for the cake is in the book. I will give it a try someday but I bet mine probably won't measure up to Lynne's awesome cake. It was amazing.

That night, I shared pieces of carrot cake with several friends in our building where we live but saved 1/3 of the cake for hubbie D and I to eat over several days.

Later, after his third piece I decided I better wrap up the remaining cake to get him away from it or it would be all gone in only one night. UGH!

I know he likes spice cake a whole lot. It is a real treat when I bake one for him.  However, I was surprised how much he liked this carrot cake.

I started to wrap the remaining cake in plastic wrap when D jumped all over me.  “No, don’t put plastic on the cake. It will mess up the frosting. The frosting has to be just right or it changes the flavor experience of the cake.”

What is really funny is that he also told me emphatically that Lynne would agree with him. "She made such a wonderful cake, she will know what I mean about the frosting." Sure enough, I spoke to Lynne a few days later and she agreed 100%. Do not wrap in plastic, put the cake in a box.

You know, you learn something new every day. Thanks, Lynne.

Cheers,
Brenda Hyde

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