By: Sarabi Owens, Photo Credit: Yearbook E
On April 4th, 2019, United States Ambassador Cameron Munter came to Ravenscroft to talk about Pakistan and its current political situation. Mr. Kantaros, the teacher of Advanced Placement (AP) and College Preparatory (CP) Government classes, introduced the ambassador to the school. Cameron Munter has spent many years working in the far and Middle East and in Europe. He has also gone to Iraq, Serbia, Poland, and many more countries. Ambassador Munter then spoke of his time in Pakistan, mentioning how he loved the Pakistani dish Biryani, and that the country has many beautiful sites to visit such as the gardens built by the Moghals. Mr. Kantaros projected an image of the ambassador in the gardens. Students were eager to ask questions, and, after his initial introduction and some background on his time in Pakistan, Mr. Munter engaged the audience.
First, a student asked the ambassador about being a diplomat and what it entails. Munter explained that, as diplomats, individuals cannot always express their opinions, and must swallow their pride to speak for their respective countries. He also stated that immersing oneself in the culture and appearing human to the people of the country is very important as well, and that he regrets not learning Urdu, a major language of Pakistan.
After Morning Meeting ended, Mr. Kantaros hosted a workshop with Munter in the Keim Center. AP Government was required to attend, as they had been preparing for the meeting, and would be there from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. This workshop was open to anyone to sit in and listen, and Ravenscroft provided lunch for the AP Government students. At the Keim Center workshop, Munter discussed healthcare in Pakistan. According to Munter, most healthcare provisions in Pakistan come from private businesses. Traditional medicine is still very common in Pakistan, too, and Munter reported that traditional medicine may not be effective for populations unless they are wealthy, in which case then the healthcare is exceptional. Students attending the workshop had a printed sheet of various questions to ask Munter about all areas of Pakistan, such as “With such high unemployment in Pakistan, and with such a young population, what should be done?”
After talking about healthcare and taking student questions, Munter was asked about the aid in Pakistan from the United States and from China. He talked about how the US should consider how to properly aid the nation. He also spoke of China’s financial relationship with Pakistan. In quick succession, Mr. Kantaros got up to teach his students a little bit about the Belt and Road plan that China has and how it affects Pakistan.
Munter reported that he found it wonderful to visit Ravenscroft. He stated that visiting schools gives him a feeling of balance as he is normally in foreign countries and people most often ask him about what is happening in America. Talking about foreign countries with students who are very interested in the topic puts him in harmony with his life’s work.