U.S. ambassador to leave office Tuesday
Outgoing U.S. Ambassador Nicole Avant said yesterday she looks forward to doing things that most people take for granted, like taking walks.
Avant, who assumed office on October 22, 2009, announced that Tuesday will be her last day in the position.
“I’m going to transition into learning how to become a private citizen again and learning how to do things on my own again,” a laughing Avant said during a press conference at her Sanford Drive home.
“I look forward to taking walks and doing the simple things in life that I used to take for granted.”
Avant told reporters that when she returns to the United States she will do so with many fond memories of The Bahamas.
Most of all, Avant said she will miss the Bahamian children and her travels to the Family Islands where she said she was able to get a better appreciation for Bahamian culture.
“I will always think fondly about my visits to the beautiful Family Islands, such as my visit to Cat Island, where I had the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of one of my mentors, Sir Sidney Poitier, with his daughter Pam; and I will treasure my many visits to the island of Eleuthera where I experienced true sustainable living right on the campus of the Island School,” Avant added.
She expressed pride in the accomplishments during her tenure, particularly in assisting local communities on New Providence, Grand Bahama and the Family Islands.
“As ambassador, it was important to me to demonstrate that the United States understands and supports the aspirations of the people of The Bahamas, especially the young people who often underestimate their potential as future leaders,” Avant said.
“To all of the students and young people whom I had the pleasure of meeting, I wish you the very best in your life and I have complete confidence in you to accomplish and be all that you wish to be.”
She said her work with the children has been the most fulfilling of all of her efforts.
While Avant said she will miss The Bahamas and the Bahamian people, she said she looks forward to spending the holidays with her family in California.
The day after she demits office, current Deputy Chief of Mission John Dinkelmanm will assume the role of Charge d’Affaires until a new U.S. ambassador is appointed.
Avant said the U.S. Mission will be in very capable hands.
“I am confident that the embassy will continue its ongoing support to local partners that are working towards a brighter future in The Bahamas,” she said.