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Interview

Smiling through the Ups and Downs. Mayra Lopez-Garcia: the 100-mile Trail Runner

in Current Issue/Interviews/Views

by Bryan Felber

Mayra relieved to have just completed the Western States 100-mile race. © Hilary Ann

It’s pitch-black on a lonely section of the Western States Trail – a century-old dusty path that winds through the unrelenting Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. Much of the trail that stretches from Utah to California is only accessible by horse, helicopter, or foot. For 34-year-old Mayra Lopez-Garcia, she’s opted for the last form of transportation – the never-failing heal-toe express. Only problem is, as she summits a peak to reach a pit stop at mile 80 of her 100-mile ultramarathon, the wheels of her carriage – her feet – are “completely trashed.”

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“The distance does not hinder the ties that bind and bring us together”: Interview with the Ambassador of Canada H.E. Ayesha Patricia Rekhi

in Current Issue/Interviews/Views

by Lenka Vestenická, Kristína Šefčíková

Lenka Vestenická with H.E. Ayesha Patricia Rekhi. Photo by Karel Němeček. 

H.E. Ayesha Patricia Rekhi has been the Canadian Ambassador to the Czech Republic since 2019. Before settling in Prague, her rich diplomatic career led her to serve at Canadian missions in Hong Kong, New Delhi, Hanoi, and Bangkok. Ambassador Rekhi focuses on supporting and giving a voice to marginalized groups and advocating for women’s rights. Therefore, this interview touches upon topics such as inclusivity, feminist foreign policy, women in diplomacy, and Canada’s Indigenous population. On a lighter note, we also talked about hockey, trick-or-treating for the Baťa family in Toronto and beautiful places to visit in Canada and the Czech Republic.

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“We want to knit our part of the world more closely to your part of the world”: Interview with the Ambassador of New Zealand H.E. Rupert Thomas Holborow

in Interviews

by Kristína Šefčíková

Photo courtesy of the New Zealand Embassy in Berlin, used with permission.

 

This summer, Re:Views had the honour of interviewing a non-resident ambassador for the first time. H.E. Rupert Thomas Holborow, Ambassador of New Zealand to Germany and non-Resident Ambassador to Czech Republic, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein joined us from Berlin to talk about Czech-New Zealand ties, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, sustainability, the European Union and the Free Trade Agreement currently in negotiations, and even the Lord of the Rings.  

This year marks the 28th anniversary of diplomatic relations between New Zealand and the Czech Republic, although the ties go back as far as 1924 and the former Czechoslovakia. There are also some interesting projects that have been established between our countries, such as the reciprocal working holiday scheme which provides for a 12-month working holiday visa for both Czechs and New Zealanders. How do you perceive the bond between our two countries, and where do you see the crucial milestones? Keep Reading

“Every day is a new experience”: Interview with the Honorary Consul of Australia Ms Jana Kvasnicová

in Interviews

By Kristína Šefčíková

Photo kindly provided by Austrade, used with permission.

 

Interviewing Ms Kvasnicová was special in at least two ways: for the first time in the history of the magazine, we had the honour of talking to an honorary consul – one of only two such representatives of major English speaking countries based in the Czech Republic. Ms Kvasnicová is also a graduate of our very own Department of English and American Studies, which made the interview all the more special for both sides involved. The fruitful discussion delved into the history of Czech-Australian ties, current developments of said ties heading towards closer cooperation, the role of the European Union in these processes, but also football teams, career advice, and of course, fond memories of the consul’s times at the Department.

This year, we commemorate 100 years since the foundation of diplomatic relations between the former Czechoslovak Republic and the Commonwealth of Australia, as it was exactly 100 years ago when the first Czech diplomatic representation in Australia, the still present Consulate in Sydney, was opened. Yet, the ties go well beyond diplomacy, trade, and numerous bilateral agreements. For example, earlier this year, Prague Zoo raised 20 million CZK to help the Australian fauna after the bushfires that swept across the continent. So, there indeed seems to be quite a palpable sense of solidarity between our nations. How do you personally perceive the relationship between the two countries?

The relationship between the Czech Republic and Australia is very strong. There is keen interest from both governments to engage, and although we can’t travel to and from each other’s countries at the moment, government to government interaction is on-going. We both stand for free and open global markets and we greatly appreciate the support from the Czech Government.

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“What we are trying to do now is create another bilateral high point”: Interview with Her Majesty’s Ambassador Nick Archer MVO

in Interviews

By Markéta Šonková, Kristína Šefčíková, and Anna Formánková

Talking to an ambassador is always fascinating, as one can find out so much about the different cultures and many intersections between cultures. Talking to a British ambassador, whose professional CV runs across several countries and high offices, during a turbulent time in UK politics and a worldwide pandemic, makes the debate even more captivating. However, the discussion with Her Majesty’s Ambassador Nick Archer, who has resided in Prague since January 2018, examined not only Brexit or the past of the Czech-British ties, and the stepping stones the two countries can use to build their future ties, but also the many things we share in our everyday lives, the importance of nurturing these common values, seeing and working with the bigger picture, and inevitably also the Queen. Keep Reading

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