Praise for Muddy Roads Blue Skies
What a story. As a long-serving Tanzania diplomat, I found the book Muddy Roads Blue Skies remarkable and [filled with] insightful reflections on the realities of Foreign Service. I have been extremely touched by Vella’s ordeal with the U.S. Embassy bombing in Dar es Salaam and the courage to tell the story as a survivor than ever before. It is a must-read for young and old alike, 'as living your dream requires patience and perseverance.
—Amb. Liberata Mulamula, former Tanzania Ambassador to the USA
In this poignant and inspiring memoir, Vella relates, in vivid detail, her amazing journey from a childhood in the rural South to a high-flying career in the U.S. Foreign Service. Along the way, she provides moving stories about how she overcame discrimination and heartbreak to become an accomplished, highly respected American diplomat. I enthusiastically recommend Muddy Roads Blue Skies. It’s a real page-turner!
—Mark L. Asquino, U.S. Ambassador (Ret.)
A glorious morning at the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam was shattered when Al-Qaeda’s truck bomb exploded, killing 11 people. Vella was central to resurrecting critical embassy communications with Washington. Her captivating life story, from leaving the muddy roads of Holmestown to becoming a target of Osama bin Laden, is filled with insights on life, as well as the rewards and challenges of a career in the Foreign Service.
—U.S. Ambassador John E. Lange (Ret.), Dar es Salaam, Chargé d’Affaires at American Embassy Dar es Salaam on August 7, 1998
In her compelling memoir, Vella has done us all a favor in the numerous examples of her determination to overcome personal and professional challenges in order to ascend the ladder of success in the U.S. Foreign Service. Her success is noteworthy because it was gained as a woman in the competitive, white-male-dominated Foreign Service and against a backdrop of postings in sometimes dangerous locations. The fact that this black female diplomat performed so exceptionally makes her story even more deserving of our attention.
—U.S. Ambassador Johnny Young (Ret.), Sierra Leone, Togo, Bahrain, and Slovenia