Aina Nagobada-Ābola

Born: 9 June, 1920 in Riga. Aina Nagobada started studying dentistry in 1939 and went on the Medicine Department of the University of Latvia. In the fall of 1944 she was evacuated to Germany along with all the staff of Riga Hospital Nr. 2. After the Second World War she finished her medical studies at the University of Tubingen in Germany. In 1951, along with her family she went to Morocco (at that time, still a French colony) but in 1955 returned to Paris. There she worked in her husband, Guntars Abols, firms, which were involved in oil and gas exploitation technology.
As the Latvians started their push for the restoration of their independence, in March 1990, Mrs. Nagabada- Abola was appointed as the Latvian Honorary Consul in Paris. But in fact she worked as the real ambassador; the "honorary" was necessary in her title, because as Latvians was still occupied by the Soviet Union at the time, they were not in a position to get an actual ambassador accredited. She arranged for and accompanied the Latvian parliamentarians ("Council" members) I. Daudish and I. Berzinsh, when they visited the French National Assembly in December 1990 and the Chairman of the Latvian Higher Council, A. Gorbunovs on his visit to the French Parliament in May 1991, during which they also met with President Mitterand (see entry on Mitterand).
After the actual renewal of Lativan independence after the failed Putsch in Moscow in August 1991, Mrs. Nagobada-Abola became the Latvian ambassador to France, being formally accredited from 18 March 1992 to 10 June, 1997 (she was followed as Ambassador by Sandra Kalniete, who after her term, went on to be the Foreign Minister of Latvia ).
In addition to being the Latvian Ambassador to France, Mrs. Nagobada-Abols was also the Ambassador to Spain (1993 – 1997) and Portugal (until 1998). From 1992 until 2000 she was also the Latvian representative to UNESCO and since than is a lifetime advisor to them.
Before the war, as a girl of 19, she was invited to visit Emilija Benjamin at the newly completed house. At the university she was a classmate of Emilija's adopted son Juris. After the restoration of independence, in the 1990s she played a significant role in getting the property returned to Emilija Benjamin's family. Since the family recovered the house, she has been Peter Aicher's guest at the house numerous times.
During one recent dinner at the house she related how she remembers the custom bamboo garden furniture from 1939 which is still there.