Monday, November 08, 2010

Good Morning America

This weekend IPED sponsored a career trip to the nation's capitol. Dominic has been pretty consumed with school so I'm going to provide an introduction here and hope that you'll ask him what his experience was like. This was his first time to DC!

Dominic's first few days were jam-packed with tours, meetings and networking events. The alumni and program director really show the grad students a good time. They put us up in a hotel right behind the capitol building! My biggest regret was not packing my running shoes.

We extended the trip to be tourists for a few days over the weekend. Heather, our dear friend from Peace Corps Armenia, hosted us in her beautiful apartment. Talk about generosity! She spent time with us the night before leaving for an international trip and left us with her keys to hang out for the weekend. We were so thankful for her hospitality.

The metro system in DC is comfortable: clean, organized, color-coded and rat-free. The bus routes are easy to understand. We woke up on Saturday morning and headed to the Mall in style to see our other RPCV friends Bob and Peggy. Peggy and I had been interested in visiting the Holocaust museum so we planned to meet up there, but first we stopped by to say hi to Bo (the Obamas were in India).
If I might make a recommendation, don't start with the Holocaust museum. It makes for a long, difficult day. It's unique because, more than a typical museum, it's a memorial as well. I won't even begin to describe the experience, except to say that I appreciated the efforts made to refocus visitors' attention on the 'what now?' question. I picked up a brochure on the way out called "A Changed World: The Continuing Impact of the Holocaust". It covers topics like protection of human rights, protections for refugees and reconciliation between Christians and Jews during and after the Nazi era. What about the ongoing impact? I never knew, for example, that after the Holocaust the Roman Catholic Church and ELCA renounced their anti-Jewish teachings and promoted interfaith dialogue. Martin Luther, what were you thinking?

We left the museum and walked for a bit. Catching up, processing, looking for lunch. Despite the Incredible phone, we couldn't find an open sandwich shop! We ended up at this fish market where we fought off the birds to defend our crab cakes and chowder on the waterfront.

We had about three hours and more than 300 years of history to cover, so we rented these bright red bikes right off a sidewalk rack and pedaled around to all of the major monuments:

And some not-so-major ones too (Poor Mason)...

Washington DC is a special place. It gives me a similar feeling to when we see the Statue of Liberty or even when we walk through Times Square believe it or not. It is that realization that we have the blessing right now to live among some of the world's most iconic places. DC, we can't wait to come back!

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