After a wonderful week in the capital, we’re home. As much as I like the sound of nomadia, there’s nothing like sleeping in your own bed. Both Jay and I came down with colds later in the week (guilty here – I got Jay sick), but here are a few highlights from my adventures earlier in the week:
1. When exploring the National Mall on Friday, I came across a tremendously interesting exhibit set up for Public Service Recognition Week. Every government agency that I could think of had a booth set up that explained the organization’s purpose and offered fun and interactive activities to educate the public about its work. Among the cooler finds were an enigma machine from WWII, learning about instant military food, visiting a “pop up” field hospital that inflates and is fully functioning within one hour, and trying on twenty pounds of ‘fat’ for an obesity awareness exhibit. I also met Havoc, a Peregrine falcon and the mascot of the U.S. Air Force Academy, whose siblings have been known to dive at over 200 miles per hour. I loved the exhibit and value public education, though – with all of the over the top giveaways and demonstrations – I tried not to think about how many tax dollars were put into the week. Or the fact that Havoc was blindfolded and kept in a cage by itself for the noble purpose of… being a mascot. Or the ridiculous amount of guns, grenades and other highly destructive objects that were present.
2. Saturday night was cold and windy, but that didn’t stop me from going monument hopping with friends. We hit up the Washington monument, Lincoln memorial, WWII memorial and then made our way into some mischief. As we were walking toward the Capitol building, we spotted what looked like a gala event: party tents, champagne glasses, brightly colored flowers, tuxedoes and oddly shaped sofas and pillows. I proceeded to tell my friends about the time that I crashed Fashion Week with my totally outrageous, spontaneous, seriously-out-there friend Jay B. The story got me in an adventurous mood, so I made my way over to the side of the tent, threw my scarf over my sweatshirt to add an air of elegance to the shenanigan and made friends with a couple of girls in evening gowns who caught me up as to our cause of the evening: The Ball on the Mall (fundraiser for the National Mall). Shout out to my favorite pal Shira for having the guts to join the party and share a soft drink with me. 🙂
3. Jay was in the neighboring suburb of Chevy Chase for a weekend of training on the program that he is leading this July. He came back psyched for the summer, and the weekend apart definitely gave me time to miss him and get excited for his return. Sometimes space can be a beautiful thing even when you don’t need it.
During our last evening in DC, I wrapped up my Spring season of Faces of Israel events. This program was slightly different than others because of the people who attended. Many friends came out to reunite and show their support (I lived in DC for a summer several years ago) and my co-facilitator of the evening was Rabbi Barry Freundel, the head of conversions for the Rabbinical Council of America. While the focus of the evening was perhaps less pluralistic than usual, Rabbi Freundel provided deep insight into the Rabbinate system and the complexities at hand. I enjoyed the partnership and the evening.
posted by amybetho