Sunday, April 11, 2010

Come on now, we're marching to the sea

I have good news and it's that summer is on it's way. I know this because I have my first official sunburn of the season. It's okay though because it happened while I was in Washington D.C. on Student Justice League lobbying trip. I have one word for this experience-INCREDIBLE. Let me just say this, I love Washington D.C. The history, the white marble buildings, the cherry blossoms-being a Political Science major in D.C. is like being a kid at a carnival.

But I need to backtrack first. Over Easter break a new friend of mine called me and asked if I was interested in going to D.C. with some campus organizations to lobby for social justice. The groups were going to raise awareness about issues in the Congo, where as I'm sure some of you know, some of the greatest human rights violations in the world are occurring. I agreed, and before I knew it I was sitting in a Congressman's office on Capitol Hill. Here's a picture and me and my new friend Sarah in front of the Capitol in our lobbying outfits-

Besides lobbying, I also experienced a slew of new things. I saw the Lincoln Memorial at night, went to the Smithsonian Museum of American History, saw the Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival, and ate Ethiopian food for the first time. At the museum I saw Martha Washington's inaugural dress which is over 200 years old. Maybe it's just me, but I really think people were smaller in the 1780s because little Martha couldn't have been more than 4'9!! (not everyone I was with was as shocked as I was). I also ate Ethiopian, which requires a certain mindset that disregards the transfer of germs. There is a giant communal bowl of different foods and you use pancake-like bread to scoop it up and eat it. This is what Ethiopian food looks like after six college students devour it-

This weekend was so exciting and full of new adventures that have proven to me how many opportunities are available to us all. Our lives are ahead of us, empty but full of crazy and exciting possibilities. I hardly knew anything about this trip or the people going, but I had such a fantastic time.

Sometimes the problems in the world can feel overwhelming which can make me feel that it is impossible to make a difference. But I learned from this trip and those who went is that dedicated people can affect real change. Margaret Mead said: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." It sounds corny but now, especially after this weekend, I really believe that this is true.

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