Washington DC: Hunger in America Days 1 and 2

Posted on: Saturday, June 1, 2013

Day One: Saturday May 18.  The first day started out with everyone getting off a plane and gathering at the Baltimore airport. We took a quick train ride into the city and arrived at Union Station, where our team leaders got our metro cards for us and we had our first glimpse of the Capitol building in the distance. We were staying for the first part of the trip at Calvary Baptist Church in Chinatown, which was super convenient as it was less than a block from a metro stop, and right in the heart of things (shops, restaurants, people, museums, history; a convenient corner Starbucks for morning meetings/fueling). We had dinner at Z Pizza, where many were introduced to the idea of putting fruit and less conventional toppings on their pizza; it was a success. As I apparently seemed competent and had lived in DC before, I was somehow deemed lead navigator for our evening stroll around to The White House and back. We stopped by Ford's Theater to see where Lincoln had been shot and died, and any place with a sign that looked interesting. I always love going to the White House, any time of day; in DC you just sort of find yourself there on your way to and from other places, and that's just one of the magical feelings you experience being in this city. That wouldn't be the last night we would find ourselves there.

Day Two: Sunday May 19. We woke up nice and early, hopped on the metro to Rosslyn, took a bus a ways into Virginia, and walked a mile to get to Memorial Baptist Church. There we attended the 11am service, had lunch, and then learned about hunger in America and the DC area from Carter (we watched this popular video on wealth inequality), and A-SPAN, an organization trying to end homelessness in Arlington. We also helped cook and prepare about 80 meals to go out to the community. The speaker from A-SPAN, Jan, was very engaging, and it was fun doing some kitchen work (a little preparation for a bigger batch of cooking, or at least chopping, at DC Central Kitchen later in the week). We also started to get to know one another, and I knew I was with a really great, smart, and fun group of people. We had dinner back in the city at Capitol City Brewing Company (where I got to catch a little bit of the Penguins game :).
<behind the scenes fun fact: there may be a couple students napping in the rows off to the right> 
<the actual ratio of cheese to other stuff is not as extreme as it looks in this photo>

Next up: After a more relaxed introduction to the trip, we start the week off with a few meetings at the USDA, Smithsonian, and dinner at the famous Ben's Chili Bowl!



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