So, DC was supposed to be hit by this massive snow storm — some parts may have actually experienced snow but where we were we just had some awkward snow/rain combination. It wasn’t freezing rain or sleet it was like giant snow flakes mixed with fat rain drops. The government ended up calling a snow day so a bunch of places were closed, including the two places we were supposed to do service work at.
Fortunately the other events on our docket went according to plan so the day ended up reviving itself. We ended up venturing to some of the Smithsonian museums during the afternoon — we saw the National History Muaseum, “The Castle” and the American History museum. Museums aren’t normally my thing– I much prefer zoos and aquariums but it was pretty neat. We were able see a bunch of cool historical artifacts like the flag that inspired the star spangled banner, Julia Child’s kitchen, the Hope diamond and a pair of hockey gloves from when USA won at the 1980s Winter Olympics– quite the eclectic mix
After our adventuring to museums we went back to the Pilgrimage and made dinner– all the SNAP families on the trip decided to pull together and have a taco night. Elaine, one of the people participating on the trip and in the SNAP challenge made a delicious bean dip. After just eating peanut butter sandwiches, tomato soup and grilled cheese, taco night felt like a feast.
After dinner we had a speaker, David Harris come and talk to us about his experience and lead us in a reflection of our time in Washington. David told us about his story of homelessness, how he became a father at a young age and dropped out of high school support his new family. He worked a variety of low paying jobs but lacked health insurance– he ended up getting a diagnosis of high blood pressure and heart disease and he became too sick to work and thus became homeless.
He eventually got assistance, obtained social security and was able to afford housing. While homeless he wrote poetry and later, with the help of the Pilgrimage, he was able to have his poems published. After he shared his story with us he had us participate in our own reflection on our time in DC. He asked us to write something, it didn’t have to be a poem if we didn’t want it to be and then he asked us to share them with the rest of the group. It was nice to have a time to reflect on what we had experience. Our days were typically so jam packed that we didn’t really have time to process what we had done. The time for reflection was much needed — there was definitely a flood of emotions from all the various experienced I had had the past four days.
Tomorrow is our last day in DC, hopefully it will be the best day yet.
Until Next Time!