Sunday, June 28, 2009

A little update

Things we've been up to lately...

1. A couple weekends ago we went to the capitol and had a chat with Congressman Jim Matheson. .He was a nice enough fella - he was rockin cowboy boots so that alone would win my vote (also he's a dem in utah - which takes some guts). But he dodged both of Ryan's questions, even though Ryan's follow-ups nailed him to the wall.

2. That same weekend we went to Mary's Center - it's a clinic which focuses on women's health especially during/after pregnancy but has gradually grown to encompass other facets of health/education and healthy relationships. It mainly services Latin American women. It was neat. But we did a big service project there with the whole group of us from BYU. Ryan successfully organized the cleaning out of an attic while I helped make business cards (just cutting them out). Then afterwards we painted a fence.

3. Last weekend we went to NDU (National Defense University) for an all day role playing scenario thingy. Everyone was assigned different positions within the American or Mexican government. I was assigned to the Mexican Ministry of Defense and Ryan was in the US State Dept. Then we were presented with an issue - ours happened to be drug trafficking and border security. I guess it was somewhat educational but there wasn't much of an argument between the two sides since there was a common interest in solving the problem.

4. We also went to the Air and Space Museum - which was super neat because they have a TON of life size models of the planes and stuff.

5. In addition to becoming expert tourists, we're also picking up some other skills like protesting. Last Saturday we hopped on the band wagon and followed an Iranian protest down to the White House. There we wandered around (me looking very out of place with red hair and light skin mixed in with all these dark beautiful Persian women) and filmed different things. There was also a protest going on about Burma's human rights violations. When we were walking away we passed several Secret Security guys decked out and sneaking around different corners of the White House grounds. At least Obama's protected right? It was pretty cool - we had originally joined because we heard them walking down the street outside our window.

6. This past week I got to go to a couple neat conferences. The first on was at NDU which was focused on how the US can better support peacekeeping efforts. There were some really big whigs from the UN and DoD in the room that I got to meet which was super cool. There was the head of peacekeeping for the UN Alaine Le Roy - Frenchman, Ian Sinclair, Susanna Malcorra, US 4 Star General in charge of AFRICOM Combatant Command William "Kip" Ward, Dr. Ester Brimmer, and lots of other cool people.All people very Google worthy. The next day I went to a conference at CSIS which centered on the impact of HIV/AIDS on state's security - very interesting. It was a fun week.

7. Ryan also had a super busy week. He's been creating a briefing book for his bosses' trip to Chile to meet with the Inter-American Development Bank. It's a pretty big deal and a really big book. He's pretty amazing for doing most the grunt work.

8. This weekend was a lot of fun. Friday our first briefing was at the Supreme Court where we got a tour followed by a meeting with one of the Justice's clerks. It's a really pretty building and I fully plan on incorporating this amazing chair into my future house -

I really like the colors a lot.
9. After the briefings we went to the Smithsonian Sculpture Garden where they have a Friday night live Jazz performance. It was really fun. There's a big reflection pool in the middle where everyone dips their feet in to cool off. I had very wrinkly feet by the time we left. After the Jazz we went to a great restaurant with some friends. It was a good thing we left when we did because shortly after arriving at the restaurant a monsoon started outside (if it wasn't really a monsoon you could've fooled me by the sheets of rain that were coming down).

10. Saturday we headed down to the Smithsonian Portrait Gallery. I really enjoyed it. I miss doing/seeing all the artsy stuff that I did in high school. This was a fun refresher.

Now we have just a few more days until my family comes (expect Chris, Emmy and the boys - which will all be missed a ton). I'm really excited to spend the 4th with them and can't wait till Thursday.

That's about it for us. We're not that exciting but we're still having a great time here enjoying easy classes, lots of free time, a beautiful city, museums galore, nice weather (on the days it's not too hot and humid or rainy and cold), and each other.

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