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Start of the Summer Journey

Updated: Jun 6


I had been looking forward to leaving for Washington, D.C. ever since I was informed that I had been accepted for this internship. I was a little bummed out that I would not be able to spend the summer with my family and friends, but I realized how great of an opportunity this was. I began my journey very early in the morning, my parents and I made our way to the airport at 3 am. We were actually not even sure if I would even be flying out that morning because I had received a message Friday evening that my flight had been cancelled. However, I was able to figure it out and catch another flight. I had a great time traveling and took in the views from the plane. It did not hit me that I was actually doing all of this until I was able to see all the monuments as I was flying above them.

Once I made it to the baggage claim, I began meeting everyone. It has been pretty cool getting to know people from different places and what brought them here to DC. We waited for everyone to get to the airport and then we made our way to Hotel Hive. It was a very interesting hotel. The hallways were arranged in a unique manner and the rooms were small, but very nice. We got settled in and made our way to Shenkman Hall's dining hall, which is where we are staying this summer. Once we were stuffed, a group of us decided to walk to the White House. It was a crazy thing to see, but I had always thought that it was bigger. Later that night Joan, my roommate and I made a quick trip to 7 eleven and called it a night. We had to catch some sleep because we had a long day ahead of us.


DC In the Dark


We got up fairly early and checked out of the Hive to come move into Shenkman Hall. After everyone had their rooms, Patrick and Virginia led us to the metro. I was kind of nervous about using the metro because I have a tendency to forget things, and I felt that I was going to get lost. It was explained how to use it, but I am kind of still figuring it out myself. Once they showed us around quite a bit, they took us to Target to get some things. Joan and I went a little overboard and had quite a few things to bring back. After we were done shopping, we got ourselves some Panda Express and I got a pretty inspirational fortune cookie. I took a picture of it because I felt that it was pretty fitting for the summer.

After we got back, we went to our meeting with CHCI to meet Christian and the rest of our cohort. They fed us some Guatemalan food, and we talked about some of the expectations this summer. After this Joan, Juan Diego, and I decided we wanted to go explore. We made our way to the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, and the World War II Memorial. This was the first time I had seen all of these monuments, and it was an entirely different experience to see them at night. We walked around and stumbled upon an ice cream truck selling ice cream for 10 dollars, which was outrageous. However, Juan Diego did some negotiating, and we got our ice cream for 7 bucks. Even though my milkshake was very average, it was a valid way to end the night.


DC Exploration Continued


On Monday, Patrick and Virginia took us exploring. We went to all the different monuments and memorials that we had seen last night, but we also went to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, World War II Memorial, and the Capitol Building. It was Memorial Day and DC was crawling with people. It was a really special thing to see the Vietnam Memorial because we were able to acknowledge and thank all the people who had lost their lives. From there, we went to the other monuments and eventually made our way to the US Capitol. To me, the Capitol building was the grandest to see because of how massive it was. We had some food from the dining hall there and got a tour of the inside. We got to see the rotunda and so many cool statues. By the end of the day, I was drained. I had clocked in 26,000 steps.


First Day with CHCI


Our first day of orientation with CHCI was on Tuesday. We started our day by going to CHCI headquarters and having breakfast there. After we were done, we made our way to the National Education Association building, which was where we were having our programming. This day we were spoken to by the director of NEA, the CEO of CHCI, and the Vice President. We also did our show and tell activity that turned out to be very powerful and deep for the whole group. We also got to talk about the handbook and got an insider view of the Capitol. After CHCI we went to the NVG office to have dinner and network with people from UFW, WHI, LULAC, and OME. It was a very fun and informative night, and everyone was able to make some connections.


I Saw R2-D2 and C-3PO


Today we started our day at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. We went to go see the Molina Family Latino Gallery. It contained many important parts of Latino history in America. I felt a lot of different emotions seeing this exhibit. It's not very big, but it encapsulates many good things, however I would like to see it expand and cover more in the future. After this we went to the entertainment exhibit, and I saw a bunch of things I grew up with. I saw Captain America's shield, the Muppets, one of Selena's outfits, and Bill Nye's Lab coat. After this, we went to the NEA and did more programming. We set up some of our cohort's norms, learned about budgeting, and learned how to network. After this, we had a networking night with some CHCI alumni. I talked to many people and found some connections through people there. It was a good day.


Picture Day


On Thursday, we had our CHCI picture day at the Capitol building. We took a big group picture, a picture of just the HEP/CAMP interns, and then our solo headshots. It was fun, but we had to do ours pretty quickly because we had to go to the USDA building for a meet and greet. There we spoke to many people that I will be seeing pretty often. We went on a tour of the building and made our way back to the Capitol. We had more programming sessions with CHCI, during which we learned about being on the hill from CHCI alumni and people from CHSA. After this, we went to a Chinese food place in Chinatown with the rest of the USDA interns. This was probably one of my favorite nights because of how fun dinner was.


Last Day with Patrick and Virginia


This was the last day of our programming. We started the day by going to CHCI headquarters and grabbing some breakfast. From there, we walked to the NEA building and went on with our programming. We did activities, a reflection over the week, a letter to our future selves, and more. It was a fun day, but it got even better we went to our escape room, Beat the Bomb. My group was the only one that made it through the whole thing, we did get a little messy, but I highly suggest it, it was so much fun. Once we got home, we went to get pizza and then to Captain Cookie to get ice cream with Patrick and Virginia. We all hung out, had a good time, and said our goodbyes to Patrick. It is very unfortunate that we can't have Patrick and Virginia throughout the whole summer because they have been so helpful and kind to us. We appreciate them so much.



We started our day on Saturday by going to the Eastern Market with Virginia. We looked around and saw many cool things, but the only things I got were some new bracelets. We listened to some people play some very nice jazz music and we got some food. I got mini donuts, a burrito, and a pineapple mango agua fresca. After this, we went to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Before we went in, we said goodbye to Virginia (we can't wait until her and Patrick come back). I think the Air and Space is my favorite museum we have seen so far. I was kind of a nerd for space when I was younger. We also got some cool souvenirs after.

On Sunday, I didn't do much. I took it as a rest day. I went to church and got ready for the week.

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