SHFW, Washington D.C.
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It’s the Journey

A row of embassies.

I love the weekends. Don’t misunderstand me, I love my internship too. But I love being able to get into some jeans and my comfy shoes, grab a camera and just get lost in the city for a while. The weather has been perfect every weekend I’ve been out here, so I’ve been doing outside exploring before it gets too cold to enjoy things.

Last weekend, I decided to just go for a walk. I’m still too uptight of a person to just wander around without some kind of a guide, so I knew I wanted to end up in Georgetown and I knew the navigation in my phone would get me there. So with Google maps as my guide, I began the two mile walk from my apartment to Georgetown.

Latvian’s perception of American culture

I always have to remind myself that in life its not about the destination, but the journey. To get from Woodley Park to Georgetown, I passed by several countries’ embassies. Maybe I’ve watched too many movies, but when I think of embassies, I think of lots of important people walking around in cocktail party attire. These embassies looked mostly abandoned. Most were closed and looked like no one had been there in quite some time. The Latvian embassy had a photography exhibit open to the public, so I decided to go in.

The only reason I’ve ever heard of Latvia is because I worked with a woman named Lidija (Lydia) when I was a teenager. I was fascinated with World War II at the time, and she was a young child while Latvia was occupied by Germany. She told me stories about how her mother would hide Lidija and her sister under her skirts when they would go out into public to protect them. Lidija and her family emigrated to the United States when she was still very young, but she always seemed to remember Latvia fondly.

American perceptions of Latvian culture

Two older Latvian women oversaw the exhibit while I was there, one of them walking me through the exhibit and explaining the inspiration behind some of the photos. Groups of exchange students from the Latvian Culture College and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire took photos of their impressions of each other’s cultures.

Nature dominated UW’s photos because Latvians are very close to nature, one of the curators said. The Latvian students’ photos were dominated by pop culture references such as Coca-Cola, Michael Jackson and Bonnie and Clyde. It was an interesting interpretation of American culture.

One of the cute residential streets on the way to Georgetown.

The rest of my walk to Georgetown was mostly through residential neighborhoods. I made it to Sephora — the place I REALLY wanted to go and Barnes and Noble where I bought “Blue Highways,” a book written by a man who toured the U.S. by avoiding major interstates. I still haven’t started reading the book, but I’m looking forward to comparing his journey to the Gypsy Trip I took over the summer.

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This entry was posted in: SHFW, Washington D.C.

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I’m something you don’t see every day: A person under 80 who walks around with oxygen everywhere she goes. I have Sjogren's Syndrome, an autoimmune disorder which, with the help of my stubborn refusal to go to the doctor, caused some pretty deep damage to my lungs. My lack of breath slowed me down for a while, but I'm back to adventuring - just with Gus, my little oxygen tank, in tow. This year's goal is to complete the 52 Hike Challenge and get myself into a healthier state of being. Join me on my quest to become oxygen free!

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