WEEK 10

Time's running out folks, I'm only in DC for another four days :(

The last week and a half has been so packed that I feel like it's been weeks and weeks. Last Friday I hopped on a BestBus bus to New York for my best friend's birthday. I highly recommend BestBus if you're planning on heading over to New York. It was $50, and there was water, outlets, and wifi. 

Last time I went to New York, I honestly hated it. I promised myself that I would never live in New York and I had convinced myself that I hated there. After this last trip, let me clarify -- I hate Manhattan. It's so sterile, and even though there are a lot of really diverse people there, it just feels somehow crowded while being lonely at the same time. This time, I stayed with my friend in his house. First of all, a house with five guys is just as dirty as you'd expect it to be (no offense Stevie). Second of all, I think I could learn to love New York. We were staying in Brooklyn but ventured out into the Lower East Side and Chinatown. 

I'm not much of a tourist, and we spent most of the weekend going to house/roof parties but I did visit the original flat iron building and walked the High Line. The High Line was super long and I was seriously regretting wearing heels by the time we were done, but the view was so worth it. We rushed to get to the end, as they were closing it down in fifteen minutes, but we got there in the nick of time for a gorgeous sunset overlooking New Jersey. I'm still not used to how close everything is on the East Coast. 

One of Stevie's friend lived on the 42nd floor of his building and had the most incredible view of the city.

One of Stevie's friend lived on the 42nd floor of his building and had the most incredible view of the city.

My first and second night in Brooklyn, we stayed out until six a.m., which understandably took a toll on us eventually. On my third day, I woke up around the same time the friend I was sharing a couch with did and we looked at each other confused. Why the hell was it still dark? Had we only managed to sleep an hour? No, my friend. It was seven p.m. We had slept the entire day away.

We resigned ourselves to a day of vegging out and ordered crappy Chinese food, eating it out on the street watching the same people we had seen leave for work in the morning come back home after a long day (just the start of ours). It was the best experience and trip that I could've asked for, and I wouldn't have traded it for anything else. 

My last day there was bittersweet. I was happy to come home to D.C., but I was so sad to leave all the new friends I had made, and my best friend as well of course. We hit up the Shake Shack where I ate a truly aggressive burger that had cheese bursting out from unknown places before I paid an unreasonable amount for Pinkberry and hopped on a bus back home.

$13 Pinkberry ft. best friend :(((

$13 Pinkberry ft. best friend :(((

Once I came home to D.C. I think I spent a good three days recovering from the trip by sleeping all day and watching Netflix. Thursday finally rolled around though, and Jacob and I had our second, and last (lol) meeting with our boss. Afterwards, we had the alumni event, which I was dreading because of how tired I was. I may or may not have awkwardly lead my roommate five blocks in the wrong direction. Oops. Honestly, it was a great event. My roommate and I literally spent the whole time just eating food. I was so happy to see President Pershing again. Last year I worked as a Presidential Ambassador and got to work with the President and his wife, and it was the best experience of my undergrad so far!

The saga of "Danika, President Pershing, and friend" photos continues, this time ft. Madison

The saga of "Danika, President Pershing, and friend" photos continues, this time ft. Madison

Yesterday, we headed out bright and early to go to Annapolis. Annapolis is beautiful, and I found myself wishing that I went to the Naval Academy, which is gorgeous. It got way too hot though, and by the time we went to get food I had reverted to full on cranky toddler mode. Sorry Jason and Gina!!

This was one wall of the chapel in the Naval Academy. It was gorgeous!!

This was one wall of the chapel in the Naval Academy. It was gorgeous!!

Although I don't eat sea food, it was still really fun there, although I will admit I'm majorly butthurt that all the interns took a picture together on the docks while Madison and I were on the upper level. We met a super super cute Cavalier dog who was so soft and happy to see us though, so it was kind of worth it. After we went to grab lunch, we got some amazing ice cream and trekked up the hill to the state building. The whole way up, Gina's ice cream was melting and it was leaving this trail of ice cream behind her. I'm pretty sure you could've tracked her from the entrance of the ice cream shop all the way to the front entrance of the state building, it was hilarious. We got a tour from the sweetest lady ever, and I made an effort to be more lively for her sake. I love people who are dedicated to history, and Ruth was seriously the nicest, most adorable woman I have ever met. Her enthusiasm was infectious, and now I know way more about Annapolis and Maryland than I ever thought I would.

Now, I'm just trying to close out one last difficult article before my internship is over, so wish me luck!!

WEEK 9

Somehow the time got away from me again. I know, I know -- one blog a week. But hey, if I have equivalent blogs for equivalent weeks I feel like that's close enough.

In terms of work, this last week and a half has been some of the hardest. Events every day means articles for every day. Doesn't seem like much, but I had four events in two days so I got a little slammed and (imo understandably) sick of writing. 

The Japanese Ambassador's residence was, in a word, holycrapwtf. It was too big for me to see end to end on it, had a private tea house, and its own waterfall and koi pond along with a whole slew of personal chefs. It was a beautiful residence, but most of all, the people there were really incredible. SisterCitiesInternational is an organization that pairs together sister cities, with some cities having nine partners while other might just have one. What really struck me was that everyone in attendance was either a high schooler or someone who was nearing retirement age. I feel like the younger generation has this huge disconnect to the older generation, and I get frustrated sometimes when I see people not respecting their elders. In light of that, it was great seeing these older people pass on their wisdom, experiences, and advice to these high schoolers who were entering the most uncertain and exciting portion of their lives. I really think that the choices you make in college and also high school to an extent shape your life, so it was great that these kids were getting valuable advice from people from all around the world.

I went and attended the entire conference that weekend, and was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the panels and how relevant they were to what I was doing in my life. I've often felt like I can't make the most of my college years due to time, money, etc. but one of the panels I went to was about engaging the younger generation through international relations. There was someone from the State Department, from Kiwanis International, from the UN Association, and from AtlasCorps. My hand cramped so badly from scribbling down notes furiously, but I came home armed with a good 15 programs or fellowships that I needed to look up and apply for. I love to travel, and I love seeing good places, so if there's a way for me to do that while being paid and getting a good education, I'm down.

I'll let you guys know if anything pans out in the next few weeks, but for any of you who are feeling discouraged by your inability to experience the world, have no fear because the government and many NGOs want you to travel and they'll pay for it too!

Ummm what. I'm in the tea house taking this picture and that's part of the main residence across the pond. What you see in the picture is maybe a sixth of the whole house.

Ummm what. I'm in the tea house taking this picture and that's part of the main residence across the pond. What you see in the picture is maybe a sixth of the whole house.

My roommates and I finally went to Old Town after a long and confusing Uber trip. Luckily, our driver was a total homie and let us just reset the destination so we didn't get charged a crazy amount for having him drive all over Alexandria. It wasn't what I was expecting, but it was beautiful nonetheless. We hit the Torpedo Factory, which is an old torpedo factory turned art gallery. There were individual studios inside, and most of them had their artists there. One of my addictions in life is watching artists work in real time, so this was a dream come true for me. I met this awesome potter who gave me life advice and also told me that apparently at the Sackler Freer museums you can sign up for a behind-the-scenes experience where you put on gloves and actually get to handle all the artwork. Ahhhh!!

I'm currently writing this blog while sitting on a very bumpy bus with spotty wifi, so you could say that I'm living the dream. I'm on my way to New York for a well-deserved weekend celebration for my best friend's birthday. I haven't seen him in months so I'm super excited, and I'm sure I'll have tons of pictures to share. Surprisingly, I'm already kinda starting to miss DC, but I don't know if that's because I know in DC I have guaranteed shower time, my own bed, etc. etc. or if DC is starting to feel like home for me. I guess those two things are kind of the same though. Nevertheless, I know I'm going to have a great time in New York and it'll only make my appreciation of the East Coast that much better. 

Week 8

We're in the home stretch now, guys! In exactly three weeks and one day, I'm going to be getting on a plane and leaving D.C. That might seem like quite a while away, but I'm going to be in New York for half a week, so it's really hit me that my time in D.C. is almost up. 

Being in D.C. has been awesome, but I've been plagued with various illnesses and a general rainy bill of health which has really put a damper on my enjoyment of the city. Even so, I've been able to do so many cool things and meet so many incredible people.

On Monday, I took my roommate as my plus one to the Italian Embassy, which was a freakin work of art. On our way there (protip guys, if you are going to the Italian Embassy take an Uber -- your feet will thank you) we passed by so many different embassies. If anyone can tell me why Canada needs two embassies when the one by the Newseum is already freakin massive, please let me know. At the embassy itself, the president of FlyMotion, a drone company, did a live demo of his drone. It's crazy how far we've come from little RC copters that would break after five minutes. In attendance were PIFs, who are presidential innovation fellows that are sort of Obama's super hero team of researchers. While most of them were middle aged, there were quite a few that looked to be in the mid-20s, so talk about serious career goals. There were also ambassadors from a bunch of different embassies, which makes me think that the ambassadors all just hang out at each other's embassies doing cool things every day. It really makes me regret not sending a list of embassies to my boss. Somehow in the mix of all the events and articles, I totally forgot about it, and now I feel like I've missed out on some seriously cool things. Talk about FOMO :( 

The embassy is a work of art. For some reason even though it looks very angular from the outside, the main room inside is a perfect circle. Architects are wizards.

The embassy is a work of art. For some reason even though it looks very angular from the outside, the main room inside is a perfect circle. Architects are wizards.

Yesterday, I went to the Pew Charitable Trust, where PEW and Gallup were hosting an event on global migration. It originally was the other intern's event and to be honest I was disgruntled that I had to cover because I was so tired, but man am I glad that I went! It's one thing to read about global trends and changing demographics, and a whole other thing to be live at a discussion about the very real issues that shifting demographics are causing in our world. Again, I felt totally out of my depth because everyone else there was an established researcher, businessman/woman, or journalist. Even so, it was nice to go and soak up their knowledge and presence while munching on snacks (another protip: if you're a Diplomatic Courier intern, you basically just get to go to cool events and be fed amazing food all the time, so go for the Courier internship!!).

Another casually gorgeous building, whatever.

Another casually gorgeous building, whatever.

Right now, I'm taking a break from busting out a few articles. This week is going to be super overwhelming, with events lasting hours every single day, but it's nice to be on a solid work grind again after a few weeks of dead schedules. Tonight, I'm going to be heading down to the Japanese Ambassador's personal house so I'm super pumped for that. I've been playing PokemonGo nonstop (let's be honest tho who hasn't), so my appreciation for Japanese culture is at an all time high. 

Week 6 (ish?)

Oh dang, long time no see. Usually I set aside an hour or two to sort through the events that I've been to, the places I've seen, and the pictures that I've taken, but these past two weeks have honestly been the slowest weeks of my life. Neither week 6 nor week 7 felt substantial enough for blog posts of their own so I present to you: Week 6 (ish?)

Last week, my roommates and I attended my first Washington DC play: The Taming of the Shrew. I'd never heard of it before, but I'm always game for free events and boy am I glad that I went. The producer decided to have an all-male cast, but if Gina hadn't told me they were all male, many of them would have passed flawlessly as women. During intermission, we were even allowed on stage for the "wedding banquet celebration" and were treated to cake pops by the cast members. Afterwards, Gina and I decided to finally go explore Chinatown and hopefully find an Asian market. Much to our disappointment, DC's Chinatown is nowhere near as large and immersive as the one in New York.

I also got to go to the W Hotel, which is this super swanky hotel close to the National Mall. Once there, I went up to the roof where there was an open bar (don't worry boss, I didn't partake) and lots of food. The event we were at was to honor Keisuke Honda (AC Milan) as the new UN Global Ambassador for Youth. I've never been into sports, but Honda made me wish I followed sports more carefully. He was super nice and actually invited all the youth to go on stage with him and stayed to do a meet and greet after. That night, my roommate and I went to a place called Sakuramen Bar because we were both craving ramen. They accidentally threw my order out and through a serious of awkward encounters afterwards, I'm pretty sure I can never show my face there again. 

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This ramen was pretty bomb, but it didn't even come close to Tosh's ramen back in SLC.

This ramen was pretty bomb, but it didn't even come close to Tosh's ramen back in SLC.

Back in Utah, my precious baby Foxxy went through surgery to remove a tumor. Although this doesn't count as something that happened in DC, it was still a significant event in my family's life so I felt the need to include it in my blog. A stray cat that we took in also surprised us with her kittens when she moved them into our garage. Our family is well on its way to becoming a crazy cat family. Please enjoy these photos of the new babies, as well as my baby drugged up from surgery and wearing a shirt.

In the realm of politics, I had the opportunity to go to the US Institute of Peace and see Permanent US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, as well as former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright speak. I'm so grateful that my boss got me an invite to that first Dalai Lama event, because since then I've been invited to every event that USIP has hosted. I'd like to do an internship there one day, as not only is the building an incredibly beautiful space inside, but people of power and influence from around the world seem to flock to this unassuming building. Both talks were focused on the crises in the Middle East as well as the issue of what to do about refugees. It was really heartening to see how passionate Ambassador Power was, and how unafraid she was to call out countries for not working enough. I've been really motivated lately after hearing all these powerful and strong women create impacts in domestic and foreign politics.

Lastly, and perhaps most exciting of all, my roommate and well as a few other interns participated in the many festivities that DC has for July 4th. Because we didn't want to bother with the insane crowds on the night of the 4th, we went to the dress rehearsal of "A Capitol Fourth." Although the cast members from Hamilton unfortunately didn't make it to the rehearsal, it was great to sit on the lawn and listen to famous artists perform. Tom Bergeron is also total improv and humor goals. The day of the 4th, we got up bright and early to go watch the parades, and we actually scored amazing spots on the steps of the National Archives. The parade was very multicultural, which I felt was a perfect embodiment of the U.S. melting pot. One thing I will note though, was that at one point one of the bands carried a massive float of Caillou, the bratty bald cartoon character that always played when we were young. The cartoon wasn't odd itself, but Caillou is a Canadian cartoon so I'm not sure why it was there. 

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I swear I'm getting old, which is disappointing because it's just going to be downhill from here. After going out the night before and then getting up for the parade, I was completely pooped and had to take a long nap after getting home. Luckily, Gina and I summoned the will to get up and go out the to the fireworks. Initially, we were super bummed because our friend Jonathan couldn't get us up onto the Capitol steps in time for when they closed the gates, but it ended up working out well. From where we were, you couldn't see a single firework from behind the trees so we booked it to the National Mall. By the time we stopped, we were close enough to the Washington Monument that we had a perfect view of the last 10 minutes and finale, and our view actually turned out to be way better than the one that they had at the Capitol. July 4th in DC, check!

 

WEEK 5

Guys! I've made it a full month in DC! Honestly, this is the first time I've been away from my family for this long and I miss them so much. I've never been gone for Father's Day or my dad's birthday, and this year I'll be missing both of them. I also never thought I would miss my dog's annoying 6am good morning kisses, but here I am wishing I could hear her jumping around on my bed.

This week has been slow, as I have somewhat of an upper respiratory infection, so I've been taking it easy. However, our summit was a success! Each year, the Diplomatic Courier hosts multiple summits, and the topics have been about the "World in 2050." This past week, we discussed the future of peace. There was good food, new friends, and incredible speakers abound at the event. Some of the distinguished individuals included Congressman Garamendi (D-CA), USIP President Nancy Lindborg, and are you ready for this? Former President Jimmy friggin Carter. Talk about a bomb ass job. 

Since coming to DC, I've really started to use LinkedIn. Well, if you count aggressively connecting with every person whose name I recognize as "using LinkedIn," anyway. I feel super intimidated when I see people with 500+ connections and a million endorsements on every skill, but I suppose everyone had to start with 0 connection and endorsements. Being in DC has done wonders for my networking skills, and if nothing else I promise I'll leave DC with at least 100 LinkedIn connections!

Aside from mostly holing up in my room working for the past week, I really haven't done much exploring. It's so disappointing because I know there are hundreds of things to do here, but being sick really wears down on you. On the bright side I've become very deeply acquainted with my Netflix account after taking a small break from it. I encourage you all to rediscover your Netflix roots this week as well.

Here's to hoping that I'm back to 100% healthiness this week and have some actual adventures to share with you all!

WEEK 4

In light of the recent tragedies that our nation has faced in the last week, I've found it very hard to write a blog detailing all of the great times and experiences that I've had this week. It somehow feels so very unfair to those who have lost their lives for me to talk about how good my life is. 

However, I can say that this week has been one of intense introspection for me. While I feel desperately sad and frustrated over what has happened this past week, it also makes me realize how much I need to cherish the opportunities I'm afforded. This week, I had the chance to attend the 1776 Challenge Cup Finals. I met incredible people young and old from all over the world who were taking what they knew to make a tangible change in the world. Each and every startup that competed created their project with an intent to benefit the world and leave it a better place than when they entered. It was inspiring to see the measured actions of men and women my age to create a better world for the future.

And today, I had the extremely blessed and fortunate opportunity to hear the Dalai Lama speak in person. Honestly, I'm having a hard time putting in words how profound and spiritual of an experience it was for me. As someone who doesn't follow any particular religion nor is particularly spiritual, I was floored by the amount of grace and presence that he had upon entering the room. To me, his sense of purity and compassion  is something that transcends any one religion and taps into a baser aspect of human nature that we all share.

His Holiness spoke to us today about how we could make the 21st century the last century with violent conflict. Although there were intricacies to his arguments, at their base they were very simple. Love one another. Be compassionate to one another. Embrace one another. Respect one another. When we peel back the various outer layers of ourselves and make ourselves vulnerable to being loved, no gap is too wide for us to bridge. We as the newest generation have the incredible possibility of ending violent conflict. No more orphaned children. No more childless parents. No more siblings bereft of their brothers and sisters; no more friends alone without their loved ones. In an age of unprecedented connection, innovation, and potential, it's criminal for us not to take action. 

Another extremely important point during His Holiness' speech today was the importance of education. While action is incredibly important, uninformed action can sometimes harm more than it helps. Every person takes action believing what they are doing is right, whether they are Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, or Atheist. LGBT or straight. White, black, Latino, or Asian. All the individuals that lie on a wide spectrum of motivations and beliefs all believe that they are doing the right thing. Only by educating ourselves and our peers can we truly open our minds to meaningful discourse. I'd like to share and incredible relevant quote by Edward Albert with you:

Fear is the only true enemy, born of ignorance and the parent of anger and hate.
— Edward Albert

Intolerance and violence, more often than not, are born from a fear of the unknown. To my peers: it's up to you and I to take action. And in the midst of all the terrible things that have happened recently, remember to be compassionate, to be peaceful and strong, and to remember to enjoy the small intricacies of life. Today I was inexplicably woken up in the very early morning and looked out my window to see an incredible sunrise. I've felt extremely bitter recently about happenings in both my personal life as well as all the stories the media has been reporting on. When I saw that sunrise, I felt like I was about to turn a new page, and after listening to the Dalai Lama speak today, I feel as if I'm spiritually cleansed and ready to read that new page.

This week has been one where I've seen the worst of humanity, but also one where I have seen its very brightest. 

To the countless victims of violence and intolerance in the world, my thoughts and prayers are with you. Remember to look for the light in life, as after the end of a terrible day, a new dawn is ushered in by a sunrise. 

 

 

Week 3

You know, it's surprisingly hard to shift through all the things that have happened in a week and compile them into a blog post. Sometimes, I feel like I've done so much, yet when I'm looking through my experiences, I feel like I don't have enough for a substantial post. I really struggle sometimes with what I can and cannot say about my office, and I would never want to release information that I couldn't. However, I do think it's okay for me to say that I definitely have the best internship. 

Just this past week, I've received exclusive passes to four incredible events, and as I'm writing this to you, I've just returned from an event at the Ukranian Embassy. I had the opportunity to listen to Valeriy Chaly, the Ambassador of Ukraine to the US; Melanne Verveer, the former US Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues; and Hanna Hopko, a member of the Ukranian Parliament. Although I initially dreaded making the long (and somewhat sketchy) trek from the metro to the embassy, it was all worth it because my evening flew by listening to the incredible experiences of these individuals. Although the entire event was really wonderful and educational, Ambassador Verveer said something about feminism and equality that really struck me. 

Women don’t want to be beneficiaries. It’s not a handout, it’s a hand up
— Melanne Verveer

That's one that I'll definitely keep in mind next time the issue of feminism comes up. 

I still have to pinch myself sometimes that I'm in the city where it all happens. What struck me for the first time is when my fellow intern Jacob pointed out that "We knew the Verizon strike happened not because we read it in the news, but because we saw it with our own eyes." I'm seeing news happen in front of me, and as an intern to an editor-in-chief, this is very exciting to me. 

This week, I'm also very happy to tell you that I've received my official Diplomatic Courier pin. I feel very important when I wear it, although someone definitely tried to steal it from me today on the metro. I don't blame them though, it's a beautifully crafted pin. Don't tell anybody else, but it's actually just plastic.

Look ma, I'm a real journalist now!

Look ma, I'm a real journalist now!

Aside from going to work events, my roommate Annabella and I went to an Asian Heritage street festival that my other roommate Gina told us about. It was blazing hot and super windy, and honestly it was mostly food and not as many performances as I'd expected. However, food is a big part of culture, and I'd never pass up a good curry. Afterwards, we dipped into a hole-in-the-wall cookie shop that had the most incredible ice cream sandwiches. One aspect of DC that I love is all the food, although my wallet is crying thinking about how many more restaurants I have to check off my list.

Although I'm a super deep sleeper now that I've heard every possible variation of an emergency vehicle siren, the other night there was a serious party at Petworth. I got a picture of it, but at its peak there were three police squad cars, a fire truck, and two ambulances. The hilarious part though is although they brought out a gurney, they never put anyone on it. For the majority of the hour that they were here, most of the officers were standing in a circle looking super bored. 

Taxpayers, observe how your money is being spent

Taxpayers, observe how your money is being spent

Aside from the obnoxious sirens, the most serious thing that's happened so far is that our AC broke last night. Well, broke is sort of an understatement. For most of the day, it just simply wasn't on. However, at some point in the evening it actually started aggressively blowing hot air out of all of the vents. Not wanting an emergency maintenance crew to have to come all the way out for a broken thermostat, we put on our big girl pants and decided to try and make it through the night. Honestly probably the biggest mistake of my life, as we were all woken up by the heat around 5:30am to discover that our apartment had hit almost 100°F. Greaaaat. Luckily, maintenance came through in the morning to fix it. It was kind of funny to watch grown men getting annoyed and throwing tantrums because it was so hot they couldn't focus. Fingers crossed that a broken thermostat is the worst of our troubles in DC.

Despite these inconveniences, DC has still been one of the best experiences of my life. Three months is way too long, but it's somehow still too short.

Week 2

My first post came in a bit early to be considered a full "Week 1," but I hate the idea of starting my weeks on Thursday. I've officially made it a week in DC and I'm not dead yet! This past week has been a whirlwind of exploring and work. 

I can't get over how big DC is while still being so small. I could be three states over in a few hours, whereas I'd probably be in the middle of Utah by now if I had started driving south from Salt Lake. I was lucky enough that my work orientation wasn't until Tuesday, so I had all of last Monday to explore as well. It wasn't super crowded, since it was a Monday morning.

I went down to the National Press Building where I work with my fellow Diplomatic Courier intern, Jacob, and we got pretty lost on the way there. If nothing else good comes out of this internship, at the very least I'm going to be in pretty great shape from walking so much! Afterwards, we went museum hopping for a bit, starting at the Smithsonian and ending at the National Gallery. It was my first time at the Smithsonian and I felt like a little kid again, exploring all the exhibits and listening to tour guides. One of the highlights of my time at the Smithsonian was when I started up a conversation with one of the exhibit curators. Much to my regret, I didn't get his name, but I was struck by just how much he knew. He was in charge of the ocean exhibit, and gave me a fascinating recap of the history of whale evolution, and he even showed me Phoenix, their resident whale ambassador (not in the flesh, but only in a life size model -- still impressive though!). 

Museums will never fail to fascinate me, and to make me feel like a child learning about the wonders of the world, but art museums will always take the cake for me. In three hours of being in the National Gallery, I only got through one floor of the West Building.

I've taken art history in high school and in college, and while I've had the chance to see some beautiful works of art in person, I'd never been able to see the work of some of my favorite artists. Being in the National Gallery was an amazing experience, and I felt so immersed in art and culture. Even though there were still quite a few people milling around, it felt so peaceful inside, with everyone staring quietly at the huge paintings. While I was at the Gallery, I stumbled upon a painter who was doing a master study. For those of you who don't know what a master study is, it's where you attempt to recreate the work of a so-called artistic "master." Obviously it depends on what you would like, but most people attempt to recreate the work down to the most minute detail. I stood by watching a woman paint a scene of an incredibly blue ocean from the viewpoint of a sailboat. I think it's one thing for me to study the techniques of a master painter, but while watching the woman paint, I was able to see how a work of art is created from the ground up. I stood there for almost an hour before I finally decided to head home and call it a day, but I felt so refreshed inside.

This is probably the best picture I've taken in DC, and will probably take in DC. I wish that tourist weren't there, but looking back on it now, the juxtaposition of her being next to the giant pillar really illustrates how big these monuments are. This is one of the entrances to the National Gallery that happened to be closed down that day, making it the perfect time to take a picture showing the Gallery's full glory.

This is probably the best picture I've taken in DC, and will probably take in DC. I wish that tourist weren't there, but looking back on it now, the juxtaposition of her being next to the giant pillar really illustrates how big these monuments are. This is one of the entrances to the National Gallery that happened to be closed down that day, making it the perfect time to take a picture showing the Gallery's full glory.

This is the woman who was doing the master study. It's really incredible how artists can see images in ways that regular people can't.

This is the woman who was doing the master study. It's really incredible how artists can see images in ways that regular people can't.

Aside from exploring, Jacob and I have been really busy with work. Spoiler alert -- we have the best internship ever. First of all, we get a membership to the National Press Club, which opens up incredible avenues of opportunity. Inside the club, we have access to join committees that not only help our professional development, but our personal ones as well. The Diplomatic Courier is so well-connected that I feel like I could cover any event and we would have contacts there. It's really an amazing internship. Plus, one of the biggest perks is that because the NPB isn't an official office space for us, I have the option of working from home if I feel like it! I'll definitely be popping into the NPB a few times a week, but it's so nice to have the freedom to work all day in my pajamas instead of business formal. 

Speaking about the internship itself, I've just been so happy with my choice to accept my boss Ana Rold's offer. Jacob and I are given very real responsibilities, and are given the chance to make very real contributions to the magazine. It's something that I never expected to be offered to me as an intern, but hey, that's a Hinckley internship for ya! I'm actually writing this right now as I take a break from work, and I'm sitting here in my pajamas with a cup of tea. I couldn't be happier. 

Happy Memorial Day to you all, and I hope you're having an incredible summer wherever you're reading this from!

Week 1

Now that I'm finally settling in, I thought I'd sit down and write a blog post. So far, D.C. has been a lot of what I expected (humid, busy, confusing), and a lot of what I didn't expect (where is Kevin Spacey? How do these people afford anything????). There are so many small food shops around the apartment that I don't know how I'm going to try all of them before I go! Luckily, lots of places in D.C. are cost prohibitive, so that'll be good for my wallet and for my cooking skills. FYI for future interns, Aldi is the place to hit up for cheap groceries. There's one decently close to the apartments, but get there early because the line can be killer.

Unfortunately, me being classic, procrastinating me, I didn't go out on beautiful, sunny Friday because I was so tired and "had the entire weekend ahead of me." Of course, when I woke up on Saturday, it was dumping rain and it hasn't let up since then. Because of that, I haven't done much except loaf around watching House of Cards (when in Rome, right?) and eating, but today I finally decided to brave the rain and wander out of the apartment with my roommate.

First, Gina and I hit up this Korean restaurant called Triple B Fresh on 19th street. It was a tiny little hole in the wall restaurant that you had to climb down a flight of stairs to find, kinda like the Pie. I didn't understand anything on the menu, but luckily Gina's very Korean cuisine-savvy and explained it all to me. I ended up getting this bomb bibimbap with bulbogi beef. The portions were great and the price was pretty decent!

I got a little excited and started to mix the bibimbap up before I realized I should probably take a picture of it. As you can see, the egg was a casualty of my hunger.

I got a little excited and started to mix the bibimbap up before I realized I should probably take a picture of it. As you can see, the egg was a casualty of my hunger.

After grabbing a bite to eat, Gina and I wandered around Dupont Circle towards Trader Joe's. Here's a quick tip if you didn't know, but in D.C. you have to pay for your own grocery bags, and Trader Joe's sells really good sized ones for a dollar each!

It's crazy to me how different each area of D.C. gets even if you're just wandering a street or two away. Georgia Ave-Petworth definitely gives me more of a urban, busy city vibe, whereas near Dupont Circle it was more of that classic D.C. suburbs style. Even so, each street we went down felt like it's own little world, and I remember walking down a neighborhood pathway covered in trees that looked like the scene out of a movie with the puddles and green glow. I've got to learn to stop being so shy with my camera and take pictures of moments like these!

Gina and I went down Embassy Road and saw the "International Headquarters of the Order of the Eastern Star," which honestly gave us major Scientology vibes with the imposing walls and the barred-off windows. I was too nervous to take a picture, since there were security cameras installed all over the walls, but I did get a picture of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Swaziland, pictured below.

The Embassy of the Kingdom of Swaziland, opened by "His Excellency Abedniga Mandla Ntshangase, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary" Honestly, I'll know I've finally made it big when I have SAT vocab words in my job title.

The Embassy of the Kingdom of Swaziland, opened by "His Excellency Abedniga Mandla Ntshangase, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary" Honestly, I'll know I've finally made it big when I have SAT vocab words in my job title.

I wanted to explore more, but throughout the course of our walk, my shoes had gone from "slightly damp" to "definitely wet" thanks to the nonstop rain, so we decided to hop on the metro and call it a day. Tomorrow, I'm planning on visiting the Smithsonian, the National Gallery, and maybe even the Spy Museum. Luckily for me, my orientation at work is on Tuesday, so I have all of tomorrow to explore. Fingers crossed that it'll be more sun and less rain!