After almost 24 hours travel time, the Filipino fellows arrived in Washington D.C. on the evening of October 10th.
Since most of us were exhausted, only Marc Almario and myself went outside to walk a bit and find a pharmacy where we can buy some personal supplies that we needed.
Our first day in DC, we spent going around museums. We started out early and went walking straight to the Holocaust Museum. The experience was very moving. Somehow, the galleries made me uncomfortable. I guess it was the whole point of the museum – to make people understand the hardships the Jews had to go through during the time of Hitler and to be compelled to fight for it never to happen again. #NeverAgain
After the Holocaust Museum, we went to the US National Historical Museum which was the set for the movie “A Night at the Museum” starring Ben Stiller. There, we saw fossilized animals, different types of rocks, diamonds of different size and colors and some galleries dedicated to the Oceans.
Because of jet lag, we were only able to visit these two (2) museums before calling it a day and returning back to the hotel.
One of the most exciting parts of my first few days in the US was the US-ASEAN Reception at the US Capitol celebrating the 40th anniversary of US and ASEAN relations. We got to meet Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Walter Douglas, Philippine diplomats assigned in DC, other fellows from other cohorts.
After the orientation with ICMA, we had the afternoon free to roam around DC. We went to the Library of Congress and got a reader’s ID, which I think is the best souvenir ever! The ID card is good for two (2) years so I am really hoping to be able to return and enjoy some books in the largest library in the world.
We also went to the Lincoln Memorial to know more about Abraham Lincoln and the impact he made to the American people.
We also tried American Food for dinner. Friends who have been to the US recommended that we try Shake Shack, so we did.
So far, my experience in the US has been amazing. I am definitely looking forward to more “American” experiences while in the states.