Having been afforded an amazing opportunity of representing The Bahamas and participating in a leadership program focusing on Environmental Education sponsored by the US State Department, I am excited to begin my journey.  My first full day in DC - I figured that I should check out  the White House and the Washington Monument. It was really hot today and I did a lot of walking, it is amazing how different it is when you do not have the ocean breeze.

The Smithsonian was high on my to do list - the first stop was the Museum of Natural History.. which probably was an obvious choice for me. 

The museum was fabulous and I especially liked the Ocean exhibit

Being in this exhibit gave me so many ideas of future enviro-education projects. The displays in the museum are fantastic and simple but they do a great job of engaging  the audience.

One of the main take home messages from the display was...

Obviously the answer to that is each one of us but it does truly begin with education. 

Although I am an Ocean Geek, I could not forget to pay my respects to the giant reptiles that once roamed the land.

After the exhibits i watched an IMAX video on corals. It was a bit of a let down. It wasn’t everything that i had hoped for. The storyline began with a man from Fiji who was worried about the coral reef located around his community. The reef was dieing and not at all like it was years ago. As the story progressed a team of scientists conducted a study on the reefs of Fiji, Australia and Indonesia.  I guess the things that annoyed me about the movie was that they referred to reef sharks as the “gangsters on the block.”  It is possible that I read too much into this but in my head the connotation associated with the word “gangster” = bad/dangerous, therefore sharks would = bad/dangerous. Perhaps this was an attempt of a creative analogy on their part, but through my eyes if we are trying to build a positive image for sharks to protect their population to support the health of coral reefs, we shouldn’t refer to them as something bad. The second thing which was even more frustrating, the main marine biologist was playing with all different animals and holding on to coral, i just think that that sends a bad message - as a diver you should never touch and harass wildlife, let alone kneel on the coral. Anyways perhaps I was a bit more observant than the average watcher. I do however plan to go see another IMAX film before I leave about the arctic and polar bears. 

As the evening rolled around I was able to explore a really neat cultural spot called “Busboys and Poets” They had an open mic singers and song writers night. A really nice surprise is that I was able to connect with one of my best friends from home who is now living in the DC area.

The restaurant supported a non-profit  organization that works with inner-city youth so that they can express themselves through photography as they work to create change.... it looked like a really cool project.

This was the cover of their menu, can you really ask for more in a menu Ghandi on the cover with a Feminist poem.

Another fantastic thing about this restaurant is that they were working really hard to green their menu and serve organic and fair trade items.

The program officially starts tomorrow....  on my birthday, so we will see what June 11th has to bring. 



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