The day started out bright and early, as we left the hotel for the National Cathedral at 0800 hours this morning. The Cathedral was phenomenal, with gorgeous stain glass windows and high vaulting ceilings. The service was very well done, and very beautiful.
After the service, we all piled back into the bus, and made our way to The Friendship Place, organization dedicated to “empowering men and women experiencing homelessness to rebuild their lives with the involvement of the community.” There, we met two wonderful people, Candi and Alan, whom had both beaten homelessness, sometimes more than once. Their message: homelessness can happen to anyone, despite prior education, prior income, or prior life experience. It is a fact of life, and the support system that the shelters provide, are vital to the community. (For more information on The Friendship Place, visit http://www.friendshipplacedc.org/). After we heard from Candi and Alan, everyone helped out with a few projects around the shelter, including painting a ceiling, and organizing the basement. It was an extremely enlightening experience overall, and I am very glad that we were able to help in any way we could.
Our next adventure was a secret. We did not know (everyone, including our host parents) was in the dark about our visit to the International Spy Museum, until the bus pulled up in front of it. First, we met the Executive Director of the Spy Museum, Peter Earnest, an ex-spy himself. He discussed his experience with the intelligence field, and welcomed the delegation to the Museum. Next, we made our way to an interactive spy mission (my favorite part – which we won), and then made our way through the actual museum, learning about things including bugs, picking locks, covers, and the history of secrets. It was an absolutely fantastic museum, one I would most definitely recommend visiting, and one I will definitely return to.
National Sea Scout Boatswain
Ship 502 – Houston, TX