Disturbing Tourism

Today has been full and exciting all the way! The alarm clock/radio in our room was pre-set and starting blasting at 6AM, it’s on my side of our king bed (Charlene had a single room, so I am staying with her instead of 3 roomies 🙂 what a good friend) which startled me in a dead sleep. I was hitting the clock not really knowing where the noise was coming from in my deep sleep, and Charlene was just laughing at me. By 7AM I was wide awake and got up out of frustration that I couldn’t fall back to sleep. There was a meeting for our Poland/Israel trip anyway in the lobby, so the early wake up call helped a little. (trying to find the positive side of the early morning crisis)

The meeting was pretty short and sweet, went over the itinerary and met most of the other students going. This is the first year CUFI is ever doing something like this, so I am part of a movement 🙂
After the first meeting, the rest of the day kind of flooded in. We had the general session with Pastor Hagee and Rabbi Scheinburg. The two have been friends for many, many years and against all odds have begun a major grass roots movement for Jewish/Christian solidarity. Our open lunch break was way better than I expected, we walked to Asian Spice in China Town for sushi… yummmm!! It is so good to be able to talk to all the different people that are here from WWIC!
AFter lunch came our first session, which was about Hamas, Hezbollah, and the fight against terror. It is crazy how so many things happen and American’s are so unaware of all of them, only focusing on what the media portrays, but that is a different blog post. In this session, one speaker pointed out sections of Hamas’ Charter, which states horendous accusations against Jews. Not only Jews, but many different organization’s around the world, such as the rotary club! During the Q&A- which is always hilarious because people never fail to bring the most random question/sermon to the mic, just so that the masses will hear them. One person asked, “On 9/11, were the terrorist using the planes as rockets, or as planes?” WHAT?!! really?! Charlene said, “I bet he’s been sitting on that question since 2001!” LOL hilarious..The second session I chose to go to was about losing our dependence on foreign oil! It was amazing, all of the resources that America has for transportation that we are not utilizing, such as ALGAE!
After the second session ended, we had the CUFI on Campus dinner, where the video that Dan and Charlene put together was previewed! I completely made my on screen debut, all agents may email me for contact information. 🙂 We ran into the same guy from last year who was trying to pitch some idea to us about how powerful and cool he is, and can get us a White House tour, and is all about networking. Well we saw him at the dinner, saying the same exact lines to a table LOL an entire year later!!! One of the student speakers was also who we call, “the eye gazer” from last year. He is semi- stalkerish, always seems to find himself my way, and looking deep into my eyes. It’s so incredibly awkward I can’t stand it! The dinner didn’t last long, which was nice, so our group headed back and got in the hot tub for a bit.
After the hot tub got filled with weird and gross old people we got comfy and hit the city. Washington, DC is such an amazing place and representation of our country. We walked through many of the monuments, including my favorite- the Lincoln Memorial! During the War Veterans Memorial, I climbed onto the Texas pillar to take a photo with my beloved state of Pride and I got stuck within the pillars!! I was falling all around before i got my shot, but it turned out great, and I had to give a shout out to my Dad for some mad climbing skills :-).. Daniel was my savior and cheerleader stunted me down from the ledge.. Proves that it’s always harder to get down than it is up! I will post pictures soon (that is if SOMEONE wil post their pictures on FB..I’m just saying). So at Lincoln, I love looking at it at night, from far away.. such a sign of honesty. But it is frustrating that the words which are written on those walls aren’t lived out in Americans today. We read it and walk away unchanged. The message that is brought across in that area are so profound and bring about such an honesty in the founding principles of our Nation. I also wonder what the rest of that building is used for, because only a small portion is a monument??? Interesting! The whole time, with each monument, I want to know the secret inner workings of our government! I bet there are so many secret tunnels and snipers and CIA info going through DC each day- amazing! We walked from Lincoln Memorial to the White House, which we came up on the back side. We had to walk around to Pennsylvania Ave., where the front is, and is blocked off to vehicle travel. On September 12, 2001, President Bush locked it down!! I love the feeling of an International respect for the capabilities of The United States of America when it comes to terrorism, and the follow through of those capabilities when the need arises. On the gates of the White house there were huge bolts that slid down the bottom section of the gate, with 5 gold stars to represent the highest command of military, the Commander of Chief. I just can’t bring myself to appreciate those stars the same tonight. They we’re mere stars, with no meaning behind them, because our current elected President has never served in the military, I can’t believe that he can relate to a war that is being fought this very moment.
After the White House we began our journey back to our hotel, where I write from now. I will keep this part brief because it was very disturbing and made me a little sick. DC has a large number of homeless people, sleeping on benches, street corners, etc.. I was so disturbed in the midsts of my tourism, that so close, only blocks, from the core representation of our Nation, was a corner cross walk with a lady curled up to the street sign sleeping, and a tent popped up caddy cornered behind her. She scared me at first because I didn’t realize she was there, but as I scurried away, Gabriel pulled me back to look what I had walked right by without noticing. As my head raised from the sidewalk, my eyes saw the lady on the corner, up more was the tent, then past that, at each pillar of an ally, was a blanket, a piece of cardboard, or a trash bag, with a person underneath it, dreaming of something more. I hadn’t even noticed the community of people who had nothing, right next to all the monuments which represent it all!
That walk wore me out, so that’s that and feeling so blessed and in need of a shower, I’m off to prepare for bed- 6:30AM wake up call… it’s 2:49!
good morning.
“Don’t confuse an Israeli move toward goodwill as weakness on their behalf..”

preparing for summer months

There’s so much to do in order to have the months to come all worked out. Anyone who knows me, knows that i’m a list kind of girl. There are lots of great things going on this summer. I am taking a couple of summer courses at SEU, photography this term and Life of Christ next term. Photography has been amazing so far, I’m learning some really amazing skills. The class is letting me borrow a Canon digital Rebel for the class time, which is just amazing. I want on one so bad now, but they run from $500, so ya… not anytime soon :(. June will be the Outback event at Tiger Town. We are feeding 500 people Outback and 50 of those people are young kids who will be able to attend the baseball game with us, have a meet and greet with the Lakeland Flying Tigers, and get little baseball shirts. We have been planning for forever it seems like, but it’s almost up. Then July is where the craziness begins. Two weeks or so in, will be the CUFI summit in Washington, D.C. for some good lobbying time. It’s always fun and I feel so American letting my Senator know what’s up!! After the summit, I am flying home from Washington for a week to see my family. I am so excited for that, there are lots of changes to arrive to. Some great and some I have to remember where God has brought me from, how great and faithful he is, and that he loves everyone else just as much as me! My nieces and nephews are the cutest darn things, they have me wrapped around each little finger! There are two newbies that I haven’t met yet, Luke and Emory, both will be about 2 months old when I meet them. After my visit there, I will be flying out of Dallas and heading toward JFK in NY to meet back up with CUFI. From JFK we are heading to Poland for a March of Remembrance trip. This is much like the “March of the Living” trip, where Jewish people from all around the world gather together to remember that they have made it. But our group will be traveling across Poland and into Jerusalem, looking at the past, present, and future of the Jewish people. After 200 years of anti-semitism, as Christians it is our responsibility to build a bridge again, stand with the Jewish people, and REMEMBER a past, so that it will never be repeated. Poland holds concentration camps of the Holocaust, which we cannot afford to forget in this day. I am so excited for this trip, but there is so much to be done in the mean time. I am trying to work, work, work, so I can make lots of extra money and maybe buy a Canon Digital Rebel when it’s all said and done 😉 (no, actually the Nikon SLR are better anyway… and cheaper)

…this girl has got to get ready for her day… finally at noon! (i’ve been up since 9, just laying in my bed writing and working…. what a life, huh??)