It all started when my dad walked into the house and yelled, ‘I’M ON VACATION.’ My mother and I looked at each other stunned. What? My dad is on vacation? But it’s the middle of the work week and school just ended! I then blurted out, ‘You’re on vacation?’ and he said yes.
This is how my trip to Washington D.C started. Our family takes the usual long drive to Canada for the first week of August to attend the Caribana festival. There we celebrate our culture and show it off to the world.
People who are Guyanese, Trinidad, Jamaica, Namibia, Bahamas, etc. all get together and sing songs, participate in the parade, dance and much more. But going to D.C! That was something that we never did before.
My father decided to take us to Washington D.C because he wanted us to learn much more about our beloved United States of America. I was entering the 10th grade and my siblings didn’t know much about the land they live on so my dad wanted us to learn.
He wanted us to see what kind of hurdles had to be jumped in order to get our fifty states where they are today, but my siblings and I knew that our parents wanted to learn more about the United States, too. My mom came to the U.S a year before I was born and my dad came twenty days before I was born. They didn’t really have the time to educate themselves. They didn’t even know the Bill of Rights.
We drove the six hours in anticipation. All of us just couldn’t wait to get there. Those six hours felt like six decades. And then, that glowing green sign, the one that we see everywhere we go, but don’t pay attention to them when you know where you’re going. It said ‘Welcome to Washington D.C.’
That’s all we needed see. Reading those words was like having espresso running through every vein in our bodies. We were up and ready to go. We wanted to go everywhere and see everything right that moment.
A couple hours later, we we’re all settled in a Fairfield hotel and dreaming about what we’re going to do. The next morning, we woke up, ate our breakfast, and were out the door in half an hour. Our first stop — the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. Just to learn about the land formations, how the nomads lived of the land, etc. was refreshing. Not to mention the rocks, diamonds, and stones were to die for. If I can take them home with me, trust me, they would have been gone. I felt much honored to walk the halls, and just have things pop out to me.
Our next and last visit was to the Smithsonian Museum of American Museum. Although I learned about our past and how hard it was to get where we are today, the amount of education I had was nothing close what the Smithsonian taught me. It was invigorating to walk and read and learn about the pop culture, slavery, and technology. My dad had a blast learning about the engineering, manufacturing, government, and more.
All in all, my trip to Washington D.C was the best memory I yet have to cherish. I loved learning about the United States. I am also proud to say that when I started the 10th grade, I didn’t have to study for the first two exams, the Smithsonians helped me.
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