Thursday, July 16
And if you stay with me, I can see that it's only getting better for me. Lift your hand triumphantly, and I feel like we're in flight to the moon. I'll be there soon. I love you, I really do.
I didn't get any sleep because when I went to fall asleep I forgot to put down my pillows. There was also no real breakfast. This is no way to start the day.
Do you have a story?
A story? What kind of story?
One for lobbying! We're going lobbying for health care reform with attention to incorporating and securing Reproductive Health Care in Obama's big bill! You don't have a story? No.
Oh well... I went to support my friends who did have stories! Sometimes that's just the case; you cannot be affected by every mess up in society. I suppose that's a good thing, but it was interesting exploring my role as someone who wasn't (seemingly) directly affected by lack of reproductive health care. In fact, the experience gives me some perspective for how others may perceive my causes and social justice concerns.
The rest of the day was spent tooling around with my favorite sex educator, and Planned Parenthood Mama (Auntie), Ginny Winter. The two of us experienced Jesus manikin making a statement that God is always in government. I thought the woman was loony, and I promptly said, "Woman, you outta' your head!" when she literally told me, "Bluh Blee Jesus! Holla' duh' in da' Capitol!" I thought my response was appropriate.
After lobbying (once), she and I walked through the hot swell that is D.C. to attend an amazing senatorial panel addressing the pertinent issue: teen pregnancy in foster care. I expected to be confronted with the same stories that I witness as a child of my mother, but I was taken aback by the seriousness of the problems plaguing the foster care system! For instance, foster care children on average go through 8-11 social workers, who then on average merely meet their young person once a month. This was brought up when someone suggested that social workers should simply address the topic of "sex education" with their foster care teen to patch the 80% increased risk in unwanted/teen pregnancy that youth in foster care face. What was most moving was the solid acknowledgment that it is the system's fault, and that federal intervention and foster care alumni should (and will?) be utilized to keep the marginalized .5% of our nation's young people safe and successful.
Stumbling for a Starbucks, Ginny and I wandered into a flower museum. Not a gallery, but a building sectioned off into marvelous biomes and ecosystems dedicated to the flowering plants of the world! The Jungle held plants that eat bugs when they fall into them. There was a room full of the most beautiful orchids. The desert had very phallic sprouts -- that was our least favorite.
As our day wound down in D.C., us peer educators made our way back to the Plaza. We quickly tumbled into cold showers and clean clothes in preparation for the dinner cruise on the Potomac! It was a drag -- all the boat staff sucked, and therefore the attempted dance party was a disgrace. However, I heard it picked up afterward with a wonderful rendition of the Time Warp. Most importantly, I made new friends! Zak and Sharanya revealed themselves to me, and I love them for it!
In culmination, Starling arrived at the Plaza. Or I should say we ran into one others' arms! We talked. And talked. And Zak came and talked. And we had an adventure -- I stole candy.
** SIT NEXT TO CHARLIE ON A BOAT.
** CHILL WITH YOUR BESTEE
** BELIEVE THAT YOU ARE MORE REPUTABLE THAN YOU REALLY ARE.
** TAKE A PARFAIT BREAK.
** BLEED OUT THE FACE WHEN MEETING IMPORTANT PEOPLE.
** FORGET TO WEAR YOUR SHIRT.
** WALK AROUND IN THE SUN IN DRESS SHOES.
** PUSH YOUR WAY INTO THE METRO.