Every day in DC was packed full of tours, meetings, presentations and events. There was little free time but we stuck together as a group – capturing pictures, sharing laughter, giving hugs and reconnecting through disconnect. Like SF, I experienced DC in an entirely new way- mastering the metro rail, chaperoning Kurdy to the business district to meet his mentor at UPI.com, shopping at popular tourism shops, hailing taxi’s, eating Lebanese food, visiting the State Department and touring the Capitol building. By the way… what’s with all the statues?
In San Francisco Sara taught me a great Arabic phrase -“yalla shabob”. It means ‘C’mon guys! Hurry up! Once I learned this little ditty – I never gave it up. Throughout DC I would yell “yalla shabob!!” 10x a day as
I attempted to flank the students through the streets and public transportation; tours and meetings. “Yalla!!!” I would say as Miss Christy and I shuffled them away from endless picture-taking and distractions by shiny objects like shopping malls, statues of American icons (or horses) and food trucks.
It took 7 hours our final day but eventually we successfully led 18 Arab students through the process of getting to security – complete with endless hugs and tears and promises to stay in touch.