ALP Class XVI Takes Off and Lands in Washington, D.C. and the Adventure Begins!

September 8-9, 2019

By Pauline Sato and Christine Brammer

It’s finally time for the long-anticipated national trip! Most of ALP Class XVI met at the Honolulu airport and flew to Los Angeles and then on to DC (except for a few who headed East early).

Here we are at our half-way mark, sort of bright eyed and bushy tailed. There is no photo after getting off the next red-eye flight for obvious reasons. 

After a long flight, everyone made it safely to DC and the day started out on a high note (even though we were already feeling jet lagged) when we found out our hotel rooms were ready early and we were even allowed to start our morning by enjoying a breakfast buffet with a view from the 17th floor of our hotel! Thank you to Holiday Inn Rosslyn!

After a quick regrouping over breakfast and a short walk to the metro station to purchase our SmarTrip passes, the team split up and headed out to see various sites, or headed for a nap. 😉

Even though we weren’t quite ready to focus on strengthening agriculture, we found ourselves surrounded by signs of the importance of our work and mission.

A few ALP members departed for Mount Vernon where we visited George Washington’s mansion and heard of his work as a progressive sustainable farmer. The signs of the importance of agriculture to George Washington were all around – even in the decorative adornments of wheat and tools on the ceilings. During the visit, we also toured the replica of the 4-acre demonstration farm and Washington’s 16-sided treading barn. George Washington was a pioneer and forward thinker and the Pioneer Farm is a good example of his innovative farm practices.

Others from ALP Class XVI visited the Smithsonian Natural History Museum and again found signs of the importance of agriculture. They learned that a major turning point in human history occurred around 12,000 years ago when Homo sapiens began domesticating and cultivating crops and livestock. Some of the earliest were figs, cows, wheat and squash. These advances allowed us to ‘settle down’ in villages and eventually led us to where we are today. Amazingly we are still dependent on some of the earliest domesticated crops like wheat, corn, rice and potato. Currently about a quarter of the earth’s land is used to grow crops! That’s a big impact from agriculture!

ALP Class XVI ended our day by enjoying a delicious fresh meal at High Street Café in Georgetown while we prepared for the week ahead. We had a little fun on the walk back thanks to an Uber Scooter and a sighting of Captain Jack Sparrow. Stay tuned to hear about our adventures at Capitol Hill tomorrow!

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