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Youth tour participant reflects on summer of 'firsts'.



This summer was full of firsts: my first time flying on a plane, my first visit to Washington D.C., and my first time making a friend outside of Texas, just to name a few. Everything is fresh in my mind. It's amazing! There was so much to take in that I still contemplate all my experiences.

The Foundation for Rural Service Youth Tour, held June 2-6, was full of interesting activities. From the moment I first arrived, everything was set for a great time. The trip provided me with an opportunity to break the ice and start making friends. Believe it or not, the first night's barbecue dinner was the number one conversation starter. After all, everyone had their own ideas of what foods should be on the menu. In the end, we enjoyed ourselves, caring little for what a barbecue was.

The second day in Washington, D.C., was entirely sightseeing. We visited Mount Vernon Mount Vernon, estate, United States
Mount Vernon, NE Va., overlooking the Potomac River near Alexandria, S of Washington, D.C.; home of George Washington from 1747 until his death in 1799.
, the home of George Washington. It was incredible walking through the same grounds as our first president. We then headed to the Smithsonian Museums. Being an art lover, I visited the National Gallery of Art. I couldn't help but smile as I saw the works of Raphael, Monet and even Leonardo da Vinci Leonardo da Vinci (də vĭn`chē, Ital. lāōnär`dō dä vēn`chē), 1452–1519, Italian painter, sculptor, architect, musician, engineer, and scientist, b. near Vinci, a hill village in Tuscany. ! But, that wasn't all; I also visited the National Air and Space Museum The National Air and Space Museum (NASM) of the Smithsonian Institution is a museum in Washington, D.C., United States, and is the most popular of the Smithsonian museums. It maintains the largest collection of aircraft and spacecraft in the world. , where everything from Susan B. Anthony's gavel gavel

small mallet used by judge or presiding officer to signal order. [Western Culture: Misc.]

See : Authority
 to Kermit the Frog Kermit the Frog is a Muppet who was first introduced in 1955 and is one of puppeteer Jim Henson's most famous and beloved creations. Kermit was performed by Henson until his death in 1990. Since then, he has been performed by Steve Whitmire.  to Dorothy's ruby red slippers were featured in the "Treasures of American History" exhibition. [This exhibit is on view at the National Air and Space Museum while the National Museum of American History The National Museum of American History is a museum administered by the Smithsonian Institution and located in Washington, D.C., on the National Mall. It opened in 1964 as the Museum of History and Technology and adopted its current name in 1980.  is closed for renovation.]

Later that day, we ate dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe Hard Rock Cafe is a chain of casual dining restaurants. It was founded in 1971 by Isaac Tigrett and Peter Morton, and their first Hard Rock Cafe opened near Hyde Park Corner in London, in a former Rolls Royce car dealerships showroom close to Hyde Park, where in 1979 they began to , followed by a night tour of national monuments. It was spectacular to stand at the foot of Lincoln's Memorial and to run my hand across the Vietnam Memorial Wall. One thing is for sure: not even the constant rain that poured that day could make the trip less enjoyable.

The next day was a "business day," as our coordinator stated. The morning featured educational sessions on telecommunications. I realized that rural America should be very thankful for all the effort our telcos make in getting telecommunications up to date for us.

After lunch, we headed to Arlington National Cemetery Arlington National Cemetery, 420 acres (170 hectares), N Va., across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.; est. 1864. More than 60,000 American war dead, as well as notables including Presidents William Howard Taft and John F. Kennedy, Gen. John J. . There were endless rows of white headstones, but instead of feeling sad, I felt the fervor of the American people An American people may be:
  • any nation or ethnic group of the Americas
  • see Demographics of North America
  • see Demographics of South America
 even more. Later that day, we visited the National Zoo where a pair of panda bears really brightened things up. The fun continued that night, as we all went bowling with our new friends.

The last whole day in D.C. was another day for business. We visited the Capitol! Of course, we had more educational sessions on how our nation functions, but since I had taken a dual-credit course on government the past spring, these were extremely enjoyable. The day ended with a farewell dinner, dance and many goodbyes.

Although Washington, D.C., was an extraordinary experience, I was glad to get back home to my nice rural town. I know this experience is definitely one I will never forget, so I feel grateful to my sponsor Central Texas Telephone Cooperative (Goldwaithe, Texas).

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

By Noemi Martinez, student (Sponsored by Central Texas Telephone Cooperative)

Editor's Note Editor's Note (foaled in 1993 in Kentucky) is an American thoroughbred Stallion racehorse. He was sired by 1992 U.S. Champion 2 YO Colt Forty Niner, who in turn was a son of Champion sire Mr. Prospector and out of the mare, Beware Of The Cat.

Trained by D.
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Author:Martinez, Noemi
Publication:The Exchange
Date:Aug 1, 2007
Words:613
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