A Washington, DC tradition brought to light
Every springtime in the city of glory- select embassies open their doors for a few hours. The first batch was "around the world" which was all of the embassies that were not European. The second batch was harder- it was only European Embassies. The European Embassies are spread out from the rest of the city, it would have been a two hour walk from Capitol Hill and an hour walk between each cluster. As the embassies were only open from 10am-4pm I became a strategist and tried to visit as many as possible.
Here is where this delightful journey begins.
My first stop was Argentina. I walked all the way to "Argentina" from Capitol Hill. The wait was long but Argentina preformed beautifully. The hallways and staircases were shaped in beautiful circular patterns. The diplomats especially made sure to keep the young children engaged with stories from Argentina's history. Argentina's staff preformed folk music for us, and one of their embassy staff members of course had to sing Don't Cry for Me Argentina. I ate wonderful little croissants as well.
Another South American treat! I got to see a chicano artist I met the previous night at the Library of Congress! They of course had many alpaca made things, and alpacas as well as llamas held a promenant position all over this embassy.
Trinidad and Tobago
Lots of music and traditional bands outside for everybody to enjoy! They even paraded down the street!
Lots of dancing and beautiful music performances I saw outside, it was fun to watch. Their music was great as well!
Their building was beautiful with elaborate woodwork and architecture. They had many rugs and artwork on display, it was cool seeing their traditional outfits as well!
ahh a special one. They were closed by the time I walked all the way to their embassy, but their staff let me in anyway and gave me empanadas and something cool to drink. Thank you Bolivia for giving me such fine hospitality!
and the following week was all of the European Embassies. Poland had free food, and their employees were very patient with my practicing Polish. The pierogi were wonderful, and their kielbasa as well. Since Poland is one of the leaders in the STEM field they had little robots around the embassy and talked about their scientific advancements.
The wait for Lithuania was shorter than Poland. I finally got a chance to eat the famed Lithuanian cheese! I also saw a pink drink I didn't drink. Lithuania also had an IPhone quiz on how well do you know Lithuania- I would have gotten it all right if my finger didn't slip! Middle School kids won though so that was fun to watch ;)
This was my favorite embassy! They had cannons and soldiers outside, but we couldn't figure out what was going on until we entered. Their building had beautiful mosaics all over the walls, and finally I made it outside. The troops were actors portraying Galvez on the frontier during the American Revolution. I had a great time talking to Gen. Galvez about my ideas of liberty, equality and independence. The actor playing Galvez was perfectly in character (and I remarked I know him from the cartoon Liberty's Kids) Galvez said that he supports the independence of the British Colonies in hopes to bring down the British Empire, and I told Galvez I should bring these ideas to Spanish South America. The actor then inquired as to whether I have been getting coffee with "that Venezuelan Francisco de Miranda" and I remarked I grab coffee with him all the time, and I read Montesquieu, Rousseau and Voltaire in the original French in the coffeehouses (I really do! in real life also!) and he was impressed and invited me to drink from his ram's horn. I talked with Galvez and one of his generals in French (the actors knew French also!) and had to depart for the French and German Embassies. They were wonderful and deserve an EMMY award. I think it would be great if next year every embassy did that, I saw how especially the kids and families enjoyed this hands on history experience. Gracias Espagne!
I'm putting these together because France and Germany hosted theirs at the same place. It took an hour to get a bus to that location, and 30 minutes of walking through terrain where the sidewalk ended. Finally my eyes beheld the German Embassy! I loved how both French and German were spoken, and how they emphasized multiculturalism. The cheeses were wonderful!
Ahhh my last stop! Sweden was mainly closing up when I got there with a German girl I just met, but we did however enjoy the candies they had left over and the wonderful hospitality.
Thank you from the depths of my heart to all of the embassies and employees who put time into this annual festival of the embassies. I enjoyed every experience, and you each offered a very special glimpse into your country. See you next year!