I have been accumulating travel comp time like there’s no tomorrow, and they’re “use or lose” within a year, so I took Thursday and Friday off. With the Monday holiday I had 5 relatively blissful days out of the office.
I’d gotten a Trubates deal for five sessions with a personal trainer in Georgetown, so I went for the first appointment on Thursday morning. He was nice, but I was surprised at the utilitarian and bare bones workout space, especially given that the gym is in the poshest neighborhood in DC. I’m so spoiled now by the spa-like atmosphere at Red Bow Studio and hotel gyms!
We’ve decided on a cleaning service at a pretty reasonable (for DC) $65/week. It’s one of those organic cleaning services which I’d found out about from yet another coupon site. They are pretty thorough – on the first visit they cleaned the top of the fridge – and I’m impressed that the owner/president himself comes himself, along with another cleaner.
We finally cancelled the Verizon DSL – after five phone calls and a new modem we still only got internet in the same room as the router – and we switched back to DC Access. They’d installed a new antenna in our neighborhood since we first signed up with them so we don’t have the same technical problems as the first time around. Plus I’m happy to support a local business, and the customer service is so responsive, as in an actual human being answers the phone.
After my breath test I headed down to visit the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Mainly I went to see the Peace Corps activities, including a tinikling performance by The Rehoboth Children’s Home Dance Team.
The Peace Corps Director.
MoBob came with me on a second visit to the Folklife Festival where he talked to the two Moroccan ladies. We also watched an incredible performance by the Opika Performance Group - very professional! We had poulet yassa and maffe from the Africa food tent, completely forgetting that the same night we were going to an RPCV Cameroon event at Flora’s Restaurant deep in the Maryland suburbs. The food was OK. I was disappointed that the buffet didn’t include my favorite dish, njamma-jamma, and the ndolé was made with fish instead of beef. I think I was the only volunteer who served in the 1990s (or later), except for a young lady who just returned in 2009.
(Note: Obviously I wasn't bothered enough by the "human zoo" aspect to avoid taking photos.)
Making shea butter with a women's coop from Ghana.
Masai ladies from Kenya.
One of the Moroccan weavers.
On Sunday I started my fasting journal, inspired by a short article in the Ensign. I’m the worst at fasting and it doesn’t help that I’m married to a champion faster. (Yes, Ramadan starts next month.) We’ll see how it goes.
On Monday morning we walked to the Eastern Market/Barracks Row area to watch the Capitol Hill Fourth of July parade. We’d never been before, and it had a friendly, small town feel. It was the right length of time (less than an hour) and there were enough people to feel festive but not so many that it felt crowded. Afterwards we gorged ourselves at the $20 lunch buffet at Phillips Seafood Restaurant and then walked around the fish market, which reminded me more of a village than a capitol city.