Last week I was given the opportunity to attend an international aid forum at the Convention Center here in D.C. I have been excited to get up from my computer and venture out to see the city, so I was ecstatic for this chance. I looked up the keynote speaker for the first day of the forum and was interested in his history and how he got to where he is today. I saw big names (USAID, UN OCHA, the founder of Teachers Without Borders) and thought that this would be a perfect time to make connections with the attendees. Was I wrong.

Come to find out, this forum was actually a trading show and everyone was attempting to sell their new high tech featured item and raise as many funds as possible. Big businessmen spoke on panels and took credit for work that had been done in places like Haiti. I was tempted to raise my hand and ask if he had been to Haiti since the earthquake and if he has seen the late “progress”. My guess is “no”. Needless to say, I was disappointed. It was a different side of disaster relief that I’ve never seen before. I have yet to decide how I feel about it.

On another note, I was able to attend a disability organization’s annual meeting this week. My main project is working towards building a nation-wide coalition advocated for the rights of people with accessibility and functional needs when a disaster strikes. I was surely humbled at this meeting, as I was a minority and part of a small crowd that did not have a disability. This organization is moving mountains both nationally and internationally. Disability rights has never been a strong suit of mine, but I have a feeling I’ll be learning quite a bit this summer concerning the subject. I’m pretty stoked.

I’ll end this post on a tiny possibility: I just might be seeing Hillary Clinton speak next week (?!)

From the Capitol,


P.S. For you sports fans, we’re undefeated in softball!!