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By recueroraquel.

I’m planning a trip to New Orleans in a few days so I have been working really hard in order to save some money to spend on seafood and jazz bars. Unfortunately this means that I’ve been working every single day since we came back from the break and it’s going to keep going like this until I leave next Wednesday. But I’m sure it’s all going to be worth it! At the same time, things are working really well at the OAS, where I’ve been working next to the Spanish Ambassador during a really interesting time for the Americas: the Venezuelan crisis.

This week, the OAS is celebrating African Descents and Afro heritage and because of that all the delegations were invited to visit the African American History Museum today. I felt so lucky since I have been trying to go for so long but getting tickets was an impossible mission! We had a guide that explained all to us, relating it perfectly to the current reality of the Americas. It kind of felt like going on a field trip with my fellow delegation, it was so much fun. If you haven’t had the chance to visit the museum yet, it’s a must. It’s the most recent Smithsonian and tickets are released the last Wednesday every month around 10AM. Be quick though, they vanish!

Some of the OAS tour members in the main room of the Museum.
The Panamanian and the Spanish Delegations members next to Chuck Berry’s Cadillac. ⅓ of the OAS members are women, and even though there’s still a long road to walk towards equal representation, it’s amazing to be surrounded and able to work with this amazing group of empowered women from every single corner of the American continent.
The African American History Museum lobby.
Some pictures in the gallery about Modern Civil Rights Claims.

Also, on Sunday, when the weather was so good that I could put down my coat for the first time since probably...November, I asked my best American friend, Luca, if he wanted to go grab some food in a place with a TERRACE. He told me about a place called Barcelona and although I’m kind of reluctant to go to Spanish places for food since it’s generally pretty disappointing I said yes. OMG. OMG. It’s so real I felt like I was eating at my grandma’s. We had simple but delicious tapas and some Spanish wine, the place was full but it didn’t feel crowded. Here are some pictures. It’s on 14th St, order albondigas, arroz caldoso and olive oil cake. De nada.

My friend Luca enjoying some Spanish wine (he's originally French and we always fight over which one is better)

By anthonyscheergwu

So after realizing that there’s not much to do on a Monday at Tijuana, we decided to head back to America and explore the West coast. As I expected, going back to America took much more time than entering Mexico. After being asked 8 - 9 questions I was able to pass the border. We went to an outlet that was basically on the border and spent a few hours shopping. Wasn’t the smartest decision cause our flight ticket consisted of bringing absolutely no luggages and at the mall I ended buying an extra bag to fit everything we bought (luckily the person checking us in for our flight back to DC was French and so we got through with no problem). 

That night, we were exhausted and decided to rest up. After eating a good dinner, and watching a movie, we got restless and bought on impulse a return ticket to LA. 8 hours later we were on a bus to LA and by noon we arrived. In the span of 5 hours, we walked through Melrose Avenue, the Walk of Fame, and went up to the Griffin Observatory. I then decided to take an Uber across town to go to Venice beach and was stuck in so much traffic that I stayed in the Uber for an hour and a half. It wasn’t too bad though, the driver had been to Myanmar before and so the ride ended up going by really fast as we talked throughout.

Venice beach was really nice, It was a shame that it was really windy but nevertheless I really enjoyed it and decided to come back this summer. I walked around the beach, watched skaters practice at the skatepark, watched people graffiti the walls around the beach, and saw muscle beach. I loved the atmosphere there because the many things to do at this beach gathered so many people with different interest and I thought that was really nice. I then took an electric scooter and rode all the way to Santa Monica Pier which was pretty fun, (It definitely beats dealing with traffic). After walking around the pier I went to pick up some friends at UCLA for dinner. The campus was huge and it looked more like a resort then a school. Therefore, I would like to congratulate the students at UCLA for getting any schoolwork done because with the beach not too far away and the LA weather, I would always feel tempted to do anything but work in a library!

The next day I ate at different places around LA and spent a few hours on the beach trying to get a tan. After a nice and relaxing day, I headed back to the station and took the bus back to San Diego.

In San Diego I visited La Jolla which was absolutely beautiful. We walked around the cliffs, saw the seals and ate at a UCSD restaurant which was by the beach. The views were great and luckily it was a very sunny day which made everything that much prettier. I went to eat at In-N-Out which was on my bucket list and had the best ramen I’ve ever had at this place called Raki Raki (go there if you are in SD). I then saw the campus housing of SDSU which did not make me jealous at all (they have jacuzzis and a swimming pool in the common areas)…

By the end of the day, the fatigue due to a lack of sleep throughout my spring break starting hitting me so I ended the day in bed watching Netflix and falling asleep at 11. The next day I headed directly to the airport for my flight back to DC!

I was able to rest on the flight and throughout the day Friday in my room. By 6pm I got restless again and booked a snowboarding trip for the next day which I will talk about in my next post!

By recueroraquel.


For spring break I went back home (home is Madrid for those of you who don't know!) because my grandpa was sick and since my family is mostly abroad we try to go visit as much as we can. Apart of making my grandparents really happy I was able to see my friends and fly for a couple
days to Morocco (Fact: the shortest border between Europe and Africa is the Gibraltar Strait that separates Spain and Morocco by 14 kilometers and where both the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean meet).

Madrid is a really beautiful city located in the center of the Iberian Peninsula, where Spain and Portugal are. With around 6 million inhabitants, Madrid is one of the most important European
cities and an really welcoming hub for immigrants from Latin America and North and Sub- Saharan African countries, as well as Eastern Europeans. This has enriched Madrid, turning it into a multicultural, diverse and unique spot loved by tourists from all around the world.

What I loved the most about going back for the break was definitely the weather. Since the moment I landed I was able to get rid of my coat and my scarf, enjoy the early spring, make a barbecue with my friends and just lay down in my yard with my bunny pet. (Who doesn't want a
picture of a bunny?!)

Also, even though I didn't know about it when I bought the plane tickets, I was able to attend my Masters graduation that was scheduled for the same day I arrived! As some of you might know, this is my second BA program and during my junior and sophomore years I studied a MA in
Madrid, for which I just graduated. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to bring much luggage and my mom decided to be my stylist. This was the result.

Another great thing I was able to do was to lecture in my home university. A professor requested me to lecture his two hours course in “Security Models” on Monday and so I did. I prepared a lecture about the differences between Spain and the US when talking about prisons, gun control and incarceration. (I highly recommend a documentary in Netflix called 13th about mass incarceration in the US and slavery). I had 62 students and I had so much fun. Here you can see me faking it until I make it.

After this exhausting vacation I went to Fes, in Morocco to visit Amine, a friend I actually met at GW during the fall semester. Although I barely had two days there we drove (just him, to be honest I shit my pants just by thinking about driving in Morocco) 1,000 kilometers! We went to Ifrane, where his university is, and then we went to Rabat, which is by the coast since I'm a sea lover. There I was able to lie in the sand and nap while just relaxing which is something I miss so much when in DC. Then we came back to Fes, one of the oldest cities in Morocco, from where I flew back to Madrid before heading back to DC. Here are some pictures.

By anthonyscheergwu

Since spring break was my only week off during this semester (unlike in France where I had a 2 week February break and 1 week April break) I decided to do as much as could and therefore my Spring Break will be divided in 2 blog posts; this one where I’ll talk about my time in Mexico and the second which will be about my 4 days in San Diego and Los Angeles.

No, I did not go to Cancun, I instead decided to visit Baja California. My spring break trip began at 3 in the morning in DC, I had to pack for my flight at 6am. I got to my flight in time, landed in San Diego and made my way to the border. Once I got there, I expected tons of people, but no, it was relatively quiet and I was able to enter Mexico in less than 30 minutes (if you want to cross the border do it walking and not with a car, there was a huge lines for the cars that were crossing). The only thing worth mentioning about the border was the amount of cameras. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a place where I constantly had every corner of my body on camera. Once I got across, I went straight to Rosarito. We got there around 7pm and were super hungry. Our Airbnb host told us to be careful with Mexican Street food if we had weak stomachs so we got worried and went to a fancy Mexican restaurant which I honestly thought had very mediocre food. 

We spent the next day in a hotel by the pool and only got out to go eat. I went out to the same food stall to eat tacos throughout the day. Also, I thought it was a myth that the Coca-Cola in Mexico tasted much better than in the US but it really isn’t, I ended up drinking more Coca-Cola in the next 3 days than I did during my last 3 months in the US.P

I spent Sunday on the day on the beach, and in the afternoon my friend and I decided to rent ATVs because we saw people driving them around the beach throughout the day. Once we paid them, we followed a guide onto the track and we were given 30 minutes to ride around. I’ve driven ATVs on the beach before and enjoyed it, but since we had a track this time it was much more fun. Instead of driving randomly on flat surfaces, we had turns and bumps which made it much more fun. 15 minutes in my hands were already aching but I pushed through the 30 minutes. Throughout the 30 minutes we had a guy watching us and whenever I tried to do something “new” such as attempting a donut, he would start waving with huge gestures that I should stop. I definitely recommend renting an ATV if you by chance go to Rosarito.

That night we went to Tijuana and had dinner in the city and we were exhausted so we went straight to our hotel room and I was asleep by 10. The next morning we decided to do everything that google recommended in Tijuana before heading back to San Diego. We went to the cultural museum, the market, a church in the city and specific areas of the border which were more interesting than others such as the border in the water. It was really interesting to be in Tijuana in person cause the news talks about this border daily and being there in person felt quite unique. One day in Tijuana was enough because there honestly isn’t much to do there so after the long day we decided to head back to San Diego!

By anthonyscheergwu

I decided to go to New York after a week of living in the library as I had to work on my mid-terms. I took the bus Thursday afternoon and arrived in New York by 6pm.

Thursday night I didn’t too much because I was so tried. I met up with some friends and walked around the city randomly to explore it.

We woke up early Friday and did the touristy things right away. We went to the one world trade centre, 9/11 Memorial, the charging bull on wall street, and saw the Statue of Liberty from far. I personally thought the two most impressive things were the one world trade center and the 9/11 memorial right next to it. Standing right under the one world trade center and looking up is really impressive because the triangular angles of the building give the impression that the building’s top is infinite. This was the same impression I got at the 9/11 memorial because I couldn’t see the bottom of the hole in the middle and I kept wondering how deep it was.

After a morning and afternoon of visiting New York, I started planning a dinner with a couple of friends that live in NYC. People always say that NYC is great because there are so many different things to eat, and while that’s true, no one ever says how annoying that is. Because NYC basically has all the different types of food you can imagine, planning a dinner with 8 people is close to impossible. After juggling between 8 different options, we decided to go to none of them and just go to an Italian restaurant 30 seconds from where we were staying.

That night we decided to explore the NYC nightlife and I understood why people always say that NYC is the city that never sleeps. We went around different places and every-time we were moving from one place to the other, there were people on the street, the subways were not empty and the roads still had cars circulating the streets. By 5:30 we got hungry and unlike in DC, Paris, or Yangon, finding food at the time was actually very easy. We even had a couple of different options to choose from which was pretty amazing.

Saturday we started our day going to Kellogg’s Cereal Bar. I definitely recommend going there because I don’t think there are a lot of places in the world where you have a bar that serves only cereals. We got a seat in front of a TV and watched cartoons while we ate our 5 dollar bowls of cereals. Afterwards, we walked around Times Square and SoHo, and basically just shopped and ate throughout the day. For dinner we went to Chelsea market and this place, again, has the bittersweet feeling that I got throughout my trip in NYC — there was so many different things to try and everything looked so good that instead of enjoying what I chose I kept thinking of what I didn’t get to taste. Therefore I ate at 4 different stalls, of which one serves really tiny doughnuts.

Sunday morning I took a bus back to DC and booked my next trip to New York while going back because I loved this city and I didn’t see enough in my 3 days there.

By recueroraquel.

As many of you have probably seen, I’ve been working at Gelman library since the beginning of the semester. It’s a really nice job, it’s pretty chill and allows me to make money enough to cover all my expenses. My tasks are basically check people in, mostly patrons from other universities or institutions, students that forget their Gworld, prospective students and people that come to attend events that take place in the library. When I’m at the check-out desk I check books for people, I find the books they requested from other universities or the ones the want to get from the reserves and I help them to find books in the stacks. Sometimes, I also help people who need an appointment with a specialized librarian for research. I love being at the check-out because it’s when I’m interacting with people and friends come say hi and bring coffee which is so nice. Some other times I’m shelving books back to the stacks or discharging them. My coworkers are so funny, there’s a really good vibe and we all help each other. If you are looking for a job and they open any position on Handshake don’t hesitate to apply, it’s such a great place to work in!

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So professional. Trust me, I work at Gelman Library!

 

Also, a couple weeks ago I got an internship in the Permanent Mission of Spain to the Organization of American States. I work directly with the Ambassador, attending meetings in the OAS itself or visiting other representing Embassies on behalf of our delegation. Then I write reports that are send straight to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Madrid. I have my own office in the Embassy, that is located in Massachusets Avenue in front of the Islamic Center of DC. On Fridays, when usually Muslims gather for the prayer in the afternoon the athmosphere is really good and I love watching from my window. Last Friday I also went to the Embassy of Canada for a meeting, and to a council in the headquarters of the OAS where the Secretary General Luis Almagro gave a speech. I feel so happy I got this opportunity, it’s a dream internship!

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The views from my office, the Embassy of Canada and the Headquarters of the OAS

 

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