Sunday 2 November 2014

A year in photos (Washington DC with ONE #AYASummit)

Stunning colours in DC

My life has been a whirlwind the last couple of weeks but in the best way. The first week I was away in the USA at the #AYASumit with ONE Girls and Women and I heard and learnt so much that I want to share it all with you but I need some quite time to process. The kids go back to school on Tuesday and from then I can imagine is when I will be able to start writing some posts about all the different panels that we listened to and engaged with.

For now I’ll share some photos from my time in America.

 I arrived into DC early evening and was collected by my friend and ONE Strategic Relationships Manager Jeannine. We had travelled together to Ethiopia in 2012 and she had kindly agreed to put me up for a couple of nights before we checked into the hotel for the formal start of the conference. I was blown away by her hospitality, she was so busy preparing for what would be an amazing conference but still she found time to make a divine veggie lasagne, enjoy a glass of wine with me and we got to spend some time catching up and enjoying each other’s company.

As Jeannine headed off to work the next day I went into central DC for to explore and found it a really nice city. The streets are wide and clean and the buildings reminded me of being in Europe, as they were very elegant, square and symmetrical. I particularly enjoyed the Museum of American History and of course got the obligatory White House selfie. I didn’t actually see quite as much as I hoped as it started to pour with rain in the afternoon but I figured my hubby and I would come back here someday.

Wednesday was a chilled morning catching up with work and then the afternoon was a decadent one as I checked into the hotel and had a luxurious bath, read a good book and explored the local area enjoying a traditional Afghan kabob for lunch.

The evening was the start of our conference and all the delegates met at the Mansion on O Street, the agenda was jam packed drinks and nibbles. This is the most unusual and interesting venue, it is open for private events but is also a hotel and literally everything in the place is for sale (at a price). You are encouraged to walk around and explore the four floors and look for the secret doors. It was fascinating to see what treasures there were across the property. You can stay in the bedrooms and the bathrooms are boast things like a telephone box shower, a glass chess set in the middle of the room and a wooden bath. You can buy a second hand novel for about a dollar right through to guitars played by and signed by music stars that cost thousands of dollars.

One of the hats you could buy at the O Street Mansion

I didn’t know many people at this reception and felt a little like an outsider but it only takes a few really friendly people to pull you in and make you welcome.  On this occasion those people were Jen Burden of World Moms Blog, Cindy Levin from Results and Aliza Sherman, entrepreneur and freelance writer/ speaker. We enjoyed a few drinks and a great chat all around the topic of international development and what we could do to make a difference.

The conference really got into full swing on Thursday and the agenda was jam packed, on the one hand I would say too much so but on the other it was all so brilliant I just can’t fault it.

Chelsea of Do a Little Good. I certainly want to get to know this passionate lady better

Amazing women doing amazing things - more to be shared....

The awesome Ginny Wolfe, Director at ONE, who invited me to America and to an amazing steak dinner!

After Friday lunch the summit finished and I had a wonderful time in Georgetown with Kristie which I have shared already.

Goodbye America, the view as I flew off

I’m liking this post up with The Boy and Me for the 365 project. Why don’t you go and visit some of the other linkers and see what they have been up to?

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky
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