Next weekend I'm on a flight to (of all places) Washington, D.C. It's the city I love to hate but that's due to a very bad first impression. I went there once back in 1992 for the COSPAR/IAC World Space Congress. It was hot, polluted, and I had to work 14 hour days as support staff for the scientific meetings. I missed the opening ceremonies and the cocktail at the Smithsonian. The only fun I had was the chance to party at the Bulgarian embassy.
It was not a good experience. Ever since I heard that I would be going I've been chanting "Beginner's Mind" over and over again. It makes no sense to base an opinion on one brief experience over 20 years ago.
So what's going on next week?
Overseas Americans Week and I'm part of the Association of Americans Resident Overseas' delegation. The Federation of American Women's Clubs Overseas (FAWCO) will be there as well.
OAW is a yearly event and this is the 13th year that organizations like FAWCO and AARO head for the capital city "to draw Washington’s attention to issues where current American law excludes, penalizes or denies access to overseas Americans. These issues involve Medicare, Social Security, Citizenship, Taxation and Access to US and foreign banking facilities." This means that we will be knocking on doors and meeting lawmakers, staff at various U.S. government agencies, and other organizations.
It's going to be a very full week. I am a very junior junior delegate so my job is to observe and to listen. I won't give away the agenda but I will be meeting with the staff of my senator, Patty Murray (Washington State). I plan to write one or two posts for the Flophouse while I'm there but if you want to follow the action more closely we will be updating every day the AARO Facebook and Twitter feeds.