After our two-hour breakout session, we had a networking lunch, and then reassembled in the auditorium. During lunch, a new friend and I sat with a 95-almost-96 year old WWII, Korea, and Vietnam veteran, Peter Ruplenas, and were able to listen to some of his incredible stories. It was difficult to hear him above the buzz of conversation going on around us, and so I was thankful later when he addressed the entire group (of 80 or so people) and took us through his time as a combat photographer in three wars. Wow. What he had to say was incredible, and he was an inspiration. He was also a shameless flirt; one of the other girls told me that he had said "Where were girls like you when I 20?" In a notebook that was passed around, I wrote him a note teasing him that if I were only 60 years older... haha. He was incredibly funny and vibrant, and it was wonderful to have spent some time with him.
After our session ended, I went back to the apartment and laid on the couch. It was absolutely delightful! Around 5:45PM Roommates #1, #2, and I left to go to a park near the Navy Yard. A group of female interns had decided to go sit in this park and listen to live music, and so we thought, that sounds great! We transferred from the Red Line to another, and as we left the train a guy came up to me and asked me if I was from TWC. Apparently we're in the same CE Program, and he had remembered me from earlier. The four of us talked briefly, and he asked what we were doing for the evening, and basically ended up inviting himself along. It turned out to be an interesting evening all the same. The park was near the Navy Yard, and although we didn't see any Navy Boys (cue sad sigh), the water was beautiful in the evening light, and we were able to see a docked ship.
We all decided to give it a try because no one had ever had an Ethiopian dish. We took a leap of faith into uncharted territory, and I'm so glad that we did!
Roommate #1 and I ordered a lamb dish, and Roommate #2 ordered a ... potato (??) dish?
When it was delivered to the table, I asked the waitress how to eat it properly; was it like a soup? No, she said, and hurried off. She came back with a little food dish of her own to demonstrate how to eat our dishes!
They were served with an Ethiopian sourdough, and you tore off a piece of this flat sourdough and wrapped a piece of your (for lack of a better word) stew into a wad to eat it.
I think we all agreed that it was our new favorite place. I didn't finish even half of my little stew pot, though, so I think if we go back that we'll share a dish.
After a fantastic heart-to-heart over dinner, we came home feeling great-- except for poor Roommate #2, who is dealing with severe allergies! In an attempt to remedy this, since her allergy medicine isn't working out, I decided to make steam facials for all of us using the Lavender essential oil I had brought to DC with me. I'm not sure whether or not it helped her, but we all felt relaxed afterwards! Perhaps a bit of weekend pampering is going to become the routine for the rest of the summer!