Sunday, May 26, 2013

Harpers Ferry

Six years ago when we visited Ukraine for Erik's Fulbright, we regularly confronted the region's contested history and the complexity of identifying heroes during wartime. Ukrainian partisans who were active in the western part of the country where we lived were portrayed as patriots by some and villains by others. The interpretation of John Brown, the abolitionist who led the failed raid on Harpers Ferry on the eve of the Civil War, is an American example of this phenomenon. During our decade in Kansas, we became familiar with John Brown as the hero depicted in the John Steuart Curry mural in the Kansas State Capitol. Visiting Harpers Ferry yesterday, we witnessed a more ambiguous portrayal. Below are some images Carter took during our road trip.

Ruins of an Episcopal church.

Harpers Ferry from Jefferson's Rock.

 Jefferson's Rock.
Cemetery at the summit of the hill behind town.

Carter earned three NPS Junior Ranger badges on the visit and we all learned a tremendous amount about the Lewis and Clark expedition, John Brown's raid, the Civil War, and the history of US military armaments.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Around the World in a Day

#PassportDC is one of our favorite cultural events in the area and we have enjoyed the embassy open houses tremendously. Last year, we were able to spend most of the day touring Embassy Row. This year's busy weekend schedule only afforded us enough time to go to Kazakhstan, Australia, Peru, and Trinidad and Tobago. Along the way we tasted wonderful local treats: doughnuts in Kazakhstan; Vegemite, cheese, meat pies, sausage, and wine in Australia; a Pisco Sour and Inca Cola in Peru; and mango spread in Trinidad and Tobago. We also enjoyed incredible music, art, and conversations with people we met along the way.   

Carter was able to wield a sword in Kazakhstan (fortunately still in its scabbard).

At the Peruvian Embassy, Carter and Lea posed with alpacas and their companions.

It was a lovely spring day and a fabulous event.