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Women of Soul White House: Danell's Reflection

March 4, 2014: As I sit on this plane to DC, I am filled with all types of mix emotions. I can't believe we're actually going to the White House. I can't believe that I'm actually on this plane, and the best part about is that we didn't have to pay for any thing. can you imagine that? These next couple days will really be an once in a life time experience for NPAC. "Wow" keeps repeating in my head. Words can not explain what I'm feeling right now. Once again I want to thank everyone had made this trip even possible.

March 4,2014: At Washington DC Wow, snow! I always wanted to touch snow. and today I finally had the chance! As we landed in Washington DC my heart begun to pump even faster knowing that I was in Washington DC . When we exit the airport, we caught a shuttle to the hotel. We stayed at the Crowne Plaza. It was really cold while waiting for the shuttle, but as soon as we got into the lobby of the hotel, it felt so good to be in heat again.

We took about 30 minutes to get settled. we all met in the lobby of the hotel. From there we made our way to the metro. It wasn't really a far walk, but it sure was a cold walk. That night we ate dinner at a Brazillian restaurant called fogo de chao. Not only the food was good, but also the service was wonderful. The waiters there were so friendly. The way they worked was like they were interested in what they were doing, It looked like they're really enjoying their job. For me it was really cool to watch waiters have so much passion while serving meat. I was amazed.

It was getting late so we headed back to the hotel. To get back we had to get on the metro again. While walking to the metro station, it was really cool. The things that we saw was just so different from Hawaii. The people, the buildings, the smell, the snow. I was taking in everything that I seen, heard and felt. It was amazing

March 5: I woke up excited, full of energy. Today was the day of our first workshop with Bob Santelli and three other guest speakers. The workshop was held at the W hotel. As I sat through the workshop, I learned how the Grammy's were put together. It's a lot of work. I remember hearing that you can have everything written down on a paper but something will always not work out the way you want it. Whether if its the mic that's not working, to even the wrong lighting, but as they say the show must go on.

When the first workshop was over, we all got to take a lunch break. So we decided to do some shopping at the souvenir shop. All the students met back at the modern history museum. There we got broken apart into groups. Each group had a tour guide. Our guide was very nice and friendly, she walked us through some exhibits, and she had explain to us about what it was. The museum was very interesting. I enjoyed the time that I had spent there.

When that was over each group had some free time to do what they wanted. So we took the time to view the Capitol and Washington monument. Then we had an early dinner because we had to be back at the W hotel by 6:30 for another part of the workshop.

There we made a few new friends that were very interested that we were from Hawaii. Later on that night, we made our way back to the hotel. We had a very important day ahead of us so we wanted to get some rest.

March 6: Today was the day. I was so excited. We left the hotel by 7:45 in the morning, just to be sure that we will get there on time. As we left the hotel we noticed that it was a lot colder then the last couple of days. I was freezing. As we waited in line outside the White House, we were all standing very close to each other trying to stay as warm as we possibly could. The excitement was building up because soon we would be going through sercuity to get into the White House. The sercuity guards were not mean, but they were not really joyful but they did do their job. I have to admit, while going through sercuity and then bag check, I was getting nervous.

When I made it through, all I could say was thank you. Walking through the halls was also an experience. You could see pictures of past presidents on the wall. Everything in there was so beautiful. We made our way to the the doors of the state dining room, it was so cool because there was a pianist and to me it honestly felt like i was in a movie. This is the type of things that you see while waiting for the doors to open. It was really cool.

When the door opened people quickly entered the room to get front seats. I sat in the second row right in the middle. When the First Lady entered the room, I was so excited. She had explained that soul music is the type of music that makes you move no matter who you are or where you come from. I loved the message that she had shared with us. She also mentioned that no matter what form it comes in, you know that this type of music comes straight from your heart.

While I was listening to the three guest speakers it really caught my attention because they all started somewhere, and they had goals for themselves that they all had met. I thought to myself wow, they all had something in common.

From that workshop I also leaned to take risks, and be the best you can because it doesn't matter who you are or where you come from. We all will fail at something, but you just need to get back up and rise above it.

When the workshop was over we went up to Bob, Kate and Martha to thank them once again for everything that they had done. From there we went out for lunch. We did a lot of walking.

After we ate lunch, we went to see the Lincoln memorial and the Vietnam memorial. The Lincoln memorial was very interesting. I was amazed at how big the statue was. I only seen it in history books and now I'm standing right in front it. I was very excited to see all these historical landmarks.

Our time was very precious, we had a lot to do in so little time. To end our day, we caught a cab to the Kennedy Center. We saw a ballet it was a tribute to the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. It was really good. I was impressed, their cheorgphy was what caught my attention. They told a story through they're dance. It was really cool. It was a great way to end the last day of our trip. We headed back to the hotel. That night we started packing. We had to leave the hotel the next morning by 6:30.

Summary: I had gain a lot from this experience. from the workshops and even from being at those historical landmarks. I must say that this has really been an wonderful experience for me. Though, I really gain a lot from our First Lady. Her message had touched me a lot. I'm really thankful for this opportunity.

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