Being able to spend a group day at Mount Vernon was a great experience, as not only was I able to see the home of our founding president, but I was able to experience the history of it. Built in 1735, Mount Vernon is set on over 500 acres of land, a truly beautiful estate. Set alongside the river, you have gorgeous views of the surrounding area, making Mount Vernon likely one of the most gorgeous estates in the area. I am very glad this site has been perfectly preserved for the past three hundred years, as it is truly a beautiful and historical landmark. I was rather surprised by the size of Mount Vernon, as I had not expected the site to be any larger than that of Washington’s home. The site included a stove room, shoemaker’s shop, seed house, green house, gardens, blacksmith shop, stable, and multiple slave quarters.
However, despite the beauty of the site, I also feel that I should mention how Mount Vernon is also the site of a great injustice, specifically one of slavery. Although I was honored to have been able to visit the home of our first president, I was also hesitant to enter the site due to its history of utilizing over three hundred slaves, over one hundred of which were indentured by George Washington himself. I eventually decided that rather than to view the site as a slave plantation, I should instead view it as a historical landmark which served to share the history of slavery, rather than portray it as acceptable in light of the estate. Included on the site is a slave memorial built in 1983.
A great part of our group trip to Mount Vernon was the round-trip boat ride from National Harbor. After picking up our tickets at the pier, we boarded our boat to Mount Vernon. Hanging out on the back of the boat, we got some sun, took pictures, drank lemonade, and indulged on numerous bags of potato chips for the two-hour river cruise.
Interning at the National Women’s Health Network has not only been an excellent educational experience, but has kept me very busy. I have focused a great deal of my energy on the recent health care bills currently being handled in the senate. In the past week I have attended health policy briefings, speeches, rallies, and national conferences. This past week was an excellent learning opportunity for me as I created my first health policy memo, one that will be distributed publicly for not only other organizations, but the public to utilize. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I had to send it to the communications department, but it eventually became a document I was proud to have written and share. In addition, I also created my first health education fact sheet, which was aimed at educating adolescents and young adults on how to utilize the various forms of available contraceptive methods.