Last Weekend in D.C.

Last Weekend in D.C.

This weekend was my last weekend in D.C. – I leave for home on Thursday, so I tried to make the most of it by seeing and doing things that I hadn’t had the chance to do yet this summer. On this list: eat Ethiopian food, meet up with an old friend and go to Eastern Market.

 

Ethiopian Food Adventures


You might be wondering why I wanted to try Ethiopian food while I was in D.C. Well, in fact I hadn’t ever had an interest in trying Ethiopian food until I came to D.C. and participated in TWC’s Immigration Civic Engagement Project. Every Saturday morning, I went to the Ethiopian Community Center to tutor English to an Ethiopian woman who had just moved to D.C. (and to the United States) and was determined to learn English. She was one of the lower-level ESL students, but she was so determined to learn English so she could be successful in the US. We mostly worked on vocabulary like family members, clothing, places in a town, the house, which was sometimes difficult to have to explain the words, but she was also really sweet and always patient and grateful. After every one of our tutoring sessions, she would give me a hug and tell me “Thank you! I love you!” I really enjoyed getting to know her and working with her on her English and am sad that I'll no longer get to spend Saturday mornings tutoring her.

So to celebrate our last weekend in D.C., Kexin (my roommate) and I decided to eat an Ethiopian meal at Ethiopic, an Ethiopian restaurant located a few blocks from the RAF. (It’s on 4th and H St. NE, if you are interested in trying this exotic and delicious restaurant.) Kexin and I had never tried Ethiopian food before and we weren’t sure of what to expect. We searched “Ethiopian dishes” to find out what was the best and most typical dish to try, and found a D.C. based blog that gave us some recommendations of restaurants and dishes and also general etiquette about eating Ethiopian food. I’m glad we found this site because not only did it recommend Ethiopic to us and tell us what to choose off the menu but warned us that you don’t use silverware (or chopsticks) when eating Ethiopian food – you have to use your (right) hand. I think we would have been confused (and we probably would have embarrassed ourselves if we had asked where our silverware was) if we hadn’t known about this.

Kexin and I ordered two dishes and split them. We chose the lamb tibs, which is basically lamb stew with seasoning and the vegetarian platter which was Ethiopian sourdough bread topped with collard greens (called gomen), spicy yellow peas (called kik altecha), lentils (called miser wot), and potatoes (called dinich wot).

 

 

Lamb tibs (basically like stew)

 

 

Vegetarian sampler - not as scary as it looks

 

In order to eat these foods, they gave you their sourdough bread, which looks like a crêpe but is a little fluffier, sour and spongey, in a roll. You then begin to unroll the bread and tear the bread into little pieces. Then you use the little pieces to pick up bites of the food.

 

 

My favorite dishes were the lamb tibs and the dinich wot. Overall, I really liked Ethiopian food and would recommend it to people who like spicy food, enjoy trying new things and are adventurous when it comes to food. If you had told me before I came to D.C. that before I went home I would be eating spicy food in a nice restaurant with my hands, I would have never believed you.

 

 

Eastern Market and the Botanical Gardens with a D.C. Native


The other exciting thing that I did this weekend was meet up with my friend Julia – a D.C. native. I met Julia when I was studying abroad in France last semester, and when I found out that I was interning in D.C. this summer, she promised to show me to some hidden gems once we were both settled into our lives back in D.C. I met up with her at Union Station, and we headed to Eastern Market to explore the farmer’s market, art booths and clothing and jewelry stands. On the weekends, the red line of the metro is always messed up and frankly unreliable, so while we waited we caught up about our summers and plans for this upcoming semester. I really enjoyed Eastern Market, and I wish I had known about this place earlier in the summer – I ended up buying a pair of earrings and a dress, so it was obviously a success on that front. I might try to make it back there tomorrow and see what else is around that area – it looked like there were a lot of coffee shops, bookstores and art places.

 

 

 

We also visited the Botanical Garden – I had pretty low expectations because the building looks really small, but I was impressed. There was a wide variety of plants there from around the world – they had a whole room dedicated to herbs and another dedicated to orchids. It was a pretty place, but I was glad that I was not an intern (or volunteer) there because I have never been successful at keeping a potted plant alive. I had a great afternoon hanging out in D.C. with Julia – it’s always fun to catch up with a friend you haven’t seen in a while and even more fun when you can visit places that are a little bit off the beaten path.

 

 

 

 

I can’t believe that I have less than 4 days left in D.C. – can you?

Experience a Day in the Life of an Intern at The Washington Center

Learn More