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The journey begins...

 web choir at Whitehouse edited.jpg(BenoĆ®t Ferradini/CBC)

What started out as individual adventures on the way to Washington, D.C. became our first collective gathering in our hotel near the Washington Dulles airport. The Saskatoon Children's Choir had started their day at the Saskatoon airport at 4:00 am Tuesday morning and didn't roll into Washington until 14 hours later.  All the girls had plenty of down time on the plane, and at least one of them used that time to jot down a few thoughts about embarking on this experience.  Julie wrote, "Travelling, stepping outside your comfort zone and crossing the boundaries of your day to day life makes you realize that your world is not the world.  I look forward to expanding my world in South Africa, a place that has only existed to me as a map, book or conversation.  Now it will become reality".

We met in the lobby of the Hampton Inn and Suites with excited but tired girls who received nothing but praise from their leaders - along with a glass of milk and some cookies! - over the excellent manner in which they handled themselves all day.

It was Wednesday morning when the fun began.  Before 9:00 am everyone was on board the tour bus and en route to the capital for a morning of sightseeing.

web bus to city edited.jpg

And how did the girls entertain themselves on the ride in?  By singing, of course!  They went from "Joy to the World" (the Jeremiah was a bullfrog version!) to 'I Will Survive', and threw in several Saskatoon Children's Choir greatest hits for good measure.

After being dropped off at the Air and Space Museum everyone dispersed into small  groups for sightseeing excursions.  More than one group headed to the American history museum to check out Dorothy's famous red shoes from the Wizard of Oz, and a few of the chaperones even gate crashed a employee picnic!  Between mingling with Dalai Lama supporters who were celebrating his birthday on the green, to enjoying the Impressionist collection at the National Gallery, and walking through the simple but powerful Vietnam War Memorial, everyone had a story they wanted to share

Then it was off to the Washington Dulles Airport, but not before a stop for a fun photo op in front of the White House that Byron - our bus driver - kindly suggested.