Scholars on Segways!

Who said Fulbright Scholars only engage in academia? Our DC area Scholars were given the opportunity to experience the beautiful monuments in the city on a Segway tour. A Segway is a two-wheeled motorized personal vehicle consisting of a platform for the feet mounted above an axle and an upright post surmounted by handles (check out the pictures!). On their two-hour tour, they visited and learned about famous landmarks such as the White House, the US Capitol, the Smithsonian Museums, and other attractions located in the heart of our nation’s capital!

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Scholars on Segways in front of the White House

Although Segways might seem difficult to command, our scholars found that they were surprisingly easy to drive after a quick practice lap. With a bit of encouragement, they soon were zipping through the historic streets of DC. It was a wonderful way to tour the city without tiring out too quickly.

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Scholars on Segways in front of the Washington Monument

After the tour, the scholars munched on a delicious Italian lunch. They were all thrilled with the Segway tour and DC’s monuments!

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Fulbright Scholars eating after a great Segway tour

 

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Play Ball! A Day in Baltimore’s Camden Yards

What’s more American than a good game of baseball? Fulbright Visiting Scholars and their families were able to experience this great American pastime in Baltimore. Before heading to Camden Yards, the home field of the Baltimore Orioles, Scholars and their guests were invited to a private tour of the Sports Legends Museum. Fun fact: the building used to serve as a passanger terminus for the country’s first commercial railroad before becoming a museum.

Full group with the Sports Legends Museum in the background

Group in front of the Sports Legends Museum

At the museum the group learned about the complicated rules of baseball through a guided tour. Children of the Fulbrighters were even able to try on some baseball gear in the hands-on section of the museum.

Mike Gibbons shows participants a catcher’s mask

Mike Gibbons shows participants a catcher’s mask

Then it was off to the field to see the Baltimore Orioles take on the New York Yankees!

Group waving from the stands

Group waving from the stands

On Open Waters with Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating

What better to do on a warm spring day than go sailing! This month Fulbright Scholars in the DC-Maryland area had the chance to meet with Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating (CRAB), an organization that provides accessible sailing opportunities to those with physical or developmental disabilities.

Lance Hinrichs, VP of CRAB’s Board of Directors, speaks with the group about adaptive sailing

Lance Hinrichs, VP of CRAB’s Board of Directors, speaks with the group about adaptive sailing

The day began at Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis, Maryland, where Lance Hinrichs, the Vice President of CRAB’s board of directors introduced the organization’s mission. He spoke about the spinal injury that led to his own disability, and how sailing can be made into an adaptive sport for fun and active recreation for all.

Scholars from Azerbaijan, Egypt, Armenia, and Turkey come back from a successful trip on the water

Scholars from Azerbaijan, Egypt, Armenia, and Turkey come back from a successful trip on the water

Scholars then got into sailboats with CRAB participants and volunteers and set out on the Chesapeake Bay! For many scholars, this was their first experience sailing, and the event was particularly special in honoring the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. This hands-on learning about adaptive recreation was a wonderful way for scholars to engage with the community while trying a new sport.

Entire group with David Levin posing on the Marina, in front of CRAB’s sail boats

Entire group with David Levin posing on the Marina, in front of CRAB’s sail boats

Scholars Celebrate African-American History at Howard University

February 27: In honor of Black History Month, Scholars attended a lecture and tour at Howard University. Howard University began as a federally chartered university for the education of African Americans. Throughout its history and through to the present day, it plays an important role in empowering and educating African-American students.

After a warm welcome from university representatives, Dr. E. Ethelbert Miller, poet and Director of the African American Studies Resource Center spoke to Scholars about Black poetry and his own experiences attending Howard in the late 1960s. He explained the significance of Black poetry and the role Howard University played in empowering young black students during the Civil Rights and Black Power movements. He also treated Scholars to readings of several poems from the journal he edits, Poet Lore, the oldest poetry magazine published in the United States.

Dr. E. Ethelbert Miller addresses Scholars on African-American poetry.

Dr. E. Ethelbert Miller addresses Scholars on African-American poetry.

Following Dr. Miller, Dr. Edna Medford, Chair of the Department of History, spoke on the history of Freedman’s Hospital (Now Howard University Hospital), which was the first hospital founded for the treatment of escaped slaves. She also gave an overview of Howard University’s history from its’ beginnings to the present day.

Dr. Edna Medford addresses Scholars on the history of Howard University.

Dr. Edna Medford addresses Scholars on the history of Howard University.

After a light reception, Scholars went on a tour of Howard University and its’ College of Medicine. In the College of Medicine Scholars were impressed to “meet” several medical dummies, unique to Howard, that could be programmed to simulate real life medical situations for students. The simulation dummies blinked, reacted to movement and even talked to Scholars in different languages.

A Visiting Scholar from China photographs a dummy patient in a simulation lab at Howard University’s College of Medicine.

A Visiting Scholar from China photographs a dummy patient in a simulation lab at Howard University’s College of Medicine.

Scholars noted afterwards that while they had heard about Howard University before, they had had no idea about its cultural and historical significance in African-American history. One Scholar, upon learning about Howard’s exchange with different countries, expressed great interest in recommending Howard to students in her home country.

A Day on the Bay with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation

May 31, 2014: On one of the most beautiful days of the year, the group set out on a bus from Washington, DC to Annapolis, MD. There they met Chesapeake Bay Foundation staff who took them out on a day-long trip on a 112-year-old skipjack. Lunch was held at an old waterman’s hangout, where guests set the sails, dredged for oysters, talked about the history of the local waterman’s culture, and the current environmental challenges of the Chesapeake Bay.

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Pre-departure instructions from Captain Dave

Life on the Farm in Rural Maryland

May 10, 2014: This event took the scholars out into the country to see three farms that are representative of U.S. farming today. Scholars visited two dairy farms – close in location but worlds apart in their modes of operation. One was an organic farm operated by a father and son representing five generations of family farmers who have worked this land. The cows roam freely and the father and son team are passionately committed to the idea of farming “the old-fashioned way.” Over the years they have tapped into a growing organic niche in the US market.

The other dairy farm was much larger in scale, and used a more conventional approach to farming. Using a carefully calculated mixture of purchased grains and grasses produced on the farm, the cows are kept mainly indoors in a controlled environment. They are bred and cared for using techniques that maximize milk production. This is also a successful family operation that goes back many generations and today targets a different segment of the US dairy market.

Finally, we visited a large orchard, again run by a family who had also been farming their land for generations. The 80-year-old patriarch instructed his son to drive us through the property on a hay wagon while he played the harmonica and his wife served us fresh cider and cookies – all to the great enjoyment of the Fulbrighters. All the visits represented a significant departure from the city lives that these Fulbrighters were accustomed to seeing. They saw some of the diverse lifestyles that exist within a short distance of Washington.

Fulbright Farmers in boots

Fulbright Farmers in boots

Patriarch of the Orchard takes Fulbright Scholars for a ride

Patriarch of the Orchard takes Fulbright Scholars for a ride

Wang Zhen, his daughter, and the wonder of baby chicks

Wang Zhen, his daughter, and the wonder of baby chicks

 

A Day at the Ballpark with the Washington Nationals

April 26, 2014: Prior to the baseball game, scholars met with Michael Gibbons, Executive Director of the Babe Ruth Museum in Baltimore, who explained the rules, history, and cultural context of baseball in the US. After lunch, the group walked to Nationals stadium where they were thrilled to see the Nationals claim a 3-0 victory over the San Diego Padres.

Visiting Fulbright Scholars with "Natitude"

Visiting Fulbright Scholars with “Natitude”

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Newly-minted Nats Fan and Visiting Fulbright Scholar Gabriel Balayan of Armenia