What we did on our free day in Tokyo

Jeffrey: Today, I met my cousin who was stationed here from the navy and she spent a few hours with us, and then I went to a store called Vanguard to buy this really awesome Baoh shirt from an anime I watched a few months ago.

Jeff blog Aug 14E.N.: On the free day in Tokyo, I went to the ocean in Minatomirai. It made me remember about Tohoku and how people who went through the disaster were not afraid of the ocean. Also, I loved feeling nature in a city. It made me realize that wherever I am, I connected to the nature and Tohoku.

Ena blog Aug 14Temple: Today I went to out with Kiara and Kamashae to the visitor center to exchange more money. We walked around the Temple and noticed that in Japan men pull carriages around with people on them, but at home in America we have horses that pull the carriages.

Kiara: Today, I hung out with Tempestt and Kamashae. We went to Burger King and a beautiful shopping center and I got the cutest coin purse and snacks. When we were climbing the steps to go back to our hostel, I had to take this picture.

Kiara blog Aug 14Kamashae: Today me, Kiara, and Tempestt went out looking for things to get into. The most interesting thing we did was tried Japanese Burger King, which actually tasted like American Burger King! I ordered a cheeseburger with fries and I felt as if I were back in America.

Ayane: I went to a Chinatown in Yokohama today. I had a seamed meat bun and bubble tea. It was so delicious and the town was beautiful. I really enjoyed today.

R.H.: Today I went to an amusement park called Cosmo World!! I love riding roller coaster, but I haven’t rode it for a while so I really enjoyed it!

Kan: We went to many places, and the most interesting thing for me was pikachu!!! I have been a fan of Pokemon since I was second grade student in elementary school. I love pikachu very much. I was so happy to see pikachu in real world.

Kan blog Aug 14A.O.: Today I went to Owakudani with my family and Yeysi. There I ate black ice cream which was a completely new experience for me. The taste was vanilla but it contained bamboo carbon, which made the ice-cream black.

Ayaka blog Aug 14Yeysi: Today was a day full of new experiences. I was with Ayaka’s family and we visit a lot places. One thing that I tried was the “Black egg,” a local specialty of eggs hard-boiled in the hot springs. The boiled eggs turn black and smell slightly sulphuric; consuming the eggs is said to increase longevity. Eating one is said to add seven years to your life. At first I was scared to try the black egg, however when I tried it I ate two. It tasted same as a regular egg but the color makes it special. I enjoy to be with Ayaka’s family and I feel glad to be with them.

Yeysi blog Aug 14Rio: Today I went to a shop which sells a lot of Snoopy goods in Minatomirai. I love Peanuts so I was really happy to be in the place filled with Snoopy!

H.K.: I went to this place called “Akarenga souko” which is a famous old-fashioned shopping mall in Yokohama with a lot of the other participants. It was the first time I came here in the summer, so it was interesting to see how the design and the ice skating rink changed into a winery cafe.

Hayato blog Aug 14R.M.: Today, I went to World Porters in Minatomirai and drank Yokosuka Kaigun Ramune (Lemon Soda of U.S. Navy). It was different from any kinds of soda, and I really liked it.

Amanda: Sosha and I ate sukiyaki at a restaurant that has been around for 121 years. Sukiyaki is thinly sliced beef and vegetables cooked in a sweet and salty sauce on the table. Once cooked, we dipped the meat and vegetables in a raw egg before eating. This wasn’t my first time having sukiyaki but it was definitely the best time!

Amanda blog Aug 14

E.N. – August 8

We started the day with a reflection on the Tohoku trip. One thing that really surprised me was Hiroto’s remark. He talked about memorials in DC and the elementary schools in Japan. The Japanese group said that the memorials in DC were a very good idea. Hiroto stated that we have the elementary schools which are like memorials. Though from what I thought was by just looking at them, I cannot fully imagine about how parents who lost their children who go to these schools feel when they see them. So, these schools are more than what I can see, which makes these something that are more than just memorials.

Next we went to hear a lecture by people from the tourist association. Before the earthquake there were about 17,500 people in Minamisanriku. Last year, the population was less than 14,000. It has gone down to this number because people are moving out of this city to evacuate and because their jobs are gone. When this city needs people to recover, people moved out and still there are people moving out of the city.

What interested me the most was one of the people’s experience. He was my age when it happened and he told us how it was like in the evacuation area. He said there was no privacy. I cannot imagine how it would feel to have no privacy for one and a half months, though it must have been a very hard experience.

Thirdly, we had lunch with people in the Woman’s Eye. We split into a couple of tables and different groups heard stories from different people. I heard stories from Mrs. Tomoko Yamauchi. What was impactful was her son’s story. She has two sons and one of them was affected directly by the earthquake. He was helping people to evacuate and while he was doing so, the tsunami came. He clung on to the nearest electricity pole for a whole week until he was so tired that he thought he could cling on no more. When he saw a stranger pass, he told him, “Tell the others that I was washed away.” This quote was very powerful and I couldn’t imagine what he felt like when he said it. After he said this, he was rescued but got paralyzed for 10 days.

Also, what I learned was how important it was for the mayor to tell people who live in other parts of Japan about the disaster when it happened. In Tohoku, many people heard about it and came as a rescue team. Unfortunately, in Kumamoto there was a very big earthquake too, although they don’t have enough volunteers helping out. I thought that needs to be changed, though I can’t think how yet.

We ended the day with another reflection. We thought about, based on what we saw or experienced, what we could do to make a better future. Many people talked about making organizations to bring people together or starting a club to give information on the tsunami. Also, I agreed with what Kan said about how we can’t avoid these natural disasters but how they make people stronger like the people in Tohoku. He talked about how we can never predict what nature will do to us, so all we can do is be strong.

The photo below was taken by Kan in the morning when we went to the tourist association. We discussed about the tsunami. I chose this photo because it showed the people who experienced the tsunami and people from outside of the country who learned about this. I think it shows how people communicating is important.

Ena blog Aug 8E.N.
Keio SFC High School

“I used to think . . . but now I know . . . .”

PROGRAM NOTE: The last day of the DC part of the program came on July 29, and so we asked all student participants to respond to this final prompt: “I used to think . . .  but now I know . . . .” The range of their responses is amazing, and speaks to the variety of  experiences that deeply impacted the students during the program’s first two weeks. So interesting!

R.M.: I used to think the freedom of individuals and the considerations for others are contradictory, but now I know the considerations are something which should be based on the freedom. I knew this when I visited the US Holocaust Museum and thought about the course of the Holocaust.

Chris: I used to think that I wasn’t as smart and deserving as other people to be included in programs like this, but now I know that I’m uniquely special. I saw this when I was picked to such special programs like the TOMODACHI student exchange and Boston engineering program.

H.K.: I used to think your degree and studies by college basically determines what you do as in lifetime job, but now I know what attracts you throughout your experiences regardless of when it is, can connect you to another job. For example, Mrs. Mya Fisher from the U.S. Japan Council went to a science high school but is currently working with helping programs going on between the two countries.

Clinard: I used to think that it was difficult to be a social entrepreneur but now I know that it is fairly easy to do something that establishes change. This is important because it inspires people to go out and do something positive in order to benefit their communities or just to simply benefit someone else’s life.

A.O.: I used to think that every gender had responsibilities but now I know that there is a country where gender does not pertain to what jobs you get. I heard this when I listened to Ms. White – a Japanese woman that lives in DC and works for Mitsubishi Corporation – saying that in her company, no matter what gender you are, every person is equal and all the work is being done from the people who realize it has to be done.

Kan: I used to think history and politics are far from our daily lives. And I wasn’t interested in history so much but now I know that to learn and share the history are necessary to understand others and our own cultures. This is important because we need this knowledge to build friendship with other countries in the future.

Maxx (Michael): I used to think Japan was more of a diverse independent voiced country with a political system like ours but now I know that the Japanese or most of them at least are introverted and focused on respect within a system that doesn’t elect the president. For example most Japanese stay to themselves and apologize often but some like E. can see themselves as more and this is important because it shows courage to move forward and I saw this when H, E, and R step out of their comfort zones and step up.

Hiroto: I used to think that America experienced lots of historic events and doesn’t reflect on the things that happened. But now I think US thinks much of its histories and makes something to remember it. Because we saw a lot of monuments in D.C. and also were lectured about historical things by many people, so I felt a difference with Japan and my mind was changed.

Jeffrey: I used to think I knew all about World War II but now I know I didn’t and that there was a much deeper side to it. For example, I saw this when I went to the Holocaust Museum and learned about the countless people who perished along with forgotten cities and towns.

Yeysi: I used to think that I was in the deep of the iceberg but now I know that I can be over the sea level. This is important for me because everyday is an addition to my future and this program is changing my hold on the world. It is making me feel that I can do something for my community and improve the environment that I live in.

R.H.: I used to think a “restaurant” is a place where you have to buy something to stay, but now I know that there are some places that provide a comfortable space for free. This is important because the founders are thinking about customers’ real needs in first priority, and I thought free space is something that they should have in Japan too.

Kiara: I used to think that entrepreneurship was just about being your own boss and making fast money. But now I know that some local entrepreneurs don’t really do what they do for profit, but to make a change or create a safe space for their communities. I saw this when we had Free Minds come to us and Charles shared his background with us. Free Minds helps prisoners express their true feelings through creative writing and I think it’s wonderful that a woman would stop by a jail almost every day to help them with their different interests in literature.

Tempestt: I used to think that it wasn’t so dangerous in other countries, but now I know that mostly all immigrants move to the U.S. for safety reasons. This is important because I have met students from Cardozo High School that said they moved to the U.S. because it was dangerous to live in their home country.

Rio: I used to think that there is a big wall between white people and black people because I heard the news white police shot black, but now I know many Americans are very friendly even if their skin colors are different. I saw this when I was on the train. People were truly mixed and I thought that was my stereotype.

Ayane: I used to think if you make a mistake before, it will follow you your whole life, but now I know it will not. This is important because the story that we heard at DC Central Kitchen completely changed my mind. I had heard about second chances. I realized you can make your future by yourself. I really liked the words, “It doesn’t matter what happened in the past, what matters is what you are going to make right now.”

E.N.: I used to think that social entrepreneurs have a different goal for their future, but now I know they are all people who thought of a way to make a better society and worked towards it. This is important because I now know that anyone can be a social entrepreneur. If I start questioning my surroundings and think of a solution, I can become one too!

Kamashae: I used to think that justice could never and would never be served concerning the Black Lives Matters issue. Now I know that justice can be served, it’s just how you go about receiving it. This is important because all races/people should be treated fairly under the laws’ eyes. I saw this when our group talked with Ms. Mary Beth and how she kept saying how the voices of the youth are more effective in most cases than voices of adults.

E.N. – Day 9

The lectures we heard today were very interesting for me. It was easy for me to relate to and also it gave me more ideas of what I could do to make my dreams come true.

In the morning, we went to the Halcyon House to listen to lectures from people who support social entrepreneurs. They told us that they believe in supporting individual entrepreneurs. By this, the individual entrepreneurs will feel confident with themselves and they will keep doing what they believe is positive for the community. They hope these things will inspire others to help the community in their way, too. I thought this shows connections between people in society. It is really important for people to know that they are part of the society and that they can do something to change it better.

Halcyon House4What I thought interesting was “The Thinking Room” for people who don’t work well in front of desks. I thought this was a great idea because there is a lot more diversity, compared to countries like Japan, in America. There are many different kinds of people and I think it is great to respect their ways.

Afterwards, they told us that everyone can be social entrepreneurs. We just need to identify the problem, then come up with a solution for it. For the solution, we need to put some creativity. Before, I had always thought it was hard to become a social entrepreneur, though after I heard this lecture, I thought I might want to start looking at things critically and questioning things to become a social entrepreneur. Also, I thought I should step out of my comfort zone more because you learn most when you make mistakes.

Halcyon Group shotWhen I heard his story, I remembered about the earthquake and tsunami that happened in Sendai, a few years ago. I was living in Australia when it happened so I was not directly affected by it. At first, I didn’t know how it affected people in Japan although after some time, I started to understand and think of what I could do. I thought that I could raise some money for it so I decided to collect money from my school and donate the money raised. I did a speech in front of the whole school to inform students about this disaster and I gave paper cranes that I folded to students who donated. A paper crane symbolizes hope and peace in Japan. I gave them these to show that it was a great help for my home country.

Also, when I was in Australia, I was in a community circle named St John Ambulance. There, I learnt some basic skills to help people who got suddenly hurt. I wasn’t able to continue it in Japan though I would love the opportunity to do some volunteering for my community again.

In the afternoon, we heard a lecture by Ms Mary Beth Tinker. She told us about equality, justice, and peace. I learned that children have power to change the society and they have more power to change the society than adults. When she read us a letter from a child who was bullied, I reflected towards my own experience. When I lived in Australia, I was bullied by people in my grade because I didn’t have an Australian citizen. Most of my friends turned their backs towards me and they wouldn’t talk to me at all. It hadn’t been long since I left Japan so most of my ways of thinking were “Japanese.” They weren’t the type of people who would say what they felt, strongly towards other people and I didn’t either. This led to being bullied and I couldn’t tell them that I was very hurt by their actions until I finally went to a friend who wasn’t involved in this and she went to get a teacher for me. At that time, I was scared to say my opinions out loud. Even after, I got bullied many times and I started to realize how important it was to say my opinions out loud to other people. Now, I try to say my opinions to other people because they won’t be able to understand if I don’t tell them with words.

Mary Beth TinkerIn this lecture, what stood out to me was how Ms Tinker told us that “Life should be fair.” She told us that life is supposed to be fair for everyone and we should fight for our rights. She fought for her rights herself when she was a child, and she went all the way to the Supreme Court for her case. She also told us that when someone speaks up for a better society, someone else even if it may not be during your time will appreciate for your doings. This gave me courage and I think now that I would want to step up and speak out to make the society a better place. A great example of that is Jehanne Darc. She is a girl from France who ran a troop. It was unbelievable at that time because she was young and a female. This didn’t stop her and she spoke up for her country. In the end, she was burned to death. Her ending was very depressing although people nowadays know her bravery. I admire her very much because she sacrificed her life to speak up. I want that courage, too and even if I might not be able to make a huge difference when I am in high school, I thought that I might want to at least give it a try. Making an impact to the whole school may be difficult though volunteering for the society might be something I could do. After all, like she said, “Little things can make a big difference.”

The last speaker was Mr Andy Shallal. He was a social entrepreneur who started a restaurant to connect people together. He wanted to make a space where people could discuss about the society.

In the afternoon of July 28th at the Busboys and Poets, the TOMODACHI group are gathered around eating dessert. We discussed about the society with Mr Andy Shallal during our time here.

In the afternoon of July 28th at the Busboys and Poets, the TOMODACHI group are gathered around eating dessert. We discussed about the society with Mr Andy Shallal during our time here.

One thing we discussed about that I took interest in was how young people communicate nowadays. Many use Social Networking Services (SNS) to communicate though I, personally, don’t think it is a good idea. While texting is a really easy way to contact people far away instantly, one can’t see their facial expressions. I think this leads to a lot of misunderstandings. Thoughts that one was thinking while texting the other, may not reach the other in the way it was intended. This, I think, is a really big problem which is why I like to talk directly rather than through SNS. Mr Shallal agreed with my opinion and he told me that the restaurant he made was a place where people could speak their opinions directly to one another and it was one of the reasons why he started the place. I was really happy to know this because it gave me a sense of connection and I felt more confident with my opinion.

In conclusion, I feel great gratitude towards the speakers of today. It gave me power to speak up my opinions and I am determined to discuss more about the society. I want to hear more opinions, too.

E.N.
Keio SFC High School

Our Week One Highlights

PROGRAM NOTE: We asked all our TOMODACHI students this morning – “What was the most important or impactful activity from the first week?” Check out the amazing answers.

Ayane: My favorite thing was a story which Ms. Ayako told us at TOYOTA. She told us how she made “Kizuna across Culture.” I’ve joined the program which she made before so the story was really interesting and I was impressed by her life story because she made the company by herself to connect Japan and America.

Yeysi: My favorite thing from last week was when we went to the Washington Post and we met David Nakamura. I liked that part because he said inspirational stories that can get me out of my comfort zone like “Be curious in what you have passion on because it can be the key for your next door.” It made me feel that every time that I am feeling pressure can be another step to the change that I want to make.

R.M.: I liked a quote by Heinrich Heine, “Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings,” which I encountered in the US Holocaust Museum, because it made me realize the danger of the actions without enough knowledge.

Jeffrey: My favorite part of last week had to be when we stayed in the dorms with the Japanese students. Because it felt really nice just bonding with them over that two day time span without any electronics – just words and actual communications through little mini games we played and especially when we did the Harlem Shake. I also enjoyed the times me, Ryoto and Clinard had in our dorm with the tea bottle beat we had going on.

Kan: The most impactful thing for me in the last week was DC students’ passion. They spoke freely and actively. I think I also should talk actively like them. And I was helped by them a lot, and also taught a lot by them. I think I was impressed by them.

Christefer: My favorite part of last week was talking about stereotypes. It opened up my eyes to know how many stereotypes and generalizations the whole group and I knew. It helped me as a person to become more accepting of others and not assume how they act. It also helped me realize that I shouldn’t get in the way of learning who a person is.

Elijah: My favorite event from last week was eating soul food and listening to Rock Newman talk. Mr. Rock Newman was really inspirational because he told me “race is a man-made concept” and that made me realize that humans are the only natural race and people love to be separated. Finally, the soul food was wonderful and it filled my stomach.

Kiara: My favorite thing from last week was visiting Mulebone. I enjoyed myself because I love the atmosphere of the restaurant and the fact that it’s a combination of a vintage clothing store made the experience even better. I can imagine myself doing a lot of open mic events there as well as doing most of my shopping there. Since I have a love for vintage clothing. I also love the fact that they allow students to work and study and don’t charge them for sitting for long periods of time. The amount of sunlight that comes in through the windows gives the place a beautiful shine as the hanging lights and racks of beautiful dresses create a pleasing image of simplicity.

Rio: My favorite part in last week was visiting the Mall. I was surprised that there are a lot of trees around there; nevertheless, it is in the capital city of the U.S. I could also feel the warm atmosphere of people who live in D.C. there.

Kamashae: The activity I enjoyed the most was the Holocaust Museum. The Holocaust Museum stood out to me because seeing the circumstances and the pain these humans were put through will never erase from my memory. Knowing that there are people who are experts at this time through history; wanting to ensure that this horrific event never repeats itself in the future, is wonderful and comforting to know, as an African American living in America. I also learned that day that every ethnic race has its own history of troubles and most importantly, endurance.

H.K.: My most favorite part of the last week’s program was Mr. Rock Newman’s speech. His speech was something impacting and catchy which you don’t see as much in Japanese speakers talking towards teens. The thoughts he brings in, the impacting and inspirational words to make you re-think about how you keep confidence in yourself, the amazing experiences and examples he shared with us, his techniques he used to make the speech significant . . . everything was inspiring and meaningful to me.

E.N.: What stood out during last week to me were the rainbow flags, flapping beautifully under the blazing sun. They symbolize gay pride. I really liked these because they show America’s culture of being open and showing what one believes to another in a way that is pleasing to the eye. Also, I think it represents America having diversity and people from different ethnic backgrounds.

Maxx: My favorite part of last week was eating Ethiopian food because the beef, colors and heat of the food was outstanding. Apparently, they don’t eat pork and all the food they have is bathed in different sauces and a big rule to remember is the darker the spicier. I personally think this stood out because I’ve never tried it before and nor did the Japanese, so their faces like mine were surprised. The even crazier point is that the fierce food wasn’t even as hot as it would have been in Ethiopia.

Hiroto: My favorite piece of the program in last week was the program at the Holocaust Museum 21.7. Because as I said to everyone at the time, I think Japan was killing people like Holocaust during World War II in China. So I felt the connection between these and appreciated German history and also Japanese history. I thought it’s important to look back to the history of each other, and know and thinking about each others’ histories will become the first step to develop relations between countries.

Tempestt: My favorite activity from last week was traveling to Cardozo High School to talk to the students who are in the International Academy. I enjoyed talking to those students because I learned where they were from, and how it was to transition to the American culture. We were also able to participate in a kickball game, which was very cool and fun. All of the students were fully engaged as a whole in everything we did.

Clinard: Today is the first day of the second week. As I look back and reflect, I have realized that the trip to the Holocaust Museum had the largest impact on me. I enjoyed learning more about what happened during the Holocaust. The Holocaust only remained continuous because people were unknowledgeable. Meaning that it could have been stopped or even prevented if people knew what was going on. By knowing that, I have been inspired to extend my knowledge in order to educate others so that I may benefit someone else’s life or community.

A.O.: Going to the Washington Post. This is because it was very exciting knowing that a Japanese American was in the press pool – people from the media accompanying Obama – in America, which also made me very proud. I never thought “journalist” as my future dream, but I realized that it looked like a wonderful job for me.

R.H.: A moment that had a big impact for me is when Amanda gave me “snaps” to a question that I asked to Mr. David Nakamura, a White House reporter, at the Washington Post office. It was a 5th day in DC and I was still a little nervous to ask questions or say opinions in front of the class, but a question popped in my head – Why do politicians take the reporters with them even though I sometimes see them keeping quiet to the reporters? I spoke up with courage, so I was very happy when Amanda snapped for my question. This gave me a confidence, and now I’m able to speak up with no hesitation.

Introducing Everyday DC

PROGRAM NOTE: On Monday, July 18, the first full day of the program, our DC and Japanese students participated in a two-part workshop led by Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Workshop leaders Fareed Mostoufi and Evey Wilson provided coaching to help our students develop their photojournalism skills. Then they shared information about their “Everyday Africa” initiative, a project designed to capture the real, everyday side of Africa often ignored or unseen by mainstream media. The TOMODACHI USJYEP students were challenged to create their own “Everyday DC” photo project to document their time in DC. The real DC!! So after an afternoon bus tour that took our group all over the city, here’s what they came up with:

Ena-EDC-TwoRiversE.N.: I took a photo of TOMODACHI students playing in the field in the place where the two rivers meet. I took it at noon. I took this photo to show how the students from Japan and the DC students are coming together.

Tempestt-EDC-WashMonumentTempestt: This landmark is the Washington Monument during mid-day in Washington D.C. This building holds a significant role to D.C. because no other building in the city should be taller than this landmarkl.

Yeysi-EDC-GeorgetownSkyYeysi: I took this picture at Georgetown in front of the Potomac River on Monday, July 18. This picture includes Clinard and Jeffrey taking photos. 

Hiroto-EDC-RunandStayHiroto: Run and Stay.

Kamashae-EDC-WhenMoodSwingsKamashae: In Georgetown of Washington, DC . At 4:17pm, ” when the mood swings ”

Chris-EDC-Three FriendsChristefer: Three friends at Frederick Douglass’s house high fiving in the hot sun all for friendship!!

Kan-EDC-FountainKan: I took this picture of a fountain in Georgetown at 4:30 pm for the TOMODACHI group.

Hayato-EDC-Yeysis HairH.K.: Yeysi is tying her hair to keep it out of her way at Frederick Douglass’s house on a Monday afternoon.

Ayaka-EDC-Damp Sky A.O.: The damp sky just about to swallow the blue light, a man is staring at his phone and searching for a nice place to rest

Kiara-EDC-UnityinNatureKiara: A rare moment shows a sweet yet intriguing moment of bonding between the new students and alumni of the TOMODACHI Program..Unity in Nature.

Michael-EDC-Elijah and RobesonMichael: Taken by me at a martial arts dojo outside around 3 pm on July 18th. The picture is composed of Eli and an African American ball player, Paul Robeson. I took this picture because when Eli was standing in front of the drawing, turning his head just added the piece. Adding a black and white picture and it’s a historical moment.

Ryoto-EDC-GeorgetownSign R.M.: A picture of a tower and a sign in Georgetown on July 18th, 2016 for TOMODACHI.

Jeffrey-EDC-FountainJeff: Picture by a fountain near Georgetown around 4:30 pm with the rest of the TOMODACHI gang!

Ayane-EDC-MuralAyane: This is the mural which is a picture on the side of a building on U Street located in Washington DC in the daytime. I took this photograph because it is rare to see pictures in Japan on sides of buildings. This picture is a representation of what I thought America would be like because it is colorful.

Rio-EDC-SummerEveningRio: TOMODACHI participants enjoy their stay in Georgetown, Washington D.C. But they are concerned about the weather because they think it will storm. Japanese students will soon experience a summer evening in D.C. for the first time.

Clinard-EDC-ExchangeStudentClinard: An image of a foreign exchange student who sits and thinks as he reflects on what he has learned from his new friends and from the unfamiliar city itself.

Rina-EDC-DarkSkiesR.H.: This photo is taken in the late afternoon, July 18. It’s the photo of the fountain and the sky, in which the cloud is coming and starting to cover the bright and sunny sky. I took this photo because I thought it represents the typical weather of D.C.