Archive for the ‘Lucy Cavendish’ Category

Where Did You Find or Leave Bear?: Rockville, MD, USA

One day Lucy asked her host Jenney if she could go along to Jenney’s work. After making several inquiries, Lucy received the all clear visit and with much excitement she was off to visit the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory also known as AFDIL. This laboratory is the only one of its kind in the world is responsible for the identification of U.S. service members who are killed in the line of duty. Only a small portion of the lab focuses on current cases, with the majority of staff working on individuals who are missing-in-action (MIA) or who were prisoners-of-war (POW) during previous U.S. conflicts such as World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.

The first thing that Lucy learned during her day at the DNA lab is that you need to wear a lot of protective clothing. A lab coat, goggles, and gloves are a must, and in some work areas additional sleeves and a mask are required. The reason is so that the DNA Analysts don’t accidentally contaminate their samples with modern DNA. Most of the samples they work are either teeth or bones and they are between 40 years (Vietnam Conflict) and 70 years (WWII) old. After getting properly attired, Lucy took a tour of the laboratory and got a chance to peer through a window into one of the laboratory workspaces. Lucy watched as an Analyst sanded and cleaned a small fragment of bone.

It surprised Lucy to learn that the majority of DNA Analysts in the U.S.A. were women and the whole field of Forensic Science is heavily populated by women. It is such a fun area to work in and most scientists took a lot of math and science classes in schools.

Lucy also learned that LTC William L. Kieffer Jr., the name she made a rubbing of while visiting the Vietnam Memorial, was just recently identified and has been returned to his family. He will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery next spring. LTC Kieffer’s aircraft had been shot down over the country of Laos on 11 February 1970. His remains were recovered on 9 April 2007 and finally identified on 26 April 2010. It took three years of hard work by many people across the United States to return LTC Kieffer’s most precious possession… his name. The Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory is one group of those people. Others include Forensic Anthropologists and Odontologists (Dentists) at the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command’s Central Identification Laboratory in Hawaii. Approximately 80 individuals a year are identified.

Lucy learned how the anthropologists look closely at the bones, looking for a biological profile; the height, stature, gender, and age of the individual. They also look for healed injuries that might help figure out who the individual is. They use antemortem, or prior to death, medical and dental records to compare to the bones recovered. It is a very long and slow process, but very important at the same time. After her day at the DNA Laboratory, Lucy went back into Washington DC to see the Monuments lit up at night. While she was there, she lit a candle for LTC William L. Kieffer Jr. and his family.

Until they are Home…

Where Did You Find or Leave Bear?: Washington DC, USA

During her romp around Washington Lucy made a new friend in front of the United States Capitol Building which is home to both Houses of the US Congress. The fine gentlemen is of the Wandering Pineapple species and according to his Dutch traveling companions is also on an around the world expedition. So, they decided to take a picture together to mark the momentous occasion.

Lucy at The Power House
Lucy at The Power House

Where Did You Find or Leave Bear?: Washington DC, USA

Lucy loved the Bison Chili so much at the National Museum of the American Indian that she asked if she could go back and get seconds. The museum itself is quite beautiful from the outside. It’s made of a golden-colored limestone and is curved and rounded evoking natural rock formations carved by wind and water over thousands of years. As luck would have it, the Living Earth Festival was going on during her second visit.

There were many hands-on activities. Lucy learned to make a bowl from dried straw and pinch pot out of clay. For lunch she had to have the Bison Chili from the Great Plains again. She also tried a white corn dumpling with a berry sauce from the Northern Woodlands.

Afterwards she watched many beautiful dancers share some of their dancing heritage with those gathered. Lucy even made a very special friend, who was four years old, who taught her how to dance the woman’s Fancy Shawl Dance. Lucy was very excited as the dancers wore such colorful regalia and moved with such grace. And all the dance steps are individually choreographed so everyone stands out with their creativity.

Lucy learned that Women’s Fancy Shawl Dance is a very fast paced dance filled with intricate individual footwork, many spins and turns, and follows the beats of the drum. The shawl is outspread to represent the wings of a butterfly either in flight or emerging from a cocoon. Lucy can’t wait to practice her footwork along her journey.

Where Did You Find or Leave Bear?: Washington DC, USA

History, Artifacts, and Astronauts, Oh My! Lucy spent a glorious day hopping amongst one of America’s greatest treasures… the Smithsonian Institution. The Smithsonian consists of over a dozen world-class museums, all of which are free to the world as a gift from the American people. And it is one of the things that Lucy’s hosts like best about living near Washington DC.

In a day that included seeing the Declaration of Independence and the Magna Carta at the Archives; eating bison chili at the Museum of the American Indian; and exploring the dinosaur bones at the Museum of Natural History, Lucy was most taken with the wonders of the Air and Space Museum. She got an up close look at the Apollo 11’s Command Module for the First Manned Lunar Landing Mission. This was the mission where Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin successfully landed on the moon for the first time in history. Lucy and a young friend also tried their luck at being a NASA Flight Control expert. Afterward they rocked out playing with a thermal camera detecting radiant heat. Lucy pointed herself out in the picture so that you could easily find her.

Another high point in Lucy’s day came while at the Museum of American History. She traveled down the Yellow Brick Road and got an up close look at Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers. Thank goodness the Wicked Witch of the West was nowhere to be found. Jim Henson’s original Kermit-the-Frog also drew Lucy’s attention, being an animal of great character like herself. Lucy can only trust that her own wanderings will bring as much attention to her cause as Kermit draws to his. Here is to a little inspiration and a great deal of luck.

Not all who wander are lost.

Where Did You Find or Leave Bear?: Washington DC, USA

While wandering around Washington DC, Lucy explored the National Mall. This large outdoor park is filled with monuments, memorials, museums, and various dedicated statues. First stop of course, was the White House. No visit to DC would be complete without a picture on the ellipse in front of the President’s home. There was even a large vegetable garden out front where they grow their own yummy veggies. Next was a stop at the statue of Albert Einstein. Urban legend has it that if you climb the statue and pick Einstein’s nose, that you will gain part of his intelligence and genius. Every grad student from the George Washington University has partaken in this ritual. Lucy thought we were slightly off our rocker, but graciously indulged her hosts. After all that silliness, Lucy wandered over towards FBI Headquarters. While they were not accepting tours, Lucy did pose outside the Hoover building. Lucy kept her eyes open for any special agents wandering about, but didn’t see any. Maybe next time.

Next was a visit to the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial which contains the names of every U.S. Service Member killed during that conflict. The beautiful granite walls, inscribed with the names reflect the images of those peering at its surface. Rubbings can be taken. And while crowded, there was a quiet reflective atmosphere surrounding it. Just around the corner was the Lincoln Memorial with a huge statue of President Abraham Lincoln. Peering out from the top, the Washington Monument and the World War II Memorial are mirrored in the reflecting pool. From these steps, Martin Luther King made his “I Have A Dream” speech promoting racial equality. Beyond the Washington Monument, the U.S. Capital Building looms large.

Lucy thought it was so peaceful, and beautiful down on the Mall. She reflected that it was a lot greener than she expected being in the heart of Washington DC. She ended the day looking forward to visiting several of the Smithsonian Museums that line both streets surrounding the National Mall tomorrow.

Lunch with Obama?

Lunch with Obama?

Lucy Has a Theory
Lucy Has a Theory

Lucy Visits the FBI Building
Lucy Visits the FBI Building

A Moment to Reflect
A Moment to Reflect

Lucy Has A Dream - To Help a Family in Africa.
Lucy Has A Dream – To Help a Family in Africa.

Where Did You Find or Leave Bear?: Cheltenham cont….

As Lucy’s stay with us continues she began to pine for a taste of home. Luckily, we had just the solution…a football (soccer) match. So, Lucy accompanied us and some friends to a match between Manchester City and Inter Milan in Baltimore, Maryland. Man City got robbed by the ref, but Lucy took it all in stride. She knows that everyone is just jealous of the Citizens and since it was only a friendly it can’t be taken too seriously. And as you can see, even Emmanuel Adebayor stopped to wave to Lucy and see to it that she was enjoying herself. Next stop…Washington, DC.

Lucy's Favourite Team - City!
Lucy’s Favourite Team – City!

Lucy's Own Seat Ready for the Match
Lucy’s Own Seat Ready for the Match

Give us a Wave Ady
Give us a Wave Ady

Go City Cries Lucy
Go City Cries Lucy

Now Where's The Hot Dogs?
Now Where’s The Hot Dogs?

Where Did You Find or Leave Bear?: Queens Hotel Cheltenham

When Lucy went on walk-about she stopped for a rest at the fabulous Queen’s Hotel in Cheltenham where she was found in the bushes by some of the staff and invited inside for a rest and refreshments. She decided to sit and watch the comings and goings of the many guests in an effort to find someone that might take her on an adventure.

After a short while Lucy spotted a group of Americans there on business and decided to latch on with them. Lucy was taken all about Cheltenham and the surrounding Cotswalds and enjoyed a fabulous dinner at The Plough Pub which was built in 1657. Not a big deal in Cheltenham but it seemed pretty cool to the Yanks. Then, Lucy decided to go home with one of them and is now visiting him and his family in the state of Maryland in the USA and as we speak is looking forward to attending the Manchester City – Inter Milan soccer (football) match in Baltimore tonight. Lucy expects to visit Washington, DC soon and then will find a new friend to travel with, perhaps to the far east if it can be arranged. Lucy is after all quite the adventurer and you never know where she’ll wind up.

Royal Treat at the Queens Hotel
Royal Treat at the Queens Hotel

Time for A Little Relaxation
Time for A Little Relaxation

Refreshing Cider?
Refreshing Cider?

Time For a Rest Again.
Time For a Rest Again.

Lucy is out and about in Cheltenham last seen strolling along the prom.

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