5/11/09

Start -- Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany

Arrived: 1000 / Departed: 1045

We started at the German Embassy promptly at 10:00 in the remote western corner of the District. We were all excited about the start of the first ever EU 27-Embassy ten miler -- four of us -- courageous ones: Neal Carlton, Elizabeth Leasure, Ken Monroe, and me, Chito Peppler. The reception that we received at the German Embassy was even more amazing.

The "E" Team standing in front of the German Embassy

We were met by the spokesman for the German Embassy, Mr. Ulrich Sante, as well as Ms. Anna Schiller, and 1st Lieutenant Rainer Seidenstuecker. Ulrich hooked us up with ballcaps, backpacks, T-shirts and pins. Then we held a brief media event emphasizing the close German-American relations from the Berlin airlift to the fall of the Berlin Wall today with the anniversary coming up later this year.

The author with 1st Lt (German Air Force) Rainer Seidenstuecker. (Rainer and I worked together the previous week on the visit of GEN Karl-Heinz Lather.)

After the interview, we were given a tour of the state-of-the art embassy and beautiful grounds that included an
exhibit on German-Jewish Heritage, important artifacts of German-Jewish history which became open to the general public for the very first time today.


Next came arguably the best food this side of town -- the bratwurst and Deutsches bier was appealing to the palate (though I knew I would later regret the early indulgence) and the beautiful German and Bavarian costumes were bright and beautiful to admire (made me have second thoughts about even starting the run). But the Germans rallied behind us and sent us their zealous well wishes: "Viel Gl├╝ck!" (Good Luck)



We so desperately needed those words of encouragement -- we were on a mission today and no matter how good Germany was to us and how badly we wanted to stay, we had 26 other fantastic embassies ahead of us. But before we set off on the long and windy road, we had one more for the road. Prost! (Cheers). I love Germany especially German beverages -- need to stay hydrated for the run.

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