This page shows the highlights of our tour from July 18th through July 27th. Check our participants page to see which of us is reporting on a particular day!
The White House Independence Hall The Liberty Bell
The White House: "Thank God I Have Freedom!"
The first place we visited today was the White House. In the White House there are rooms such as the Red Room, Green Room, Yellow Room, and the Blue Room. The Red Room has been used by first ladies for "get togethers" and "tea parties". The Yellow Room had beautiful china everywhere and golden colored curtains draped all around. There was a wooden table with eagles as it legs. I don't really remember what the Green Room had in it, I just know it was very pretty. A chandaleer hung from the ceiling of the Blue Room. All through the rooms were sculptures of people like George Washington and Christopher Columbus. After our visit to the White House we were on our way to Maryland.
In Maryland, our visit to the Great Blacks in Wax Museum saddened and angered me. We were able to go inside of a slave ship. We saw slaves chained and packed on top of each other. When a slave needed to urinate or deficate, they were forced to do so where they were bound. Our tour guide explained that when slaves were sold they branded as cattle. If they were disobedient they would mark them on their foreheads. Our guide explained the process of picking cotton. If a slave did not pick 5,000 lbs. of cotton they had to wear an iron brace around their neck. This brace extended down to their legs. At the top of the brace were bells so their master could locate them. Even though the slave could not bend down while wearing the brace, they were expected to do the same amount of work. If they did not meet the requirements, an iron mask was put on their face, so they could not eat or drink. There were just enough holes for them to breathe.
When our guide completed the narration, we were allowed to tour the museum at our own pace. A group decided to go downstairs to the basement. This part of the museum hurt me the most. It depicted things like the lynching of "colored" people. One display showed a black man and woman being hung. The woman's legs had been cut off and her stomach had been cut open. It was through that opening here live baby was taken. In this same display a black man had been castrated and his genitalia lay in a bloody pool. Can you imagine being treated with such cruelty? We then went upstairs, where we discovered a display of black kings and queens. I regret we don't have pictures of this wonderful experience. The museum would not allow the use of our digital camera.
Pastor Carol choose Wendy's for lunch. It was a delicious meal, believe me! Unfortunately it began to rain, so we had to run back to the bus. Praise God we were on our way to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania!
In Philadelphia we toured Independence Hall and saw the Liberty Bell. In Independence Hall our guide informed us of the many people who sat in this courtroom in the 1700's. People like Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington, (until he was called upon to go to Massachusetts and lead the army). On July 2, 1776 they voted for the right of Independence. Hamilton, Madison, John Adams, John Hancock, (the President of Congress), Timothy Mattlock, and Benjamin Franklin, are a few who signed the Declaration of Independence. After it was signed Ben Franklin made a comment saying, "Often and often I have sat here and seen half of a sun. In which I wonder whether it is rising or setting." Mr. Franklin's statement meant that if by signing the Declaration of Independence, were they taking a step forward or a step backwards. In the end, Ben Franklin knew for a fact that they were taking a good step forward for our nation's future. Then we ventured on the see the Liberty Bell.
After our visit to Philadelphia, we boarded our bus and went to our hotel in Bensalem. Because it was Shaquida's birhday, Pastor Carol decided we should celebrate. We ate at "Dynasty Restaurant". The food was delicious! Our waiter's
presented Shaquida with a birthday cake. We had an awesome time of fellowship. I believe Shaquida will forever remember her 12th birthday.
I definitely must end this report because we leave at 7:00 A.M. I hope this report has been as exciting and educational as it has been for me.
Before I go, Hi Mommy! I Miss You!
Reporting: Jennifer A. Goran
Our Lady of Freedom: The hustle and bustle of View of N.Y. from
The Statue of Liberty "Time Square" in New York City Empire State Building's 86th floor
Nibbling at the "Big Apple"
Our day started early with breakfast, loading the bus and morning devotion. We took off and hit the highway. We went on the New Jersey turnpike. We were headed to New York City for a cruise around "Manhattan" on the Hudson River. In order to get into the city we went through an underwater tunnel called "Lincoln".
We arrived at pier 83 and immediately boarded the boat. Once aboard there was a man who narrated. He told about important events and facts. We saw the Statue of Liberty, cruised under several bridges, and passed by Yankee Stadium.
After we got off the boat we went to "Times Square" where it was very crowded. We walked around, ate lunch, and went into stores. Then we got back on the bus and headed for the Empire State Building. We took the elevator to the 86th floor of the Empire State Building. We went up really high, and it was amazing how you could see the entire city of New York and beyond. The Empire State Building was fun.
Reporting: Robert Gooden
Our last look of Pennsylvania Ashley working on her Devyn at the Ohio vistor center
Heading Out West
Today we started our day with continental breakfast. I decided not to have anything to eat because I wasn't hungry. It was my turn to give the opening prayer and devotion. This morning Pastor Carol instructed us to watch a video about the "Underground Railroad". We learned many different facts about several individuals such as Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth and others.
When we crossed the state-
After we checked into our hotel, we spent the rest of our evening doing what we love to do ........ SWIMMING!
Reporting: Devyn Oliver
"A.J." at the Indiana/Michigan Visiting the University View from the Sky Deck
state line. of Norte Dame. of the Sears Tower
Visiting The Windy City
Our day began with morning devotion and prayer. Mrs. Sharon Randall, our special guest, left the tour this morning to be with her son as he celebrates his 23rd birthday. We're going to miss you Mrs. Randall!
On our journey to Chicago, we were able to cross the Indiana state line into Michigan. After crossing over, we headed back to interstate #80 west. After a few hours of driving, we found ourselves in South Bend, Indiana. While there, it was decided that we could briefly visit the University of Norte Dame for photographs.
We left South Bend, Indiana and headed to Chicago for our tour at the top of the Sears Tower. It is considered the world's tallest building. It stands 1,450 feet high (1,730 feet with antennas) and has 110 floors. When we finally arrived in Chicago at the Sears Tower, we took the express elevator to the top. What a view! We were graced with the presence of our very own, Pastor Segaro Bozart who happened to be in Chicago for business. It was good to see him!
As I end my report, I would like to say, "I miss you mom and I'll be home soon"!
Reporting: Andre O'Neil Stepney(A.J.)
First peek of the country-
To start our day, we departed from Glenview, Illinois for Wisconsin. When we arrived in Wisconsin, we stopped at a rest area for approximately 20 minutes. From there we got back on interstate #90 west and headed for Minnesota. On our
way, Darrin and I happened to see a lot of cows in the open fields. We were not surprised because for the most part, Wisconsin looks like farm land, you know, the 'real' country-
As we gazed at the country-
land and it was quite similar to that of Wisconsin ... a vast country-
After a while of driving through Minnesota, we got close enough to cross the state line into Iowa. Darrin and I noticed that there was no change in the scenery. We did admit to each other that it was beautiful. At the rest area we got more
information on Iowa, including information on its capitol which is Des Moines. I also got an opportunity to chat with an older gentleman about Youth Tour 2000. He was so nice that he gave me and some of the other Youth Tour participants Iowa
After our brief, but much needed break, we headed for Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where we checked into our hotel for the night.
Reporting: Sarah Akinwale and Darrin Oliver
Gutzon Borglum, Sculptor Mt. Rushmore Sculpture of Crazy Horse
"Take Me Back To The Black Hills Of South Dakota!"
Today was a big treat! We visited the greatest mountain that I have ever seen, Mount Rushmore. We discovered another mountain that was dedicated to a spiritual leader of the "Lakota Sioux Indian Tribe" by the name of "Crazy Horse".
During our visit to this mountain we went through a museum of the sculptor who designed the American presidents, Mr. Gutzon Borglum. He started at the age of 60 when he built this sculpture. He also created other models of other presidents
but Mt. Rushmore was his largest work.
When we visited "Crazy Horse", 17 miles away, we discovered it is still under construction. "Crazy Horse" was a great leader among his people. It was agreed that this mountain be dedicated in his honor. "Crazy Horse" was killed by an
American soldier. Indians will always remember what "Crazy Horse" said, "The dead of my people lie in these hills."
We left "Crazy Horse" mountain and took one last look at Mt. Rushmore, and then headed for the hotel in Spearfish. We had a great time of fellowship together in South Dakota, and will remember this for a long time.
Reporting: Anthony Buck
Shaquida In Wyoming Children Chasing A Small Calf Cowboy Riding Wild Horse
At the Cody Rodeo "Bareback"
"Roping Cattle In the Rocky's"
Hello Everyone! This is Shaquida Severe, your reporter for today. We started our morning with a continental breakfast at Black Hills Inn located in Spearfish, Wyoming. I did my devotional which was about "faith". After my devotional we
sang Happy Birthday to Sis. Eary Sanders affectionately known as "Granny". Today is her birthday. We left South Dakota headed to Cody, Wyoming. We stopped at a rest area and I had my photographer take a picture of me under the "Welcome to Wyoming" sign.
While driving to our destination, we watched videos. We watched the "Prince of Egypt," which was very interesting. Pastor Carol paused the movie for a moment to have us look out at the Rocky Mountains. After a while we stopped for lunch in a small town which had a population of 311 people. It was really small! In this small town, we ate lunch at McDonald's. We stayed there for about an hour and returned to interstate #90 west. Once we got started, we watched another video entitled "Richie Rich."
When we reached our hotel we unloaded the bus, put our luggage in our rooms, and headed for the "Cody Nite Rodeo". We were very excited about this rodeo because many of us had never attened a rodeo. When we arrived, we saw some of the animals on our way in. We saw cowboys riding bareback on wild horses. As the horse began bucking in revolt, it became difficult for the cowboy to hang on. This was very exciting to watch. There was a clown that entertained us in between events. Children twelve and under were allowed to chase after a small calf for a prize ribbon that was tied to his tail. This was the most exciting time I have had in a long time. I hope you enjoyed this report. I love you!
P.S. Happy belated birthday to everyone who celebrated their birthday in July. I miss you mom! I'll see you soon.
Reporting: Shaquida Severe
Hot Spring in Yellow Stone Jennifer at "Old Faithful" Eruption of "Old Faithful"
"Yellow Stone: Let The Memories Continue"
This morning was one of the earliest mornings we experienced on the tour, with the exception of day one. We left our hotel headed for Yellowstone National Park, the largest and oldest National Park in the U.S.
As we approached the East Entrance of the park, it was decided that we would travel the lower road, known as the "lower loop." This loop is approximately 98 miles long. Along this route the scenery was absolutely breathtaking! We witnessed many forms of wildlife, such as elk, deer, and bison, to name a few. Brooks, streams, waterfalls and hot springs were the backdrop for our beautifully painted canvas.
Yellowstone covers approximately 2.2 million acres or 3,472 square miles. It is larger than the states Delaware, and Rhode Island combined, and spreads across the borders of 3 states -
In 1988, Yellowstone National Park experienced the largest fire fighting efforts in the history of the U.S. Conditions occurred that were never seen before. There were extended droughts and high winds. Over 36% of the park burned, which is
approximately 793,880 acres. As we drove through the park, we saw the devastating aftermath of these fires. A large area of land had literally been stripped of its trees, wildlife, and its green blankets of grass.
In addition, we saw the eruption of Old Faithful, the world's best known and most popular geyser. Eruption's have been known to last anywhere from 1-
I believe this trip to Yellowstone National Park shall be etched in our memories forever. As we exited Yellowstone, we headed for Highway #86 to Provo, Utah, which is our lodging for tonight.
Reporting: Jennifer Goran
Our hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada Lauri posing at the pool
in Las Vegas
"There's No Place Like Home"
Today was an exciting day! For starters, we got a chance to sleep in late. Pastor Carol informed us last night that we could sleep late since our time on the bus yesterday was 17 hours.
In less than two days, we'll be home. Currently we are traveling from Provo, Utah to Las Vegas, Nevada. Some of us are hoping that when we arrive in Las Vegas, we'll be able to go to Circus Circus to play video games and swim at our hotel. We
are patiently awaiting Pastor Carol's decision.
The bus ride from Provo to Las Vegas was fun. Pastor Carol allowed us to individually share with our peers our personal thoughts in regards to each persons overall behavior on the tour. This was fun because it allowed us to see ourselves
in the eyes of others. Pastor Carol did explain that this was not a time to get even, be mean or vindictive. We were encouraged to give honest and constructive criticism. The boys ranked from 1 to 10 and the girls 1 to 16. The boy and the girl
who ranked number one needed improvement in thier behavior. The boy who ranked number ten and the girl who ranked number 16 had the most excellent behavior. Among the girls, I placed number ten. We wanted to rate our chaperons, but Pastor Carol told us that each chaperon rated excellent. She appreciated that they consented to assist her with caring for us.
When we arrived in Las Vegas, Pastor Carol decided that swimming would be our entertainment for the evening. I really wanted to go to Circus Circus, but I was cool with her decision because it was hot. 104 degrees to be exact!
Tomorrow evening the tour will officially be over and I will be home with family and friends sharing my experiences. I love you all!
Reporting: Lauri Fairmon
Major Financial Contributors, Youth Tour "2000" Participants, Back Home With Family and Friends
Marvin and Lois Clark Following Last Lunch
in Victorville, CA
Home, Sweet Home!
We boarded our bus this morning headed to Los Angeles. As we made our way through the streets of Las Vegas, we past hotels such as the "Rio" and the "Excalibur". On interstate #15, we past through Bakersfield and Barstow one of which had a large rollercoaster. Some of us wanted to ride, but we continued on our quest for home.
We prayed for our bus driver, Mr. Varis Green as he drove our final stretch home. In Victorville, we saw the world's largest thermometer which indicated that is was 113 degrees. While in Victorville, we ate our last meal at the "Hometown Buffet".
We were joined by Melvin and Lois Clark, two of Youth Tour 2000's major contributors.
Today is the last and final day of our tour. We have traveled many miles across our vast country and visted many different places. We thank God for the opportunity and the experience.
Reporting: Ronald Fairmon Jr.
Youth Tour 2000 Progress
Eagle Empowerment, Inc.
Education in Motion