Ok, I admit it. I'm a little bit spoiled. Not only did I get to attend President Obama's state visit in Berlin, and sit front row at his speech at the Brandenburg Gate, but I got to meet him and the First Lady beforehand and shake their hands in a private meeting for state department employees.
Oh, you know, just a typical day at the office.
One of the perks of working for the state department is that you get to attend lots of interesting events and receptions, and get to do a lot of networking with the movers and shakers in the community. For example, since I've been in Hamburg, I've gotten to meet German politicians, businessmen and even the US Ambassador to Germany (more on that later). However, that being said, I never thought that my internship would allow me to meet and shake the hands of President Obama and the First Lady.
The trip to Berlin was a whirlwind. Three of my colleagues also decided to attend the state visit, and so we drove out the night before to Berlin from Hamburg in one of the consulate's armored vehicles. We arrived midnight, and Matt, the other intern in the office, and I decided it was the perfect time to go grab a quick döner -- a must do if you're in Berlin. After that, it was bedtime for us, because we had to arrive at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Potsdamer Platz at 6:15 the next morning in order to attend his Mission Germany meeting. With the help of a couple of cups of coffee, we made it there on time and went through the most extreme security checkpoint of my life. Our bags were opened, searched and swabbed to test for drugs, we went through several metal detectors and were patted down by guards, and before any of us could even enter the hotel, the entire building needed to be searched by bomb-sniffing dogs. Pretty intense stuff.
Once we were actually able to enter the hotel, there was a lot of waiting. Three hours of waiting to be exact. And then he was there!
It was an absolute dream come true to meet the President. I've always been a huge Obama supporter, and it was surreal to get to meet him and Michelle across the world, in my favorite city in the world.
Unfortunately, I only have one picture from the event with the President. Of course, of all days, this was the day to forget my camera (I'm still trying to forgive myself for this). But, ta-da! Here it is! Could I look any more excited?