A Journey of Firsts


If seeing a teacher (or seeing a student if you’re a teacher) is like seeing a dog walk on its hind legs, then what is it like to travel with them?

A Journey of Firsts

This year’s Washington D.C. trip was a “border crossing.” There were so many firsts experienced on this trip that Mr. Umaña felt fortunate to share in the experience.

For two students, this was their first time flying on a plane; for one student, this was his first time trying quiche; and for all students, this was their first time on the east coast.

Most notable about this year’s trip were the connections that students made with folks from communities outside of their own. Manzy Mustangs made friends with other students from across the bay, learned from a globe-trotting tour director, and even got to travel with a local working journalist. Mr. Umaña only regrets not having more time – and not being to share this experience with more students.

A Busy Week

The students that did make the trip took full advantage of five days in our nation’s capital. Their feet are still recovering from all the walking.

Highlights included the National Air and Space Museum, the International Spy Museum, the National Zoo, and George Washington’s Mount Vernon. Lessons learned included the magnitude of the Holocaust and the lasting legacy that the work of one person can have on a country.

New Aspirations

It was overheard that some students returned to Richmond with a change of heart regarding their career aspirations: one student is now interested in zoo keeping, and another in being a spy. Overall, “It was an amazing experience!” said Bryan V.


The 8th Grade Washington D.C. trip is a decade-long Manzanita tradition. Photos courtesy of Ernesto Umaña and the 2017 trip participants.


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