Etgar 36

Day 16- Las Vegas

– Hunter Brown

Following a late night of explosive volcanoes and beautiful fountains on the Las Vegas Strip, it was nice to sleep in for a change as we didn’t board the bus untilĀ 9:15. Soon thereafter, we arrived at the Culinary Academy of Las Vegas, where we experienced the plight of those invisible to us: service industry workers. My eyes opened to the insanely small amount of time that the hotel maids have to clean the hotel rooms, I know I will take much greater care to keep my room clean during future hotel stays.

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At our tour’s conclusion, we engaged in a discussion concerning the role of unions, minimum wage versus living wage, and the issue of immigration. The latter served as a framing discussion for our afternoon meeting with a member of the Taxed Enough Already (TEA) Party.

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However, that encounter would have to wait as we first had lunch at Inn N Out Burger. As an Easterner (Virginia), I was very curious as to what all the hype was about.

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After a satisfying meal, we traveled to the Congress of Racial Equality building to meet with Niger Innis, the TEA Party member mentioned above.He talked about Americanization and assimilation of immigrants and attempted to dispel the notion that the TEA Party was a racist group. He made some very interesting points and, like almost every meeting on the trip thus far, he made us think of the issue in a whole new way.We had vibrant discussions while on the return trip to our hotel to relax and dine in preparation for the nocturnal spectacular that awaited us.

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I cannot even begin to fathom a description for the Blue Man Group show. It was odd, to say the least. However, it was absolutely amazing and spectacular. It involved amazing percussion skills, flashing lights, computer screens, genius comedy, paint flying everywhere, Twinkies, and giant inflatable balls, just to name a few of the elements of the truly extraordinary experience that was the Blue Man Group. That night, we discussed the power that the performers had over the audience members. I had never realized before, but it suddenly dawned on me that we always did what the performers told us, whether it was saying a phrase or clapping our hands. Over all, it was a fitting conclusion to the awe-inspiring spectacle that was Las Vegas.

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