Friday, July 31, 2009

it begins

So day one is drawing to a close right now. It was quite the day. Met everyone, travelled on the tube to our training site, and spent all day feeling pretty ignorant. Everything so far has been great, I am just very aware of how little I know. I mean seriously, how did I not know/interact with many muslims/buddhists/anyone else it feels like before this? I realize what I know about what they actually believe is miniscule. We got to go to london central mosque today for jumma (Spelled wrong for sure) prayer which happens every friday and is mandatory for men. There were 11,000 muslims there to pray today. I thought I would feel weird or threatened or confused but I felt enchanted. The whole thing was really cool. I felt connected to everyone. They are passionately trying to connect with the God they love, and their prayers are a physical (literally--so much body movement) manifestation of that. I really loved it. now I am in this weird spot where I am ashamed of my ignorance of islam and other people in general, but at the same time balancing this newly insatiable curiosity to learn. I have never really had muslim friends before, or felt safe asking them pretty much any question I ever wanted to know about islam and have them be excited to talk to me about it and not think my (very basic) questions were dumb.

Met specifically at one point with the group that is going to Tanzania and they are SO AWESOME. There are nine of us. From all different backgrounds. Being here is such a stimulating experience already and I really think every day is going to feel like today. There is a sharp learning curve for me in particular in this process (most of the others have extensive interfaith experience) and it is cool to be able to live in that and ask questions.

And London is pretty sweet to. We are going to the globe theater later to see Romeo and Juliet, and pretty much every day going to some sort of intense faith event. Tomorrow is an orthodox jewish synagogue. and I got wicked lost yesterday coming on the tube from the airport. The accents are great though, and the people are friendly. And did I mention costs are covered and this is the coolest thing ever? Seriously you guys, this is the best. I want to be a sponge the next seven weeks.

No comments: