River of Spirit Odyssey – Day 5

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We are on Odyssey, running full and sometimes a bit raw. Pushing to understand the building blocks of spirit, the quiet intangibility of faith, the communities that move so many of us. We are reminded of how important this kind of journey is, how it is an essential part of of how we, the middle school, learn. We are so thankful.

Chanting of the Qu’ran at Yusuf Mosque

Monday, May 9

Breakfast at Friendly Crossways.  

10:00 – Sri Lakshmi Hindu Temple

Lunch – 88 Food Connection (Asian Food Court)

3:00 – Tour, questions, and attending late afternoon Salaat at Yusuf Mosque

6:00 Dinner at American Flatbread

Return to Friendly Crossways – journal

May 9th

This day was very good. I was hanging out with all different people than I usually do. It was very fun, because there was so much to talk about, and we got to know each other more. Being on the trip helped me connect to different people, because everyone was together. – Gabe

I really enjoyed going to the [Sri Laksmi] Hindu temple this morning. The atmosphere of the place was extraordinary, and so different than our culture. The statues of the gods were so awesome and beautiful. The prayers that the priests did were really cool. It took me to a whole new world. – Dashiell

First we went to the Sri Laksmi Temple. This was special, because I felt a higher being, and was refreshed from my experience there. My favorite part was talking to the female volunteer…she took me to the elephant idol as the priest poured milk over him. Then the priest gave us the milk, and that was very special. – Asher

Today we got to see another variety of opinions at the places we went. The thing that felt most real to me was the discussion we had with Barbara at Yusef Mosque. The way she spoke was so personal and honest. It gave me a peek into the life of someone who has faith in something, and has to deal with the judgement of humans because of it. It’s heartbreaking to know that people can’t look beyond the surface. They see the skin and the hijab, and put that soul into a category, ignoring the truth. No group of people can be sorted as all bad people, or all good people. – Abby

Gender roles have been an ongoing theme this trip from the very beginning. Many religions are a set of rules, and that can affect almost everything. It creates guidelines for how to act, but also who to love. If you fit those guidelines, then great. If not, then you can’t really do anything. If someone has enough faith in a religion, those guidelines become unbendable, unchangeable. – Root

The Yusef Mosque was really interesting, because I thought it would be very decorated, but it was not. It was cool how they had classrooms upstairs. Its Imam had a really beautiful voice, and it was really powerful. I’m glad that was our last stop on the Odyssey. – Ciana