Thursday, October 20, 2011

Susan and Jules' Blog

We started off the day by traveling to the Hellenic Museum in Greek town. This is the first Greek museum outside of Greece. At the Hellenic Museum we were able to view an exhibit on the Chicago marathon and on the Greek Orthodox Church. The first marathon completed in Greece was ran in the nude because they were worried the competitors would cheat. There are 500 communities in the United States with 34 Greek Orthodox churches in Illinois. We heard a presentation on Greece as well. During that presentation our presenter talked about Jane Addams and the Hull House. The Hull House was a major center for Greeks where Addams taught music, theater, dance, and English. She was a mother figure for the boys there, so when she died the whole Greek town shut down.

After the Hellenic center we went to a presentation and prayer session at the Islamic Center. We first, as ladies, were required to cover our heads and then everyone had to remove their shoes. This was a new experience for all of us as we have never had to do this in our daily lives before. We heard a presentation by Dr. Sabeel on many different aspects of Islam. There are 80 mosques in Chicago and eleven million Islamic people in the United States. The book they use is the Quran. We learned that Allah is the creator of Islam, which means God. There are 99 different names for Allah, which means love and kindness. One thing that we all found somewhat surprising was how similar Islam is to our religion. Following the presentation we attended a prayer session where we observed men doing one of their five daily prayers.

We then traveled to the Field Museum where we explored the African exhibit, the Tibet exhibit, and the Ancient Americans exhibit. At the African exhibit we learned about the many different animals and the culture of Africa. At the Tibet exhibit, we learned about the Dalai Lama and where Buddhism fits into Tibet.
Finally at the Ancient Americans exhibit we learned how human creativity leads to innovations and lifestyles through different tools and culture.

For dinner we ate at Triple Crown Chinese restaurant. Many different dishes were served, one being egg drop soup which we had never had! Our favorites were the walnut shrimp and the egg drop soup. It was quite an experience. Following dinner we attended the Chicago Symphony which is number one in the world. The music they played was beautiful and kept our attention throughout the whole performance. We are now about to head to bed after a long day and prepare for another exciting day tomorrow.

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