Tuesday, October 26, 2010

These Boots Were Made For Walkin'

Last week and this week I'm occupying my time with Subsaharan Africa area studies. This entails listening to many speakers on the geography, history, economy, security, religion, culture, art, etc. of the region. It's a lot to cram into two weeks so most of the presentations have been very broad overviews, but I think it gives me a good grounding on the issues so I can delve into them more deeply later as far as Guinea is concerned.

There are also field trips, which I think should be required for all training. This week's trips are a visits to an Ethiopian restaurant and the Smithsonian Museum of African Art. Last week we went out to the ADAMS center in Dulles. I had been to mosques before but never to Friday prayers, so that was a new and interesting experience. The service was surprisingly short: a Qu'ran reading, a brief homily (on the hajj, since it's coming up), and the prayer. The whole thing lasted 30 to 40 minutes, much more efficient than the hour-plus church services I had to sit through when I was younger. We got to see a funeral prayer too, which was also very short, and then there was discussion after.

Unfortunately, on Friday morning I completely forgot about the excursion and decided to wear the most mosque-unfriendly pair of shoes I own: cowboy boots. It took two of my classmates to get me out of them - one pinning me to the wall and the other yanking the damn things off my heels. What kind of self-respecting mosque doesn't have a boot jack available? I'm sure the mosques in Texas are more appropriately equipped.


  1. Bwahaha on Texas mosques.

  2. "...one pinning me to the wall and the other yanking the damn things off..." - out-of-context win!