The first day of Session One was focused on getting to know each other and expressing ourselves creatively. After introducing ourselves and playing some ice-breaker games, we spent an hour and a half decorating cups (to be used every day enjoying fantastic meals prepared by Local Sprouts!) and journals. The girls are invited to record their thoughts and emotions in these journals, which went from plain black books to beautiful, bedazzled creations that reflect the unique personality of each girl. After journal-decorating we shared our favorite music and played charades, and wrapped the afternoon up with a dinner provided by Local Sprouts — pasta with red sauce, a green salad, and fresh bread and butter.
Day Two was a dialogue day. The highlight was a visit from Imam Muse Ali. He started his visit by sharing a story out of the book Somalis in Maine. After reading the story, he invited the girls to share their reactions to this story, a first-person narrative by a young Somali girl who talked about the pressures of living within a close-knit, often demanding community. Before Muse left, he collected anonymously-written questions from the girls and answered them for the group — everything from “What is ‘love’ in Islam?” to “Why don’t our parents approve of Facebook and other social media?” Thanks for visiting, Muse!