Monday, May 28, 2012

Zoo Day

No really, it was Family Day at the Zoo today, an annual event put on by Building Blocks to bring any and all Muslims in the community together for food, fun, and just a little bit of depression brought on by viewing a sparse offering of sluggish animals in a pretty tight space for a "suggested donation" of $2 for adults. Basically the zoo is free. And if you're feeling bad for the critters, they have kept the original tiny cages on display where the animals used to be housed, so you can put that little thought away right now! A big plus is that it's just about a mile or two from my place.

More important than the zoo is the wonder of seeing hundreds of hijabs floating over the vast fields of perfect green grass made even more punchy by about two weeks straight of rain. Thankfully the clouds parted early this morning and it was PICTURESQUE to say the least. 80 degrees pretty much all day and not a drop of rain. Alhamdulillah!

This was the first photo uploaded to the BB facebook page today.
You can guess what the guys were thinking about and it wasn't hot dogs!

More fun in the sun on a bun coming up!

Part of practicing our deen (religion) is building the bonds of sister/brotherhood with each other. It's really important to get out and see each other socially and enjoy ourselves once in a while, away from the board meetings and halaqas and daily prayers. Even if some of us (cough) can't sit down long enough to talk to anyone in a meaningful way because the Hi-C in the giant McDonald's cooler is leaking all over the place and turning the kids orange, or someone else showed up with a watermelon and everyone is scared to cut them, or "SISTER, DO YOU HAVE ANY MORE CUPS???!!!"

But I digress. The truth is, I have a blast running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I love it. Sitting down is just so IMPOSSIBLE. I apologize for everyone who said they wanted to talk to me more today but didn't get to. Next time, bring a big knife and meet me out back by the flies.

Another critical component of life as a Muslim is making Da'wah, or sharing the religion with others. Just being out in droves at a busy place like the zoo on Memorial Day exposes people to us in ways and numbers they just won't experience at home in Woodbury (big ups to my little friend named Woodbury!). We draw about 500 (I think many more this year) people to this event so we definitely took care of making da'wah today. It's good to show people that we will also circle for days to park closer to the entrance; we like hotdogs too (halal, of course); and we too get sick of holding a two-year-old up on the railing to see the orangutans after about 17 straight minutes of him kicking us in the stomach. We're normal!

Yes, it's hot under all the clothes. But not as hot as you think. Not having the sun beat down on your skin is a bonus. And to be brutally honest, I would be much more uncomfortable in a stretched-until-see-thru black tube top and bike shorts and lots of people—some older than my mom—chose to wear some variation on that ensemble today. To each her own.


Oh, I put in my steps today! I helped set up the pavilions. I staffed the food stand which meant a lot of running back and forth to get/empty/clean up/cut things. I carried ice, cases of water, and lots of watermelons. And no I didn't drop any—I got skills! I walked to the zoo (about 3-4 blocks) and back twice and wandered around in it 1.5 times. The second time was looking for a family I know that couldn't find the pavilions so they just got wristbands and rode the rides at the zoo. That's what I love about refugees—they go with the flow because that's all they know.

Overall I had a great day. I got a headache toward the end because of the sun and dehydration, regardless of drinking about 3 full bottles of water. I have been getting these in the afternoons before the dizziness comes on so I took that as my cue to up and leave. Plus a lady was pining for my parking spot while I packed hula hoops and a coffin-like cooler in my car so I "made da'wah" and gave it to her.

After coming home and taking a shower, a tiny drum corps (like 3 guys) rolled through Grand Ave and I saw some kids playing soccer outside the bank across the street while people ate ice cream and watched. Minnesota's capital city is pretty great.

Health Tip of The Day: If you are part of a group or club and they hold an event (particularly outdoors), check it out! It's good to shake up your social routine, you can usually get cheap or free food, and there's always a lot of walking involved which is an obvious plus. If you have no such group, find one! Volunteer organizations, libraries, and park or city associations are great places to meet people with interests that match yours. Looking in the google box is a good place to start.

1 comment:

  1. 100 pts for the correct spelling of the word "capital" city!