Today was our last day at Earthworks, and the work did not lighten up. We started the morning by prepping the fields by cultivating and raking the dirt. This helps turn over the soil while getting the weeds and rocks out, creating a healthy environment for the plants to flourish. Some of us were lucky enough even to plant some potatoes!
Lunchtime came fast, so we packed up and headed to the soup kitchen for some Chicago-style hotdogs… which was ironic since we were in Detroit. Nonetheless, they were delicious, and we all enjoyed the curly fries that came with them. After the delightful meal, we said goodbye to Tyler, the farmer manager, as he was off to ComicCon and would not continue with us in the afternoon. So we headed back to the fields with Daryl, the maintenance man, to start the next session.
This session was probably the most grueling as it was very sunny, and there was very little shade nearby. Our task was to use a shovel and throw the compost through a sifter so we could sort out the good soil. Once it was sifted and loaded into the wheelbarrow, we took it to its designated spot. It was a lot of hard work, but it paid off.
After saying goodbye to everyone at Earthworks, we left and went to The Heidelberg Project. It was a very incredible experience, and we were even able to go Geocaching, which we have been doing at various locations this week. We then headed home for well-deserved showers and got ready to attend the mosque.
We got to the American Moslem Society, one of the nation’s oldest mosques. Mossad welcomed us at the entrance, where he instructed us to take our shoes off. He then took us to their prayer area, which Mossad explained was very simple because the Islamic faith does not believe there should be any distractions when praying; this is why men and women are separated. Next, Mosad asked two other sisters at the mosque to join us as we had an open conversation about the history, pillars, and obligations they had to their faith. They also encouraged us to ask any questions we had about Islam.
At this point, the Sunset call to prayer began as one person went to the microphone to announce that it was time to pray, which was projected inside and outside the mosque. Paul joined Mossad in the male prayer room, and the rest of us went with the sisters to the female prayer room. We were told that we could observe or participate, but we were all very eager to pray alongside them. God asked women to cover up, including during prayer, so they gave us hijabs to wear during the prayer. It was an enlighting and eye-opening experience.
After prayer, we ate some Mideastern food with Mosad and the sisters. Then, we had some more light conversations about the faith, and before we knew it was 11 pm. Mossad thanked us for being willing to come and listen and gave each of us the English Qur’an and some other literature.
Overall this was our favorite experience and meal of the trip. This will be an unforgettable moment that we will forever remember.