I spent most of the day Friday in the air. I left home for the airport around 5:15 a.m. Security went pretty quickly, and then I was on my way to Dallas. There I transferred on to Newark. At Newark, a lady who lives in Allentown where the conference was met me and drove me back to Allentown, about 1.5 hours away. We stopped at another airport and picked up another lady. We got checked into our hotel and went to the mosque which is only a few blocks away for dinner and opening session. Their mosque is a relatively new building - about a year or so and is very nice. The last activity of the night was a presentation of Islamic Jeopardy - a game system with all the timers, scores, screen etc., so you can design and play Jeopardy with an Islamic theme. It was pretty neat.
Saturday we really got down to business and had presentations on the aims of the meeting - IEB Nasimco is creating the whole scope and syllabus and lesson plans for madrassah teachers for all grades. They are going about it in a very organized manner, masha'allah. This year's aim was to provide teachers with modern teaching strategies, particularly cooperative learning and mind mapping. In the afternoon I presented a workshop on using jigsaw as a cooperative learning technique. It seemed to go over well. I managed to do one geocache at a park a little ways away from the mosque. By this time I was starting to get comfortable, meeting lots of people and finding some old friends. I met Sr. Sakina Dewji in person for the first time.
Sunday included the workshops on mind mapping. Dr. Liyakat Takim also presented on a resource paper he made about the period of minor ghayba and the beginning of the major ghayba of twelfth Imam (as) - what was happening at that time in the Shia world and in context, etc. It was very interesting, so I bought the resource paper for $1. In the afternoon, we went out into Amish country on a little bus trip. A brother used my camera to take a few pictures but I haven't had time to look at them. Maybe tomorrow I'll get some up, insha'allah. Also went out to dinner at an Indian restaurant with a few people Sunday night.
I was feeling pretty tired by this time because each night we were getting to bed around midnight and then getting up at fajr time. At fajr time, a brother came to take me and a few other sisters back to Newark airport. My flight didn't leave until almost noon, but their's left at 8 something so we all rode together and I got to hang out at the airport for a few hours. There were people at the conference from many places - most of the Khoja Jamaats from North America and London and Kenya and few other places. I met a Pakistani sister at the airport who just got back from holidays and was heading down to St. Lucius to continue her medical school studies. After flying I finally got home around 5pm and paid $20 for parking. Then I had to try to get caught up on graduate school stuff.
Okay, in brief that is the trip. There are some more details left out obviously that if I think of or get a chance maybe I will add later.
I had a nice time mostly and was very happy to meet with the people.