It looks like the review of my work-place, the Presbyterian Archives, is going ahead.  We had a meeting on Friday.  Apparently we come under human resources.

Anyway onto happier things.  I met with my old friend Graeme on Saturday at Saint Clair Beach.  He is the intellectually handicapped friend that I sat with at Opoho Church.  He is now across town at Taieri Road and goes to Flagstaff Church.  They pray for him every week and make the sign of the cross on his forehead with holy oil.  That’s progress.  At Opoho we used the minister’s drinking water to make the sign of the cross.

In the evening I took up an invitation to the Al Quds Mosque in Dunedin to join in the daily breaking of the fast for Ramadan.  We arrived in time for sunset prayers.  It was the first time I had seen the Muslim community at prayer.  It was interesting because the prayers are formal and follow a liturgy of word and action and at the same time it is flexible with people arriving all the time and the young boys appeared to join in when they are ready.  Then we sat down on the floor for a prepared meal of rice, coleslaw and meat.  It was an example of Muslim service and hospitality.

I was amused to see the Imam preparing for the later evening prayers with a laptop in front of him.  We truly are in the 21st century.  The man next to me also said he uses an iPod!  I really am behind the times.

Interestingly most of the men of the mosque present are middle eastern.  So close to the university I imagine most are attending it.  Some of them might be here for the long-term rather than returning home.  As one of the men I was sitting among was Iraqi I suspect he might be one.  It is going to be interesting to watch the emergence of Dunedin’s first generation of home-grown Muslims.  The immigration to Dunedin happens quietly and contributes to the diversity of the society among which I live.

I hoped to catch the talk at the Art Gallery for the Nollywood exhibition today, a creepy display of photos from the Nigerian film industry.  Imagine  Buffy the Vampire Slayer with explicit violence and nudity.  The threat of snow meant the speaker hadn’t arrived.  A pity because the talk was going to be about the influences of this film industry, the world’s third biggest, after Hollywood and Mumbai I guess.  They produce loud violent movies with a fantastic fusion of traditional and Christian religions.  After a look around I went to the museum to look at the Hard on the Heels exhibition of Rugby photos.  The Rugby world cup in New Zealand begins in less than 20 days and already it’s getting inescapable.  Also the display of glass work up in the People of the World wing was definitely worth seeing.

As I post this I’m counting down to my 1000th posting on my blog.