It’s really hard to visit a Middle Eastern country and not be very aware of the Islamic influence. Afterall, when the school week begins on Wednesday and the days are paused five times to offer up prayers to Allah, it is evident how much Islam is a part of daily life. Clearly we cannot ignore that influence on this journey, nor do we intend to. For I am convinced that, while we are not Muslims, our faith in Jesus can be strengthened as we learn from these fervent people.
So, yesterday we decided to do some prayers on our own, in the Muslim-style posture, on our faces, legs folded underneath, worshipping our Savior. It was so sweet to do with the kids, all bowing together and praying aloud. Initially the kids just copied what I prayed, then they offered up their own sweet prayers to Jesus and we had a sweet moment, if brief. (I didn’t get any pictures of this, but didn’t feel like it was necessary or appropriate.)
Today, we did a little science, which seems to be what happens for us on Thursdays, even though it’s not really intentional. As Qatar is a peninsula rich in oil, we decided to do some oil and water experimenting.
First, we read a bit in our book on Qatar and we talked about what type of water is in the ocean and looked at pictures of the oil-rigs out at sea.
Next, we got out our ingredients, attempting to create “salt water”. The kids each got out their science journals and magnifying glasses as we remembered to use our senses as we explored the necessary ingredients.
To make the “sea” water, each child helped add salt by the teaspoonful to our jar filled with water. We tally-ed each teaspoon and learned about counting with tallies (a great way to incorporate math).
Then we added drops of blue to make our deep blue “Persian Gulf” water, just like in Qatar.
Finally, we added oil and closed our jar and that’s when the real observations started. We also talked a bunch about what happens in an oil spill.
The kids tried their hardest to mix the oil and water, but, due to the laws of nature, were unsuccessful in their attempts.
Lots of fun learning was had by all. Success!