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Images courtesy of Livin’ the Bigg Life

The evening was the first big, wet storm after the New Year, and many of the people intending to come couldn’t make it because of the weather conditions.  As it was, my niece and her husband came with me and we enjoyed several minutes of the break-neck pace of a poor-weather log jam on the highway, and arrived at Pacifica much later than we had hoped—thankfully, everyone else was even later, so it worked out just right.

My friend Tarik helped me set everything up while people arrived and the food was readied.  Folks were there from Turkey, Pakistan, and Somalia, and members of several religious communities, including many friends from Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable.  There were videos about Noah’s Pudding, traditional Turkish dances (performed by beautifully costumed children), and my presentation.  We spoke about the metaphor for community that Noah’s Pudding is, and how desperately we need that today.  And everyone enjoyed sharing the warm company while the weather was steadily getting worse outside.

When we started, there were only a few families; by the time the presentation was over and we could enjoy the amazing food, the building was filled to capacity.  When he realized he couldn’t come, my friend Dr. Naif Al-Mutawa sent us copies of his The 99 comic book to give away—aside from sharing positive values we all have in common, The 99 work together in their differences, and are an entertaining expression of the Noah’s Pudding ideal.

It was a wonderful evening, and after the pudding was finished, we noticed the weather had calmed and it was safe to drive home.  As Tariq guarded the sculptures from young inquisitive fingers and I answered questions, my niece and her husband helped clean everything—they made a lot of friends!  I owe them thanks, not just for cleaning up and not throwing things during my lecture, but they also took the photos!

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