Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Chicago - Day 2

Official greeting

The day started at the Chicago Cultural Center where we were greeted by representatives from Mayor Richard Daley's office, After School Matters and other civic institutions. Each girl received an official City of Chicago Resolution presented by Alderman Vi Daley, signed by the Mayor and the City Clerk. After the official welcome, Miriam gave all of us a quick tour of the beautiful Cultural Center.

Gallery 37

Then we walked across the street to Gallery 37 were we had planned to have lunch. We went down to the basement to meet Sonja's sister who is ateacher in the culinary department of After School Matters this summer. We tried to help out with things that needed to be done in the kitchen, but after a while it was obvious it would be better to leave the cooking to the professionals. So we had a tour of gallery and all the programs they have this summer. We saw the photography and printmaking department, we heard wonderful songs from the singing department and we visited the dancers as well. Since we were on a tight schedule we did not get to see everything that Gallery 37 has to offer. So it was time for lunch. We went to the patio and had hot dogs, bratwursts, hamburgers and deep dish pizza with cookies for dessert. Real Chicago food!
We had a surprise visit from Mayor Daley's wife, the First Lady of Chicago. She was very kind and talked to all the girls and welcomed them to Chicago. Maggie Daley is no stranger to Gallery 37 and After School Matters. She visits the programs and students every year.

Art Institute

After lunch we had a quick discussion about how all the girls are feeling in Chicago and how the experience has been so far. Then we walked to the Art Institute where we had a guided tour of American art by a friend of Miriam's - Phyllis Neiman. She was the nicest person ever. On our way out we walked through an exhibit of artifacts from Nigeria.

Millennium Park

Then we took a little break at Millennium Park. We cooled off by the Crown Fountain while little kids were running around and splashing in the water recklessly. We took tons of photos by the Cloud Gate (The Bean). And Miriam told us a little bit about the Jay Pritzker Pavilion.

Welcome dinner

After a short drive in cars or taxis, we arrived at The Latin School for a welcome dinner. At 7 pm, family and friends of the Chicagoans started arriving. There were many guests and supporters there, thanks to many of whom this trip was made possible. We had some food and then the ceremony began. All the girls were wearing traditional Rwandan outfits. We introduced ourselves and danced the Rwandan cow dance, which was followed by the Cha-Cha Slide.

1 comment:

Molly said...

Loved the photos and seeing those involved. Great idea and well executed. Molly from Botswana, PCV