Thursday, August 4, 2011

Adventures in Fasting... Happy Ramadan!

So this is my second of everything in country.  Just celebrated my second 4th of July, about to celebrate my second Thanksgiving and this is my second Ramadan.  (Go HERE to check out my blog from last year to learn more about Ramadan).  I didn’t fast last year, since I did a bit of traveling in Spain and just honestly didn’t want to.  But I decided I wanted to try and fast this year.  What does that mean you ask?  That means no food or water during sunlight hours which is from the first call to prayer at 3am until the 4th call to prayer at about 730pm—yes, 16 hours.  And this Ramadan is in August, with the longest and hottest days.  Great time to give it a go, huh?

I’m now on day 3 of fasting.  I wasn’t so much worried about not eating during the day, I could survive being hungry a few hours but the water was the part I was most worried about.  And now that I’ve actually been fasting I think both suck- equally. 
Fasting is intended to educate the Muslim in spirituality, humility and patience. It is a time to cleanse the soul, focus attention on God, and put into practice selflessness.”  
Its only been 3 days now but I think it will be good for me. 

The hardest part so far has been how lethargic I feel during the day after about 4 (when I’m reaaaally hungry and thirsty) and also after breaking fast.  The first night I went to my landlords and yesterday I went to my friends house to break fast.  Its fun being with others who are equally as hungry and thirsty as me but the food they eat has a LOT of sugar.  I mean its great, don’t get me wrong, but after being hungry all day I’ve been craving some strange things.  So what I’ve been doing is breaking fast with families (eating the askeef (white creamy soup), bread, dates, figs and tea) and then going home and preparing a real dinner of some sort (lots of chicken, yummy!)    Language is also very hard when I’m hungry or tired so it’s been interesting attempting conversations right before break fast.

Today will be my first day of walking to souk (assuming this rain slows down) so we’ll see how I do with that.  Its about a 20-30 minute walk each way and I have to talk to some people about work so this will be my first of many challenges this Ramadan since the last few days have been spent in my house or in my dowar trying to adjust my body to no food or water.

I’ll try to post another update soon about fasting.  Ramadan Kareem everyone!

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