Day 1

Ramazan
A graphic sent to me by the host family’s daughter.

Ramazan began when the hoja did the call to prayer last night at 8.12 PM. But we had already eaten dinner and it didn’t seem like a big deal. The family told me that they would eat some where around 3 AM.  That’s good–I can probably do that. Well at 2 AM, someone was knocking on my door quietly calling my name. So I grabbed my robe and headed downstairs. Now anyone who knows me, knows that you don’t talk to me first thing in the morning. I need time to get reacquainted with the world and that requires no human interaction. They of course wanted to talk and laugh etc. I grabbed my yogurt and müsli and started to eat. They had a bowl of my favorite kind of bread–bread bubbles, in front of me and I managed to choke a couple of those little things down. But that was it. Did I want tea? NO!  Water? yes. Unfortunately they handed me ice water. I am not an ice water person. Give me room temp water!  I left the gathering by raising a hand and indicating I was going. I have no idea how much longer they hung out but I went back to sleep. On the positive side I slept through the morning call to prayer at 4.24. I actually slept until about 5.30.

After morning ablutions, I thought things seemed awfully quiet outside. I watched the street and saw no large trucks coming up and down the road. That is an unusual thing. Then I looked at the Burektore/local coffee house across the street. Not only was it closed but the gates to the parking lot were closed. That is the first time I have seen that since I have been here. They seem to be open no matter when I wake up. I suspect they will remain closed until tonight’s Call to Prayer. The hoja will want his coffee!  And probably something to eat. I haven’t seen a Mrs. hoja so suspect he depends on the coffee shop for many of his meals.

I have worked hard to keep the fast today but I have had to take sips of water. I get very lightheaded when I don’t get enough water. Food is truly an issue of mind over matter and so when I get hunger pangs, I do some yoga or play with my stamps to take my mind off wanting to eat.  The family has checked on me multiple times today to make sure I am okay. They tell me that dinner will be at 8.30 and I believe I can manage that. The trick will be to eat very slowly and drink my water mindfully.  Then we will repeat the whole routine. However, I am going to request that they not wake me for breakfast. I will manage to eat without having to worry about the call to prayer.  I know I will not keep this up for more than another day or two but it is a good discipline to exercise. The best part for me has been the no smoking. There are three smokers in the house and they all have to abstain. Woo hoo!

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Eileen

A 60 something woman who has run off to faraway places with the Peace Corps.

One thought on “Day 1”

  1. You did well and have come up,with a good solution to the early morning breakfast. I didn’t realize they fasted from water too. That would be very difficult for me too. You are doing great.
    I remember when stores, et al, used to,close on Sunday’s and Good Friday, etc. there they really do practice their faith.

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