Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Day 18 Ramadan 2017



Ramadan Kareem,



It's a good thing that I'm writing each day, or I would lose track of which day in Ramadan it is.  The days flow together more in Ramadan than any other time in the year.  It is a seemingly endless continuation of survival tactics and spiritual disconnect from the minutia of the world.

This picture shows the resting place for many books and it isn't on a book shelf.  Most Egyptian homes, even of the upper class, don't have a book shelf.  There will most likely be a Quran, but not books for pleasure reading.  Children aren't read to at night.  Role modeling of adult reading for fun just isn't happening.  Newspapers used to be in every home, but, as other places where the internet goes, that has stopped.    

This is recycling at its best when the pages from text books and notebooks end up at the little fry-up stations around Egypt where they wrap up tamayah and fries.  

More about books later in this post.

SUHOUR

2:40

My husband didn't sleep and was too hungry to wait for us.  He chowed on foul medamnes, but I was still recovering from the unusually spicy batch of it yesterday---my tongue still feels a bit weird from it.  Instead, I made an omelette with cheese for El Kid and I.  I added ZERO salt or pepper.  I couldn't handle it.

That's a real departure from my ordinary cooking.  We also had brown toast with no butter.  Again, I am not cooking or eating the way I normally would at this point.  My body is protesting and I'm not going to argue.  We each ate half of a cucumber and had the yogurt pina colada smoothies as well.

The one thing I'll say about having eggs for suhour is that the mucus stays thick throughout the day and there's no water to thin it down.  That repeated clearing of my throat didn't feel good, even if the bland protein was just the right amount.

FAJR

3:07

I was so tired.  I went back to bed and hoped for enough sleep to last through the day at work.

7:00

Back to school for El-Kid.  He has been a trooper.  He is not fasting as a group activity at school; he's really alone in his circle of friends.  There is, however, an inner strength which he's building and he knows that he's accomplishing something that the others are not.  Today, he took his exam, played soccer, and hung out with buddies playing games---all while fasting.  It's so possible!  I feel sorry for the kids whose parents limit their chance to grow up empowered by the faith they say they follow.

I didn't have any duties other than a study session, so I tried to focus on freeing myself from five years of books.  Each year, I would add more to my growing collection and I would hoard what I needed AND what I no longer needed.

I have a book addiction that I caught from my mother.  She has two masters degrees, reads every morning, and can't stop picking up a good book to save her life.  When she lived in a two-bedroom home, she refused to have El Kid and I stay permanently with her, BUT she did have room for her books.  When she moved from her home, she donated many boxes of books to the seminary she graduated from, only to start buying new ones once she unpacked.

I too love books.  I brought over many, and eventually I was able to buy more here.  Of course, being a teacher, I have an excuse to load up.  However, they are not so good for me in a small apartment with a changing life.

The school's procedure is for any teacher who's leaving to hand in alllllllllllllllll their materials, or they have to pay.  I have been whittling down my pile day by day, bringing them back to the school bookstore in manageable bags.  Eventually, I was down to the last ten, and these were the ten I couldn't part with.  Yes, I am a recovering book-a-holic, but I think I have it under control now.

Alhumdulillah, I got the deal all worked out between the director and the bookstore.  Other teachers say, "I lost it," when they really mean that they don't want to return it.  I didn't want to play that game.  I wanted to be very truthful---not only at Ramadan, but always.  If I lied that I had lost a book---or ten books---then that is not really a halal item for me.  Muslims are not allowed to let the ends justify the means.  Staying halal in every interaction means keeping closer to God.

If I had lied, then every time I would see those books on my shelf, I would feel a gap in my integrity.  I don't want to be that person.  I don't want my home to be a museum to my mistakes.  Alhumdulillah that I didn't lie, that the matter was worked out, and that, even though I got rid of so many books, I could keep those ten.

12:30

You better believe that El Kid did NOT take his SIM card out of his phone today.  He had no choice other than to answer my call to leave.  When he told me that he wanted to stay another hour and take the late bus, I got to tell him, "Tough!"  That's one good thing about being a parent after your kid has been wrong; they know they have to act a whole lot better the next day.

2:00

My husband went to the fish market and bought us the makings for a great dinner.  It does feel good to think of being on the coast, rather than the desert, and buying fish in the future.

I made some apple drink and froze a handful of grapes he'd bought; I'll use them as ice in the glasses.
I like how we are so complementary in our attempts at keeping afloat---like frozen grapes!  LOL!

He had washed a load of clothes, but fell asleep before he could hang them out.  I did that for him.  It's a kindness.  It's love.  We're so used to saying "love" that we forget to show love.

QURAN

I was really troubled about losing all the mp3 files.  I backtracked and thought about the sequence of events that had led to the loss.  Eventually, I figured out that those surahs were no longer in the file they needed to be.  Alhumdulillah, I fixed that and kept continuing on through Al Ma'idah.

One bummer is that I had previously bought a premium for this app to have the ability to bookmark sections.  Once it had been updated, I lost that.  Sigh.  This means an email to the developers.

ASR

3:30

I had to sleep and ended up on the couch for a nap.  When I woke up, it was only a short time before we would break the fast.

MAGRIB

6:56

I was seriously not strong enough to pray magrib very well tonight. I got up too quickly after a rakah and stumbled a bit.  I warned my husband after the prayer that he would have to be patient with me because I was out of it.

IFTAR

We had fish, rice with onions, and salad.  It tasted better than it looks.


Alhumdulliah, I felt better after eating.

I'm starting to feel better about a lot of things as the week starts coming to a close on both one school year and the end of five years.

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