If I didn’t know any better, I’d say it was going to rain. I just made my afternoon trip up to the roof to retrieve my workout clothes, which require a rinsing after each use to avoid a certain stench that seems to develop, and the sky is covered in gray clouds and the temperature is almost cool. We’ll see if it actually rains, but I was under the impression that didn’t happen here until at least October.
People tell me it hasn’t been hot this year, and while my still-adjusting Michigan body is sweating like a champ, we haven’t hit anywhere close to 120 like it was last year during Ramadan, and for that I am grateful.
I am likewise grateful for the end of Ramadan. Of course I am happy to be able to observe such a big event in the lives of the people I’m here to work with, I’ve also found it to be a somewhat isolating time, much like what I imagine the Christmas season is like for people who are either without their families or do not celebrate the holiday in any form. I’ve spent much of the past month sitting at home, working on my computer, pretending to do things, just because so much of life turns inward here during Ramadan. Families are together, awake and enjoying each other’s company throughout the nighttime hours, but it remains a holiday that I don’t fully understand, and couldn’t understand, I don’t think, without becoming Muslim myself.
That said, I knew Ramadan would be a quiet time period for me in terms of work. It became a lot more quiet, however, when the two summer camps I was planning to work at were canceled. Be flexible they say. I try, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to sit around and feel like you’re accomplishing nothing.
Happily, the end is in sight and I have started to come out of my slump. I’ve started studying my language again, which I’m sure my tutor will be happy to know if I ever start showing improvement. I’ve started exploring the world of “plarn” – plastic yarn made from cut up plastic shopping bags. I get at least five every time I go out, and although I do use them as trashcan liners, there’s a considerable supply of them tucked away in our kitchen. My goal is to knit a reusable shopping bag out of them.
My other daily constant has become the Insanity workout program, which are a challenge to say the least. Every day post-workout I have to wait a few minutes before I can peel myself off the floor and go shower. I just finished the first week and tomorrow is a rest day, but it’s fun to switch up workouts.
As a result, I’m also hungry all. The. Time. And cooking. This week I made bread and cornbread. Lentil sloppy joes. And today I made a really tasty bean dip that will be dinner. And some crackers, but they didn’t turn out to be my most favorite thing in the world. But since Cheez-Its are hard to find here, my search for the perfect recipe is undeterred.
And finally, book one of the Wheel of Time series is finished. Thirteen more to go.
P.S. Scuttlebutt on Facebook is invitations to the 2014 stage have started to go out! If you’re arriving in Morocco in January and want to chat, let me know! We’re excited to have you!