Currently in the middle of my third day of Ramadan. And I’m thirsty as shit! If you don’t know what Ramadan is, it’s the Muslim month of fasting. Basically, it is a month – 1-29 August – where during daylight hours you are not allowed to eat, drink, smoke, have sex, etc. It is a time where one is supposed to cleanse one’s mind and body, attempting to find oneself closer to God (Allah). I personally think that cleaning the mind is the more important of the two, but I’m sure it also helps to be getting rid of all the shit we put in our bodies on a daily basis. I for one cannot wait to shed all this water weight and start from a clean slate, trying to eat healthier starting September.
This is my first time attempting/participating in Ramadan. And I’d like to think I’m doing relatively well. Like I said before, the thing that really seems to be kicking my ass is not being able to drink water. Especially when helping with a summer camp where you’re doing three straight hours of sessions (read: lots of talking). Haha. The hunger doesn’t really get to me, maybe too much forced practice during high school, college, and getting here where cooking or making food is just a pain in the ass slash not possible. But not being able to wet your whistle…?! DYING. I think another thing that is really getting to me – not only getting up before the ass crack of dawn, literally – but my energy slumps. I’m a relatively happy, outgoing, bubbly person, but over the past two and a half days, I’ve really had to force it for camp.
Despite how it would seem being constantly surrounded by people eating and drinking, it doesn’t really get to me. Yeah, every once in a while I’ll crave a piece of juicy watermelon or want to shove my face full with delicious potato manti, but I’m doing alright. And all of the other vols, while once in a while having a momentary brain lapse, have been super supportive and considerate about stuff, which I’m eternally grateful. I am also super glad that I’m doing this WITH people. As far as I know, my friends Steve, Meghan, Luke and even my dad (!) are all participating with me. Having that solidarity with them really helps, knowing I’m not the only one going through all this for the first time.
One of the other things that I find must be frustrating for people having to deal with me during this month is the fact that they constantly have to save me food for later. At least that’s what’s been done at camp. Or the meal I want to eat is lunch, but have to eat it cold and 8 hours later, when they’ve saved me a plate of whatever was for dinner. I know I should check myself, they don’t even have to be saving me anything, just complaining. Haha.
The thing that baffles me the most is when people – both HCNs (host-country nationals) and other volunteers – ask me why I’m doing Ramadan. For some reason or another, I can never seem to find an answer that seems adequate to anyone. ‘But you’re not Muslim, why are you torturing yourself doing that?’ is one of the most frequent responses I receive when I tell them what I’m doing. I wish that I had a better and more legitimate ‘excuse’ or ‘reason’ for wanting to do it other than I’ve always been fascinated by Islamic culture and have always wanted to try. ‘Cause I feel that people don’t think it’s a ‘good enough’ reason to be starving myself from sunrise to sundown.
I wish I had more that I could talk about right now, but Ramadan has taken over all of my brain power and left it to nothing. And when it does work, it’s with a pounding migraine. Life, eh? Things have been going surprisingly well in life lately. Still kind of bored, but camp has been combating that recently. After it’s over, we’ll see what happens. :) But might be helping another camp in Issyk-Kul (another oblast finally!) the third week of August, and then school starts two weeks later. Not too worried about life anymore. Feelin’ pretty good. Let’s hope it lasts.
Currently raging through Game of Thrones – that silly HBO series based on the books by George RR Martin. Eff my life are they good! I would ask when the hell Harry Lloyd got creepy, but he was the first time I saw him in Doctor Who, so I’m not too surprised he’s the same in this. Again with my love for Sean Bean. Fuck you, Boromir. Get out of my life (and yet stay in it forever, please and thank you!). And the brothers?! YES.PLEASE. And I’m surprised at how relatively close it’s staying to the book – which I’m reading at the moment, along with about 4 others – which is so unlike HBO. I mean, look at the True Blood series. JOKE. [Speaking of which, I would kill small children to see this season, it’s my favourite of the books and has shit tons of Eric in it! <3]
I hope everyone has been having a solid summer and have been doing lots of cool things. Keep me updated on everyone’s lives, will you? Still love getting snail mail… And I promise that I do respond, even if it takes me a while to get them actually sent off. Haha. Missing and loving you all. Think about you every day!