I love Ramadan here in Morocco. I love spending extra time with family, friends, and neighbors. I love fasting alongside my Muslim brothers in sisters in an effort to respect and participate in tradition and religion. Last year, I spent 2 full weeks of Ramadan with my host family in Ifrane. Fasting was tough– it was my first time, and sustaining from all food and water was difficult. This year I think things are going to be a little easier. Today was the first day, and things went smoothly and I really didn’t feel like I needed food or water until 6pm rolled around. I went to Ifrane to break fast (lftour) with my host family, and as always, they lightened up my day. My host family is so generous and kind– inspiring, really.
Tomorrow I will begin my journey to Ghana. I’ll head to the Moroccan coast for the night and then hop a place to Ghana on Friday morning. I won’t be fasting for the two weeks I am in Ghana. It is very clear in the Qur’an that if one is traveling far from home, they should not fast. I think fighting off malaria and other such things will demand me to have some food in my body throughout the day. Plus, I can’t very well stay up all night and sleep all day while traveling…
I’ve really been enjoying my new neighborhood. I have quickly made some new friends, all of whom are helpful, protective, caring, and kind. Some neighborhood kids and I have really hit it off too. When first introducing myself, I told one of the little boys to “gul Nicole,” which means “say Nicole.” Now I am known by all the neighborhood kids as GulNicole. It’s cute.
I’m a little cranky right now. On my walk home from the taxi station, an acquaintance of mine stopped me to say hello. After making sure I was fine, wishing me a blessed Ramadan, and telling me to take care, he grabbed my entire left breast. At first I was slightly in shock, but that quickly turned to rage. I beat him over the head as hard as I could and told him if he ever comes near me again I will get the police.
Today marks the beginning of a blessed month and it was a very happy day. Unfortunately a single young man with no respect for women decided to send me home crying to my neighbors, questioning why in the hell I am still here.