Breaking Fast: Ramadan in Morocco

Day 14. 1:33pm. Already hungry and I’ve been thirsty since I woke. No headache, though (yet), and I’m not too dizzy, so I’ll take it.

It’s a weird thing, this Ramadan. Everybody talks about it as if it’s this beautiful, enjoyable time… until it actually is Ramadan, and then we just talk about our various states of discomfort, or don’t say anything at all (and presumably suffer in silence).

The first week was really bad. It took me several failed attempts to figure out what the best strategy was for me to eat at night: what, and when, and how much. Because everyone has their own way, and you just kind of have to figure it out for yourself. Or you’ve got a Moroccan family to lean on; you just adopt their ways and hope they work for you.

For me, sans family, I was just trying to glean tips from everyone I could and put them together into something that was manageable for me. However, after listening to this advice and following people I knew, and yet still finding the entire day (and night) extremely unpleasant, I had to improvise. So now I have a bit of a system that seems to work better. My days still suck, but at least I don’t hate my nights, too. If you’re not going to eat all day, you’d better at least get to enjoy what you eat when you do, right?!

At first, I was eating three mini meals a night, and hating them all. 8 hours just isn’t enough time for all that eating. I’m still full pretty much immediately after breaking fast (a meal called Ftour or Iftar), but I was trying to eat a balanced meal. But now, while I still eat three times, for Ftour, I have nothing but fruit and fluid. No carbs, no protein. Just something to kickstart the system and not make me feel (so much) like a blimp. Then a few hours later, when I’m almost actually hungry again, I eat something real. Salad, soup, bread, nuts… but not too much. Then I go to bed and get up again at 3 to eat one last time.

2017-05-29 19.36.34
In the first days of Ftour, I was having beautiful, but totally overloaded meals!
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Truly a thing of beauty.

Enter: overnight oats. An old and forgotten friend up until a few nights ago when I thought to give it a shot. Turns out, it’s a lifesaver at the best of times, and miracle-worker now. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it earlier. What could be easier than stumbling into the kitchen in the dark, with half-open eyes, and just grabbing a jar and a spoon. You barely even have to chew. Perfect.

And in between all of that, I drink 3L of water. And yet, I’m still thirsty…

I honestly don’t know if I’ll last the whole month. There have been many times when I have seriously considered giving up. Without the family, the support network, and most importantly, the faith, to motivate you in this, I think I can fairly say that I’ve “experienced” about as much of this as I need to in two weeks, and that I’m not going to feel much different about it at the end of another two. But we’ll see. I’m my own worst critic (as usual) and I know I’d be disappointed in myself if I didn’t do the whole thing.

However, on a positive note, we’re having Ftour on the beach tomorrow night and that sounds fun! So I’ll be holding out at least one more day 🙂

Another plus is that I get to pay attention to all these beautiful sunsets! (There’s only 12 here – one day was just cloudy so it’s not really a sunset! And another day I went to a friend’s 🙂 )

Aside from that, my apologies for the severe lack of content lately. Obviously I haven’t written in a long time, but please know that no news is good news. I write when I’m stressed or challenged (ie, now), but let the last many months of silence be an indicator of my overall wellbeing. In a good place, feeling stable and content.

So here’s hoping that the creative juices are now flowing again. I’ve opened many drafts; my second experience teaching, whether or not to date, general thoughts on living in this country. Basically, thinking I should write (or being told by one of many people that I should), and never getting through it. Oddly enough, the longer I teach ESL, the less in touch I am with how I natively speak the language, and thus, the farther I am away from my voice in my writing. So I always stall out. But here we have it, a full (albeit short) post. And cross your fingers that I will come back to those drafts and give them another shot.

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