Sunday, August 26, 2012

Saying goodbye to Ramadan

Eid Sa'id – Happy Eid from Morocco!

Last Monday, we concluded the month of Ramadan with Eid al-Fitr, the day of festivity that commemorates the breaking of the Ramadan fast. On this day, Muslims do not fast (some continue fasting for several days following Eid, but on this day everyone eats). In our community, families celebrated with a festive breakfast consisting of VERY sweet foods, followed by visiting family and friends, partaking in tea and wishing each other a happy Eid. Justin and I joined in the festivities by baking a cake for breakfast (yes, cake for breakfast - we deserve it, we've been fasting!) and celebrating with our host family. A few food and family shots here:

The Eid spread - cookies, cakes, and lots of fried breads!
Justin, our host mother, father, sister, and a friend.
Close-up of our cake - 3 layers chock full of butter and sugar ;)

The afternoon of Eid, Justin and I left our community for a few days of traveling in Morocco with friends from New York: Emily, Chris, and Jeremy. We had the luxury of being driven around in their rental car for a few days (Peace Corps doesn't let us drive in Morocco) and learned that having a car in Morocco allows you to visit some amazingly beautiful sites that are quite difficult and time-consuming via public transportation. As an example, check out the below photos taken along our drive:

Yes, these are goats, and yes, they are climbing in trees! This is the beginning of how argan oil is made, and it's quite a site to see in person. I think you will all enjoy my next blog post, which will be FULL of photos from these and other adventures on the road.

Now, we have returned from our travels and are settling back into post-Ramadan life in Tiflet. It's interesting to see how the community has totally shifted from last month's nocturnal schedule - whereas before the town was dead quiet until about 4 PM, now I hear children playing outside in the mornings and the markets and streets are filled with people throughout the day. As wonderful as the Ramadan experience was, I have to say that I'm happy to be back into a more regular routine. Schools will begin in mid-September, which means that soon Justin and I will be setting up a schedule for our English classes and beginning to plan fall programs for youth in the community. Hope everyone is enjoying the last few weeks of the summer; I know we are!

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