Friday, July 27, 2012


     This past week has been our first experience with Ramadan. Kawsu has committed to fasting on Fridays and I tried to fast most days this past week, but cheated a few times. I am noticing a whole different rhythym of life here when people are going without food and water for all 14 daylight hours. About mid-afternoon (or early afternoon, for me!) most people become very tired, rather quiet and, in my case, rather irritable. It's impressive that many continue to do farmwork and other hard labor all day long - especially when the sun is hot!
     When the time comes to break fast (about 7:30 PM) it is very exciting. Not just because you are extremely hungry and thirsty, but also because the foods our family has been making for this small meal are delicious! Instead of the usual rice and fish based fare, we've had things like chicken (hard to find around here unless you slaughter your own), potatoes (also rare to get at the market), pasta and shrimp.
     On a reflective note, I think it's a very good thing that we're having the experience of living in a country that's over 90% Muslim. The Muslim faith is misunderstood by so many people in the U.S. and it will be a valuable thing to address when we're sharing our stories with people stateside. When I have told people here that a small proportion of people in the U.S. are actually very prejudiced about and afraid of Muslims, they were shocked. And I had a very hard time explaining that although Americans are generally well-educated and nice people, some of them are closed minded.
Some photos from the past few weeks:

We spotted this taxi while stopped at a police checkpoint near Bwiam - overloaded vehicles are the norm here, but this one goes above and beyond!

Ceesay Mamie (our hen) trying to steal Takaa's food.

WFP food distribution

Dung beetles are HUGE!

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