Because religious holidays in Islam are based on a lunar calendar, the date changes from year to year. This year Ramadan, 30 days of day-time fasting, came at the end of June. It was our second while being in Morocco, different and still good.
If you don't know much about the holiday, check out last year's post for more information and our experience both fasting in solidarity. This year, we decided not to fast. We would be studying for the GRE and wanted full brain power; we had our experience with it last year; it isn't obligatory for us being outside the religious tradition; etc. The first day of Ramadan was our wedding anniversary and we stayed holed up in the house cooking an amazing Mexican meal knowing we were the few, if not only, able-bodied people in our community eating that day.
The second day, however, we went out to a friends house for Iftar, a meal to break the fast at sundown. We went early to help with cooking and watch the World Cup games. I was the official taste tester in the kitchen of all the dishes my friend was relying on intuition to season. It was fun but markedly different from my Iftar cooking before. When it was all ready, we all sat down around the table waiting for the call to prayer that marks sundown. It came, I grabbed a date, and waited for that whooshing feeling I grew to love last year. It didn't come. It was just a normal meal. I turned to Zach afterwords to tell him, "I miss fasting." He had been thinking the same thing. I don't know if I can describe the feeling, but it felt like we were on the other side of the window looking in on Christmas or something.
The previous year Zach had really appreciated the spirituality of fasting and the feeling of growth he had felt being deliberate about spiritual and character goals for the month. He decided to fast again fully. I admittedly mostly missed the self control and the community of it, and decided to kind-of fast drinking water and eating when I got h-angry.
Where last year, still new in our town, we broke fast with someone new almost every day of the month. This year we spent it almost exclusively with one family. It also coincided with the World Cup, which we watched every night. We traveled more this year to camps and events. Walked around our town a lot at night and enjoyed the energy of it. Studied for the GRE during down time in the days. Generally enjoyed being a part of it again, and are looking forward to how we feel next year when Ramadan comes again and we are no longer here. I have an inkling we will have a moment at our own dinner where we will look to each other and say "I miss Morocco."
Be sure to check out this post describing one of our Ramadan days.