Morocco Update II
Yesterday was our first fill day with Itmaj. As it was the final day of Ramadan, a handful of us tried fasting for the day to experience for ourselves what Ramadan is like. Though often seen as a way to show you devotion to God through discipline, the fasting for Ramadan is more about empathy for those who don’t have enough food, as a reminder that we are fortunate to not be hungry and to connect to the empathetic feeling that there are many people who don’t have enough. Ramadan is practiced through out Morocco and being here as their 30 days of fasting ends has been a truly remarkable experience.
We arrived at Itmaj in the morning and spent an hour or so learning the basics of Darija, Morocco’s form of Arabic. All of our programs here at Itmaj are being run but a group of 9 teenagers, 16-18yr, who like the Compassionate Leaders have a community of kind caring young adults trying to make a difference in the world. After learning some of the language, we visited AMCC, another new community center in the neighborhood where we organized a library of books along side the teens of Itmaj. Giving us time to work side by side and bond with our host families. Following our afternoon work, we returned to play sports with all the kids at Itmaj. Soccer, basketball, hacky sack, a group of us played guitar and sang songs, some napped, some filmed. Continuing to deepen our bond.
The evening came and at 7:55pm, those practicing Ramadan were able to “break the fast”. As this was the final night for Ramadan, our first night all together with our host families we celebrated the coming of Eid with Iftar. An incredible feast of dates, soup, bread, cake, orange, olives, and more food than we could handle. This was a huge celebration for everyone fasting for the full 30 days, and the several from our group who tried for one.
Our families dressed us in traditional Moroccan attire, we ate, danced to traditional Moroccan music, played the drums, and celebrated with our new friends. We filmed and photographed all of this on our nice cameras, so those photos and video will come later as we take them off on a computer (I’m writing this on my phone)
After another full, bright, and exhausting day everyone was tired and ready for our first night in the home stays. Friends with the families already, we all left if our pairs for our new temporary homes. This morning, as it is Eid, everything is closed for the celebration of the end of Ramadan, a day off for all Moroccans. We are also taking the day off, spending the morning with our host families, and returning together after lunch to visit the beach and dine together.
Casablanca continues to fill our experience with so much. We’ll write again soon.
Wishing you all the best back at home,
Noah & the CLPs
We have a ton of photos waiting to be pulled off our fancy camera, so stay tuned still :)