Tuesday, October 11, 2005

National Pastime

Picture Captions:

Katie not too happy about waking up at 3:30 in the morning to eat. I'm always happy to eat!

Our severly injured soccer team.

I know that I haven't written in a long time. I told you guys I was going to be bad at this. I did, however, have quite the exciting evening tonight and I wanted to share it with you. Currently, we're in the second week of Ramadan. For those who don't know what that is, it's the month of fasting in the Islamic world. I, along with other volunteers, have decided to fast as well. It's actually not as bad as one would think. Yes, there are times in the middle of the day when all you want to do is grab a liter of water and chug the whole thing but you try to resist the urge and carry on. It's basically readjusting your eating schedule. The girls in my room are all fasting so we wake up at 4 in the morning and eat bread, cheese, fruit and drink plenty of water. I like to throw in a snickers or a twix in the mix, but that's just me. This early morning feeding frenzy usually helps us get through the day until we break the fast. This is called Lfdur and it usually occurs around 6 or 6:30 PM. Lfdur isn't a big meal. It's mainly some sort of soup, bread, eggs, dates and shebekiah, a really sweet honey treat. Moroccans love their sweets! Dinner is after that and it's around 10 PM. So, there's basically a lot of time to eat, just not while the sun is up. Because of Ramadan, we've been getting out of language classes and sessions at 4 or 4:30 instead of 6. So between 4:30 and 6 we have nothing to do and we can't eat.
Today, a handful of us decided that we needed some sort of exercise and decided to find an empty field and play soccer. Yes, that's right, I said it ... SOCCER ... the national sport in Morocco. We tumble onto the rocky, and I mean rocky, field and gave it a go. At first there was only one Moroccan boy watching us attempt to play. Incidentally, he was wearing a Tar Heels cap. I stopped for a moment, let out a sigh and continued my sport. It wasn't long before we had a large audience of Moroccan boys. There was a group of 5 or 6 teenagers in one corner and another group of maybe 10 kids right behind one of our goals. The site of a bunch of Americans trying to play soccer must have been the most amusing thing that they had seen in a long time. I mean, there were 7 year olds just flat out laughing at us. We couldn't even keep the ball in play for more than 20 seconds at a time. And then, to make matters even worse, I took a shot straight in the face and hit the ground. I even chipped a tooth ( don't worry mom, I didn't really need it. ) The left side of my face was a little swollen so I sat out for a few minutes. Minutes later, sweet little Rachel side-swept Cory and he went tumbling to the ground. Natural instinct had his hand break the fall and he came up with a bloody "hey I look like an axe murder" hand. That didn't stop Cory so he continued to play until we insisted on him going in to dress his hand due to the splattered blood all over the field. Anne also took a dive on the field and skinned her knee. Cory eventually came back in the game just to be socked right in the sternum and have all the living breathe knocked out of him. It was quite a pathetic site. We felt like a bunch of geriatrics hobbling off the field. Funny thing is, we all couldn't wait to get back out there the next day and do it all over again. I mean, come on, we didn't give everyone a chance to get injured and that's not really team spirit.


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