Ramadan & 1 Year in Morocco

The holy month of Ramadan began about a week ago here in Morocco.  Here’s what we’ve observed so far:

  • During the month of Ramadan, clocks are turned back one hour, so we’re now 4 hours ahead of the US and 2 hours behind Spain and France, at least until Ramadan ends.  Not sure if this is only in Morocco, or in other Muslim countries as well…
  • Since the hour change, the call to prayer which we normally hear around 5 in the morning is now at 4 in the morning.  At the beginning of Ramadan it would wake us up, but now we seem to have acclimated to the daily 4 am alarm and are not waking up to it.
  • My Middle School and High School students are fasting (children who have not gone through puberty don’t fast), which makes for interesting school days.  People fast from sunrise to sunset, which means no food and no drink (even including water) all day long.
  • The breaking of the fast, called ftour, is at 7:45 pm.  So around 7:30 pm the entire city of Casablanca comes to a screeching halt.  Everything closes and everyone goes home to break the fast with their family.  At 7:45 pm the call to prayer is sung and the fast is over, which means a huge feast of Moroccan food and drink is in order!  Marc loves to be on our terrace during this time to observe the quiet and calm of what is normally a chaotic mess.
  • Ramadan Mubarak = Happy Ramadan or Ramadan Kareem = Blessed Ramadan are well-wishes we’ve learned to say to those celebrating Ramadan.
  • Ramadan is a time not only for fasting, but more importantly to focus on forgiveness, kindness, and generosity towards humanity and especially the poor.  While fasting is difficult, it is to be considered a blessing and privilege given by Allah for true Muslims.

All in all, we are enjoying the cultural interaction with Morocco during Ramadan, especially Marc who now feels the whole city is in tune with his night-owl schedule.  At the same time, though, we are excited to be leaving for summer vacation in just 3 days!  And to be preparing for summer means we are officially bringing to a close our 1st year in Morocco.  We lived in Morocco for 1 year!!!  For us, an accomplishment.

To celebrate this, we took tried out surfing, then ran home from the beach around the time of the 7:45 ftour, so the streets were empty and we could run free.  This simply does not happen at any other time of year in Casa, so we were glad to take advantage of it.  We’re definitely hooked and happy to have found something fun and active to do together living in this big city in Morocco.  We’re simply not the dinner and a movie kind of couple, we want to be out, active, and in nature, which is quite difficult to accomplish in Casablanca!  Surfing will be our release, our connection with earth, our opportunity to learn something new, fall down, get back up, and ride the wave together.  It’s fun, and we’re glad to have discovered the surf culture in Morocco…

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Marc getting into a wet wetsuit – freezing!

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Me, slightly more comfortable in a dry version…

Now it’s time to pack for our summer break.  We have an action-packed few months ahead of us making stops, between the two of us, in Paris, NYC, Ohio, Missouri, Oregon, and Barcelona.  Whew!  Stay tuned for updates. 🙂

And to watch over our apartment while we’re gone, someone decided to paint a mural of superheroes on a building across from our terrace.  Marc finds it very funny that the Hulk, Spiderman, and even Captain America are here in Morocco to look out for us…right in time for our 3-month summer home leave.

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Recipes & Health Tips:

Excited to have come across a new blog of plant-based, whole foods recipes that I love!  Check out www.dishingupthedirt.com – I’ll be trying out lots of these recipes this summer!  Here’s a good one I’ve made already with cherries in season in Morocco –  Kale, Cherry, & Avocado Salad with Lemon-Poppy Seed Dressing

Iced Vanilla Bean Matcha Latte – Matcha is a ground, concentrated powder version of green tea and delicious in a latte!

No-Bake Chocolate Fudge Cookies – Easy to make, gooey, chewy, goodness. 🙂

Caramel Vanilla Bean Hazelnut Milk – Another version of nut milk with a bit of added sweetness from dates.

And an article that comes to mind every time my lifestyle choices are referred to as a “diet,” which is often…Why Healthy Eating Doesn’t Mean Dieting

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