Tuesday, September 26, 2006
I have nothing against fasting, in general. I think it's a good discipline. Good for the body, soul, etc. However, Ramadan in Sudan is just a bridge too far. First, you have to fast from sun-up to sun-down. Now, that's all fine and good in, say, Finland where the sun sinks early, but here that means you're going without food for 30 days about 14 hours a day. Second, it's hot here. And by hot, I mean 90-ish and bone-dry so that you can almost feel the water being sucked out of you. However, you're forbidden from drinking water during daylight. Then, you're allowed to eat at about 7:20 which the Sudanese do - in abundance. Huge, greasy, meat, beans and oil-laiden meals. Then, they stay up late into the night partying very conservatively. The next day everyone's sleeping late and shops don't open until nearly noon and people show up to work looking lethargic and cranky. Now, call me crazy but this doesn't seem like fasting so much to me as a change in schedule. But, hey, I can't complain because it means that I get to come to work a half an hour later and every morning. I also personally believe it's harder to riot when you're hungry and dehydrated so that might work in our favor this month as well.