Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Day 25 Ramadan 2017

Ramadan Kareem,

What do you see?  Allah is everywhere, but sometimes we humans need reminders.



No lie.  I was scared about getting the right things today.  We had an appointment at the U.S. Embassy to get my passport renewed.  Yesterday, we had made the intention to go as soon as possible, and when I had checked available appointments, there was ONE and it was for Tuesday---TODAY!  

Going to Cairo can be crazy tiring, but add fasting to the mix and it can be deadly.  What to eat?

I made a apricot-mango yogurt smoothie and ate those yummy barley crackers with cream cheese.  Today, I upped the ante and added a tomato and cucumber sliced and placed on top.  Both those veggies help hydrate and tomato has an extra bonus---sun protection!



We prayed and then both the guys went back to bed while I stayed up.  The mornings in Egypt are so quiet so very quiet; they are magical.

There I was, typing away, when I felt like I was being watched.  I was!

I turned my head and saw out the window that the neighbor's goat was staring at me.  I cracked up.  Seriously, that's a funny moment.  He's a really social goat, apparently...might have a bit of a cold because he sneezed a few times.  I felt the need to say, "Bless you."  We'd developed a kind of friendship.

It must have been "Talk to the Animals" day at our house since as soon as I'd taken this picture, the mama cat and the kitten came by.  I brought another plastic yogurt container filled with water and both lapped up the life sustainer.  They seemed unsatisfied; Mama cat was meowing still.  I brought them a small pad of Kiri cream cheese.  They ate and enjoyed.  I know it's stupid to feed street cats expensive food because they can eat garbage, but it was this really wonderful moment to feed the hungry (even if they were only cats).

The kitten kept thinking of coming inside our open apartment door only to spring away.  After I went away from the door to get some cereal, I came back to only see the mama.  Where was the kitten?  I started to look around our house.  Probably not a good idea to leave the door unguarded.  Eventually, the kitten bounded back up the stairs and I breathed a sigh of relief.  That would have been a tough one to explain to my husband!  

When I gave the cereal to them, mama cat misinterpreted my movement and lashed out at me.  I've been scratched by a cat before, but these claws were like razors!  She couldn't have meant it as a fight, but rather as a warning.  I only bled a little as the song "Cat Scratch Fever" started playing in my mind.  I washed my hand, put on some Neosporin antibiodic, and made a mental note to keep my distance at all times.  

The scratch was worth it for being able to share this really sweet scene of relaxed, satisfied mama and playful baby.  


I went back to bed at 5:00 and woke up at 7:30.  We had to leave in an hour.  It all went well getting ready because we had planned and ironed outfits the night before.  I had packed my purse AND unpacked any needless stuff.


I'm still in Surah 6 and I really wanted to bring the tablet to read while waiting, but that was pointless because there are no electronics allowed at the embassy.  Instead, I brought along a little pocket book of the 99 Names of Allah.


This year, although I haven't been as good with plowing through the The Holy Quran, I have spent time memorizing the 99 Names.  Now, when I'm going through the ayahs, or verses, I can see the Names of Allah stand out and acknowledge them more.  They have become more meaningful with each one I have committed to memory; placed in my heart.

I have been playing the 99 Names matching game and I wish I could recommend it, but it seems to be gone from the Google Play.  It is a memory game that matches the name with the meaning.  That could be easy enough to create in Powerpoint or in real life.

The other way I've been memorizing is by watching my screensaver of the names which I made from the photos here.   I downloaded each and loaded them into the Microsoft wallpaper tool.  Each one is unique and beautiful.  May Allah reward the maker of these images.


We left El Kid at home and headed to Cairo.  One of the nice parts of fasting is being able to say, "I'm fasting, so I don't want to ____________" and the other person kind of respects your limitations.  No, I did not want to take a bus downtown.  I wanted to get there quickly and without any hassle.  My hub and I agreed on a taxi and immediately one appeared.  Subhanallah, our trip to the embassy was made so incredibly easy time and again.  


The embassy itself is never really a joy.  First of all, the other embassies are prettier; the American Embassy in Cairo is not just ugly---it's ooogly.  Then, there's the issue of how much fear there seems to be in the initial screening room.  Yes, it was a mistake that I brought ear buds.


I thought I had read and followed all the information, but I guess not.  They didn't exactly place that info like I just did.  MAKE IT STAND OUT so we notice it.  Place an intersesting gif with the info amid the wordy words.  It's like America hates all the people who come to the embassy and makes the process as difficult as possible so no one wants to come back.

My hub had to leave with the earbuds, run across the street and leave them with someone.  I thought he told me there were in a safe, but it turns out that he meant they were safe.  "Safe" to my husband is a pencil case in the hands of some dude.  LOL!  We have different expectations.

We entered into the actual embassy and took our seat among anyone who wasn't American.  Where were all the Americans?  I counted three besides me.  Everyone else was REALLY Egyptian (and thinking that the States, where a young Egyptian-American was just killed) was a better place.

Ahmed helped me study the 99 Names.  I really didn't know how to say them all.  It was a good time, honestly.  I don't like waiting, so I always find something else to dow while I'm waiting (thanks to Mr. Rogers).  

When it was our turn about an hour later, I found out that I should have read one more line better on the internet site.


Because I didn't bring it, Ahmed had to run across the street one more time to get a copy.  I'm glad I brought him along.  He got a little mad at my inability, but seriously that website is too complicated.

Once we paid the thousands of pounds and handed over the copy, we could leave.  We could go aross the street and pick up my earbuds from the pencil case.  

On the way home, we were waiting on the corniche taking photos when Ahmed thought we could take a walk.  I started with him until I realized taht he wanted to walk allllllllllll the way to the Ramses Hilton where there is a bus station.  That was too far!  He hadn't asked me and when I figured it out, I told him, "No, please!"  Again, because I was fasting, he acquiesced to my wishes.

Subhanallah, a bus came right away and we got on.  It was painless.  We had to change to a different bus at Giza Square, but that took us all the way to our street.  Easy peasy!

We bought potatoes from UmAhmed on the way to our home.  We made it inside, saw El Kid was fine, and we prayed.  We were back home after getting a major task ticked off our "To Do List".  

We took a nap before asr.



We woke and prayed around 4:30.  Naps are so disorientating.  I wake up in Ramadan never sure if it's morning or night.  

Ahmed cooked dinner while I loaded all the photos I'd taken on our trip.  There are just snapshots from the bus.  Snapping pics keeps me happy.  None were masterpieces, but I was happy to see all of them and remember the day.



The time snuck up on me!  All of a sudden it was time to break the fast.  Alhumdulillah.  We ate our dates, drank our water, and prayed.


Dinner was beef, rice and potatoes.  Notice any vegetables?  NO!  Of course you don't because my husband doesn't feel they are necessary.  I had some leftover soup with zuchhini and carrots, so I ate that up instead of potatoes.



Time for some konafa and relaxation.  Soon enough it will be time for bed.


EXCEPT the kids were so loud in the street that I had to look.  There was a group standing around something.  A firecracker?  They do like to light those off---especially on the manhole cover.  Nope, even though they lit something, nothing popped.  It's a 


Yes, a group of small children (no more than eight years old) was spraying saving lotion and lighting it on fire.  Where were the adults?  There was one adult.  He scooped up the fire into his hands and played along with the kids.  Little kids were ecstatic as you know three and four year olds can get.  They started spraying it onto the neighbor's house and, when that was lit, the flames shot up almost reaching the many lines of Ramadan decorations.  

That's when I put on my prayer outfit and went downstairs to tell the moms and dads from this that their kids were in danger.  Maybe they could stop what was going on.  My husband wasn't back form the mosque or else I would have had him handle it. 

When I explained the situation, no one was alarmed.  It was so chill.  The fire setting stopped, but I'm not sure for what reason.  

The kids were still playing in the street the rest of the night unsupervised.

We went to bed.

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