Saturday, 5 July 2008

Day 8 (Cont'd): Cleaners

The cleaners came today. Another blessing I suddenly realized I never really appreciated. Kitchen duty is hard enough (as well as handwashing my clothes in a bucket, since our washing machine is broken, which I've never done before), so I'm especially glad that they came. We were told to keep any leftovers for them, that one of them had 14 kids who eat rice "once in a blue moon," and again, I realized how blessed we are.

One of the things I'm never going to forget is when I was in Denmark—we were invited for kebab and kofta and after we finished there was so much food left over, literally plates and plates of meat. I asked if we could take the food and give it to someone on the street and was told that there was no one to give the food to, and that everything was thrown away because there were no poor people.

I went over today to my family to have lunch, and I had my favorite Tarimi meal so far: grilled chicken (better than any I've ever tasted), basmati rice, naan bread and the traditional Yemeni tomato sauce which is slightly spicy.

I went early to Dar al-Zahra today and I visited the dokan—a little store that sells a whole lot of things. I bought a traditional Yemeni khimar—everything is sold in black plastic bags for some reason—a mulan style fan, and some of the house dresses that women wear inside the house. The total came to just over 2,000 Yemeni riyals, which is approximately $10. I can't get over how cheap everything is here. Unfortunately, the store doesn't sell Mars ice cream bars, which I'm really craving right now :)

I also performed wuduu' (ablution) there, and it reminded me so much of beer zamzam in Mecca, which used to be this underground well under the area around the kaaba where you could get freezing cold zamzam water. After tawaf (circumambulation of the ka'aba) we would be so hot and literally go and shower with the cold water. Well, the water in Dar al-Zahra is freezing just like beer zamzam, and you even drink it in metal cups, just like in Mecca.

I shifted my mattress tonight directly under the fan and right in front of the air conditioner, and I truly couldn't stop smiling. I think I'm going to do 100 elhamdulelas every day for the blessing of the air conditioner.

Today's Quote: If you want to be a scholar, then you will be a role model and more will be expected of you than is of other people. You must lean towards what it is the companions loved and did. Shaykh Omar

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