Saturday, August 14, 2010

Only two weeks left!

I can't believe we only have two more weeks left in this country. Two Fridays from now, we will be flying to Kuala Lumpur. Not sure when I will be back to this place again. I feel like I will be back though. It's so strange to think about leaving. I imagine myself back at Stanford and Oakland and living “normally” again. But it's hard to think about leaving this place. It's become home; I live here. My brain can't handle this concept of “leaving”.

We still have a lot to do for these next two weeks. Now it really feels like we're in charge of the project. The first few weeks, we were super busy with a ton of meetings. They were faciliated by the nonprofit that we have been working with. We were just tagging along. But for the past few weeks, I feel like we've had more of a role in determining what needs to be done.

We fasted for the first three days of Ramadan. No food or drinks during daylight hours. It's actually more than daylight hours. Sunrise is at about 6:30am. There is prayer at around 5am and all eating and drinking has to stop before prayer. So we've been getting up at 4:30am to eat. Now I've gotten up at 4am before but definitely not to eat a full meal. In fact, whenever I have to get up that early (usually for flying), I don't eat because my stomach cannot handle food at that hour.

It feels really strange to be eating at 4am and then going back to sleep for a few hours. The rest of the day is actually not too bad. At around noon, you'll start craving for food but then after a couple of hours, it's just a background feeling. But it's hard to concentrate because your body doesn't have readily available energy to burn. And contrary to popular belief, you don't stuff yourself with food right when fasting ends. Your stomach can only handle water and something light.

At around 2pm, people start setting up food stalls all over the place. People actually start buying food before the fasting period ends. Fruit juice, fruit cups, jelly drinks, and other things that contain a lot of water are very popular. Greg and I bought this fruit cup that had fruit that wasn't very sweet and swimming in this juice that tasted funny. We still managed to finish it pretty fast before looking around for real food.

It's been an interesting experiment though. I was really worried about the not drinking water part. I know I can make it through a day without eating but I definitely wasn't sure about the drinking. We managed to have a couple of “normal” working days while fasting for 12+ hours. I can definitely see how your body would adopt to this schedule.

1 comment:

yalu said...

Did you feel like Germany and Cambridge were home? I got used to living in France, but I don't think I ever got used to it being home, mostly because the people I cared about were so far away. But I do say, I lived in France, because that is true. Same for Pittsburgh. Sierra Leone and Germany for me were trips though, even though we lived with the sisters for 3 weeks (and at times, it felt enjoyably like it could last forever. maybe because no internet). I'm not sure where I draw the line... but I consider having your own apartment a very good condition for "living there".

I'm not sure about not eating food (this morning I skipped breakfast and I was hungry...but I could still concentrate) for the whole day, but I know I could definitely do the water thing as long as I drank in the morning (before sunrise). For some reason, I definitely dont need a lot of water...