So, I'd like to go over all the wonderful things I did during Ramadhan but I cannot decide... forwards, backwards, highlights? I want to save the terrible Eid story for later (I know I've told many of you already... and getting it off my chest helped tremendously.)
So Ramadhan... month of fasting... I fasted. My roommate was good at getting me up so I almost never missed suhoor (alhamdulillah for a great roommate.) I went to a few amazing iftars. Got to do da'wah table again, that was fun. As the month started I didn't have many plans. The masjid had iftars for singles on Mondays and Wednesdays, so Alice and I were going there. Tuesdays I had class, Wednesdays I sometimes had lab. Thursdays the MSA had iftars (except on fall break) so I went to a couple of those. One I missed to have dinner at someone's house. Alice cooked spaghetti one night, and we ate together... a few times we had leftovers together... but most of the month we actually had dinner other places, especially towards the end.
I got to try all new varieties of food, that was exciting...
I met a lot of sisters my age (because so many more people were attending the MSA events especially) and hung out more with some I already knew. During fall break I went to the rival school UNC-CH for a Latino Muslim iftar... there was a speaker from New Jersey talking about Latino Muslims, and there was Latino food... some Muslims... some Latinos... no Latino Muslims but some non-Latino non-Muslims... maybe they learned something while they ate and listened. :-)
My roommate and I actually hosted one iftar at our apartment for some sisters. I cooked. Yes really. She made some spinach soup thing that was pretty good and some rice, and I made chicken parmesan, a jello/fruit salad dish, and a cake for dessert, and somebody brought grape leaves and hummous. It was pretty exciting--these women were crazy, though. You know, when you haven't eaten all day and then you start eating, dinner then dessert... sugar... lots of sugar... hijabis gone crazy. I haven't laughed so much in one night... for as long as I can remember. But we had good discussions, too, because a lot of them were converts as well, or family of some. They gave me some ideas about dealing with my family.. told me stories that were worse than mine... overall it made me feel a lot better.
I was interviewed about Ramadan to put in the school newspaper, that was pretty exciting.
That night I went to an iftar that I thought was going to be small at someone's house.. oh no. It was at a town community center to accommodate all the people... and wow, a ton of people. The who's who of the masjid, really. Even the imam came. So my roommie and I called it the A-List iftar, and decided that we had "made it" that now we're getting to go to the same iftar as the imam. :D
I went to an i'tikaf... was very sleepy, of course. The taraweeh prayers that night, the night we finished the Qur'an, lasted almost to midnight (because they did a fundraiser in the middle, grr.) So the i'tikaf started late, but I listened to a woman recite Qur'an (rare is that), and we had three mini-lectures. Then we prayed Tahajjud in the morning (which I probably did 6 or 7 times in the last 10 days... only missed a few near the end because I was sooo sleep deprived.) ate suhoor, and prayed fajr.
Anyway... it was a nice first Ramadan for me, spending the time with so many Muslims all the time was a real treat. I guess in my next post inshallah I'll explain what went wrong on Eid. :-)