Skip to main content

The Ramadan Fete

Ramadan was celebrated in Tera a week ago Thursday (the
11th). This is always a happy day when the end of the month-long fast is celebrated. Everybody starts getting ready days ahead of time by plaiting their hair, putting on henna, fixing up their house, and going to the market to buy new things. On the day of the fete, everybody puts on their new clothes then goes to the mosque to pray. When they get home the women get busy fixing a huge celebratory meal. The men sit around playing cards, chatting, and listening to the radio. The kids run around, make a lot of noise, get sent on errands to buy spices for the sauce, and generally get in the way. Finally the big meal is served and everybody feasts. Extra food is cooked to give to friends, neighbors, and especially to the poor. Friends eat together and forgive each other for the past year's offenses. Later in the day everybody visits everybody else and small gifts of money, gum, or candy are given to the children.

We do not celebrate Ramadan, per se, but it is fun to watch our friends celebrate. Suzanne went with some of her girlfriends to get henna done. When they got there, the lady was already doing somebody else, so Suzanne had to wait her turn. Then it took hours to do her feet and left hand. It was quite a work of art, as you can see! She also had a matching outfit made, but as she didn't celebrate Ramadan, she didn't get to pick it up at the tailor's until later this week. Our neighbor brought food to Suzanne and me (she was too busy for us to go sit with her to eat). John went and ate with her husband, though.

I also got a new outfit, but it was quite by accident that it turned out to be a Ramadan outfit! I took it to the tailor well before Ramadan and he promised me it would be done by Sunday. Then we were called to Niamey to be with Suzanne during her asthma attack....that was the Friday before the Sunday I was to get the outfit. So I stopped to tell him to just set it aside and I would get it when I got back to town. Well, he just assumed I would celebrate the fete in Niamey and since he had mountains of work to do making new outfits for dozens of people, he just put my outfit aside and didn't work on it. So, when I came back to town, he didn't have it ready, even though a week and half had passed since he said it would be ready!
I've been reading I Thessalonians 4 & 5 where Paul reminds us that Jesus will come back like a thief in the night. We'll be saying we have plenty of time and will be doing other things and with out warning, He will be here. The whole thing with the tailor reminded me of that. He thought he had plenty of time and so he busied himself with other things. Then he was embarrassed when I came back unanounced and he was not ready. What a vivid picture to go with my Bible study! Maranatha! Let me be ready for your return, Lord.


Beth said…
I love your new outfit. It's a beautiful color!
Anonymous said…
The henna is stunning, I would go and sit hours with Suzanne to get it done myself!
I like how you turned it at the end to being ready for His think so much like a missionary! Hmmm.
I miss you and think of you often!
Love, JO
Dusty Penguin said…
What a great illustration! I may use it some time:) And your outfit is very pretty. I like the white on the neck and sleeves.
Patriot said…
What a great reminder!

Just came across your blog and wanted to let you know about my site. I host a free giveaway every week with some fantastic, American made products. I don't make any money off of the site - I just want to see more jobs stay here in the U.S. Come check it out!

Aji said…
Wow, your henna designs are much more intricate than ours. How are they applied? Here they make a design with adhesive tape and then apply the henna over it. After the design and henna are applied they cover it all with a plastic bag and socks (if it's a foot design). They don't take that off for several hours or even overnight.
Palmer said…
What a great illustration! More vivid to me personally, really, than the image of ten bridesmaids camping out on a doorstep.

Popular posts from this blog

Practice Hospitality

My mother-in-law, Jean, is an amazing person with many gifts.  One of the first things I noticed about her when I was but a young bride, was her gift of hospitality.  It was nothing for her to invite a large group of people over, make each one feel welcome, cook a big meal,and seemingly do it without stressing herself out.  I don't know if hospitality just came naturally to her or if she learned it.  In this picture you can see Jean throwing a party for a class she taught in Nigeria.  

I believe that for me it has been a learned skill.  My parents were hospitable and it wasn't unusual for us to have guests over (though usually not as many at a time as my mother-in-law would do!).  But when I started living on my own, I had to learn hospitality.  The first time I invited somebody over for a meal, the lid got stuck on the pot of vegetables, I put too much salt or soda or something in the muffins, and I forgot to serve milk and sugar with the hot drinks.  I've gotten much bett…

2016 in Review

Let's take a look at the year 2016.

January's big events were the dedication of the Tamajaq New Testament, our annual Spiritual Life Conference, helping friends find a house, a trip to visit missionaries in the bush, attended a big wedding, and celebrated John's birthday. It was a pretty busy month.  My January picture is from our trip to the bush and shows baobab trees.  

February was a little less crazy.  John started taking moolo lessons.  February is the time of year when the fresh fruits and veggies are in season so I did a lot of work to freeze veggies for the hot months ahead.  This picture isn't terribly exciting, but a year after the church burnings this church we helped plant back in 1989 finally had a new ceiling and a fresh coat of paint.

In March we attended another big wedding, froze more veggies, celebrated Easter, and visited a church in another town.  John and I have visited a lot of churches in the past three years as he has done research for his doctora…

Meat Roll-ups

Tonight I made meat roll-ups.  And I got to use some ingredients that made food prep much easier than normal!  I did make two batches of rolls so that John could have a lactose-free meal.

The first thing to do is to brown some hamburger.  With the main batch I stirred a tin of mushroom soup into the browned meat.  For John's batch, I stirred in flour, some almond milk, and seasonings just enough to moisten it, but not to make it really runny.  In Niger, I would make it the second way since we don't have tinned soup.

Next I made a batch of biscuit dough using Bisquick.  Of course, in Niger, I have to make the biscuit dough from scratch.  I mixed it up with the almond milk.  Once the dough is rolled out in a strip, spread the meat mixture on it.  Roll it up like you would cinnamon rolls and cut into slices.  Lay the slices on a cookie sheet and cook in a 350 oven for about 20 minutes.

While they're baking, I browned fresh mushrooms in butter (in Niger I would use tinned mushroo…