Zinder Niger Break Fast Zinder Niger West Africa Tuesday, October 10, 2006
It is the Scorcher…
Translated from Arabic, Ramadan mean Scorcher, and fell in the heat of summer, then maybe some variations. It is a Holy time for the Islamic Religion.
It is Ramadan presently in Niger and my friend are scrambling to - BREAK FAST -
They fast, or abstain from food, drink, smoking, sex, and I am sure a few other things, but I am not an expert. What I found hard to believe was the drink, this mean in the 30-40 Centigrade scorcher of Zinder Niger, they cannot drink, - WATER -
I was amazed, it is hot, there is often no movement, sitting around, nothing happens, you question if they are alive activity already. Then you say, you cannot drink water. This is a month of fasting, it is also a month here in Zinder where I hope they lie in the shade and do nothing, and otherwise besides dying of malnutrition they will die of heat stroke.
But the scramble is on, I am sitting around discussing all sorts of things, I am not thinking, nothing is strange, but they are, it is getting close to Sunset or 6:00 PM here and they are ready, they are ready to, - BREAK FAST -
They are running for the water, the food, they are buying, selling, gathering food and water and they are ready to BREAK FAST. I returned to my Hotel Central, the local central Hotel, by far, nothing special, out in front there two areas.
STOP, let me explain, it I hard for me to get a motorcycle taxi as it nears six or just after, as every motorcycle is scrambling or rushing for somewhere to BREAK FAST. They are all off to either eat, drink, or do the Prayers.
Ok, well, after flagging many, one decides to stop, I make it back to my hotel, over to the left of the entrance I a square area of concrete and many men are bowing up and down, do the prayer. Nothing new in an Islamic country and you get used to it, however over to the right. Well, at night there is a food market where they sell chicken, I could not buy chicken or it was hard to buy chicken in Benin, but strange in a country with tons of food problems they have tons of chickens.
So over to the left are many men bowing, over to the right are many persons drinking water and I am not sure after that.
I asked my friend, - Do you drink before or after you pray? - He starts to laugh.
I am surrounded by friend, this is my second time of coming to Zinder, and I am sitting in the customary position, in front of the one person’s home. We gather, discuss, they ask exploratory questions, I ask exploratory questions.
My friend says a comment to a new friend from Nigeria, the person from Nigeria speaks English as the influence is English and not French or the Anglophone won over the Francophone. Niger is Francophone.
They speak Hausa that is their language, the Franc and Anglo is just something else to be bothered with and needed for me.
I ask the Nigerian what he said, - He says, you understand Africa. -
There are some small subtle things of human nature, we can overlook, look sideways, understand and know. People are very strange and very weak, they are both good and they are bad. I believe most people look the other way at the humanity or humility of life. I like to ask questions, they laugh; I think and hope because neither of us cares what religion the other is, we just are different. We are more the same than different.
Or we could be very different if I would think and make it, so; however I make us very much the same.
BREAK FAST and do it Fast.
Zinder Niger Break Fast
Hard to get a taxi at this time of day, the rush is on to go home.