The Ramadan blues…

Every religion and way of living comes with its particularities. The Muslim religion for instance comes with five prayers a day and 30 days of fasting called Ramadan.
Mali being an about 90% Muslim country, life has changed from one day to the other when the Ramadan started on the 1st of August.

Except for those working in offices, hardly anyone seems to be able to work in kind of a normal schedule nor being able to be even half as productive as on other days.
And don’t you dare to wake someone up before noon… Chances are quite high they are bad tempered!

‘Just don’t expect anything and don’t be annoyed, okay? It’s only a month. Life will get back to normal’, Ibrahim told me.
Easier said than done. I have a business to run and if I’d be capable of carrying the entire workload by myself I wouldn’t have employees at all. Them not doing too much, means more work for me.
At the end of the day I’m exhausted and nights that I hit the pillow around 8 or 9pm have become the rule, 10pm having become an exception.

I’m perfectly fine with everyone having their religion, but just don’t look at me at 2pm complaining that you’re tired, after having been up till 4am, drinking tea and having fun with your friends, before eating and finally going to bed.
Waking up after midday, having slept all those nice cool morning hours. Not being able to do any work, because it’s too hot, and going for another nap. Getting back up in the late afternoon, getting ready for breaking the fast…

This is of course the worst of the days experienced. On some days some work has been done. And there were even a few days when the tempers looked quite normal. But still…

‘Next year I’ll be traveling during the Ramadan’, I told Ibrahim the other day.
‘Why that?’, he asked me. ‘Just hire some Christians for a month and you’ll be fine.’
There are no problems in Mali, only solutions!

Nine more days…

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About MoInMali

Monique is the founder of Papillon Reizen, a Mali based travel agency specialized in inspiring journeys in Mali, Burkina Faso, Togo and Benin. Fair-trade and with a heart for people, environment and culture. Small-scale group journeys as well as family trips and journeys tailored to your wishes. We love to share West Africa's beauty with you and take you on a journey to experience rather than to see. Monique lives in Mali with her Malian partner and shares some of her daily life experiences with you through this blog. For information on Papillon Reizen: www.papillonreizen.com
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