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October 1, 2008 L-3id!

Mbruk l-3id! Blessings for the Holiday! Or as they’ve been saying this morning, Mbruk l-3ashera! That translates as "Blessings 10". I’m not sure what that means, but I’ve heard it a bunch today.

Once we heard the announcement last night that the 3id would be today, we ate an early dinner--no need to wait till midnight, since we won’t be fasting tomorrow!--and then applied celebratory henna. (More on that in the next blog.)

I slept over in my host family’s house, back in the room where I lived for 3 months. I slept like a log despite having my hands bound (and slightly odorous), waking up a bit when Ama got up to make bread, around 5am. Around 7, Ama came into the room, announcing, "Enough sleep! Time for breakfast! Mbruk l’3ashera!" She unwrapped my hands and helped me get some of the henna mud off. Then she went back into the main part of the house, where apparently guests were already appearing. She had told me that visits would start around 9:30 or 10, but I guess folks were showing up early…

That began a long day of feasting.

The morning was glorious, with bright blue skies, a few puffy white clouds, and a baking sun. Some of Berberville’ citizens laid their prayer mats in the souq and prayed towards the rising sun for a few hours; others began making the social rounds.

The afternoon was markedly colder and rainy, but still full of delicious (and sugar-intensive) food and loving visits.

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