A quick summary of the last month or so…
It was Ramadan. The days were long, much longer than in Qatar. I fasted with my family. I fasted alone. I missed the camaraderie of fasting in a Muslim country. I missed planning meals with my friends in Doha and making Ramadan a season to celebrate.
Instead, the celebratory season focused on an American holiday, one I’ve really been missing and was looking forward to. I celebrated my first July 4th stateside since repatriation. An eagle somehow ended up painted over my eye.
I wore red white and blue and cowboy boots and stomped around like it was my birthday. I traded off wearing two hats- one American flag cap I had picked up from “The Local” in San Diego, and one camouflage hat from a truck stop chain in Oklahoma called “Kum N Go”. July 4 th was simply magical, nay, religious. My friends and I went to see Third Eye Blind in Dallas. My face paint literally melted as I jumped up and down in the pit, singing along with Stephan Jenkins and hundreds of other fans.
High energy and majestic, it was everything I’d dreamt about. I’d been dreaming about it.
The holy month continued, and I took myself down to Houston to see some family and Noel. (You may remember her from my days in Houma). She adopted Jerome when I moved to Qatar. He’s grown to more than double his size!
While in Houston, my cousins and I participated in a charity event hosted by Amaanah Refugee Services. Rock The Block, as it’s called, is an event where we unload some trucks of groceries, sort, and bag them for families. We then take the bags to the complexes where the refugees live and distribute the bags of groceries. The unloading and bagging part of the day was fun, and only somewhat labor intensive. My cousins and I sang in our assembly lines and lead chants and claps. The food distribution portion of the day was not as whimsical, as we awkwardly knocked on doors and gave out food. Many of the families did not know why we were giving them food and didn’t speak much English. As such, the food distribution was basically just handing bags of food to people and running away. Reverse trick or treating?
Anyhow- the summer is coming to an end and many people are wondering, “What are you doing with yourself?”