Posted on a later day, 10.30.13, I chose to keep the dates in mark with their corresponding dates from our Hajj trip for convenience. You can see a link of all the post-trip posts by clicking here and scrolling down. Click here to see the previous day’s post and click here to see the next day’s post.
Tuesday October 15.
This day is also when the rest of the practicing Muslims around the world are celebrating Eid-ul-Adha.
We left from our carpeted resting area in Muzdalifah around midnight for its train station and it was probably at least half an hour later by the time we were finally on the train. We didn’t finally get back to our Mena camp, however, until around 2:30 AM. You read that right.
We took the train [10-15 minute ride once you are on], after not being able to find the bus, and let me tell you it was not fun. The trains are a great implementation but wasn’t planned very well. The walking, the uphill ramps involved are not ideal for most. Definitely not for my mom who is asthmatic and has arthritis. You would think the security/police would allow such people, like Ami, to use the elevator… but no, of course not. You plead with them, but they are just rude and inconsiderate and make you question how some people can be so heartless. Why in the world are there elevators there in the first place?!
When we finally got off at our Mena/jamaraat train station [the jamaraat is within the train station at Mena], apparently all the escalators only go upwards at that time. My guess is that its to accommodate all those coming for rami, but never mind the fact how they are supposed to go back afterwards… After trying to figure out what the security/policemen were saying in Arabic to no avail and seeing most escalators heading up [and no stairs unlocked] and elevators that we weren’t allowed to use [because apparently they were being repaired even though we could see they were working just fine…] I called one of the Dar el Salam phone numbers and told them to speak to one of the workers in Arabic and have them help/guide us… which finally got us somewhere.
There were also creepy crawly FLYING creatures that someone compared to cicadas but these were in varying [humongous] sizes, didn’t make the noise cicadas are known for, were clay colored, and seemed to fall when under the light. Oh and absolutely gross.
It had been relatively smooth sailing until this point so I guess He above decided to challenge us some more. I can honestly say that the hajj portions went great for us throughout, alhumdulillah, and the challenges/tests we faced were in other ways.
Communicating here has been a challenge pretty much daily due to the language barrier and it gets frustrating at times. Not only during the whole train station debacle, but the 1.5 hours it took to finally get an extension cord for my mom’s CPAP machine once we got back to our Mena camp. I was exhausted to say the least and not exactly what I wanted to be doing at the time. It was a tough and challenging day all around that’s for sure.
Today’s agenda after yet another day of an hour of sleep (if that) was first day of rami (out of three) that we did on the way back from the train station, sacrifice, [we can be out of the state of ihram after this], tawaf al-ifadah, and sa’ee. I am so worried that I am running on a adrenaline rush and will make myself sick soon… hopefully that is not the case.
By the time I got my mom’s CPAP machine issue finally settled, and went to lay down… it was time to leave for the tawaf.
So many funny/interesting from this trip. Today’s favorite? The alive sheep in the back of a small truck while we were stuck in traffic heading for tawaf al-ifadah. Not so funny? That it took us over 4 hours to get to the destination (haram) which is about between 4-5 kilometers from Mena. It should have taken us 15-20 minutes. Blah. My mom wasn’t feeling very well by this time, so she took our bus right back to Mena and just my dad and I did our tawaf and sa’ee at the time.
We finally got on the bus, at our checkpoint Shohada hotel, to head back from the Haram following our tawaf al-ifadah and sa’ee to Mena around 2:55 pm. 15 minutes later we were on our way and thankfully it only took 25 minutes this time around and we got back to our Mena camp around 3:35 pm. What an extremely exhausting and trying day all around.
At this point, the main parts of our hajj are over, although we still have day 2 and 3 of rami remaining before we leave Mena camp to head back to Aziziya for a day or two before heading to our Makkah hotel for about 5 “free” days (more like recuperating days) before our flight home Friday October 25th (we will be home, inshallah, [bright and early] the morning of October 26).
We collected the pebbles for day one from Muzdalifah last night and then my dad and I went to collect the pebbles for day 2 and 3 for jamarat here in Mena, following sunnah.
Oh how I miss my bed, my food, and the minimal sleep of 3-4 hours I typically get on a good night at home that will suddenly now seem more than enough. But will miss this experience a lot. Something just feels right.
Except for the fact my dad and I witnessed two grown men break into a fight today during sa’ee and one even threw zam-zam at the other. Yes, a hajji throwing holy water at a fellow hajji. Mere hours after the day of Arafat was over. Hours after the fact all of your sins were washed away. Can. Not. Make. This. Stuff. Up.
Click here to read the next post, from October 17.
Posted on 10.30.13