Posted on a later day, 11.01.13, 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.
Wednesday October 23.
Poverty level is incredibly high here and it is quite devastating to see. For the most part, we have been sheltered from witnessing it because of the proximity. Our hotel has an internal path that leads directly to the courtyard of the Haram. When we do see it, however, it is incredible. It is something that doesn’t leave you easily– and it shouldn’t.
When opportunities present themselves, we have been donating regularly. Today, however, we thought to do it a little differently and actually bought food and give fresh and warm food to people. One thing is for certain: their reaction is something that will be hard for me to lose sight of, that’s for sure. It makes me wonder how often they are able to feed themselves and their family and how much they have to stretch their income to make ends meet. Oh the things we take for granted on a regular basis.
Tomorrow is our last full day here in Makkah. Our flight leaves Friday night from the airport in Jeddah, but because of the process it entails, we have to leave from Makkah at least eight hours before our flight departs for our stopover in Dubai [where we change planes for the remainder 13 something hours of flight time]. Blah. I think “hajj flights” require you to be at the airport five hours prior to your flight departure time. Oh, and I think it takes around two hours to get to the Jeddah airport from here in Makkah. I don’t know if that two hours accounts for the inevitable traffic time or not.
After dinner, they had a celebratory cake for all of the Hajji’s, which was a nice touch I thought. It was also when most of us started saying farewell to one another as the majority of people start leaving soon on various flights at various times. I have said it repeatedly, but I really and truly can’t believe how quickly the time has flown by! It’s an experience and time, undoubtedly, that I will cherish forever.