Long time no blog. Here's a quick recap.
First off: It gives me great pleasure to wish my dear BB a very happy belated birthday dated the 4th of December. As he has himself mentioned, BB has finally turned 21 and can now start drinking Red Bull and other poisons at parties. Menny, menny congratulations, Jimmiya. Will wait for full debrief of the debauch party you must have had.
Here's Jimbo with his gorgeous daughter Zara, who unfortunately is spending a lot of time with him and is thus developing some similarities with the Pater.
Secondly: Had a fun trip to Assisi (halfway up to Brausuna), for a couple of weddings. Huge numbers, great hospitality, simple and wonderful food. Burp.
Thirdly: Eid al Adha came and went. (So did the two sheep we had with us for said occasion. One day they were loved domestics, the next they were barbecue.)
Love the live transmission of Hajj and the gorgeous booming "Labbaik Allah humma labbaik" prayer. Also, must mention how I was foolishly trying to spot Badi Pupho and family among the millions there.
NB: Eid Al Adha is the Eid of Sacrifice and the backdrop is the story of Prophet Ibrahim's (Abraham's) willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail (Ishmael) to Allah. Very lovely tradition. Please Google it.
The spirit of this Eid entails that we sacrifice that which we are attached to, which is why we should try and rear the animals ourselves for a few days and then offer them at Eid. It's always a little tragic at the final moment but that's how it is.
For this Eid we had a studly ram called Baa Baa and another little fella called No Name right here at Doda. Got chokey at the final moment because you're supposed to look at the animal just then (sacrifice, okay????), but it was done.
As per the rules of Eid al Adha, at least two thirds of the meat is to be distributed to family, friends and more importantly, the poor and needy. Which means we had a lot of meat coming in from everyone else and we had a lot of meat to distribute across cities, towns and villages. Most challenging logistical enterprise.
And Finally: Our school opens for admissions tomorrow. My Ma and I are starting a 'finishing school' here in Doda. For grown-up kids who've had schooling and college, but, because the education system here is so bleddy good, they really aren't ready to get jobs anywhere. We're throwing in a mix of English fluency, etiquette training, open discussions on current affairs and general knowledge, a little confidence building yadda yadda yadda and hopefully we'll soon have a bunch of polished young ones come out say silly things like, "Excuse me. The world is my oyster."