Ramadan Kareem! And welcome, AneesahMama!
I didn't start off Ramadan on the best foot, but insha-Allah am ratcheting my way back on track. We fasted the first few days in Morocco. First night, broke fast with my very dearest friend in that country, in her lovely country house (which now has running water AND electricity, too), and watched shooting stars from the mountainside as I fell asleep. It was beautiful, but our health really suffered this summer in Morocco, with everyone getting diarrhea to some extent, plus ds and I also throwing up and fevering, and all of us working through the cold dh had brought with him from Saudi Arabia before the trip. All told, ds went through 3 rounds of 3 different kinds of antibiotics in under 2 weeks. The rest of us each just did one. So, we tried really hard to hydrate like crazy before fasting started, and alhamdulillah, we are OK now. The (literally) hundreds of flea bites are now scabbed over and healing, too, and most of the laundry has already been washed. I also bought myself a couple new jellabas there. Way too hot to wear outdoors in Dubai in August, but they are so pretty and nice, so comfortable, and in nice bright colors (a burnt orange one and pistachio green). I could wear a jellaba every day.
Now that I have internet, I am planning to listen to more Quran throughout the month. I listen to radio in the kitchen while I cook and clean, and I think I will start to listen to Quran maybe during that last hour while I prepare Iftar. I also will look for good video and podcasts. There is a sisters' group here, but I don't think I am in a place to handle the rigor of their class offerings at this point. Tarawih is across the street, and while I am right now just exhausted and not heading over, I will start participating this week. Dh also seems to still be sleeping off the illnesses, long days of travel and emotional exhaustion of the trip. I just hope he doesn't let the sea-level pressure and high humidity drag him down into a funk.
I am also experiencing Ramadan a little differently this year, internally. Last year was a big turning point for me, and I hope to have even a small taste of that loveliness this year, to carry me through the loneliness of this move and being alone in Dubai, an expat and also a converted Muslim, during the empty summer. It is tough, but Dubai is a temporary place for all but the Emiratis, so I need to structure my life in a way that promotes new friendships but also respects the fact that I won't grow real roots here.
Kanga, I like to listen to Sheikh Nazim and Sheikh Hisham on sufilive.com. I know they're not everyone's bag, but Sheykh Nazim has a way of relieving my discouragement with life and dunya in general. And my prayers and thoughts are with your brother. I watched a brother go through the same, but there were 2 kids. He needs all the support and love he can get now, and I hope he has the help. Love to you.
Also saw that our farm is finally on the market. Makes me feel not a little sad and wistful, but need to trust in the path and keep my feet moving.
May Allah accept your fasting, your charity and all the inspired acts of good you do this holy month!