Now it’s almost too late for an Eid report, but I don’t want to withhold from you the second part of our Eid day and share it as promised. This time it will simply be pictures with some explanation, because I’m in the middle of the preparations for my trip to Germany. Yes, after 3 years I’ll get a taste of the German air again and I’m really looking forward to it!
But now to the second part of our Eid. As you can remember, our mood at lunch time was not the best. However, we decided, for the sake of our children, to make the second part of the day a wonderful Eid day. But where to go? The children wanted to go to excursion destination # 1 in Garow: Dareeyle, which has a waterbed, restaurant and a small playground. They were already packing their bags, because they wanted to splash in the water!
While we were very late with our lunch and it became already Assr- time (afternoon), it occurred to us that Dareeyle is going to be overcrowded. We would find half of Garowe’s people there. So we decided to just pass it and find some water a few meters further on a hopefully lonely place.
My husband gave us his pick-up and 2 soldiers. After all, his car needs protection! Joking-, because he could not come with us, he wanted to know us in safety. My co-sister named Sagal drove the pick-up and I drove the family bus.
Sagal drove so fast and even passed by dangerously big trucks, so I had no choice but to say ‘Bismillah’ and follow her. I said to our children, “Hooyo drives like Abe today!” (Abe = Father, Hooyo = Mother in Somali language). They had fun. The speedometer already showed 80 km / h, which is quite fast for the local road. If you drive faster, you have nothing under control whith the oncoming traffic.
After about 2 kilometers, we past the Dareeyle at a rapid pace. Shortly after, we came to the city border – 2 blue towers symbolizing the end of the city.
We slowed down a bit. Where to go to? Sagal suddenly turned right, just into the wild nature. Groaning and nagging from the children side – what do we want here? Where is the water here? In fact, there were only bushes and sandy soil!
So we drove back, and at the first possibility we turned to the other side and drove towards green trees. There should be some water to splash! Finally we arrived at a riverbed. Everybody out! Okay, admittedly the riverbed was almost dry, but better than nothing!
On the other hand, it was beautiful green, which is something special here. So we all went over.
Our soldiers talked to the man who apparently worked there. Then he opened a kind of gate and welcomed us.
I gave our big daughter my camera, while I wanted to take pictures with my phone. It takes away the pressure to catch every good moment by yourself!
The man answered us to all our questions. We saw date trees, lemon trees and “Raqey”, Tamarind trees. Tamarind is very popular in the Somali cuisine, because it has a spicy, slightly sour taste. Once you google it, you’ll discover how healthy the stuff is!
The gardener or farmer gives us Tamarind to try. This is so pure too sour for me. I love it more as a drink: a glass of water, tamarind and some sugar and salt in it – mmmmh!
We went further until we reached the man’ s hut – a corrugated iron hut, which offers just enough space to sleep beside some storage space. In front of the hut I see a typical teapot and a cooking pot. What would the gardener cook here? I asked Sagal. She translated directly “My friend would like to know ….”. Sagal !! Do not say that this question comes from me!!! But she already did.
The man seemed to understand a few words of English and was extremely open. He said that he had stashed basic food in his hut, so he cooked for example rice with freshly picked spinach pie. Oha, a forced vegetarian! Joking aside, I was really impressed of this simple way of life. Even on this special day, he lived here alone.
He also told us that once a snake bit him. He then drank a lot of lemon juice and quickly got fit again. Lemons are the best bacteria killers, it is said that they are 10,000 times stronger than chemo therapy!
Two days later he found the 2 holes where the snake came in and out, and killed it.
He had another horror story to tell: once a woman was bitten at the place. However, since she had her period at that time, the snake died of her bite. Mmh, interesting! Somehow I felt differently now, as I walked through the tall grass.
So I better changed the topic: “Are the lemons here biological or are they injected?” Is my next question. He takes a hand full of white powder out of his hut and says if he puts it in the ground, the lemon trees would grow up within 3 days. In addition, the trees are sprayed with anti-insect spray. Oh no! So these are the lemons, which we put after a single wash into the blender and make it to so delicious lemon juice! And that every day!! Hopefully the vitamin C is stronger than the pesticides…
Now he showed us date trees, but the fruits were not yet ripe.
The farmer also wanted to show us some spinach somewhere. However, we got the feeling, that this was enough and we said goodbye. Our soldiers and our sons had diluted unnoticed, so we were just women and girls only, trusting a stranger. We thanked him warmly and wanted to leave. Before that, he also came up with a question that certainly kept him busy the whole time. He asked Sagal: “Is she your friend?” With “she” he meant me. Then she unsparingly told him the truth: “No, we both are married to the same man!”. We then set off on the way. He followed us to the gate and asked one of our helpers if it would rep;ally be true what he had just heard. That certainly gave him some thoughts for the next few weeks, in his simple life He looked behind us for quite some time.
By the way, all these green is watered by water from a small pump. since the place is situated beside the river bed, he groundwater is within easy reach, so they only needed to dig a bigger hole and insert the pump hose.
After walking back across the dry riverbed and up the the hill, we made ourselves comfortable on our typical Somali rug (“Dirrin”) and ate our biscuits and Somali Halwa. Where was the big bucket full of salty pastries for which we had bought extra ketch-up? Oh no, did we really forget that?
Anyway, it was so relaxed, except for the sand that blew in your eyes. In nature, the good mood automatically came back , alhamduliLlah, so we were joking and talking, while the small ones played around.
Then it was already becoming dusky and we drove home. Our kids had a wonderful trip, alhamduliLlah.
I hope you also had a nice Eid day and for my non-Muslim readers that they got a small impression of a special day in Somalia 🙂
PS: At this place I want to thank my sister in Islam and good friend Anett Bensmann, who always helps me with translating my german articles! Even our English isn’t perfect, we try our best in order that our English speaking readers get opportunity to get some impressions of my life in Somalia. It safes me a lot of time and energy, when I only have to correct and put pictures in, alhamduliLlah. May Allah reward her tremendously!