24. “Homesickness” (The Hajj Journal)

A man sitting in a chair, writing in a journal.September 19, 2015

Dealing with a small bout of homesickness. Not surprising; ever since going to Camp Maskepetoon when I was 11, I’ve had to deal with varying degrees of homesickness when I’m away from home and everything that’s comfortable. But this isn’t Camp Maskepetoon. This is Saudi Arabia. I had to help one of the brothers in our group recharge his pre-paid phone, and I found myself just listening to the automated voice explain menu options in English. The pre-recorded lines were comforting… On top of that we’re leaving our hotel and going to some place called Aziziyah which is like an apartment and then Hajj starts in just a few days so now things around me are changing… Continue reading “24. “Homesickness” (The Hajj Journal)”

“Other Lives” (Story Dice Sundays)

20160320_110940Amy wandered through the halls of her house. Each room was a memory waiting to be unlocked by her mind. Her bedroom. The closet where she’d hide when playing hide and seek. The sun room where she’d find quiet and solace. The kitchen where the maid always readied the day’s meals. Absent from her memories were her parents—in fact, they were absent for most of her life.

The world seemed much simpler then: just grow up, finish school, become an astronaut. Nothing to mention of bills, boyfriends, drugs, counsellors, medication, funerals… Continue reading ““Other Lives” (Story Dice Sundays)”

Lessons from Luigi

Super Blast Luigi

Yes that’s right. Player 2. Mario’s shadow. The Green Thunder.

Luigi has always been my favourite character in the Mario series. Out of a princess who refuses to invest in castle security, an evil doppelganger who attacks via farts and a clearly nearsighted dinosaur that runs off cliffs, Luigi is the most genuine character among Mario’s forte. Also, Mario is a bit of a sociopath. Continue reading “Lessons from Luigi”

23. “The best actions…” (The Hajj Journal)

September 19, 2015

The best actions are those that benefit others. The Prophet (p) [emphasized] many acts of selflessness, like feeding others, bringing a smile to someone, going out of your way to help someone with their challenges… Many acts of worship that benefit others have more weight than acts that are solitary. A good deed ripples around you, and you may not know where it ends. Continue reading “23. “The best actions…” (The Hajj Journal)”

22. “Jummah” (The Hajj Journal)

Minarets at the Haram

September 18, 2015

The sun is blazing above me and I’m drenched in sweat as I sit in the outside courtyard of the Haram. It’s Friday, so the shops are closed and the people gather for Jummah prayer. I’m wearing my prayer rug on my had to protect my nearly-bald scalp from getting any more burned than it is—a tactic I learned from seeing people doing the same… Continue reading “22. “Jummah” (The Hajj Journal)”