The lovely Cristina Lorusso - WSE's jacqueline-of-all-trades, did a fantastic thing this month to support all our muslim students, who were fasting for Ramadan, and she decided to fast herself. This meant no food, no water, no coffee, no chewing gum, no mouth spray, no brushing her teeth for one day between 2:45am and 9:20pm - that's a whole 18 hours and 35 minutes! Just the thought of it makes us jittery - eek! For those who aren't aware of Ramadan, this is the holiest month in the Islamic calendar when muslims fast, give to charity and pray.
Here Cristina tells us how she felt and why did she decided to do it.
Cristina, why did you decide to fast during Ramadan?
I chose to do it because I wanted to support all our muslim students whom I see doing this, yet still smiling and remaining friendly and happy; also to support my friend and colleague Yasmin, who works at the school too. On top of this, I wanted to experience what it felt like, as I know it is very different to anything that I'm used to.
I've fasted as part of my own faith (Christianity); however, the restrictions are very different, for example going without food or coffee is quite normal in fasting, but being without water for almost 24 hours is a much harder challenge.
You mention challenge - what were the biggest ones that you faced?
The biggest challenge was not having water and not drinking for a whole day; I had to break even the habit of just getting a cup of coffee first thing in the morning, but it was always in the back of my mind. It was also pretty tough having to wake up in the middle of the night to eat - that disturbance in my sleep and knowing that I had to be up again for work in a couple of hours was quite difficult.
Oh, and one other thing - I forgot to take my lunch break, so I ended up working the whole day before realising I hadn't stopped for a rest - you can forget easily I guess, because there's nothing for you to stop for.
How would you describe your overall experience?
Personally I did feel that it weakened my body. I felt that even after a week, my body was still trying recover from that one day - I really felt the effects. I have lots of respect for people who can fast for the whole month of Ramadan.
Would you do it again, and why/why not?
Yes I would do it again, but with a different mindset. I would like to maybe help in a homeless centre and provide something more beneficial, practical and charitable so I could see a direct positive impact.
Thank you Cristina for your contribution and for putting yourself into the shoes of a lot of our students!