Thursday night-11th December

We  arrived in Makkah after a two hour drive because the driver did not seem to know where he was going. We are to stay in a four star hotel-really top of the line. There was glorious chaos in the lobby as literally scores of pilgrims were checking in and checking out at the same time. Old women and young women, tall women and shorter men and vice-versa- a glorious mixture of cultures and races and tongues intermixed in the small lobby of the hotel with hundreds of suitcases and bags and boxes and….

Behind this magnificent chaos, I saw the purpose of it all. All had come at the invitation of Allah-  Glory be to Him!- to perform the rites of Hajj- only for His pleasure. People were angry, tired, despondent, frustrated-but these emotions were not directed at anyone in particular. It was simply the way things were .

We were the last to get our room. I was sharing a room with Shahzim Mohammed of Couva, Alimudeen Mohammed of Fyzabad and Rasif Ali of Princess Town It was 2.00 a.m. when we were given a key, having had to wait until a lock was changed on the door. Only then were we able to get into the room. That night I prayed Isha and jumped into bed – no shower, no change of clothes, no brushing of teeth- I was just too tired.