O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous [Quran: Surah Al Baqarah 183]
Have you fasted when you are abroad, either having a picnic, work, or study? How do you feel? Perhaps there is something different. That’s what I felt when I fasted abroad.
In 1983, I and two officers got an assignment from the Indonesian Army Headquarters to follow Tactical Intelligence Officer Course in United States of America Intelligence Center and School, Fort Huachuca, Arizona.
This was the first trip abroad for me. Therefore it could be fun and rewarding for me. All officers Indonesia must yearn and strive to follow education or assignment abroad.
I, Captain Bambang Sus, and Lieutenant Arif departed to America on June 11, 1983. At that time a total solar eclipse was happening. The day after we arrived at the campus of USAICS, Fort Huachuca, the fasting Ramadan starts. Thank you, Allah. We welcomed the holy month of Ramadan happily.While we were in America I and Lieutenant Arif will conduct fasting Ramadan because it is a mandatory for every moslem who is eligible.
Could you guest how many hours a day I fasted during Ramadan in Fort Huachuca, Arizona? Yes, you are right. We fast around 16 hours every day. It is longer than fasting Ramadan in Surabaya. We started fasting at 4 am and dinner at 8 pm. We weren’t familiar with internet at that time so that we can not find out the schedule of fasting in USA.
Indeed, it was a bit busy when we fasted without accompanied our wife or mother. We should prepared food and drink for breakfast and dinner by ourselves. Fortunately Captain Bambang and Lieutenant Arif discerning cook food, while I was in charge of preparing drinks only.
The weather in Fort Huachuca was quite hot at that time, but not too stinging in the skin due to outdoor wind strong enough. Luckily we depart and return from class by air conditioned vehicle. Similarly classrooms and BOQ (Bachelor Officers’ Quarters) also fully air-conditioned so we did not feel hot and thirsty.
Allied Students of USAICS, 1983
During Ramadan I and Arif also praying tarawih at BOQ. Luckily Captain Tom my class sponsor was very nice. When I told him that we want to join Tarawih prayer outside the campus he would deliver us to the Islamic Center located in the city of Tucson. The distance beetween Fort Huachuca and Tucson is about 75 miles. Thank God, there I could enjoy iftar (evening meal that breaks the fast during the Ramadan), maghrib prayer, and tarawih prayer. While we were praying, Captain Tom and Captain Bambang went out to enjoy Tucson evening.
Enjoyed iftar at Islamic Center, Tucson
July 12, 1983 was the Eid al-Fitr. I, Captain Bambang, and Captain Hussain of Pakistan agreed to conduct Eid al-Fitr prayer in our room. After praying we immediately prepared to leave for class. That day was not a holiday. We should join the examination. Alhamdulillah, we could celebrated Eid al-Fitr even without enjoy chicken curry and rice cakes (lontong or ketupat)
Fasting in United States of America was a sweet memory for me which was also my first experience on traveling and celebrating Eid al Fitr abroad.
This blog post is presented in order to join FED Challenge conducted by Fun Blogging Community