Alhamdullilah we have safely arrived home last Wednesday evening (30 March 2011). The trip was a lovely one. I will update in sections once I find the time to edit the pictures accordingly. Currently, there are too many pictures to put in FB and Blog.
Anyway a little update on Ryan (since that is mostly what people been asking anyway) He celebrated his 15 weeks birthday in Madinah. He’s actively walking and “talking” as of late and I have to say he seem to be more keen on making friends, especially with boys around his age or older. I can see that he’s more independent and love doing his “own stuff” at home.
Despite the skepticism from several quarters on my decision for bringing Ryan along for our Umrah Trip, I have to say I think I did the right thing because:-
1. Lan and I get to spend time with our precious baby boy.
2. Muslims believe that Mecca/Madinah to be the holiest place on earth. I believe that bringing Ryan to the city would insyallah affect him in a good way somehow. The results may not be immediate but I have faith that it will make a difference.
3. We’re able to expose Ryan to other cultures, food, people etc. Some say he may be too young to understand. I say never underestimate a child no matter how oblivious he seems to his surrounding :p
I was a bit peeved on a comment made by a total stranger on how bringing a toddler for umrah is a “torture”. In her words “seksa”, well I guess when your intention (niat) is well, Allah will help us, I have to say that Ryan behaved himself (as any 1 year old would) during the trip. First of all we had no problem in flight (and NO I didn’t drug him in any way haha) Ryan played and slept most of the time.
We even brought him for umrah (in which he managed to follow a few times) and prayers. He was able to follow us through several “tawaf” and “saie” rounds and alhamdullilah without a show of tantrums or crying. Of course it wasn’t easy and I salute Lan for carrying him around 90% of the time during umrah but like I always say when there’s a will, there’s a way :)
I think Ryan enjoyed his time in Mecca/Madinah. The Arabs really like little kids. He can’t go anywhere without at least getting one “cheek pinch”. He received free cookies, chocolates, sweets, money and a small baby ring from strangers.
The money part is a bit funny, Ryan was sitting in his stroller with his Uncle Yusry, when he decided to “perform” Yusry told me he was waving/clapping hands at stranger and the next thing we know there was dollar bills on his stroller(haha). Another time while Ryan was walking between Safa and Marwah, a Turkey woman came and swoop him from behind and gave Ryan a big hug. Lan and I was shocked. Thank god I didn’t start screaming and beating the old lady with my water bottle :p
The only problem I’m currently facing is that Ryan’s sleep/plays schedule is currently messed up due to the 5 hours time difference. He’ll randomly wake up around 12am-2 pm and will start calling us to play with him or he will bang his cot asking for attention. It will probably take some time to reestablish his sleep schedule so Lan and I will need to persevere at the moment. Serious datang kerja mata gam :p
Ryan found his milk formula container and silently ate his milk powder in corner. It was too late when I cought him *sigh*