A great way to demonstrate friendship and care for people out here is to send a text message. The more flowery and over top the language the more you vaule the person.
On Korban I sent all my friends a message simply wishing them a "Happy Korban Heyt" I got points for remembering to send them a message, but I forgot to make it over the top with beautiful language. They sent me back messages that basically said
"May the great Allah bless you with Grace, Peace, Faithfulness Love and Hope on this beautiful and Holy day of Korban"
Yesterday I saw my opportunity to once again send my friends messages that demonstrate I not only understand the culture I live in, but also show how much I like them. The weather finally turned the corner from a crisp fall to a bitter winter wind. I need to upgrade to my winter coat and so I quickly grabbed my cell phone and wrote a text.
"Dear friend, the weather has turned cold, winter is here. Please remember to wear more clothing and take care of yourself."
It was so sickly sweet I almost chocked on the words as I typed them in. Personally I hate these rebukes to wear more clothing. I easily overheat and don't like to wear to many layers, but I have learned it is a very local way to scold someone lovingly.
My friends texted me back expressing their appreication for my care:
"Thank you my lovely friend for thinking of me. I was moved by your text and cried at how much you care."