Yesterday night, I decided to go to the mosque for taraweeh! I left my house about 7 minutes before isha but it seems I arrived plenty ahead of time. I prayed 2 rakat when I arrived and sat for probably 10-15 minutes before the call to prayer was even made so they either do it that much later or they don't use the ISNA method.
There were only 2 women there when I arrived and they were chatting together. I was eyeing the Qur'ans in the corner but they all seemed to be Arabic. No French or English... So I sat there quietly... We prayed isha after. One woman arrived a few seconds before it started so she was in the middle of her 2 rakat prayers when we were starting isha. She hurried through it really really quick and got to our prayer by the end of al-fatiha.
Another woman arrived right in the very middle of isha prayer and prayed the half that was left with us. I didn't see her make up for the 2 rakat or so she had missed. She was wearing a bathrobe! I found that really really weird! Like... you're not in your home. I didn't check to see if she was wearing slippers. Another couple women arrived right near the end of isha (from what I noticed). I wonder if they had time to pray it at home before they came. I suppose they could have.
One of them had been one of Nora's nurses at the hospital in May so I was very glad to see her! Another woman was so nice, I'd met her before, but quite a while ago, and during the khutbah they had after 4 rakat of the taraweeh, she translated for me. I was actually able to get something positive from it thanks to her! I didn't know they did a khutbah during taraweeh though! And I also saw a kid I knew there, who didn't know I'd converted. I'm sure he'll report back to his parents about that one!
I really had a positive experience with it. It was difficult during the Qur'an parts he recited though after al-fatiha because I wasn't familiar with them and couldn't understand, so I started thinking about the design in the carpet, about Nora and my husband in Egypt, etc. But I tried to either focus on the recitation and the sound of it, or at least focus on remembrance of Allah in some way as much as I could.
It was weird for me to have this "slow down" in my prayer with these long Qur'an parts, but have al-fatiha a lot faster than I do it, as well as all the other parts and movements. It was a completely different rhythm. I plan on going back sometime and I plan on going to taraweeh at a bigger more established mosque once before the end of Ramadan and meet up a college acquaintance there.