Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Easter in the heart of Islam

Okay, Easter season 2007 has finally come to a close for the Richardson family. We had an extended remix dance party holiday since friends of ours were in Singapore renewing their Indonesian Visas over the actual holiday. We waited for them to return, then played host to them and three other families for a belated Easter brunch and Easter egg hunt this past Sunday. This meant we had eight adults and seventeen children (YES, Seventeen!!! We NGO types like to reproduce, I suppose) running amok. Oh, and one happy German Shepherd who snuck food off small kiddies’ plates when the terminator (that’s me) wasn’t looking.

The real Easter Sunday was the usual get up at 5AM to see what the bunny brought. Jared is on the cusp, so to speak, of believing in these ethereal characters. So, while Zach spent most of his week up until the big event writing various love letters to the Easter Rabbit, Jared took a more high brow, mature approach and made Stations of the Cross pictures for us to tape to the walls of the house. At the last minute, Jared did break down and write a letter to the Easter Bunny requesting a photograph, just to ensure the basket of goodies on said morning. Smart kid.

When the Easter Bunny DID actually leave Jared a picture, he was astounded and has put the picture in a place of honor on his school desk. The boys were all impressed with the International savvy of the rabbit, as he had candy from Indonesia AND Scooby Snacks which can only be had in the US, they insist. Quite the magic animal, that Easter Bunny.

Then, on to the official Easter egg hunt. I think both Rob and my families had Easter egg hunts well until all the ‘babies’ were driving or growing facial hair. Thank goodness the magical rabbit tells us the number of eggs he hides in his ‘thank you for the treats’ letter or we’d search forever.

That evening was the English service at the local Catholic Church. Felt guilty that we haven’t done more during Lent this year. After our 2 ½ hour Bahasa Indonesian Christmas Mass experience where I gave a man on the verge of passing out my bottle of water, we opted out of any of the Holy Thursday, Good Friday or Easter Vigil Masses.

Really missed the Easter Vigil mass since for the past two years Rob and I have taken turns being RCIA sponsors. Congratulations Myra and Tom! Can’t wait for Teri next year! It’s so hard being away from our communities, whether friends or family, especially on holidays.

The whole Lenten experience has left something to be desired for me this year. I think about how much I really rely on my community to drive my spirit and my quest to be a better human being. Whether it’s Mass, attending MOPS, or a bible study at the local Protestant church, it helps to be around people who are good role models. Otherwise I revert to my normal state of being, which is quite crabby.

This year it’s been hard to abstain during Lent when I feel like I’m doing that by living here anyway. I’m shallow. I’m shallow enough to give up shopping most years for Lent. And I am always pledging for the whole Lenten season that I will put a quarter in a jar every time I swear. But this is an impossible thing to explain to small children without sounding like the worst mother on earth. For those a little older, it leads to a forty day discussion on whether the word ‘frickin’ is in fact a swear word.

So, after our Sunday Church experience we had the ol’ Easter Pizza Delivery and called it a day. I felt okay with the whole pizza thing since the night before we had dinner at the CRS’s Director’s house and it was fantabulous. And I was cooking brunch the following weekend. But I do miss the whole Easter feast thing. Especially the ham. Not to be had in this Muslim Province.

1 comment:

Teri said...

What a rollicking holiday - even sans the ham. I'm curious to know what photo of himself the Easter bunny provided. I remember a while back the tooth fairy was discovered to have hairy arms - how is that bunny so clever?
So... let's just assume this house EVER sells - want to join us in Las Vegas for Easter Vigil next year? It's quite the spot for a family vacation?