Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Sunday

The girls were genuinely surprised that the Easter bunny had left them some treats and little presents.  It blew  their minds that the bunny had found the bowl of dyed eggs in our refrigerator and hid them outside. (no PJ hunting for Adelaide-she wants to get on something fancy immediately after waking up.  She's Hollywood with her glasses at 9AM)  

Justin found a Catholic church for us to attend so we all got dressed in our Easter best and went to our first church service in Ethiopia and since Ashlynn was born.  The church was a wonderful mix of old rustic with sparkling chandeliers and gorgeous paintings.  Right away we knew we wouldn't be able to understand the sermon since it was in Italian but it didn't really matter.  The other odd thing was that the church was following the Ethiopian Amharic calendar which is behind the international calendar by a week.  That meant that the church was celebrating Palm Sunday instead of Easter. Doh! Just a little glich.  We listened to the Passion of the Christ in Italian and discreetly learned that the English mass is at 10 AM.  I guess that means we'll be dressed in our Easter best next Sunday as well. 

I'm only partly Catholic (baptized, never confirmed, Lutheran college, married on the beach-going to Hell for certain). For me, being in a church and feeling God's presence is more moving than what's being said during the sermon.  Ashlynn was fussing and tired so I stood in the back of the church rocking her until she fell asleep in my arms.  She quickly became too heavy to hold while standing so I found a pew in the back of the church and asked the Ethiopian family sitting there if I could use the open corner to sit.  I sat there unable to see the action at the front of the church, I listened to the priest speaking in Italian and stared up at the beautiful wooden beams and concrete arches in the ceiling of the church.  The collection baskets started coming around and the Ethiopian woman next to me nudged her young daughter with her elbow.  The tiny girl ( who had been secretly stroking Ashlynn's hair while she slept in my arms before her mother noticed and hissed at her to stop), stood up and went to her little purse that was draped over the pew in front of her and unzipped it.  She pulled a few little pieces of paper and notes out by accident, sheepishly looking at her mother and grandmother.  She stuck her fingers back in and pulled out a one Birr note and put it in the collection basket.  Her mother patted her on her head.  I looked down at Ashlynn, so beautiful sleeping in my arms and thanked the Lord for being given the opportunity to be a mother.  To teach my daughters life lessons about giving to those less fortunate.  That was my favorite Easter moment.  

 The girls were antsy from sitting for so long so we raced home to get lunch and naps before we headed to a friends house for Easter dinner.  It was a wonderful meal with ham at center stage.  The girls got their egg hunt with their friends and I got some photos in their new matching Easter dresses.  Is that pink not the best color you've ever seen?  Happy Easter all!

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