Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter

Being that yesterday was Easter, the kids had a four day weekend and, as my time here is quickly drawing to a close and my goal is to give my best with the kids, I decided to put all my energy and creativity into trying to make it a fun holiday for the kids and plan a special activity for each day. On Thursday we spent the afternoon playing organized games such as British Bulldog, What Time Is It Mr. Wolf? and Red Rover. Then, on Friday, the kids painted Easter eggs which I had traced onto paper. On Saturday I had planned for us to play with balloons but it was raining outside and there was no way I was going to give balloons to 28 already loud and crazy kids confined to a room not much bigger than my living room. So instead, since there was electricity, we listened to music and looked at pictures on my laptop and then I read them the Easter story from a children’s bible I brought along with me. Because we didn’t use the balloons on Saturday it made Sunday an extra special day as not only did we play with balloons but we also had an Easter egg hunt!

As you can see, I tried to bring in a bit of Western tradition to our Easter celebration. On Friday, before painting the Easter eggs, I explained to the kids why we use the egg as a symbol for Easter and then told them that I was going to give them each an egg drawn on a piece of paper and they could decorate it (showing them a couple of examples that I had made). Something must have gotten lost in translation however as I soon realized that all the kids were drawing eggs on their paper, complete with a yellow yoke in the center! So, I explained again and eventually they got the idea. As for the Easter egg hunt on Sunday, it was a huge success. Ok, it wasn’t exactly your traditional Easter egg hunt but sometimes you just have to make do with what you have. I cut small eggs out of coloured paper that my mother had sent and hid them around the room. In order to avoid fighting and utter chaos, the little kids went first and I brought them in three at a time until each one found an egg. Then, for the older kids, I wrote their names on the eggs and they had to find the eggs with their name on it (2 each). The kids had a blast looking for the eggs and they would have been quite content if the activity simply ended there but what’s an Easter egg hunt without chocolate, right? I had asked Dechi to send me some chocolate from Bukavu and once all the kids had found their eggs each one received a mini MilkyWay chocolate bar. Not exactly a Cadbury egg but they didn’t know any different. The kids were in their glory! Without a doubt, my favourite comment of the day came from 6 year old Furaha. I had explained to the kids that in Canada one of our Easter traditions was having an Easter egg hunt, in Canada we give the children chocolate for Easter, etc. Anyway, as the kids were standing around eating their chocolate, Furaha came up to me with a big smile on her face and, holding her half eaten chocolate in one hand and displaying a thumbs up sign with the other, said, “Mama, sema Canada très bien!” which, in our own special Creole combining words that I know in Swahili with words that the kids know in French, means “Tell Canada, very good!”. So, there you have it Canada, our Easter traditions receive the stamp of approval from our kids here in the Congo :)

Some pictures from the weekend...

British Bulldog




What Time Is It Mr. Wolf?




Red Rover





Painting Easter Eggs





Even one of the mamas got in on the fun...







Balloons!





Easter Egg Hunt















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