April 23, 2014
Holy Week Happenings
Holy Week (or as you know it, Spring Break) falls in the autumn here, so no fuzzy chicks or floral bouquets are part of our holiday. Monday and Tuesday are pretty normal, then Wednesday usually signals the beginning of a few days off from school, when many families decide to travel to Grandma's house. Wednesday and Thursday, everyone bakes chipa (cheesy bread made from pig lard) as a family, preparing to share it with friends and neighbors on Thursday and Friday. This sweet girl brought us by a batch Friday morning.
The big focus of the whole holiday is Good Friday, known as Viernes Santo (Holy Friday). By then, everyone should have finished their travels, so there are hardly any buses running. Because massive amounts of chipa were made ahead of time, no one's running to the market or stoking fires to cook meals. The day is spent in quiet contemplation of the sacrifice that took place on the cross. Saturday arrives, and life is back to normal. The up-side of city life is that a few churches here acknowledged Resurrection Sunday, rather than letting the heaviness of the crucifixion hang on without celebrating the hope that came a few days later.
As for us, we took advantage of the days off of school and hosted a dozen teens for lunch on Wednesday. I say "we" but the truth is, most of the work fell on the girls, as I sat with my foot propped up and gave them directions. We enjoyed spending the afternoon and evening sharing with these young men and women, talking about Easter, singing, playing games, and chatting.
It seemed to be the week for English learning, too, as I had four different private tutoring sessions at home, from folks who've never come before for help. I started to ask if they'd all secretly gotten together around town to play a practical joke on me, as they just kept coming and coming! At one of the sessions with adult ladies, we decided to continue weekly, using a Bible study as the basis of our lessons. The other groups were teens, and I thanked God for their desire to chat about more things than learning the language.