2 days ago I volunteered at the Easter Egg Hunt at the Ambassador’s house for my Internship. I don’t think the Ambassador was actually there, or at least I didn’t see her, which I thought was kind of weird but I guess she has much more important things to do. I started out my day by leaving the house at 6:45am and taking the 45 minute bus ride to the house. At 7:30am we began hiding the Easter eggs and setting up the tables and making sure everything was in order. We hid roughly 2,000 Easter eggs around the gardens/backyard of the house, all filled with different candies and in different sections for certain ages. There were tents all set up with snacks and drinks for the event. They even hired Starbucks to come in and serve coffee! I was put in charge of the Games table, which consisted of two types of Ring Toss, Pin the Tail on the Bunny, the egg on the spoons game, and another one with a target and Velcro balls. The children were all pretty excited to see the Easter Bunny, scope out the hidden eggs before they were supposed to, and enjoy the crafts, games, and face painting that were being offered. It was like a mini festival for the kids. I had a really good time playing with the children at the games table. Most of the kids were ages 3-8, but there were a few older ones, up to about 13. One girl particularly enjoyed playing the egg on the spoon game with me and we played for a while. I was pretty much at the games table all by myself so I felt free to connect more with the kids and make more of a fool out of myself. The parents appreciated my work with the kids and I had a really good time. Some of the children spoke Spanish so I was constantly translating directions into Spanish and English. It’s kind of cool how these children were able to play together despite their language barriers. Plus, it was a good challenge in constantly switching languages back and forth!
Here in Peru, it is more common to celebrate Good Friday (Viernes Santo) rather than Easter Sunday. On Friday there are processions throughout the city and of course, there is mass. I’d imagine that many people hold family dinners seeing as this is a Catholic holiday and family is stressed more heavily in Peruvian culture. I unfortunately, wasn’t in Lima for Good Friday so I can’t give a good idea of what it was like for me. But, the university students use Semana Santa as a spring break, even though our semester just started. I went with a group of friends and new students to Lunahuana. Lunahuana is a small town further south, about 2.5 hours away from Lima. There, you can go swimming, rafting, ATVing, hiking, and dancing. Basically, it’s like a resort town. It’s specifically catered to tourists from all over, mostly Peruvians. We went camping for 4 days and enjoyed hanging out with each other and exploring the city. I really enjoyed meeting new people (most of them the new students that came from UW!) and rafting. The water was really warm and it felt good considering that we were in the middle of a desert. We also got the chance to see the stars, something I haven’t been able to do for a while. Lima tends to suck the life out of the sky with the winters being very gray and there is just so much light in the city at night that you can’t enjoy the stars much. With camping, we were able to introduce S’Mores to the Peruvians since they have never tasted them. After a minor incident with the fire, we were able to roast marshmallows and tell some scary stories. A blast from the past, right???? Overall, it was a nice, long, and relaxing weekend with friends. Now, the only thing that I have to look forward to for a while is homework! The semester begins and that means that it’s only a few weeks until my first exams.