Wow, I feel like so many events were packed into the last few days! I will do my best to try to remember them.
I enjoyed experiencing Holy Week in a different country. It was interesting to see the similarities and differences between how things are celebrated here versus in the States. Unfortunately, things were celebrated a little differently here than normal due to Covid. I would have loved to parade through the streets as we did the Stations of the Cross, but it was still beautiful to see the girls participate in the church with the songs and reflections. We were able to attend mass (or service in the case of Friday) each day beginning on Wednesday.
The highlight of my Bolivian Easter experience was the Easter Vigil. Not only was it beautiful to process into the church with our candles, but we welcomed seven of the girls into the Catholic faith. Seven! And to top even that, I have the joy of being godmother to three of them. I loved experiencing their excitement and joy from going dress shopping to being baptized to partying afterwards.
And the party afterward! All the girls were looking forward to it for days. We ate cheesy rice with grilled chicken, steak, and chorizo. Our drink was cinnamon hot chocolate, and dessert was Jell-O. The seven girls were being so silly and laughing like crazy throughout the meal. After we finished eating, one of the sisters led us in singing and dancing with songs she played on her guitar. When she left, we turned on Bolivian folk music and danced some more. It was a late night, but everyone had fun.
Our Saturday evening didn't stop there, though. We three volunteers had to fill and hide Easter eggs. I really enjoyed figuring out where we would put the golden egg filled with money. I ended up discovering that one of the logs the girls use to sit on outside had a convenient crack on the side that perfectly hid the egg when laying on the ground.
Sunday morning started with hair preparation for mass followed by a breakfast of salteñas and a traditional Bolivian Easter bread called bizcocho. We went to mass, and when we returned, we ate a lunch of French fries and fried chicken. Then it was finally time for the Easter egg hunt. Unfortunately, I was so caught up in the moment that I forgot to take pictures, but I loved watching the older girls have to search carefully to find their eggs. The golden egg was the last one found, and it cracked me up to see the girls standing on the stump without realizing they were so close to the coveted golden egg.
I hope everyone had as blessed of an Easter as I did. This year, I thought a lot about Christ's sacrifice for us, and the joy we have now as an Easter people who can look forward to eternal life with God.
Please say a quick prayer for my goddaughters. I think I am about to start an incredible journey of sharing my faith from afar, and I need all the prayers I can get. God bless you!
P.S. Stay tuned for a post about how you can help the Hogar financially if you feel called to do so.