Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Bunnies, Anthems, and Cold April Showers
Though Easter is twelve days away, it and Earth Day (22nd) are my focus in lessons this week since our spring/Easter break starts after this Friday. So I'm a veritable cornucopia of Easter vocabulary, Easter Bingo, and Easter cookies this week. And I try to have Easter "conversation" at the end of each class where I ask about Romanian traditions and tell about American ones. Both cultures have the decorated eggs (theirs are amazingly intricate and beautiful) and both have the Easter bunny. I thought they were making a joke when I asked what they eat that's special at Easter and they said "Rabbit!" "Oh, no!" I said with mock horror, "You eat the Easter Bunny?!" They assured me yes, but I'll have to find out if it's true. Lamb is eaten, I know, and in rural settings a lamb is killed with a measure of celebration just as the pig was killed at Christmas. My PCV friend Connie and I will be in the northeastern side of the country next week--the area which was once Moldova--to see in particular the famous "painted monasteries." These small Byzantine churches were built in the 15th and 16th centuries, some serving as fortresses against invaders. Their exteriors are painted with vivid religious scenes, an attempt to educate the illiterate masses about Christianity. It seems an appropriate Easter destination. I'm sure I'll have some colorful photos for my next post.*****As for Earth Day, our school's multi-talented documentarian is planning a video shoot this week of our students running through a field, doing chalk drawings on the school's playground, forming a human peace symbol. Saturday I made wreaths of flowers (silk) for the girls to wear in their hair. We've already recorded children singing the anthem, an original tune by the music teacher--in Romanian and in English with my lyrics, based on a loose translation of the original. It was quite an challenge to write the rhyming, perfectly-metered lines for 3 stanzas and a chorus, keeping the general gist of the original. We're planning to put the finished product on YouTube, so I'll give you the link when that happens.*****Alas, the few days of sun last week are history. I caught some lovely sunsets, but now we are in a solid week of rain with temps in the mid 30's at night and the low 50's in the day. It's supposed to clear by Saturday, which will be wonderful because it's the christening day (or blessing day) of baby Elijah, the son of the foster parents at the Roma boys school where I volunteer tutoring. It will be at the small Baptist Church in our village and I've been invited to attend. Let the sun shine in!