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While we were at the Good Friday reenactment, an older women came up to me and asked me in Spanish if I knew Monica. Yes, I know a Monica. It turns out that she was Sarah, the mother of Monica, and she recognized us from photos Monica had shown her! Sarah invited us to her home for lunch with her big family (she has 9 children!). Everyone was so friendly and welcoming. We ate soup and popcorn and drank morocho. Some of the family members played songs on the guitar and Holly and Greta cuddled puppies. It was seriously so great! I had plans to eat Fanesca, a traditional Easter soup, but spending time in a kind family's home definitely trumped soup!

Ecuador is very religious, Catholic specifically, and Easter, or Semana Santa is a very special holiday. On Good Friday, we went and watched a reenactment of Christ's last week. It was intense and 3 hours long. The man playing Christ carried a cross around the huge park. Occasionally the procession would stop, but I'm not really sure what was happening at those breaks. It was a big crowd and I wasn't close enough. The fake whips used were dips in red paint leaving what looked like streaks of blood on the back of Christ and the thieves. The man playing Christ and the thieves really were lifted on the cross. There were a ton of vendors selling all sorts of things. Unfortunately, we all got sunburned (even the baby!). I just did not anticipate being out of doors for that length of time, and honestly, a few times I thought to myself, "I know how this ends!"

This was most certainly a cultural experience! We were the only gringos there and I'm sure we were the only people who were not Catholics. 

My parents and my sister, Alanna, were here for a couple days over Easter. It was lots of fun! Every time we have family come stay with us, it affirms that moving to Spokane was a good choice. I had a list of things to do on Friday such as: dye eggs, get ice cream and make a bunny garland. These things were really important to our family. We needed some good family time, especially Greta. It was really fun! And I love ice cream.

On Saturday, we went to an Easter egg hunt at a local park. Everyone dropped off a dozen eggs per kid the week prior and then each child got to "find" 12 eggs. The candy was gone in about 15 minutes. We thought about going to another community egg hunt in the afternoon because we were out of candy, but opted not to and I think that was smart.

When Holly was almost 2, we did this big egg hunt for her and she threw up because we just let her have at it with the candy. We've learned since then... Now our tradition is to do a scavenger hunt for Holly and Greta. I'm not sure when Conor started drawing these great picture clues but I love them. At the end of the hunt, the girls found a little basket of treats and some hair things. Small, simple, satisfying.

All the fun and candy can really tire a girl out. Greta flipped her lid and then fell asleep. I too crashed Saturday afternoon on the couch. It was a lovely weekend.

We attended our church's Easter Egg hunt this year. And of course, Holly and Greta loved it. What a thrill to find eggs with treasures inside! I didn't think I was letting my girls eat a lot of candy, but when it all came up out of Greta's tummy that afternoon, I realized that what a lot of candy means to them has changed. Granted, she got herself all worked up... but still. I kind of feel like an irresponsible parent. And I was glad we had limited the chocolate giving the next day to a small amount.

As for having no Easter Bunny, the girls didn't seem to notice and Conor and I were the recipients of gratitude. I just can't get on board with the Easter bunny. Santa Claus, yes absolutely, he's a symbol of giving. But not the big old bunny. It was a little tough when other children asked what the EB brought. I put it simply, the Easter bunny doesn't visit our house, Mom and Dad give gifts instead. I don't want to compromise anyone else's choice to have the EB tradition, but I also don't want to feel pressured to make up the EB just because everyone else does.

Anyways, here's some cute Easter Egg hunt photos to lighten this post up! I've been snapping some fun sister pictures lately and that makes me happy!

All dressed up for church! I hope everyone had a Happy Easter. I had a bit of homesickness, which surprised me since we haven't been in Canada for Easter for years. Like before we had kids. I think I mostly missed being with everyone as they got together.

On a funnier note, I love the photos we get when the girls get a turn with the remote.

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