Today started amazing and ended terribly. I got to skype with my parents and grandma in the morning, then ran over to Ruth and Sacha’s for homemade buttermilk pancakes made from scratch! Monica just came back from her vacation in Australia, so she joined us as well. She works with Sacha at Partners and they do work in Burma. Mon is a mid-wife and nurse. Anyway, we had a lovely breakfast and chat and just hung out. Mon pointed out that we were very multi- cultural that morning: one Aussie, one Kiwi, one Canadian and one American.
After breakfast, we gathered around Sacha’s computer to watch some Community. (Ironic, right? Community watching Community. haha). People have been telling me for ages that I would love that show, and they were right! Ruth has the whole first season and most of the second on her computer, so we watched a few eps, then I had to head out to Inna’s to help prep for Passover dinner tonight. Last week at swimming, a group of us discussed what we should do for Easter and we ended up deciding to make a Passover sedar, which was the Last Supper of Jesus and the disciples. I haven’t done one in years, despite my best efforts to put one together last year, and Inna hasn’t ever hosted one, so it was fun for us to pull it all together. We went shopping for some of the stuff on Wednesday and people contributed things during the week, til we had all the ingredients for a fun sedar.
At Inna’s, I chopped onions, made crepes, boiled eggs, helped set up the table, looked up the plagues of Egypt and other assorted tasks to get ready for everyone coming at 6. Inna’s Thai friend, Mint, was also there helping. She is so sweet, she kept saying she could only help prep, but couldn’t stay for dinner, yet she kept staying and staying, until she was the last person to leave! Haha. It was nice talking to her a bit about where she’s working in Chiang Mai and how she knows Inna.
After setting up the Sedar plates, Inna and I changed into something a bit more presentable than scruffy jeans and tank tops and people started to arrive. Here are the people who came: Rochelle, and two of her friends, John (Bible study), Kelly (houseboats), Jane (Bible study), Dane (friend of Jaz’s), Jaz, Mint, Inna and I.
Inna did a great job of hosting Passover; she is actually Jewish, so she knows all the Hebrew blessings, and it was awesome to hear them sung properly. We did the ceremonial hand washing, dipped things in salt water to represent the tears of the oppressed Jewish people in Egypt, talked about the things on the Sedar plate and what they meant, talked about the plagues of Egypt that led to the Jewish people being set free, and culminated in discussing the Passover itself, where the Angel of Death bypassed the Jewish homes. It was so interesting to hear the correlation between the Jewish Sedar and what we as Christians believe. Like the fact that when they put lamb’s blood on the doors, they did so in the sign of a cross.
In a sedar, there are 4 glasses of wine (or grape juice, in our case) drunk. At each of these, you eat a piece of matzah from the plate on the table and drink your own glass of wine. The third piece of matzah is called the Bread of Affliction, and it was this that Jesus broke during the last supper. In Jewish Passover, this is traditionally passed around and each person breaks off a piece. How cool that we can do it as Christians and it represents Jesus breaking his body for us.
After that, comes the Cup of Redemption that is also passed around from person to person. This is where, in the Last Supper, Jesus spoke of his blood being spilled for us. Man, that was a powerful moment in the dinner. I think we were all contemplating the enormity of what Easter season really means and how blessed we all are to be here and be able to celebrate it together in such an amazing place and amazing way.
After dinner, we all had some lively discussions and I talked a lot to Kelly and Aimee about why we were here, what brought us here and how God is doing things in our lives. It was a fun night!
I came home with a goody bag for Ruth and Mon, who had to miss it because they were waiting for a new fridge to be delivered. (Ruth and Sacha got a brand new fridge, but it stopped functioning after about 10 hours, so they had to get it replaced.) We all (Ruth, Sacha, Mon, me) watched a movie, and then went off to our respective beds to get a little sleep before church today. I got a phone call about 5 minutes later from Sacha in tears, saying that her brand new MacBook Pro with all her graphic design stuff on it for work had been stolen, along with her laptop bag! Plus, she had been unable to back up her work of the past year, so that is not recoverable. Such terrible news!
We later found out that in our neighborhood, there has been a rash of laptop theft over the past few months. So scary, that people can violate your space so easily and you don’t even realize for hours. We just have to be more careful about leaving our back doors open when we are hanging out at each others’ houses. So disappointing, because that is one of the things I love about living here, the fact that we are all friends and had the ability and the security to be able to leave our doors open, since there’s a 10-foot wall topped with barbed wire on the only side of the courtyard without an apartment. Guess you are never as safe as you think.
April 24, 2011
I realized this week that this is the fifth country I have spent Easter in: US, Northern Ireland, England, Jordan, and now Thailand. It’s pretty cool that I’ve gotten to celebrate it in such different ways all over the world. This morning I was a Sacha and Ruth’s while the police came and talked to Sacha and then she went to the police station to make a report, poor thing, while Ruth and I went to church. Sacha ended up spending the day with her brother and sister-in-law who are in town visiting for a few weeks, so that was good.
Ruth and I went to a house church made up of mostly Americans, a few Candians, and some people from other countries, but it’s all English speakers. I have realized in my church attendance here that the churches here are very different from LA. They are all very homogeneous. Either it’s 99% Thai people or 99% white people, or 99% Chinese people, but so far I have encountered no churches with a true multi-racial makeup. Just an interesting observation.
Church was nice though, and we saw our friend Ben, who came to dinner with us last week. I didn’t know anyone, and Ruth only knew one or two people since she just started going there herself, but it was still nice to have a little group of people to celebrate Easter with. After church, Ruth and I went to meet up with Jaz, Kelly, Cath, Mon and Jaz’s friend Candace for lunch at Jerusalem Falafel. Yummy! Perfect place to celebrate Easter lunch.
Later we went to Kelly’s place for an evening swim, then decided to make dinner at home. It was nice to hang out and spend Easter night with Ruth, Jaz and Mon, our other neighbor. Have I mentioned I love our little community here at the townhouse complex? J Overall, a fun, though low-key holiday!