The Beit CURE Hospital of Zambia has a tradition of hosting an Easter egg hunt on Easter Monday (the day after Easter). Employees’ children, current and past patients, and friends are all invited. There is a minimal fee (about $1) to help cover the cost of the candy and lunch. It was a gorgeous, sunny day (not unusual – the weather here is wonderful!!), and a bunch of children and parents arrived. They started off in the chapel, where our Spiritual Director’s wife led them in an Easter devotion and singing, while members of the staff “hid” the eggs and candy. There were about one hundred hardboiled brown eggs – they were well-camoflaged in the brown dirt, and thousands of pieces of wrapped candy strewn throughout the areas near the administration building and the children’s ward. I’m not good at estimating distances, but I think we covered at least an acre of the grounds!
The doors were opened, and the children streamed out, held back from the “hunt” until everyone got outside – then they were off! It was fun to see the little ones toddling around, the older ones running, children in wheelchairs picking the candy off shrubs & small decorative trees, adults helping “find” the candy, etc.
Next, the children paraded through the children’s ward, distributing candy from their excess to children and guardians who were not able to get outside to participate. A few kids had to be coaxed to share by their parents, but after only a short time, they got into it – wandering between the beds, and offering candy to everyone they saw – it was sweet to watch.
By this time, the inflatable pirate ship bouncy-thing was up and running – shoes and socks were off, and throngs of children were bouncing around. At the same time, the kitchen department had lunch set up – a braai. “Braai” is the word used for grill, and for grilled meat, and for the event – cookout or BBQ. Two kinds of grilled sausage and grilled chicken, potatoes, onions and peppers and coleslaw were served – delicious!
An interesting thing to watch was the group of Muslim student teachers who come to the hospital on a regular basis, as they assisted kids in the hunt and the distribution – pushing wheelchairs and assisting younger children. Our Easter activity was a real cross-cultural activity!