Eggs in the Mango Orchard: Easter at Little Hearts

Easter has come and gone again! Like last year, Little Hearts residents celebrated with a traditional Easter egg hunt. But this time, there were some tweaks to the festivities. For one thing, Easter fell on the same weekend as Khmer New Year, so we had to stage Easter events a few days earlier, as some of the kids had to travel to the provinces to spend New Year’s with relatives.

A new aspect of this year’s entertainment was a body painting activity, which took place on the Monday before Easter. The children were divided into six groups of four or five. In each group, one member was designated as the painter and one other had to be the canvas, so to speak. The other members of each group helped out by mixing colours, cleaning brushes, choosing accessories and creating costumes that would match the body paint to create a striking ensemble worth modelling.

On Wednesday we started preparations for the traditional Easter egg hunt: 150 eggs were boiled and distributed equally to the six groups. Each group chose their own decorative theme and painted the eggs. Older kids with more experience in making artwork helped the younger ones mix colours and choose patterns. They also decorated baskets in which the eggs would be collected during the hunt. Ilse had brought some special crepe paper from Belgium and taught everyone to make paper flowers and intertwine them with the basket handles.

The egg hunt played out on the following day. In previous years, Roxanne hid the eggs throughout the Little Hearts campus, but this year she wanted the search to be more challenging, so she asked our neighbour to let us use the mango orchard just behind Little Hearts for the hunt. Early in the morning, before the kids woke up, Roxanne and Ilse quietly went into the orchard and hid all the painted eggs. And after breakfast, the kids were finally let loose! In a 90-minute frenzy of running and squealing, climbing and searching, 130 eggs were found. (What happened to the rest, we wonder? Maybe monkeys found them and ate them?)

Group 2, consisting of Malee, Lisa, Charlie and Raphael, won the competition, having collected 35 eggs. Well done, everyone!

Happy Easter, belatedly, to all our friends far and near, and happy New Year, too!


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