Monday, April 28, 2008


So, Yesterday we celebrated Easter here in good old mother Russia. As you may already be aware, the orthodox church still runs on the old calender. Hence the reason we're only now celebrating easter while all of you celebrated it weeks ago. Anyway, thought you all might like to know how it went down. I didn't go to my Baptist church because my host dad told me that we could go to the Orthodox church. My day started around nine with this random banging sound. I came out of my room to find the family all gathered around the door to one of the bathrooms. Misha was trying to fix the doorknob, and Dennis was banging a screwdriver on the floor. heh heh heh. It struck me as hilarious. I prepared for the day. i.e. Put in my contacts, got dressed and we sat down to breakfast. We had Pirozhki with potatos and some with egg in them which were interesting to try and not too bad. We had put these little plastic decoration cover thingies on hard boiled eggs the night before (no one had egg coloring). Apparently there's a tradition where you whack the end of your egg against someone else's. The one who's egg cracks, looses. Naturally, my little host brother Tolya had great fun with this.

After breakfast Misha said he'd take me to the Orthodox church. Tolya and Natasha came too. I was rather disappointed that we missed the service, but found out when service times are and so will hopefully be making a trip to actually see an orthodox service in the near future. We did look around the church a bit, light a few candles, and Misha was explaining some stuff about Orthodoxy too me, even though they aren't Orthodox. They aren't church people. While we were there though, Misha saw an aquaintance. He asked said aquaintance to explain to me the orthodox church. What followed was a twenty minute lecture on the history of sin (Could've done without that) a history of church in general (Also basic stuff I knew) and then when he finally got to the good stuff, I was having trouble concentrating. Even after almost eight months sometimes it takes a lot of concentration to listen and understand. I did learn that Orthodox Church here is based as much if not more on legend as it is the Bible. For example, the aquaintance told me this story of why the Orthodox Church uses Icons. Apparently, the first icon came about when Christ wiped his face on a towel (Possibly after his baptism? I don't remember.) and it left an image. Personally, I was reminded of "Forrest Gump" But I digress.

When we finished our expedition to the church, we returned home and prepared to go to the dacha where we were going to have shashlik. For those of you who don't know what Shahlik is, it's basically barbecue, but without the BBQ sauce. You could I suppose also translate it as shishkebob since the meat is cooked on skewers. I was in such a good mood while we were there. First, I helped carry stuff to the dacha (We've started opening it up so we can stay there in the summer), then I helped dust a bit, then Tolya, Natasha and I made snowpeople which was really fun. The only dowside is that by the time we were done, they'd already started to melt. I was very proud of mine because I carved out face, arms and her dress. I'll have to get some pictures up.

After a bit of a wait, we ate. By the end of it, I was absolutely stuffed, but it was so good. I love shashlik. With it we had little roasted potatos, pepper, tomatos, and this stuff that's like a tortilla but has a different name. So so good. For desert, we had cookies and traditional easter cake which I thought was rather dry.

After a couple hours and a nap, we headed back home. I hung out with my host siblings. Watched a movie, that sort of thing. All in all, I really enjoyed the day and was feeling good at the end of it.

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