Happy Easter! I don't believe I have ever experienced a holiday that has felt less like a holiday. There are no signs of Easter here. Anyone familiar with the religions in this part of the world won't be surprised to read that, so why is it so strange to see the absence of all things connected with Easter? In fact, when I asked the receptionist at our hotel about finding a church, she didn't know what Easter was. Since we could not communicate "Protestant," let alone get directions to a service celebrating Resurrection Sunday, we finally just took a taxi to the largest Catholic church here in Hanoi. It is listed in all of the guidebooks as being similar to Notre Dame, and it is architectually lovely, though in need of TLC. What was even lovelier was hearing church bells before we even saw it, then turning a cobbled corner and seeing droves of people streaming toward it. Incredible! We stayed for about 30 minutes before MyLinh started to fuss, but the music and liturgy, all in Vietnamese, were gorgeous. The church was literally overflowing, people crammed onto little plastic stools in the aisles, corriders, and standing in the back, crowding out the doors and filling the rest of the block. Alex guessed there were "thousands" there, and we felt so glad to be celebrating with so man, so far from home, that "He is risen!" We kept thinking about Valley Bible and our boys in their matching shirts and how rich we are to be loved by such a community, such a family.
It is almost one in the afternoon here, and we have already a full day of adventures. MyLinh refused breakfast, screaming at both of us for the first hour of the day, but after trekking around Hoan Kiem Lake in the Ergo (indispensable, Zimmermans, thank you!) she settled into be being held by Alex. We stopped for Vietnamese coffee and tea and an ice cream (with which Alex bribed a smile out of MyLinh)! We have her settled in for a nap now, and as we still have not been able to find another adaptor, we are unable to use our computer. So, I am in the lobby again, while Alex is vegging out with music on the iPod, close to a (hopefully blissfully) sleeping MyLinh. We spent over an hour trying to get her to sleep...a rough hour for all three of us!
We are unable to post photos until the computer situation gets figured out, but the camera took (thank you, Lord) proper photos this morning. I am going to try to post some photos from yesterday (usually Alex's dept.), and if/when we get this adaptor situation figured out, we will get more photos on here! We have yet to really capture MyLinh's beautiful smile, but it is dazzling.
Sunshine, gorgeous sunshine today, so we will head out again with a rested little girl later this afternoon -- uh oh, here come Alex and MyLinh...with only 20 minutes of sleep!!! Yikes!!