Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter

All the usual happenings around here for Easter. We dyed eggs yesterday (and now have 24 to eat!). Last night, the Easter Bunny left baskets and filled-eggs for a hunt after church. After mass today the youth group had an egg hunt for the kids.  Now last year, there were maybe six kids in attendance at the egg hunt guaranteeing a tidy egg collection by each of our kids. This year, well there were 4 times that many.   The increase was partly due to the large tourist crowd that attended the mass this year. Before mass a few 14 passenger vans arrived in front of the cathedral full of hotel guests. When father asked the guests to stand at the end of the mass, it seemed like half of the congregation stood. With the tourists there I was more conscious of viewing the egg hunting event as they must have. The courtyard where the eggs were hidden and the welcome center where the treats were are so run down by stateside standards, dirty, and muddy in parts that it would be hard not to walk away with a story to tell everyone back home (like I am). No manicured church lawns or wood-chipped play grounds to hunt on here.  The cathedral is in need of so many things just as every parish is in need. There is not the money, volunteers or parishioners available to do anything but the immediately necessary with regards to the operation of the church. So in all other ways people here are asked to just make do. But it would be very nice for the church to have a larger gathering spot for lingering over smoothies after church. And in St. Thomas of all places there is plenty of opportunity for people to do something about it. Rules and regulations on the island can be worked around and there isn't the fear of litigation that you might find stateside if a public space isn't up to safety standards. You could almost imagine an inspired parishioner organizing a work party to clean up the old concrete chunks, tree branches, and collected trash and then someone pressure-washing the whole place (and maybe find some paint) while another person finds the second hand outdoor tables, chairs and umbrellas to populate the space. Sounds like I found my project - doesn't it? But this is the problem with being a transient member of the community. We will leave in three months and this time we won't be returning.

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