Dear Ceci, Finn, Gus, Kieran, Mary, Seamus, Francis, Joey, Peter, and Genevieve —
Happy Easter to you, Francis, Seamus, Mary, Kieran, Augustine, Finnian, and Cecilia —
Hydra, where I’ve spent Holy Week, is a small island not far from Athens. NO CARS ALLOWED here, so it’s donkeys, donkeys everywhere. They meet the ferries to carry luggage up to hotels and guesthouses.
Mostly, they seem to carry loads of…everything: I’ve seen huge jars of olive oil, of paper towels, and cases of wine, milk, orange juice.
In my days here, I saw this woman and her donkey a couple times.
Construction workers and their donkeys, I see all the time.
Oh, and here’s what I eat for lunch — delicious, really. Really!
Here are 10 Greek seconds from Mass. Can you guess what those small green leaves are from? Hint: it’s Palm Sunday, not Easter — all over Greece
Dear Francis, Mary, Kieran, Augustine, Finnian, and Cecilia —
Did you watch the Royal Wedding, or anyhow some of it, on Saturday? I hope you saw the part I showed my students at Melissa today, but if you didn’t, WATCH THIS. Your parents can explain how the song became an anthem, a sort of symbol, during the Civil Rights Movement in the U.S.
For now, look at these words near the end. See what a great English lesson it was for the young women!
If the sky that we look upon
Should tumble and fall
Or the mountain should crumble to the sea,
I won’t cry, I won’t cry
No, I won’t shed a tear
Just as long as you stand, stand by me.
Two questions as they listened:
- “‘I won’t be a friend!’ But, Teacher, why not?” I explained, and they understood instantly: “I won’t be afraid!”
- The title of this blog (“What means ‘Stand by Me’?” ) was a little tougher. I really wish one of you had been there to help me out. But then one of the young women shouted and pointed to her friend sitting across the table — “I know, I know — like you, like me, like you AND me. Here at Melissa!”
The women at Melissa are amazing. Sometimes, I just sit back and watch them teach themselves.
Missing you all!
P.S. Did you know that Auntie Elizabeth has done art with them here?
Hi to Francis, Kieran, Finnian, and Cecilia from MARY…
Best Sunflower cupcake — from Gerardo’s
Best Star Wars laser-wielding characters – Worcester Art MuseumBest – or anyhow, BIGGEST Roman mosaic in North America – Worcester MuseumBest Swim lessons – Assumption College
Dear Francis and Mary,
(K,A,F& C, this is old news for you, so I’ll write this to the Littlest cousins)
Very early this morning, I came again to the village where Ceci, Finnian, Augustine, and Kieran live. The human Cronin’s aren’t here, but MANGO came out to greet me!
He nearly knocked me over, so we went outside. We played “Fetch”!
This afternoon, Joachim came over to take Mango on a run. I met them along the way. Mango was very tired.
They went back to the house for food and water. I kept walking. That white city is called Lausanne.
I took this video just before the rain began to SPLAT, and the thunder began to ROAR!
You probably can’t hear the cowbells, but they make a sort of CLANG. Mary, you can play that on the piano. Francis, you can make that noise with your mouth!
Hi, Mary and Francis, this post is for you and your almost-expat cousins. I’ll let mom or dad explain “expat.”
We had a perfect day for the party hosted by Auntie Rhonda and Uncle Tom. Soon, the expats will get to know Swiss Chocolate. Today, we had A.MAZ.ING American Chocolate:
There were many, many children. Q was too fast for me, but here are Francis and the Cronin cousins:
Oh, and there were grownups — I was enjoying the food and Sangria (ask your mom and dad… or not) and wine, and… Anyhow, I didn’t take many Big People photos, but here are some. How many do you know?
I saw many other great photo ops, too, like Dad/Uncle Chris visiting great old friends (like me, old, I mean). And Ceci with some of her girlfriends, who just threw themselves down on the lawn for a picnic. And Mom/Auntie Teresa drying children’s tears (I’m not saying…!). And old (like them) Nativity and college friends, some meeting one another for the first time!
By the end of the day, we knew we were all very sad for ourselves, but very happy for them.
Hi, Ceci, Finn, Gus, Mary, and Francis — Tomorrow, Kieran, you will be 5 — great year ahead, but today was just you and I and All. Those.Underwater. Critters.
I think petting the Stingrays was your favorite moment. Such slime, but (and?) you really liked it.
On the other hand, the Anemone, where we went, then left, then returned, then left and returned again — it was like having your own ROCKPOOLS for an hour.
The Sharks were their usual awesome selves.
Dear Ceci, Finn, Gus, Mary, Kieran, and Francis,
Now that Christmas break has ended, I know some of you are back to school or back home (or mommy is now home, full time!). Here at the ashram in India this week, we ended the Christmas Season, too. You can see the the crèche as it was being taken down …
Speaking of the riverbed, when I Facetimed with Ceci the other day, she noticed the Cauvery River from my hut. Here’s a satellite photo – can you see the river near the top? The long red building near the bottom holds the kitchen and the dining room where we eat. My hut is just above there.
Ceci also noticed something different about my bathroom. Look closely and see if you can find what it is! Do you see my “closet” and my bed? Yes, that mosquito net keeps out…the geckos!
Today I arrived early for noon prayer in the chapel, which we call a “temple,” so I whispered this video.
Before I close, Here’s a little video I took yesterday when I went into the village to run errands. I looked down, and look what I saw–!
Missing you all. xxoo
Uncle Roy, Auntie Elizabeth, and I are in a teak guesthouse in the north – here, even the visitors are getting ready for Christmas and New Year’s..