India and Nina painting eggs

While whole Chios was about to celebrate Easter, the girls and Karin (our crew member) were reviving a tradition left many miles away in Karin´s home country: México. Her mother invented a way of celebrating Easter and adapting the European tradition of painting eggs to her own style. It starts with eating eggs every day and preparing delicious breakfasts. The shells are broken from the bottom in an unperfect way. Everything that is needed is a space from where to hold the egg while painting it and for it to be big enough to fill the egg with candies. Then after painting the eggs, these are left on the table with a gift to the easter bunny, a letter, flowers and a basket. The Easter bunny comes and fills all the eggs with sweets and closes the hole with some paper and glue. The next day, the girls wake up with the huge surprise of hidden eggs waiting to be found. After they find them we prepare breakfast and do a lovely ceremony in which each member takes an egg, asks for a wish or says something they are grateful for and with a heart full of love and understanding of the impermanence of life, breaks the beautiful egg into the table and eats and shares all the candies.

India and Nina were thrilled all the week and especially that Sunday when we crashed the eggs, we shared breakfast with our lovely Norwegian neighbours and filled the boat with magic, wishes and gratefulness.

The most special thing, aside from the girls’ excitement, was seeing them develop each morning through the art sessions. We set on the table all the artistic material we have on board, put some water on a cup and lots of paper all around ready for them to make a mess, express themselves, release, enjoy painting and everything it involves. This space is supposed to be a free one, a different one in comparison with their normal day. When the art workshop is open, all creativity, craziness, permission and release are invited too. They are free to make mistakes, to mix colours as they are “not supposed to”, to share the craziest ideas and be congratulated for having them, to create whatever comes from their minds and hands, and receive a compliment. They are enhanced to think beyond common dualities as beautiful-ugly or good-bad and solve problems in a creative way. It is surprising how their creativity was changing with time. They had new ideas and each day more crazy ones. This space to paint eggs following Karin´s mother’s idea was maybe the best gift they could get for Easter. Art and the easter bunny touched their lives. Since then they have been asking for an art workshop every day, and as we continue providing this space their abilities, flexibility, concentration, enjoyment and growth, increase.

Fabulous Easter! And to make it greater, we could experience the insane traditions Chios has for Easter. We visited a procession where the four churches were reunited at the main square. And passed on the war of the rockets between two churches in Chios (tradition to remember an act of liberation from the Ottomans).

Special Chios, special Easter, special girls, special traditions!