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the mommyhood memos: little teachers: the priceless easter gypsy

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

little teachers: the priceless easter gypsy

Meet my little gypsy friend from Cairo:

I spent most of 2006 living in Cairo, Egypt with the non-profit I work for. I look back on that year as one of the best years of my life. Literally.

During the lead-up to Easter, I was amazed at how this Christian holiday was celebrated in this largely Muslim nation. (You may or may not know, but there are 12+ million Christians in Egypt - a small but significant minority.)

Outside of every church (especially the Coptic Orthodox churches) were people of all ages selling flowers, decorations, and other beautiful hand-made wares and gifts. People came out of the woodwork to collect woven baskets and crosses made of palm leaves. Everywhere you turned were bright flowers and smiling eyes preparing for the celebration of this significant religious holiday.

This little gypsy girl captured my imagination and a piece of my heart as I met her on Palm Sunday (the week before Easter). Her big eyes, her curly hair, her adorable freckles and crooked smile... the small trail of snot stretching from her nose to her naturally shiny, pink lips. She was just perfect, beautiful and perfect.

She was part of a gypsy family--a people often looked down on by other Egyptians--and yet even despite her initial shyness she met me with confidence, warmth, and joy in her eyes.

Precious gypsy princess showed me her woven treasures and reminded me that there are treasures within all of us - even those normally looked down on by other segments of society - and that every treasure is just that: exquisite, priceless, and beautiful.

Although we spoke different languages and exchanged no words beyond my fumbling hello, thank you, and goodbye in Arabic, I think of her every Easter season and remember that...

There are treasures all around me, 
if only I'm willing to open my eyes for them.

Dear friends, what life lessons have you learned from Little Teachers lately? Any that are specific to the Easter season?

treasure hunting,

p.s. This post is part of a series - All the Children of the World: Little Teachers - where I feature a photo of a precious little one that I've met during my volunteer work in developing nations over the last 11 years, as well as what I've learned about life and parenting through meeting them.

{Also linking in with the Community Writing Project on Mother Inferior.}

Are you pregnant? Link up with the Bloggin' Babes and Babies of 2011.
Share your creativity and Easter inspiration by submitting your Easter card to our Easter card linky (closing April 21).

adriel booker | the mommyhood memos | 2011
do not reproduce without written permission

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At April 19, 2011 at 3:11 PM , Blogger Courtney K. said...

I agree with exactly what you just said...there are blessings EVERYWHERE but we have to choose to acknowledge them. My sons excitement over the tiniest and sometimes seemingly insignificant (in my eyes) things, makes me more aware of this thought every day.

At April 19, 2011 at 7:51 PM , Blogger Colleen said...

How beautiful she is! And what an amazing experience that must have been...I can't even imagine! I love the way Easter is celebrated in some other countries though, the color, the anticipation, the joy...sounds so marvelous.

Have a lovely Easter!

At April 19, 2011 at 9:35 PM , Blogger Casey Martinez said...

She is so precious! Love her sweet face! What you learned from her is priceless and I too have experienced that lesson by being with little ones. I often think about the simplicity in which children embrace Jesus and have so much faith and Jesus telling us to have faith like a I learn from children that I shouldn't complicate my faith so much. It's not supposed to be the big mess that we adults often make it. Watching children in sunday school and hearing them share what they learn with their parents is what it's all about!

At April 20, 2011 at 5:13 AM , Blogger Jhen.Stark said...

I love this! I actually really enjoy this series! I love that your life has been filled with so many adventures so far, and I truly love that you are sharing them with us in this way!

I think she's gorgeous and I think just her beauty in the life that she lives, is beyond a lesson for me.

I also ditto what Casey wrote, my little one is teaching me how simple life really is, and how simply my faith really should be!

At April 20, 2011 at 6:58 AM , Blogger Melinda said...

What a beautiful memory, Adriel. She is so precious to Jesus.

At April 20, 2011 at 7:30 AM , Blogger alison said...

that is the most precious face!!! your posts take me back to our guatemala trip....i want so badly to return soon. those children were so pure, so beautiful, and so full of a joy that cannot even be explained. yet they had so much less than we could ever imagine. i was amazed at what they taught me even though my spanish was so beyond horrible. you have reminded me of that time....and what i learned from them about what is important in my life. thank you :)

At April 20, 2011 at 7:44 AM , Anonymous Ann Kroeker said...

Wow, you really have crossed cultures, haven't you? This is marvelous, and your description of her is as rich as the actual photo! I love her, too! Thanks for linking this to the Crossing Cultures writing project at!

At April 20, 2011 at 7:54 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this series of posts, and I'm so glad you linked up to our project at my blog. I'm honored to meet you and look forward to reading more of your posts in the future!

At April 20, 2011 at 10:14 AM , Blogger Tina @ Life Without Pink said...

Wow what a wonderful priceless memory!

At April 20, 2011 at 9:16 PM , Blogger Dina @ 4 Lettre Words said...

So true! LOVE this post, Mama.

At April 21, 2011 at 12:32 AM , Blogger Dena Dyer said...

Yes, yes! God has left his treasures all around for us to find. I love the hunt, and the surprises he strews in my path.

Thanks again for linking up with The High Calling community project. :) I've loved reading your posts!


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