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Miami students in Luxembourg celebrate Easter

Students enjoy Easter with one another, away from home in Luxembourg.
Students enjoy Easter with one another, away from home in Luxembourg.

Well, it's not the same as painting eggs with my family, but it's pretty close. It's a close second.

I am sad that we're going to miss Easter at home. This will be nice, we get to feel a little bit of the Easter spirit.

Seeing the kids being happy when they get chocolate, that will remind me of my little siblings.

Kendall Wolfe and Brittany Talbott went back and forth as they colored in Easter designs, reminiscing on their childhood Easters and how this year will be different.

They were helping prepare for the Easter egg hunt that MUDEC's (Miami's Luxembourg campus) Student Faculty Council (SFC) hosted for kids from Maison Relais, a local school in Differdange.

Shea Vogelsong, service chair member of SFC, planned an Easter egg hunt, 'pin the tail on the bunny,' face painting and a coloring station for the 25 kids that were set to visit Miami's John E. Dolibois campus.

"I think one of the things I'm a little bit worried about is the language barrier," Shea said before the event. "Trying to get 25 kids running around, telling them where to go, telling them when to stop, telling them to move to the next station ... But other than that, I'm hoping that the weather is nice. I'm hoping that I don't hide the eggs too hard. I'm hoping that all the kids get an egg."

There are 150 candy-stuffed eggs -- the plan is to let each kid find six at first, and there is a small secret stash just in case.

At first, Shea was worried about whether MUDEC students would want to volunteer, but the sign-up sheet filled quickly. Kendall and Brittany both signed up because the kids -- who can be seen walking around town in little reflective vests -- are cute and it's a way for them to relive their childhood.

But, as Shea explained, there's more to it than that.

"We've had a chance to experience something that's once in a lifetime, and not many people get to do it," Shea said. "It's important to give back to them. Doing a small Easter egg hunt is not life-changing, but it's a small thing we can do to show people here that we respect all that they've done for us."

SFC plans a service event every semester, and Shea thought the Easter holiday would be the perfect time for one -- a way to bring a part of American culture to the Luxembourgish students.

"I'm just hoping that the students have a good time," Shea said. "And I also hope that the MUDEC students also leave knowing they had a good time and gave back to the community."


Shea was stressed. He needed all the lettuce remnants from lunch wiped off the tables. He needed little pots of candy placed on each table. He needed tape to hang the 'pin the tail on the bunny' poster up. He needed to make sure everyone else knew their jobs. And he needed his face painted.

Once he had the white and pink ears above his eyebrows, a pink dot on his nose and black whiskers on his cheeks, his mood changed.

"Oh, that looks good!" Shea said, looking in a mirror. "I am killing it. This nose is good!"

He walked the volunteers outside, showing us where the eggs were hidden and the areas where we needed to guard for thorns -- it was very important to make sure no kids ran into the thorns.

We poked fun at Shea's egg-hiding abilities and laughed at his slight hysterics.

"They're gonna have fun!" Shea shouted. He wanted his Easter extravaganza to be a success.

When the kids arrived and caught the first glimpses of the bright eggs laying in the grass or propped between the slats of a bench, their faces lit up. A few were too eager and tried to snatch the closest ones before their teacher scolded them. Then she translated instructions for Shea, and the kids were off.

We watched as they sprinted for the eggs and helped point out the trickier ones. Their arms dove, blocking one another from getting the egg they had their eye on.

Once they had found all the eggs, we prepared for the second group and received a surprise when kids continued to parade around the corner.

There were over 20 more kids than expected, and this time the eggs went fast. Shea strode around, discreetly tossing lollipops onto the grass as substitutes.

We tried to make sure every kid had at least one egg in their bag but were forced to think of another solution. Someone made a candy run to Cactus, the local grocery store, and the eggs were filled once more to be given as prizes.

We set up an impromptu game of musical chairs in the chateau to entertain the extra kids. It seemed to be the first time any of them had played, and it took some a little time to get used to the idea of 'losing' quickly.

But we cheered them up with candy. Every kid got candy, and every kid got their face painted, if they so desired. The ones who spoke some English thanked all the student volunteers and assured us they had a good time.

The last of them filed out, showing us their blue-stained tongues and making a show of brushing their teeth with the lollipops. We laughed and smiled and waved goodbye.

A few students started to clean up the suddenly empty and quiet grand hall.

"Thank you guys so much for helping," Shea said. He sounded relieved.