Carnival weekend

It’s Carnival weekend!

For those of you who are not familiar, Carnival is a celebration that takes place just before Catholic Lent, which is a time when meat is not allowed to be eaten (Carnival originated from the Italian carnevale, which means “to put away the meat”).  Lent is a period of sacrifice and giving up excess, so Carnival is a time pretty much dedicated to indulging and partying hard right before you have to give it all up.  Which, explains the traditional wearing of festive masks and elaborate face paints to hide your identity.

You have probably heard how big it is in Brazil and Venice, Italy, but it is also very popular here in Malta.  And they mean serious business.  Everyone flocks to Gozo, the small island of the Maltese archipelago north of the main island, to celebrate.  It goes for about five days, with festivities this year running from yesterday, Friday, until Tuesday.  We’ve been hearing so much about it, and so many have told us that Mardi Gras in the States does not even compare.

So naturally, all of us students from the States have been excited for weeks.  Some have rented out a farmhouse for the weekend, others are planning on making the 45 min bus ride + 30 minute ferry ride to the island for one night.

I, on the other hand, will not be partaking.

This bug is a lot more perseverant than I thought — I am STILL sick!  I am so sad about it, too.  I was really looking forward to it and sporting my mask that I’d purchased from Venice when I made my weekend trip up there a couple months back:

Upon realizing that I probably wasn’t going to make it to the Carnival festivities, I decided to mope on over to a local fruit cart to restock on oranges and vitamin C.  After returning home from the journey (for someone who is sick, a five-minute walk up and down the hill to get fruit is a journey — indication that staying home from Carnival was probably a smart choice), I checked the mailbox.  What did I find?  My Valentine’s card from Ron that had finally arrived!

I was so excited.  After opening it and reading it, I cried.  I couldn’t even help it.  I didn’t realize that I would react that way, but it was so beautiful and I could just feel all the love pouring from behind the sealed envelope.

Right then, my friend rang.  She had come over to drop off some homemade chicken noodle soup she made herself — which was absolutely delicious and just what I needed!  Also with her were flowers from our other friend, of the most gorgeous magenta color, perfect for filling my lonely white vase and to complement my cute little green candles.

Amazing what small things can turn a sick girl’s day around.  Tonight, I may not be partying in excess, but I can celebrate all the ways that I’m blessed …in the form of staying in bed, drinking lots of fluids, and watching movies.

(And resting up as much as possible so that maybe I can catch the last day of festivities on Tuesday.)

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