While most of the world was glued to the Olympics, on Sunday, August 17, members of Amanuel Church, along with others, took a break to attend the 2nd Annual Amanuel Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church Summer Picnic. Organized by the Board members of Amanuel Church, the picnic was held at Mayapple Hill Picnic Park in West Orange, New Jersey, a short driving distance from Amanuel. Tekeste Ghebremicael, one of the Board members of Amanuel Church, said the main purpose of the picnic was for people to come together and have fun. The event was promoted to various churches in surrounding areas including New York.
Although the date of the picnic happened to fall on a time when most people are fasting, according to Tekeste, once the mass email was sent notifying people of the date, there was nothing that could be done. Nonetheless, the picnic was a hit with everyone that attended. Some adults sat under shades and observed the many competitions, while others joined in the festivities. The contests included races, soccer and volleyball competitions. As time went by, more and more people came to the picnic and the observers of the games grew into a crowd.
Plenty of cold drinks were available and there was an abundance of food that included both American and Ethiopian savory dishes. Tickets were priced at $20.00 for single persons and $30.00 for the entire family.
During the picnic, 8-year-old Maya took a break from jumping rope to dance eskesta with some of her newfound friends. When asked what she enjoyed most about the picnic, Maya answered, “That I get to play with my friends.”