From 1,000 Miles Away

Fern with Ariella and Kaya (YJ Canada AWB Participants)

Fern with Ariella and Kaya (YJ Canada AWB Participants)

I don’t remember August 29th, 2005, as many people who live in the USA might have. I can assume that I was absorbing my last bit of summer, I was most likely up at my cottage just north of Toronto, I was reflecting on my past summer at camp, and I was probably dreading beginning a new school in a matter of weeks. I most likely watched the news, and saw footage of the storm that had wreaked havoc in New Orleans, but I doubt that my 12-year-old self would have been very intrigued by an event that was happening thousands of miles away from where I was. Now, I find myself thousands of miles away from where I was, intrigued by an event – that happened 10 years ago. Today my group and I had the pleasure of working with Green Light New Orleans to plant a garden for a mother, and a grandmother, whose home was destroyed during the storm and whose life had to be placed back together piece by piece. By creating this sustainable garden for her we put one more piece back in place. We also were given the opportunity to be welcomed into people’s homes in order to create a more energy efficient environment by changing the light bulbs in their homes. It was extremely humbling to hear their stories, and be welcomed into their homes, and to see how valuable and necessary it is to continue to support the people who were so affected by the storm. I can personally say that it was an experience I have never been given, one that I will never forget, and I look forward to what the rest of my week here brings.

 

~ Fern Kachuk is currently the program director of Canadian Young Judaea and grew up in the Movement.