kira86 于2019-04-15发布 l 已有人浏览
增大字体 减小字体

16 圣诞假期.jpg
16 My Christmas Vacation


(By Kenny S.)

(译 / 李佳凝)

During lunch all my friends were talking about their families' plans for the winter break. Some were visiting grandparents in Florida, while others were going to these great-sounding Caribbean resorts . My brother had even been invited by his friend's family to go to Aruba . I was more than a little jealous since my parents couldn't take vacation during Christmas week, and I would be stuck at home shoveling snow while everyone else was lying on the beach.


I came home from school that day to find a newsletter from the Jewish Community Center, which contained an ad for an "alternative vacation" community-service trip to New Orleans during Christmas week, supported by the UJA Federation. The trip was titled Tikkun Olam, which in Hebrew means "repairing the world". I wondered whether cleaning neighborhoods destroyed by Hurricane Katrina and sleeping on the floor in a sleeping bag was really the way I wanted to spend Christmas vacation. I sent in an application anyway, went for an interview, and was actually very excited when I was accepted into the program.

那天我放学回到家里,发现了一封来自犹太人社区中心的新闻通讯,信里有一个圣诞周“另类假期”的广告,这是一个由犹太人联合会赞助的去往新奥尔良的社区服务之旅。此次行程取名为“Tikkun Olam”,这个词在希伯来文中是“修复世界”的意思。清理被卡特里娜飓风摧毁的社区,还要睡在地板上的睡袋里——我不知道自己是不是真的想要以这样的方式来度过自己的圣诞假期。不管怎样,我提交了一份申请,参加了面试,而当我最终获选参加这个项目的时候,我真的非常兴奋。

The trip was only part of the commitment to the program. First, there were meetings to get to know the 11 other kids and to give us background on the hurricanes, the rescue efforts, and the devastation that still existed in New Orleans. Then there were fund-raising activities, including writing letters to neighbors, friends, and family, bake sales, and car washes to cover our traveling expenses and to donate to the people of New Orleans.


I had never been so far from home by myself, and I was a little nervous at the airport the day we left for Louisiana. At least, the weather should be warm, I thought. Little did I know, the week ahead would be the most inspiring experience of my life.


We arrived in New Orleans on December 23. First, we had dinner at a pizza place that had been destroyed by the hurricane. The owners told us about how they had been forced to move to Mississippi, what they experienced when they returned to New Orleans, and their ordeal trying to rebuild their lives and the restaurant.


On Christmas Eve, we spent the day whacking weeds, removing garbage, and unloading tiles as part of a beautification project in the Lower Ninth Ward . This area of the city is closest to the mouth of the Mississippi River and therefore was most heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina. Even today, properties still remain in ruins. Property owners spoke to us about having to live in trailers for more than two years, and what they have gone through to rebuild their homes. From where we worked, we could see the pink tents of the Make It Right Project, a housing effort made famous by Brad Pitt.


On Christmas Day, we worked at a recovery and treatment center for addicts, preparing and serving Christmas dinner to homeless people. The people really appreciated our work, and we felt like we had made Christmas a little more special for them. Afterward, we met with members of a local temple. We saw how the walls of the temple had been damaged by ten feet of floodwater. Then we sorted prayer books and ritual objects, and helped clean the grounds of the synagogue .

圣诞节那天,我们在一个吸毒者康复治疗中心工作,为那些无家可归的人准备了圣诞晚餐。那些人非常感激我们的工作,这让我们感到他们的圣诞节因为我们而变得更特别一些了。在此之后,我们去见了当地犹太教堂的人。我们看到了那个教堂的墙壁被十英尺高的洪水破坏之后的样子。然后,我们分类整理了祷告经文以及仪式用的礼 器,还帮助他们清理了教堂的地面。

One of my favorite projects was helping at an animal rescue center. We walked the animals, cleaned their crates, and fed them. Six thousand dogs and cats, separated from their owners, were rescued by that shelter after the hurricane. I remember hearing horrible stories on TV of people who refused to evacuate because they weren't allowed to bring their pets with them. Hearing these sad stories again from the animal rescue workers made me miss my own dog.


The following day, we went to see St. Bernard Parish, a section of New Orleans completely destroyed by the hurricane. For more than two months this area had no electricity, clean water, or proper sewage . The homes we saw were uninhabitable . We met a man who had been living in a shelter and then a trailer. We spent the day helping him try to find the driveway of his house under all the debris . We had to wear special suits, goggles , and masks. Taking a shower that night felt really good!


Even though we did a lot of work that resulted in some sore muscles, we had plenty of time to see New Orleans and enjoy its famous food and culture. We went to Preservation Hall for a jazz concert, visited the French Quarter (which was as awesome as people told me it would be), and had a haunted history tour. We ate authentic Cajun food and seafood gumbo , and we tried the hot chocolate and beignets (fritters ) at Café Du Monde. We also spent some time with New Orleans Jews, and students from local B'nai B'rith organizations joined many of our community service activities.


When I returned to New York and told my friends about my trip, I realized how ridiculous I had been to be jealous of their Christmas plans. I looked around at my house, my dog, my family, and everything I owned and felt really spoiled. All the things I saw in New Orleans, all the amazing people I met, and the small ways I was able to contribute to the rebuilding of the city made that week the most memorable vacation I can imagine.


 1 2 下一页