Archive for the 'Engineers Without Borders' Category

Bubbie and Zadie Kvelling Over A Spiel

Monday, July 21st, 2008

Months ago, when I got back from building a bridge in Guatemala, my grandmother asked me if I would come to her chavurah and talk about the trip. A chavurah is an extra-curricular activity group for Jews. Loosely translated from the Aramaic it means, “Is this mandel bread parve?” My grandparents have been getting together with their chavurah for years. I’ve known several of them since I was a kid.

I, of course, agreed to be a speaker — can’t say no to grandma — and we set a date. Then I got a phone call telling me I had been bumped for another speaker.They must have gotten Henry Kissinger or Bono or something. We set another date and I got bumped again. Finally, last night, they settled for me. Now I know how Abe Vigoda feels when he gets that last-minute call to fill in for canceled guests on Conan.

I arrived to a multi-tiered, 20-minute argument/discussion on how to buzz into my grandparents’ apartment. Did you push pound? — I pushed three — Wait, did you dial the number? — No, I scrolled through the names? — And then pushed seven? — Someone with a dog opened the door for me — I need to call you? — Someone called — Do I need a cell phone? — Yes, then you push nine.

Eventually everyone made it inside. I gave my spiel, showed some slides, and it went over very well. I had a really great time. They even made a donation to EWB and gave me some chocolate babka, so all in all a pretty nice day.