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Sunday, July 23rd
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Portland, ME

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Bar Harbor, ME – July 21

Today, the sun followed us into Bar Harbor, and it thwarted the early forecast for rain all weekend by giving us a bright, sunny, and actually hot day in beautiful Bar Harbor. Later on, at six in the evening, as an amplifier blew a fuse and a guitar string broke, the first rain drops of the day fell. In a few minutes, we packed up and were on our way to the campground where we had stayed two nights before. The sunny day was all the more remarkable and encouraging, as the morning had shown every promise of fulfilling the weatherman’s predictions. Drenching rain soaked Seawall Campground in Acadia National Park (and soaked those of us up for an early morning walk!).

In between the early and late rains, we danced on a hillside overlooking the harbor, spoke to many people and, in the afternoon, moved to another park in town where lots of people were gathering. At the first park we spoke with a scholar who has been interested in us for some time. We enjoyed talking with one another.

One family had seen our bus in Rhode Island where they lived. They had followed us around, hoping to get on the bus, but lost us. How surprised they were to see us again on their vacation in Bar Harbor, and they did not miss the opportunity for a tour. And we met an old friend of Ayal and Khemdah’s from Florida who spent quite a while with us on the bus. He and his two youngest children were there. It was very nice.

Down by the waterfront, the handsome ship, the Margaret Todd, was loading passengers. The owners and Nehemiah, the head of the project that built our new bus, the Peacemaker II, were talking. Nehemiah showed them some pictures of the Avany and immediately, they invited Nehemiah and Derusha to go on the cruise with them, gratis, to see what the Margaret Todd was like. It turned out not to be a good time to go, but it opened our eyes more to what it will mean when the Avany pulls into a harbor and all the doors it will open and all the interest it will generate. There is something stirring about a tall ship, something that evokes memories of another time, another way of life, an older pattern of constancy in life, and of dependence on the One who gives the wind and makes the storm.

The musicians announced that people could come join us dancing, and Ta’avah noticed that one of a group of girls said, “I like to dance,” so she went and invited them. They danced with us and she invited them to tour the buses, which they did. After some time talking with them on the bus, they went back to listen to the music as Malachi sang a selection of songs including, “Yogurt Ain’t Got No Saving Power” and, “Caravan, Carry On.” They were from Massachusetts and, like us, really enjoyed the peace and quiet of Maine, especially Bar Harbor. But, they had to return home soon, and just happened to be in the park to meet us, and a friendly youth just a year or two younger than they were reached out in friendship.

One of the best parts of the day was all the young people who entered in on the dancing. Our dance circles doubled and sometimes tripled in size as we taught our simpler dances. One Jewish woman jumped in on several of the more difficult dances after watching the steps from behind us. Her memory from years ago served her well as she enthusiastically, but gracefully, joined us. (We typically do old-fashioned Israeli folk dances, and the dances we’ve written ourselves, which we sometimes do, too, are based on the basic steps of Israeli folk dancing.)

More coming soon!!!

For more information contact eastcoast@merrymakerscaravan.org

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Merrymakers' Caravan