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Northampton, MA – Monday, July 24, 2006

After a refreshing overnight stay at the Community in Plymouth, we did our morning touchup of the buses and rolled down the highways, eventually ending up on I-90 West, the Massachusetts Turnpike. Northampton was our destination, and we pulled into our reserved parking spaces a few buildings down from City Hall. It is a very pleasant town with a downtown full of stores, restaurants, and offices — one not yet destroyed by the strip malls that blight the landscape of America.

It was so good having the extra help of Dawn and Ruhamah from the Community in Coxsackie, New York. Later on, some brothers brought a trailer of things for the upcoming festivals in Brattleboro and Rutland, Vermont, but took away Malachi and Rebecca. So sad for us! But we recovered and had a very enjoyable evening dancing and speaking with the passersby.

Several middle-aged Jewish women with twenty-year-old memories of Israeli folk dances jumped into several of our dances, adding to our enjoyment and reminding them of other days in their own lives. They were quite lively, dancing with zest!

Sarah was on the bus with her young child, and a woman and her son came on board. She was so happy to find us. “Somehow, the spirit here, I sense it is the community I have been looking for, the love I have been looking for. I don’t want to jump to any conclusions because I have been through so many religions, churches, and communities, and I haven’t found the truth.”

A Buddhist monk stopped to talk for a long time about his commitment in life and the two hundred twenty-seven vows a monk must keep. The laity must keep five vows to be a Buddhist. We talked about the clergy-laity system that seems to be in all religions, the exalted class and the silenced mass, and we told him how we desire to be a brand new culture—one where each man and woman is set free and there are no higher and lower classes of disciples.

And there was a forty-two-year-old man with cerebral palsy who spoke of his tale of growing up not ever knowing his parents, being handicapped, thought mentally deficient when he was actually quite sharp, and his desire to tell his story in a book he wanted to publish.

On the bus, Bynah met a young couple with a three-year-old girl that were very sweet. When she gave them some of our Common Sense lotion, they recognized our products. When she gave them some samples of our Maté Factor tea, their response was, “Oh, we drink this tea all the time! We saw one of your people at a trade show two years ago doing a Maté demonstration.” Then they remembered seeing our Peacemaker I bus at Madison Square Garden years ago on the Grateful Dead Fall Tour. They lit up when they started putting together all the ways that they had been introduced to our life. They were very sensitive and had a pleasant visit. We hope to see them again somewhere along the line.

A really nice ninety-two-year-old woman came to see us last night and wanted to donate cereals and canned goods to the Caravan. She said, “This is what people are missing today. They are losing love and community. I read your pamphlet and it is great what you are doing.” We received her blessing and appreciated her kindness.

As we were loading up our trailer and making things ready to go, a succession of school teachers happened upon us, each one boarding the buses and speaking with us. One spoke of the difficulties of teaching immigrants (who make up 95% of her class) when she doesn’t know their language, and they don’t know American ways. She concluded by highly praising homeschooling, as it obviously works. She could tell our children were homeschooled.

Her situation appeared to be one of nearly calculated frustration for the teacher and programmed failure for the students. It reminded us why our hope must result in a brand new culture—one where parents and children and teachers have the same heart and the same way, just as a prophet spoke long ago of the time when a new thing would appear on the earth.

More coming soon!!!

For more information contact eastcoast@merrymakerscaravan.org

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Merrymakers' Caravan