Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Tomorrow begins my summer vacation. My family and I will be spending the next two months in Camp Dora Golding in East Stroudsburg, PA. You may have heard that Dora Golding has a beautiful campus with lovely accommodations. This is very true. The bunkhouses are air-conditioned. The families live in new houses. The grounds are covered in lush, green grass and the whole campus is surrounded by the beautiful Poconos.
There is one tiny exception to this general rule. It's a structure known as the "family house". In truth, house is too generous a term to bestow on this particular structure. Perhaps it used to be a house in a different lifetime, eons ago. Now, it is a... structure... made of warped wooden planks that were painted red in that other lifetime. But structure is such an awkward term and so I capitulate and will refer to it as the Family House, henceforth FH.
The FH is to be my home this summer. Dovid (who is working in camp as a learning rebbe first half and will give staff shiur second half) and I went on Sunday to bring a vanload of our stuff and begin to settle in. We weren't quite prepared for the FH. Even Dovid was shocked. For those of you who don't know Dovid personally, that says alot. When we opened the door to the FH, the stench of stale urine mixed with mildew hit us in the face. Actually, only I smelled it because Dovid's nasal passages were blessedly congested that day. We'll be staying on the second floor, at the top of a long set of creaky stairs. The actual apartment was filthy. A fellow learning rebbe's wife was kind enough to lend us her vacuum cleaner and some cleaning supplies. We got to work. A while later, the room that is to be the kids' room was (sort of) clear of cobwebs and the floor was decent. Apparently the people who had stayed there before us had taken pretty good care of the place. They had put down large industrial-type rugs which is a big improvement over the carpet that is underneath. Our bedroom is yuckier. The beds are at a distinct slant. We came to the conclusion that the whole room is slanted. I left the bathroom to deal with later. Too overwhelming.
Our next stop was Walmart. Not just any Walmart - a Walmart Supercenter. I was afraid I would get lost and was quite thankful to feel my cellphone snug in it's case at my waist. After the cleaning supplies aisle, I got soaps, shampoos, deoderant and the like. Plus I got rolls of shelving paper in a nice light blue and yellow plaid. Nothing of mine - and I mean, nothing - is touching a shelf in that FH without a layer of shelving paper. By the end of the day, I began to recover somewhat from the experience. By now, I've managed to come to terms with the reality that this is where we'll be and I'll just have to deal with it. I think we're going to be spending a lot of time outdoors and make friends with the families that live in real houses very quickly.
As for internet access, something tells me the FH is not a Wifi hot spot. I guess I'll have to make friends with the office guy, too. If that doesn't work, you might not hear from me for a while :( . Well, I'd best be getting to bed - I've got a lot of socializing to do tomorrow!