6 October 2006

We didn't take any pictures today. I got up early to meet Sam Kaufman and head to the airport to pick up two of our US cousins, Judy and Liz Ruby. Judy's brother Leo and his wife, Martha, are arriving later. We spent the afternoon hanging around the hotel resting for another late evening.

The evening started with Friday night services in the synagogue. The place was packed to a standing room only condition. A lot of synagogues in New York would love to have that kind of attendance. The service here, unlike conservative and reform services in the US, is almost entirely in Hebrew with just a few Spanish prayers. It is a lovely service with a lot of singing. After services, we headed to the Kaufman home for dinner. We had 12 members of the Chilean family plus one boy friend and six US Cousins around the table for a big dinner. The dinner didn't end until quite late and we didn't get back to the hotel until 1 a.m. Although they don't always have such large meal every night, I don't know how the Chileans can survive these late evening meals. I don't think my stomach can handle it for more than a few days.

7 October 2006

No sleep for the weary (or overstuffed). We had to leave the hotel by 8 a.m. and did not get the amount of sleep we felt necessary for us. This morning was the big day for Aron Kaufman, his Bar Mitzvah, the main reason we were in Chile at this time. The service was not as packed as last night's, but still a very good turnout. Having been to more than a few Bar Mitzvahs, I have to say that he performed better than most. He was very confident in himself and it showed. Following the services, the family (17 cousins, one grandmother and two boyfriends) went to lunch at a neighborhood restaurant (eating again).

At this point I needed a little rest to compensate for the diminished sleep we had since we left New York. It was not to be because Susie decided we needed to go back to Los Domenicos to buy some gifts. It was a relatively short trip and we did manage to get some rest before heading for the evening' festivities.

The party for Aron took place at the Jewish Community Center. This place has very high security system. Members with magnetic ID cards and their guests are permitted. Vehicles enter through a double gate. At the first gate the car is searched (including using a mirror to check the undercarriage). Once you clear this barrier, the ID card is required to open the second gate (I followed one of my cousins in). The Jewish School and the Synagogue also have tight security. The reason for all of this security is that terrorists blew up a Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires a number of years ago and this security is the result.

The cocktail hour started at 9 p.m. It was followed by a long dance session before the appetizer was served. Another long dance session took place before the main course was served at abut 11:30 p.m. We both tried to limit our food intake fearing that we may return home looking like blimps (at least me). We left at 12:30 a.m., skipping dessert. We had to leave the Hotel by 6 a.m. for our flight to Punta Arenas.