Between installing a mezuzah on the door of an older Jewish woman, visiting the local Jewish cemetery, and helping a couple plan for the impending birth of a baby, we somehow managed to prepare for Shabbat.

Island time is more than just a time zone; it is a way of life. We called Shabbat services for 6:30, but people began rolling in around 7:00 pm.

When around 20 or so people had gathered, all of the women lit Shabbat candles. We then sang together some familiar Jewish songs. It was incredible to see how the mood changed and the group became family, an extended Jewish family from all over the world.

After singing and clapping our way through the Friday night services, we settled down to a delicious meal. Going around the table, everyone had a chance to share a Jewish memory that they cherish. Games, Torah thoughts, and stories kept everyone laughing and singing until after 11:00 pm!

One especially moving moment was when one of the ladies at the table told everyone that this was her first authentic traditional Jewish experience. She was born to a Jewish mother and a non-Jewish father and had been raised as a devout Catholic in England. With smiles and tears, we welcomed her home.

And then we walked over two hours to our hotel room