I am happy to report that the first couple days here in Connecticut have gone very well. Yossi Beenstock and I spent most of our time visiting old-age homes, which was actually pretty cool. Most of the people were happy to see us, even if we only stayed for a few minutes. We must have visited twelve or thirteen of these homes, which was A. tiring, and B. enlightening.

Sometimes it's difficult to think of things to say; after all, many of these people are in their eighties and nineties. At other times, the conversation flows, and you really feel like you're connecting. Another nice thing is that whenever we left a home, the other seniors gathered around the one we had met and wanted to know who we were and why we had come. I guess that most of these people simply don't get visited very often.

At one of the places we encountered a woman who wasn't particularly interested in the Torah thought I was saying. Mind you, it wasn't anything deep, just a cute and positive thingie about the 17th of Tammuz. Anyway, as I was wrapping up with her, a woman wheeled herself over and asked if she could listen in. I told her that of course she could, and was she Jewish? She answered me, in Yiddish, "Ich bin a Shiksa with a Yiddishe Hartz", "I'm a non-Jewish woman with a Jewish heart." Then she asked us how we would know when the messiah had arrived. She then proceeded to try to convince me that the messiah had already come two thousand years ago. I politely disagreed. We parted on amicable terms; I agreed to believe what I believe, and she agreed to believe what she believes. Still, it was nice to be at the receiving end for a change.

This afternoon we went to the Waterbury hospital and I put Tefillin on a guy who can't speak with his mouth; it didn't matter, because his eyes spoke louder than words ever could. Funny, you read a sentence like that, and think, "Man, Chanan is being trite and illogical, eh?" Funny thing is, it's the truth. He really did communicate with his eyes.

After that we stopped at a local mall and picked up a tie each from Burlington Coat Factory. I got a hot sky-blue number, while Yossi went for a more staid English-school style (as he put it) clothing accessory. Mine isn't quite as shocking and classy as my famous orange and pink ties, but it worked on the short notice provided.

With our brand new ties resting comfortably in a plastic bag in the back seat we attempted to navigate Waterbury traffic; it only took us half an hour to go two miles, which made us very nearly late for an appointment with a guy in Torrington. His Hebrew name is Mendel, if that's any help. The building his contracting company is housed in has glorious exposed brick walls and polished yet aged wood floors. In case anyone wants to build me a house, make sure there's lots of exposed brick and wood floors. Thanks.

Anyway, turns out he's a really nice guy, and we sat and talked for a while. We talked about the usual things: why we're on Merkos Shlichus, Yeshivas we've been to, the local Jewish community, his family, our families, how Chabad dates, when we're gonna date, etc. At the end he put on Tefillin, which was a great end to the day.

And that, friends, was that.