Sholom and I settled into our seats for a quiet flight. Between us sat a man whom we both initially thought was of Italian descent. A few minutes into the flight, he removed a Russian periodical from his handbag. I inquired if he was perhaps Jewish, and sure enough, we caught a live one! We spent the rest of our flight chatting and enjoying each other's company. Between finding our luggage and arranging a car, we helped him wrap tefillin (see pic.) and exchanged contact information. He was overjoyed to receive an invitation to our Shabbat service.

After such a grand beginning, we quickly unpacked in our hotel room, bought some basic food, and headed out to meet Yaakov Attas, the Jewish community president, to introduce ourselves and exchange contacts. We were expecting an easy drive, not anticipating any adventure. The problem was that our GPS had yet to realize that we had left Brooklyn. So we resorted to the old-fashioned method of asking around. Driving around town cluelessly, we asked three people unsuccessfully for directions, and what luck, on our fourth try we met a Jew! Our new friend is from Queens, NY, and he was shocked to see two yeshiva students here in Aruba. He quickly became the fifth member of our growing Shabbat minyan. But still no directions!

Moving along, we met a local who finally informed us that it would be quite difficult to find the address that we were looking for on our own. So he offered to bike ahead, and we followed in the car (pretty cool!). On the way, we happened to pass the Conservative Temple and noticed the rabbi's car, so we set up a time to meet with him at 11 o'clock tomorrow morning. We also scheduled a time tomorrow to visit with Yaakov.

Very fulfilling day today, and looking forward to more to come...