Less than 2 weeks ago I spent 3 days in Chili by the Permans. Mrs. Chaya Perman, Shlucha in Santiago for 28 years, invited me to come sing for the women in her community. Although I don't have any pictures of my trip I want to describe the night of the concert and the hospitality of the Perman ladies (the mener were in CH for the kinnus). I landed morning time and went straight to the Perman's home where I was greeted by the smell of fresh, home made grilled cheese sandwiches. (Diet officially over.) From the moment I entered their home I was no longer in a strange country but in a familiar and comfortable haven. I told Chaya "I traveled for so many hours only to come back home!" The Perman home is filled with Judaica and Lubavitch chotchkes and pictures and the Perman sisters are typical Bnos Lubavitch, speaking Yiddish between each other (with a smattering of Spanish here and there understandably!) The atmosphere was heimish and inviting and I was so comfortable by them even though I had never met them before. I rested up on Sunday then met a delightful girl named Ariella who took me around the neighborhood a bit for some touring and shopping. Tuesday morning I had a grand tour of the Chabad house. I cant fully describe the beauty of the building so I'm going to post a picture of it. The building is a 4 sided 770 complete with a gorgeous preschool, 2 magnificent women's mikvehs and more than one full size industrial kitchens where they prepare the lavish and delicious food for their various events. Of course, most beautiful was the Shul itself, so grand and luxurious. It was all awesome in short.
The day of the show the Chabad house was a whirl of activity with a staff of cooks preparing the food and the sound people setting up video screens and speakers in both halls. The tables were set gorgeous with tons of food hot and ready to go out. About 150 women filled the Chabad house, chatting away in Spanish until dinner was served. I'm sorry I can't tell you more about the speeches but it was clear Rebbetzin Perman's words are soaked up based on the quiet in the room while she spoke. Later in the evening following a brief introduction about music, I was on. Slideshows played throughout the night, and through my broken Spanish (I actually told them "Tu Casa es Mi Casa"-Your house is my house!" I communicated as much as I could leaving the rest to the music. The women danced, sang, laughed and cried with me and I took in every moment I got to spend with these Jewish women, now my sisters for life. I'll post a little more on my thoughts later; Yaffita (her new spanish nickname) is crying.