Eden Village Camp & Friends Send the Teva Topsy Turvy Bus South! Live Update from I-95

Greetings Earthlings! This is Jonah, from Eden Village Camp, and the Teva Topsy Turvy Bus Tour! We are currently cruising on I – 95 out of the live oak and spanish moss lined promenades of the fair city of Savannah Georgia, where the weather is migh-tee-fine. Shabbos is coming, and the challah dough is rising in our little topsy turvy kitchen. Meanwhile, Noah is centrifuging a fresh score of waste vegetable oil. We’re on a roll, having just finished up a rocking series of programs in Raleigh, N.C. where we were featured in a full color spread in the city’s newspaper: making solar ovens from recycled materials, learning to about worm composting, and grokking how our upside bus is powered by waste vegetable oil from restaurants!

I want to share an excerpt from our daring Jewish Ecological Masterpiece Theatre, wildly acclaimed by elementary day school students across the South. The scene is this: Adam and Eve in Gan Eden, enjoying the incredible Edible Forest Garden:

God: A long, long time ago, in a garden far, far away…

{Adam and Eve play tropical paradise ukelele and flute music.}

Adam: Mmmmm, I’m telling you, Eve, this is the life! Almonds, grapes, pomegranates, apples …and figs…, I can’t believe all this food just grows on trees!

Eve: You said it, Adam. Which bountiful flowing river do you want to go swimming in this afternoon? My favorite is the Pison, with all that gold glittering on the banks…

G!d: Adam! Eve!

Eve: Whoa, what? Adam, did you hear that? What was that booming voice?

G!d: I am Hashem! I am the source of life! I… created you!

Adam: Created!?! Well. Why are talking to us? We’re just people.

G!d: JUST people?! You are the whole shebang! You’re IT with a capital I! You’re the last piece in this whole STORY!

Eve: Great. ‘Cause he really needs the ego-boost.

Adam: Wait, what do you mean, what story?

G!d: Let me tell catch you up on some recent developments. In the beginning, there was nothing. With a capital N. The Void. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Tohu Vavohu.

Adam: Really? But just look at this place now. Its poppin!

Eve: Ohhh yeah. I think I’ve heard this story before…

G!d: In the beginning the world was empty and without form, until, I created light and dark. V’yomer elokim – yehi or, v’yehi or…Then I split the ancient waters above and below, adamah v’shamayim, creating the earth and the skies…and it was gooooood.

Out of the nothingness, I imagined LIFE, creatures that grew in cool forms, grass and flowers and tall trees that grow and make more of themselves!

I gathered the light into galaxies and supernovas, quarks and planets and black holes, and globular clusters that shine through the darkness. And I created the moon and the sun, the source of energy for all life.

G!d: Then, from the waters, I brought forth more life! The waters teemed with slinkers, sinkers, floaters, bobbers, swimmers and chompers. And then I created creatures of the air. {Children toss various stuffed animals onstage, laughing uproariously} And in the air zoomed soarers, gliders, screechers, circlers, drifters, and laughers. And then on the land walked even more creatures! There were sneakers, stompers, slitherers, leapers, bounders, racers, hoppers and so many more.

Each kind of creature walked, swam, or soared in its own way, and was able to make more creatures just like itself. Each creature thrived as part of the food chain, each was adapted to its own unique environment, and each had its own special gift. Each had its place in the circle of-


G!d: {cuts him off} please let me finish. and it was goooooooooooood. And then, Adam, I created you and I created Chava – Eve – and it was veeeeeery good.

Adam: It sure is… But, why are we so important? I mean, We’re not as big as that mountain or as bright as that star.

Eve: We’re not as fast as that cheetah, or as mighty as that tree! Why are we the final piece to this whole story?

G!d: You are the final piece because I have given you the ability to think , to be aware of the life around you and the choices you make.

Eve: Be aware huh? How about being aware of my feelings once in a while… (interrupted by adam)

Adam: You mean it’s all for me?! I can do whatever I want with it? I can chop down trees? I can use llamas as

pillows? I can play soccer with chickens? {BukkAAAAWWW! Adam kicks one of the animals} Ch-ching! Who let the dogs out! Oooh Ooh Oooh. {Adam grabs an apple from the branches of tree, takes a bite, throws it behind him.}

Eve: Not only did you just interrupt me, Adam, you also just created the first piece of garbage in the world!

{…and scene….}

Adam and Eve go on to discover their SACRED MISSION! L’ovdah u’l’shomrah! To work in service, and to protect the land! In the process, participants in our program are introduced to the the basics of ECOLOGICAL DESIGN, learn how to KEEP IT IN THE CYCLE, and explore how they can BE THE CHANGE by making decisions to positively impact the environment.

…For more Jewish Ecological Masterpiece Theater, stay tuned to www.topsyturvybus.org and see when the Teva Topsy Turvy Bus Tour, is coming to an area near you. And for more cuting edge Jewish ecological education including our groundbreaking farming and wilderness based summer programs for ages 8 through 18, be sure to check out edenvillagecamp.org. In closing, I want to share a photo collage of EVC campers stretching their minds, and turning their thinking upside down, from last summer’s Topsy Turvy Bus Program at Eden Village Camp.

And as they say here, down south, remember to keep it between the mayo and the mustard….

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