We All Live Downstream

image image imageWelcome to the Topsy Turvy Bus 2k16 blog! The past few days have been full of updates, surprises, adventures, and hilarity that we can’t wait to tell you about. As we write this, we are back at Isabella Freedman after three programs, ten minutes of improvised theater about our experience getting stuck in a ditch, about three or four mechanic friends, and five bananaphones. A big shoutout to Adamah for the warm and loving surprise goodbye party on Beebe Hill as we were leaving, to Earth Sky Time for welcoming us for lunch on our way to Burlington, to Rabbi Jim and Wendy for their last-minute hospitality, and to all the staff of Isabella Freedman for lending us their van while we wait for our bus to be repaired.


So where shall we begin our story? It begins about an hour or two after having left Isabella Freedman, when our Topsy Turvy Bus began to rattle, kvetch, and make all manners of fuss and ruckus and would not move faster than 40 miles per hour. Our friends at Earth Sky Time pointed the way to the local mechanic, and Molly learned to explain with full detail and zest the issue with our bus (if you would like the details, or just want to learn about bellows kits, talk to her!) We managed to get the bus to our first program at Gan Israel in Burlington and ran a most exciting debut program of the summer. Songs about water were sung, smoothies were biked, water was filtered through rocks, and much fun was had by the campers of Gan Israel. We then stopped at the Ben & Jerry’s factory. Ben Cohen, who commissioned the bus, was unavailable for comment, but we enjoyed his famous ice cream and a game of Those Cows Are My Cows.


From there we began the slow drive to Southern Connecticut. Driving up a steep hill at about five miles per hour, we accrued an entourage of about twenty cars. But this was not our usual fan club of “Wow, look at that bus!” and our queen’s wave to all passers-by. This was a long row of probably frustrated drivers waiting to get through. We pulled over to let them pass, but Topsy Turvy could not pull itself out of the ditch off the side of the road. Seconds later, we noticed smoke out of the side of the bus. We grabbed our valuables– Guitars! Logistics binder! Cheddar goldfish! We waited for the tow truck and watched the horrified faces of passers-by who took us for an overturned school bus. Eventually, we got on our way, picked up the van that Elan drove to us in Western MA, and went to our next two programs in the van.


As our sages have said, when life gives you smushed bananas, make bicycle smoothies. We improvised an exhilarating play about our misadventures on the bus, starring Emily as the talking worm, Itai’s hair as algae in the water, and the smoothie bananas as the phones with which we call each other to spread the important message of protecting our clean water. Never underestimating the imagination of campers, our programs went just fine powered by water cycles and comic relief.


‘Till next time,


Emily, Molly, Frances, Itai, and Ya’akov


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