8 years ago Leighest 0
By Laura Kolokava
I still can’t put into words how much I wanted to go on the amazing NY Shabbaton, and missing out on this experience was one of the hardest things I had to go through. I had put a lot of effort to be able to go to one of my favorite cities, to which I haven’t been before, and that wish came true in the middle of December when I won the fourth contest to get a free plane ticket to the Shabbaton. Then, I knew I was meant to go, and I was the happiest person. Yet everything changed a month before the Shabbaton, when I had a back surgery that I had to do because I had a serious curve in my spine. I had in mind that G-D willing I would recover fast and I would have the most power to go on. During my recovery, I was getting better and better every day and I told myself, “Wow, I’m a real fighter!” And day by day, I started getting my energy back. A few days before the trip, I was probably the most energetic person you’d meet, my parents were sure I’d be able to go, but my doctor forbid me.
This trip really meant a lot for me, and like I said in my last essay that I won with, “I wanted to meet teens like me from around the world, and I actually wanted to be there with everyone. It would have meant so much to me, and it was really an experience that I couldn’t have missed.” From one hand, I’m really happy I had the surgery, because it did not only change me as a person but also changed my life for a better future, but on the other hand, today, I still have that feeling bared inside of me, knowing I didn’t go this year.
After seeing all the beautiful pictures and videos taken in New York City, I have learned a lesson that maybe everything does happen for a reason and that there will always be a next time. I would like to shoutout to Alex Clare, whom I was dying to meet but didn’t, but who knows… maybe I will one day. At this point, one thing I’m sure of is that next year I’ll be going to the Shabbaton and I will once again win a contest. Thank you so much to my leaders in Montreal, Leah Bessner and Samuel Gabbay, who have always been here for me, and to my amazing directors, Rabbi Raskin and Itta Raskin. I love you so much and I’m looking forward to the next shabbaton.
Laura Kolokava (Cote Luc, QUE)