As winter approaches and the days become shorter, reliable light becomes even more essential. Jews celebrate the Festival of Lights with the onset of Chanukah, the holiday where we light candles for each of eight days. I was delivering solar suitcases to health care facilities this month, and spent the first days of Hanukah in Nigeria. I was taken under the wing of my Nigerian Muslim friends who were eager to learn about this Jewish tradition. We made an impromptu menorah out of a watermelon, lit candles together, and sang songs. I told the story of Hanukah, and together we ate fried foods to celebrate the significance of the oil that lit a lamp for eight straight days so many years ago.
Upon my return to the States, the festivities continued. My Berkeley neighbors organized a special Chanukah party to honor the work WE CARE Solar is doing. We ate piles of mouth-watering latkes (fried potatoe pancakes), came together to light all eight candles of a magnificent metal menorah, and enjoyed tales and slides from my recent trip abroad. The solar suitcase was on display, and was the only light in one of the main rooms of the house. The hosts of the party – Ilinisa Hendrickson and Josh Sperry – organized the event because they realized light is such an essential part of this holiday as well as the WE CARE Solar mission. Between the moving interfaith Hanukah in Nigeria, and the warm, supportive celebration in California, this has been one of the most wonderful holidays of all.
Along with the rest of the WE CARE Solar Family, I wish all of you a wonderful holiday season – with health and happiness for your family and loved ones. Thank you for your support over the past year and for helping us to bring a little more light into the world.
(To read more about our recent work in Nigeria, please see “Laura’s Blog.”)