by: Blessy Varughese
Our second day of work is complete! Just in two days of working in the cemetery we have gotten so much done. At least 3/4th of the fence has been put up and a lot of the stones have been put up. It is crazy to believe already that from the first day of seeing the cemetery and now how so much has changed. Majority of the day I was helping out with the fence. We first sanded the part of the fence where the fences were welded together then painted over them and from this I created a bond with the people who were also helping with the fence as well as a lot of teamwork was involved that we were able to figure out a system on how to get this fence done efficiently.
Even though I was not helping upright the stones and clearing them off I still felt like the fence was a very important part of this restoration project. As people drive by the cemetery, the first things they will see are the beautiful black iron fences and just by noticing these fences will show that there is a cemetery there specifically a Jewish cemetery. Also, the fence will help keep trash out. When we first saw the cemetery as we were walking around the perimeter I would see plastic and glass bottles all around as if people were passing by and not even noticing there was even cemetery located there is unbelievable.
During apart of the day I had the chance to help with the stones. From the day before, the students who gave us a tour of their school also joined us today to work in the cemetery was a great experience to work with them in their own community. There was one grave that I worked on that was split in three parts. The stone was extremely heavy and large in size. I could not believe we were able to find the parts of this one stone but being able to see the stone put together was a great feeling especially doing it together with everyone. Although at the end of the day, we completed so much and I am so proud of everyone of their hard work even though we are working in direct sunlight at times or having fire ants crawling up our socks and pants but I am looking forward to completely upright the stones and clean up the rest of the cemetery perimeter.