Anotherbuilding

A few days before she is set to leave the country, a young Jewish woman, Chaya Montsanto, against the wishes of her mother and grandmother, says farewell to Suriname in her own unique way. Unbeknownst to her grandmother and mother she flees the house at night. When her mother and grandmother find out she is gone, a search is set in motion, but the night is long and dark and it is hard to get out of the city without preparations. This is also the Sabbath. The mother and grandmother argue and reflect while their child ventures out with her friend to the tropical Amazon rainforest and the ruins of the place her ancestors made first Jewish settlement: Joden Savannen. When Chaya and her friend get lost on their way back home, they end up staying in a Saramaccan (Maroon) village where she participates in rituals and receives blessings before venturing back out into the rainforest. They take the canoe along the river back to Paramaribo. In the end, Chaya and her friend return safely, just in time for her ritual Mikvah bath and a traditional Jewish farewell ceremony in the synagogue. Her quest for the inclusion of all that makes her a Surinamese Jew has not been useless. Her family has allowed her friends to attend both the ceremony and party afterwards, including the neighbors from the mosque next door who all await her when she steps out from the synagogue in to the plaza that connects the two buildings.