A Christmas gift, Knowing Bonnie Lewkowicz and Paul Church.
By Farsijana Adeney - Risakotta
We will be going back to Boston . Christmas gives happiness to me because it allows me to share with the family at Berkeley . During the 10 days we were able to renew our family relations . My husband is called grandpanesia by his grandchildren . Spending time with them and the children are a blessing .
Another blessing is that I want to write about Bonnie . Bonnie and Paul are the neighbors of Rina and Glen in Berkeley . I am writing this article at Bonnie's house who invited us to stay with them during our time to celebrate Christmas here in Berkeley. Their homes is next to each other .
I remember in September 2011 when the mother of my husband died , Bonnie gave us a cake and then I tried to make it in Indonesia . The cake is made from apples , mixed with cinnamon . But this cake is not an apple pie, it is a Jewish apple tart . The cake is mixed with orange juice and walnut slices. When the cake is being cooked my kitchen smelled very nice. I made this cake for big events in my home in Yogyakarta , or for gifts.
Bonnie is a Jew who lives side by side with the Christian family , Rina and Glen and other here. I was once invited to hear the chorus of Bonnie groups , made up of Jews who were doing rehearsel before they appeared on the stage of summer festival in Solano , California . The music was very exciting, so people who could sing well at the same dance . I could not at that time make Bonnie’s invitation to watch them sing . Every year in Berkeley, during the summer there are plenty of activities for the general public , in parks and in some public spaces. One of my favorite is the Solana Stroll Street Festival . In this festival , people can dance , sing and eat . My husband and I even danced with the group Swing at a time the streets to enjoy the festival in Solano .
But one time , after Ruth 's mother was buried , I spent the whole day with Bonnie to the farmers market that took place in downtown Berkeley , CA . I was very happy to learn about the peasant movement and the responsibility of society to protect crops and locally produced production of farmers around Berkeley . In this market , visitors can buy delicious cheeses , with a variety of exotic mixture that is never sold in supermarkets . We also can feel a variety of foods that are sold cheaply, by people from different world . I remember enjoying a female musician playing violin here . We had a wonderful time there.
Berkeley and its people are very special . Many people said that Boston is the east cost of Berkeley. But both have their own beauty and strength . In Berkeley there are many powerful things emerge from society as a movement before it spread to the entire United States. The most successful movements are movements to have public accessibility to community members with disabilities. Bonnie and her husband , Paul are very militant activists to enforce the rights of community members with disabilities .
Paul, who is retiring, works at a special city government set policies related to disability . They make the streets to provide access to community members with disabilities . Bonnie and Paul's house is located on a small hill in the southern part of the city of Berkeley . From here , we went to the city center . I walked for about 25 minutes and Bonnie rode her wheelchair with no obstacles . The entire city of Berkeley has access to a wheelchair . Ramps are provided to all public buildings so that the community members with disabilities also have the opportunity to attend lectures , shoping , hospital etc by themselves .
More remarkable , is Bonnie has written several books on the accessibility for disabled people to the city parks or national parks as well so that they can enjoy the outdoor activities . For all friends who want to read her books, Bonnie gave this link where you can download them free
I told Bonnie about the mystical experience of seeing the moon surrounded by a blue circle . When we were camping with my family in our road trip from the west coast to the east coast in Grand Teton, Wyoming , which is a national park with overlooking to mountain views shaped like female breasts . Because it is called in French by a French expedition as the Grand Teton . We camped near the lake with the views of the Grand Teton . In our last night there , when everyone was asleep and our campfire already gone, I moved to our car to watch the stars . I was surprised because it was for more than two hours I saw the moon very near surrounding by the blue cycle light. I shaked my eyes with disbelief . Moon was still there in the blue circle .
Bonnie told me if had ever heard the song “ones in a blue moon” which means something unusual happens in life but it does happen . We talked each other about a lot of things that happen in our lives . Bonnie did a lot of things to defend those with disabilities . She also showed on her to test development policy discrimination to people with disabilities . Only those people with disabilities who can fight for their rights . The goal that the community paid tribute to those who are disabled .
Bonnie could drive a vehicle without having to be assisted by anyone . Her drives her wheelchair into the car and she sat behind the steering wheel with the utmost confidence . One night Bonnie told me that she was going to a party of her friend . She decided to use the car . But everyday , Bonnie is satisfied just driving her wheelchair around town.
After many years I had not met her, when we met last week, I remember to want kissing her cheek . But Bonnie said , she could raise her wheelchair so I did not have to bend down because I was wearing my body brace . Bonnie also cooked their own food . I am very impressed with the expertise of cooking including making cookies bronies which shared with Rina , when we had just arrived . Cooking and writing for Bonnie are the same beautiful.
Bonnie is cooking at her kitchen
I 've been to the house before Rina asked Bonnie to have us at her home because their homes are too crowded with other guests . When we arrived, my husband who had never been to the house Bonnie very fascinated with the art of items placed in her home . Bonnie and Paul have high artistic soul .
In the room which we live there are seven different ducks made of wood . Father of Paul was a wood artist . I told them that it was my fate to live with the ducks . For Christmas I painted a rabbit and cactus for them . Why cactus with a view of the snow ? At the front of their homes there is a cactus . But I do not know that they like rabbits . It's just my feeling alone . Then I painted the rabbit . They are very fond of . It turns out that we were in the room where there is a rabbit -shaped sculpture made of ceramic. Bonnie was glad that I did not even see the little ceramic bunny rabbit hidden there in the corner of our bedroom which we are now .
In the afternoon before the evening on the Christmas Eve, about 2 PM, Bonnie was looking for my Bernie to invite to the meeting of neighbors who were preparing to put candles called “luminaria” along the sidewalk . I was happy to go with Bonnie because my husband was not home at the time. At the meeting I could see Bonnie, a Jew who is a very soft heart of life together to build a community of mutual respect in her neighbourhood and Berkeley.
Bonnie was helping to carry luminaria around her neighbourhood
Even a small candle light will continue to shine as the power that exists in Bonnie . Thank you Bonnie and Paul to share Christmas gifts with me so that I can share with my friends in Indonesia and everywhere in the world. I am waiting for Bonnie and Paul to travel to Indonesian, because in our house , we made a ramp for wheelchairs to enter to our home. Also access for wheelchair start is available on the streets of the city in Yogyakarta. Your life is an excitement that is always shared with others so that love is always new every day . Please find out more information about Bonnie and her disability website of those who travel around California and the world Access Northern California - http://accessnca.org/ dan
Wheeling California's Coast - http://www.wheelingcalscoast.org/
Wheeling California's Coast - http://www.wheelingcalscoast.org/
I am writing to thank Bonnie , my friend who allows me to live with her and her husband to learn about how they live with lots of grace, love and compassion to share with people. Bonnie is also a dancer who created a dancing company to serve to large community around her. At the room we sleep, we set a table where I can type and paint by sitting on the wheelchair of her. She uses this wheelchair for dancing. On the profile of the Axis Dance Company, Bonnie appears using the wheelchair while dancing (http://www.axisdance.org)
She became disable when she was 15 years old after her car crashed to break her neck. Her husband, Paul also had a car accident to paralyse him. So they agree that God has plans for us because we got out from our car accident in Ventura without serious damage to our bodies. I am thanking God to have my opportunity to write about Bonnie’s story of a survival person who keeps her spirit to share her passion to others. Everything has its own time and now my time to publish this story for strengthening you all people around the world.