Imagine this: Your boss calls you up one day. He tells you he wants to send you on a trip of many months, pretty much anywhere you want to go to write about.
Now imagine you are a lowly intern sitting next to this guy. You can’t help but feel a bit jealous: This lucky reporter gets to travel anywhere in the world and write about it – that’s your dream!
Week after week, you read stories filed by the reporter, who starts a blog called The Wandering Jew, in a style far superior to your own from places as far and wide as Mexico, Hungary, Sweden and Israel. Every once in a while, he drops in the New York office on his way to his next exotic destination and tells an anecdote about an amusing episode with a taxi driver in Mexico City or a cool café in Budapest.
Life as an intern at JTA may not be at all bad, but it’s no party in Belgium.
But then, one day, just when you’re least expecting it, the unexpected happens. Your boss comes up to your desk with a funny look on his face and ask coyly, "How would you feel about going to Jamaica on assignment?" The Wandering Jew, he explains, is away wandering and JTA needs someone to go to Jamaica, pronto.
Resisting an urge to break into a dance you respond meekly, "Sure, I’ll go."
And so I’m off to the tropical paradise of Jamaica in the dead of winter to write about the Sephardic Jewish community that has called the island its home for the last 400 years. It’s a place of Jewish plantation owners, slave traders and even pirates (that’s right, apparently during the 17th century there were quite a few Jack Sparrowsteins!).
Call me The Wandering Jew Intern, if you will. Jamaica, here I come!