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Rachelle "Sakti" Sarfati

Raised in Brooklyn, Sakti Sarfati rode the subway to Hunter College High School on the Upper East Side. She majored in psych at SUNY Stoneybrook, except for junior year at the UO. "My boyfriend and I drove out," she says. "We went to Dead shows and National Parks." She came back to Eugene two weeks after graduation in 1989, on her way to a five-year travel adventure to Hawaii, India, and Southeast Asia. On her return, she entered an International Studies graduate program at the UO. She also got pregnant, had a son, Ami, and became a single mom. She spent seven months in Bangladesh on a Fulbright grant, but returned after 9/11. "I realized I couldn't raise him on my own in a foreign country," she says. She graduated, found work as a stage hand in Eugene and in New York, volunteered with a documentary film company, and began to study video production at LCC. She was filming a freight train near her Whiteaker home in 2011. "I didn't hear the Amtrak train," says Sarfati, who was hit, spent five days in the hospital, and suffered nine months of vertigo. She recovered and graduated from LCC in June, as did Ami at South Eugene High. He flew off to his first year of college at NYU's London campus. She will train as a Cascade Hospice volunteer in October, and later will train volunteers to record legacy videos for patients' families.

happening people

photograph and story by Paul Neevel

Eugene Weekly / 12 September 2013

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