Climate Against Humanity // Jay Goda: The Golden House


Good afternoon, beautiful people. It’s nice meeting all of you. My story stems from my experience with climate change. It actually follows with what you guys were talking about, buying a home. May I ask where you’re from? Actually,


I’m from California and she’s from the New York area.


I’m from Boston. Not that I had a choice to come to South Florida. I came as a kid, so I was kind of dragged down here. But I did buy a house, to answer your question, and here’s why. When I first bought this house, at the time, I was looking … One thing, the market is brutal out there. It’s like, every week you’re out there looking for a home. And at that time, I was practically about to give up. I was just like, “I’m done with this months of searching. I’m not going to find the home for me.”


And then I went to this house, and in this house, the backyard, the way it’s set up, all the neighbors had a fence. The neighbor on the left, the neighbor on the right, the neighbor right across. But this house did not have a fence. But because they had a fence, this house was fenced. And then I noticed that the sun was setting and I’m in the backyard. I was like 5:00 PM and the realtor was like, “What do you think of this house?” And I was like, “In my head, I’m thinking, I feel like I’m home.” Yeah, I really thought that. But then at the time, when I was about to put in the offer for the home, I noticed that the price was beyond my range. So now I was just like, “Oh man, I guess it wasn’t home.


So then I went searching again. I couldn’t find a house, so I was about to just give up. And then I thought to myself, “No, I think that was my home. I think they made a mistake.” So yeah, I really thought that. So, I actually had my realtor contact my lender. She did the numbers again and she actually said, “Yeah, I actually did a mistake. Yeah, the numbers were wrong. This is how much it really is.” I was just like, “Put in an offer right now.”


So I put in the offer, I got the house and I thought I felt amazing up until I woke up the next morning. Now the way my door is set up, mind you, the sun was sitting in the backyard, in the front yard, I have this peep hole. I’ve never had a door like that where there’s a little crack on the window. So when I woke up, I thought someone broke into my house. I thought the door was open, because there was so much light streaming in. It was shocking me. So, I ran out of my room like, “Ooh, what’s that?” Come to find out, it was the sunrise coming in, coming through the peep hole. My house was literally golden yellow. It was all gold. I was just like, “Is this real?” I went and grabbed my camera just to record this moment in time. I felt so blessed. I was just like, “Oh, this is home.”


Fast forward, and I’m a educator. I’m a teacher. Because my backyard gave me this sunset, I literally would make sure the kids left when the bell rang, so I can go home and sit in my backyard. I was not kidding. If the bell rang at 3:50, by 3:45, I’m like, “You still haven’t packed up? What’s going on?” Like, “Hello, come on. The bell’s going to ring. You leave, I leave. What’s up? Let’s go.” So, by the time the bell rang, I am in my car, rushing home. And I have a son, too. So, I would pick him up, and I would really hate when his teachers want to have a discussion when I’m picking him up. I’m like, “Not today.”


And don’t let it be daylight savings. Oh no, because now I’m going to have an issue with you, because now I have less sun. So, I’m looking at the time and I will always make sure I rush home. That sun gave me more than just vitamin D. It gave me the big D, not that D. It gave me discipline. It gave me determination. I felt inspired. I would go outside, do my writing. I started picking up photography. I actually bought a professional camera, just so I could capture these moments in nature. And I went ahead, and that’s when I really started doing my public speaking. I just felt like I came out of my shell.


I bought my house two years ago, mind you. Fast forward now to 2022. Ask me if I go outside. I just came outside to come here. I have not been outside all day because it’s that hot. What once was a muse, a sanctuary for me is now a sauna. My house, that streaming light is no longer … It’s more like, “Wake up, it’s hot.” And I’m like, “Okay, I’m hot. I’m going to wake up.” And I wake up because it’s hot. And even if I turn the air conditioner, the sun is rising in the front and it’s sitting in my back. So, I’m experiencing all that heat to the point where my son doesn’t even want to go outside and play. He went outside for five minutes today and I’m like, “You done?” He’s like, “Yeah, it’s hot.” And I’m just like, “Yeah, I know I’m hot too.”


And because it’s so hot, I’m not doing my writing as much. I’m not doing my photography. Actually, my camera started collecting dust. It was very devastating, because it got to the point where I wasn’t rushing home anymore. Even this summer, it was like, I’m in. It wasn’t like outdoor summer. No, no, no. It was none of that. It was indoor, A/C. And that’s where I feel like climate change is affecting us where what once used to be a ray of hope and sunshine, is now like, “Get the umbrella and avoid the scorching heat.” So, I wanted to know my question to you all, have you ever had like what you were saying, experiences where what once was a glorious moment has become the complete opposite for you?

Climate Against Humanity is Vizcaya’s first-ever story sharing event. We’re bringing people from all over our community to tell their personal stories about how climate has impacted their lives. Click in and listen to local’s stories about their experiences with the climate impact. The idea is to converse with people who might be different from ourselves and to understand the implications of this global happening on individuals within our community. In sharing and listening, we create a more solid bond with Miami and with each other.