Flashback to two hours ago! Catherine (my sister), Jessika (a baha’i youth from Drummondville) and I are in Victoriaville, finishing up a successful session of our Ruhi Book 2 study circle at Gaëtane’s place. It’s been raining hard since about 5 PM and it’s only let up just now. We’re a little out of it. We notice two fire trucks down the street where we parked. We wonder what’s going on, seeing no fire, but we press on, leaving the fire fighters a wide berth. We pop over to pick up Jessika’s mom, who was visiting a friend while we were off doing Ruhi. We drive off, taking a detour through the downtown, and then turn off to take the river road. Once we get onto the river road (boul. Jutras) we notice a yellow flashing light on a truck by the riverside. A guy with a camera seems to be filming something in the river. We fail to put two and two together, and leave Victoriaville with no further incidents. When we get home, we see on the news channel that the Victoriaville area has just fallen victim to serious flooding: the water in the river is way high, several bridges are out, major roads are closed (though not the road to Drummondville). (article 1 [français], article 2 [english]) Panic and freakiness. No deaths or injuries reported, though. At least until some wise guy decides to lean too far over the bridge while watching the floodwaters and then falls in and drowns himself. whoa. Man, I love being a passerby to news (as long as nobody gets hurt).
Catherine is staying around with me for a couple of days after having participated in our lovely weekend of fellowship and prayer and board games. Oh yeah, I promised you people a wrap up of that. Flashback to Friday, August 1st.
At around 3 PM, me and Jessika drive off to meet Catherine and David Fauteux in Trois-Rivières. We’re there to celebrate the 19-day Feast with the Baha’is there. We’ve only managed to drum up two Baha’is, but they’re glad to be there and appreciate the effort we put in to celebrate with them. We say prayers, sing songs (with me playing guitar badly), chat, ask questions, play games, eat and drink (nonalcoholic beverages). It’s an educational experience for me, seeing as I was recently asked to serve as area coordinator for the Institute Board of Quebec in my home cluster (Centre-du-Québec) and the Trois-Rivières cluster (Mauricie). I finally get to hear a little about the history of the Baha’i Faith in Trois-Rivières. My parents came by Trois-Rivières a long time ago, during the sixties I think, to teach the Faith. I don’t think they ever came back. Different people have come and gone since then and different things have happened, and this opportunity gives me a chance to get the low-down on who’s still there, and what’s really going on right now. In the evening we return, bringing Jeremy Barr (a youth pioneering to Trois-Rivières for his university studies) with us, and nearly getting run off the road by a mack truck. We all arrive safe and sound. I don’t get much sleep that night because I’m not used to other people sleeping in my room with me.
Saturday, August 2nd. I wake up around 8 AM to the sound of Dave getting busy. I wake up again around 8:30 when the radio goes off. Jeremy follows soon after. We celebrate the 19-day Feast again in Drummondville, at France and Jessika’s house (France is Jessika’s mom). We celebrate outside. Étienne, one of the neighbour kids, joins us for prayers and readings (since we asked him not to play basketball while we were having prayers). The spiritual portion ends and he goes back to busting out his skills. All are impressed. We discuss a little bit of news about things scheduled to happen in the next little while, and then continue on to have a scrumptious picnic with bread, cheese, scalloped potatoes, noodle salad, garden salad, and various other tidbits. We bang on some drums afterwards, and then play a couple of games of pool. I get trounced the first time, and then I miraculously beat both Jeremy and Étienne at a pool variation called Killer. A bit later, Dave shares with us all about his experience becoming Baha’i. The neighbour kids are with us and ask some questions about what all this Baha’i stuff is. Dave explains, but doesn’t go too far since we’ve just realized that we didn’t even get the parents’ permission for their kids to be hanging around these Baha’is while they’re having someone over to talk about his Faith. To be sure, we ask them and they see no problem with it, noting that the kids would have ended up asking questions anyway.
[More later… gotta get on with the day!]