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30 May - 5 June, 2005

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drummondville - drummondville, day 1 - drummondville, day 2
victoriaville, day 1 - victoriaville, day 2-3 - teaching trip wrap-up

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victoriaville, day 2-3

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The second day of my stay in Victoriaville (technically the third, but I'm not counting the part-day when I left Drummondville with Nicole) started with me looking after Alex for the day while mom and dad were busy at work and at pre-natal class (guess who went where). We also got a visit from Julien and Angèle, who brought me an order of bread from their daughter's local bakery, "Les pains d'autrefois" - yum!

Upside-down Alex!

Julien and Angèle Allison, two radiant souls
from Danville (they're living in Asbestos now).
These two have several children, including
Geneviève (a different Geneviève, aka
Matante Gege, aka the baker), who's leaving
for a year of service in Gabon soon.

Grandfather and grandson spend
some quality time together.

In the evening, I paid a visit to Benoit, another one of the Baha'is in Victoriaville. He's currently working at an economic development organization called "La CLÉ". Oh those economic development organizations. Benoit is big into socio-economic development projects. He spent around a decade with his wife in French Guyana, and raised his kids, Oliya and Aurélien, out in the jungle.

Benoit, hard at work as usual.

The next morning was Saturday - but it was no time for cartoons. It was time to climb up onto the roof and rip it apart! Geneviève and Craig had decided to finish the long-delayed work of re-roofing their house during the weekend, and called in friends and neighbours of all stripes to help. I helped out as best I could, despite my lack of upper body strength and poor manual skills. Alex wanted desperately to climb on top of the roof to help us, but we managed to talk him out of it (for a while).

Work began early on the roof. Here, our intrepid
heroes remove old shingles and sweep up.

Meanwhile, the indispensable female contingent
worked hard to put together a scrumptious lunch
for all. Where would we be without them? At left
is Monique, Geneviève's mom.

I acted as a gofer most of the time - which means I was scooting up and down the scaffolding, bringing nails, tools, and drinks (and running after the drinks when they accidentally got knocked off the roof). It also meant I had a little time to take photos, which suited me fine.

roaming around on the roof, with lilacs.

the hills are alive with the sound of buzz saws.

Finally, at noon we called a time-out for lunch, and devoured the delicious subs prepared with care by Geneviève and Monique. Many thanks!!

Alex chomps down on a tomato.
I think he was supposed to put it
in his sandwich... Oh well.

Yours truly fetched himself a poutine. It was
delightfully greasy and must have shortened
my life span by a few days at least... Oh well.
Behind the ginger ale is Chakda, Geneviève's
brother-in-law.

Note: Another reason I got the poutine
can be found on my photoblog (also here).

lunch ambiance.

The day wore on, and we were still nailing shingles into the roof as the sun went down. It was quite dramatic. Before the day was through, Alex finally got his wish to climb up to the roof, aided by Joshua, Craig's intrepid Kiwi friend, who was driving back from Thetford Mines with his wife Tamarih, when they both decided to stop and say hello. We got off the roof, lingered with our visiting friends, chatted and reminisced - what a pleasant way to end the day.

 



teaching trip wrap-up

see blog post

The next day started with a bang (several bangs actually - they woke me up early) and work on the roof commenced posthaste with a fresh group of stalwart roofers to help with the task at hand. Today I was less available, though - I was also packing, getting ready to return to Ottawa in the afternoon.

Work progressed steadily.

Benoit looks like a handyman.

His son, Aurélien, came along too -
here he is with one of the neighbours.

Don't sit on the shingles, even if they look comfy.

Synchronized shingling.
Who says hard work isn't art?

Deep thought.

From the top of the roof, we could see clear
across town, with only the haze limiting our view.
that's the steeple of the CÉGEP at the center
of the image, in the distance.

By a happy coincidence, Sunday was the day of the Feast of Núr. Instead of spending it in Ottawa in a huge hall with hundreds of Baha'is, I spent it in the humble home of Maurice and Marcelle Turgeon - where I first lived when I arrived in Victoriaville - with a small band of devoted friends. I got to re-experience the feeling of closeness and family that permeates Baha'i gatherings in the small Baha'i communities where I used to serve. I told them a bit about life in Ottawa, and the intense pace of activity that characterizes the Baha'i community there - such a contrast, and, I hope, a source of inspiration.

Members of the Baha'i community of Victoriaville.

Before long, it was time to say good-bye. I packed a few last things, took a few final pictures, and hugs and farewells were exchanged all around.

Nice work on the roof, guys!

Waiting for the bus back home.

I really enjoyed this trip. I expected to do more - for instance, to stop by Trois-Rivières on the weekend - but I think God had His own plan for me, using me where I was needed. I mostly did home visits with the Baha'is, talking with them, encouraging them, and helping them out in little ways. I guess that was enough. I love these people.

So, it was a phat time - a great follow-up to the Young Adult Forum, too. Take an uplifting weekend in Mississauga, add a bus ticket to rural Quebec, add some prayers, a willingness to serve in whatever capacity is needed, and love for all humanity, mix it all together with the power of the Creative Word of God, and you've got yourself a recipe for an awesome teaching trip. I felt like I did nothing, but how lucky I feel to have done the nothing I did.

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browse related blog posts

drummondville - drummondville, day 1 - drummondville, day 2
victoriaville, day 1 - victoriaville, day 2-3 - teaching trip wrap-up

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return to quebec scrapbook - return to scrapbook

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graphic design, photos and text 2004 dan jones