trip to trois-rivières (2004)

day 1: Friday, 10 September

Friday afternoon, I packed up my bags and hopped on the bus to Trois-Rivières, a city of about 46 000 people (137 000 if you count the whole metropolitan area – some of which is composed of farms). I went to visit a good friend, Jeremy Barr, originally from Goose Bay-Happy Valley, Labrador. The main event, apart from the birthday of Jeremy’s brother Evan and an impromptu video shoot, was an information session to start the very first Bahá’í study circle in Trois-Rivières: Ruhi Book 1.

terminus trois-rivières

the bus depot in trois-rivières.
that’s my bus parked there.

The bus arrived at the depot in Trois-Rivières around 7 PM, whereupon I found the nearest phone to let Jeremy know I had arrived. I was tired from having (perhaps unwisely) stayed up until 3 AM the night before, playing the bag game, so I got myself some coffee (cut with hot chocolate).

café morgane

this is a coffeeshop chain that’s all over trois-rivières.

Jeremy arrived quickly, and, after fond greetings, we left to fill up his gas tank and go pick up some pizza for dinner from the grocery store. After puzzling over a broken can-recycling machine for a moment, we picked up what we needed and headed for his apartment to join up with the gang.

broken can recycler

the broken can-recycling machine…
run by a pentium 166 MHz. the sign
says “brisée” (“broken”). 

That night, a group of Jeremy’s friends from university were gathering with us to celebrate his brother Evan’s birthday… with a movie. Which movie? Resident Evil: Apocalypse (the French version, of course), which opened that day. We drove over to Cap-de-la-Madeleine, about ten minutes away, and got into the theatre with plenty of time to get good seats.

before the movie

jeremy (closest to the camera)
and a gang of his blurry friends.

The movie was good, if you like zombies sneaking up on people, biting them and getting shot in the head. The coffee I drank earlier on wore off in the movie theatre, and I dozed off at key points during the movie. Maybe that’s why it didn’t seem all that scary. Once the movie was over, the night pretty much ended for me, seeing as I was completely exhausted. Evan and friends stayed out a while longer, while Jeremy and I headed for home.

day 2: Saturday, 11 September

It was a quiet night, apart from one incident where Jeremy’s cat, Fisher, started yowling out the window at 4 AM. Once we were up, we basically rested and hung around for the whole day. Jeremy has a very busy schedule during the week, what with university courses and two jobs and all, so he takes his weekends to rest (and study).

fisher

jeremy’s cat, fisher.

I also got to see Evan, Jeremy’s younger brother. I had met him earlier in Montreal, but this was the first time I had seen him in Trois-Rivières — he moved in with Jeremy after I moved back to Ottawa. Evan’s in Trois-Rivières to complete high school. He likes the city a whole lot (“it’s more exciting than Goose Bay”). Oh, and he has a pet iguana.

alice

evan’s iguana, alice.

alice's skin

close-up of alice’s skin.

Jeremy has another roommate, Alex. Alex has quite an impressive collection of artifacts. First, there are the swords. They’re the kind of swords that make people freak out when they see them. They’re big. Alex is also a fan of Anime (japanese animation), and he owns several Final Fantasy figurines. As well, he has a definite interest in Lord of the Rings, as evidenced by several more figurines and posters.

swords and other blades

some of alex’s swords.

figurines

figurines that grace the tv cabinet
(oh, and more swords).

sup rikku

close-up of one of the figurines.

Jeremy is very good at Playstation games. Every time I come to his place he usually trashes me and everyone else in the room. So when we pulled out Smackdown, it was clear that we were in for some electronic carnage. Jeremy even showed me how to create my own wrestling character (it even looked like me). You can spot it by its bright pink socks (Evan’s idea).

getting ready for some playstation

jeremy and evan, getting ready to smack
each other down on the playstation 2.

getting pwned at smackdown

a screenshot from the game. that’s
jeremy throwing me onto the ladder.
i wasn’t much of a match for him.
note the pink socks. 

day 3: Sunday, 12 September

Sunday was a busier day. Jeremy’s friend Pascal had invited us to be extras in a movie he was producing with Alex. Why? The two of them are part of an amateur film club, and they regularly work on short films just for the fun of it. We woke up early (10 AM?) and had our breakfast.

breakfast

jeremy, starting his morning with cereal.

curly-haired mafia

curly-haired mafia?

The film was shot on location in a wooded, sandy area next to the train tracks. In fact, it wasn’t far from Jeremy’s place.

setting up the first scene

setting up the first shot of the day.

The concept of the film was: a scientist has created a powerful robot and needs a newly discovered chemical element (played by Nic, another one of Jeremy’s friends) to power it. A group of explorers sets out in search of the element, and finds it growing out of the ground.

nicodium

a hefty deposit of “nicodium”.

They dig up the precious element, and carry it off across the forest. Unfortunately, the forest is jealously guarded by armed guerrillas, who demand jelly beans as payment for the explorers’ safe passage.

ornery guerillas

pascal, in his role as head guerrilla.
evan holds a BB gun in the background.

jeremy the guerrilla

jeremy, as a guerilla henchman.

cameraman

that’s alex in the back -
he was the cameraman.

quiet on the set!

quiet on the set!

After shooting was done, we went to go get some pizza for lunch, chat, and talk about movies, film festivals, and random other topics. I really enjoyed hanging around with Jeremy’s crew – they’re funny. Most of them are fellow students at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières. Jeremy is taking a Bachelor’s program there, in primary school education. Along with the University of Sherbrooke, UQTR is one of the highest-rated schools in Canada.

pancarte, boul. des récollets

this sign, on boul. des récollets, marks the entrance
to the university campus. it’s about a five-minute
walk from jeremy’s place.

Later in the evening, we spent an hour or so at an information meeting with several Bahá’ís from Trois-Rivières who were interested in participating in a study circle on Ruhi Book 1, also known as “Reflections on the Life of the Spirit”. The meeting was at the University, in a small chapel which is often used for Bahá’í meetings. Geneviève, a Bahá’í youth from Danville, came to Trois-Rivières to participate in the meeting. She’s the current area institute coordinator for Trois-Rivières, Victoriaville, and Drummondville, so study circles here are her responsibility. She’s a baker by trade and drives a car filled with Tweety stickers.

gege et la tweety-mobile

geneviève and the tweety-mobile.

At the meeting, we talked about the origin of the Ruhi materials, about study circles and their place in the Five-Year Plan, and about how the Universal House of Justice encourages everyone (not just Bahá’ís!) to participate in study circles as a way of interacting and learning about the creative Word of God. All those present were very enthusiastic about starting the study circle, which was scheduled to start on Monday evening, 20 September, and weekly from then on. Geneviève and I were so excited that we started hopping up and down and group-hugged Jeremy.

If you’ve read my blog, you probably know why we were excited – there haven’t been regular Bahá’í activities in Trois-Rivières for close to fifteen years. It’s at times like these when all the suffering and hardship, all the hard work and sacrifice really seem worth it.

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