more holiday

merry christmas to those of you who celebrate it! to all the muslims in reading range, happy Eid! oh, and happy Hanukkah too, but that’s a little late. and happy kwanzaa too I guess. and shab yalda to all the persians. and happy solstice/midwinter/etc to… well, to whoever celebrates it.

i’ve been hanging around at home, resting, cleaning house, visiting family, etc. today (well, yesterday by now) I shuffled down the block to best buy and got myself a new monitor to replace my trusty rusty old apple studio display that has served me so well for eight years. oh, and a new canon powershot A570 IS.

more soon – I’ve been remiss in my blogging lately and hope to catch up at least a little before the end of the holidays.

bbq season is upon us…

[Update, Fri. Jun. 30: In case of rain on Sunday, the BBQ will be relocated, but will still be happening. Stay tuned for more updates!]

[Update, Tues. Jun. 27: If you’re coming and you want to eat, please bring your own meat (or suitable veggie options, depending on your preference)! Otherwise, we may not have enough food for everybody.]

lac philippeAs mentioned on MartinsQuest.com, Doberman Pizza is sponsoring a Canada Day weekend BBQ at Lac Philippe on Sunday, July 2nd in Gatineau Park. It’ll be an informal, unassuming gathering of friends for swimming, sports and BBQ – a great chance to socialize, meet new people, and just hang around and have fun. Previous years’ picnics at Lac Philippe have yielded immense fun and good times, and we hope that this year will be no exception.

People are encouraged to bring food, picnic/BBQ supplies, swim trunks, beach towels, volleyballs, footballs, soccer balls, and whatever else. Anyone wanting to bring big-ticket items (such as their own barbecue/grill/hibachi) or offer rides to/from the site can e-mail me and can expect lots of brownie points!

popping chips @ lac philippeWe will be driving in early (9-10 AM) to claim a spot by the beach, and lunch should start up around 12 PM. Vegetarian options will be available (strict vegans may have to bring a picnic lunch).

For more info e-mail me. Also, bookmark this site and keep visiting during the week for more news and up-to-date information.

Pour tous ceux qui pensent descendre à Ottawa pour la Fête du Canada: vous êtes les invités pour une journée informelle de nage, sport, et de barbecue le dimanche, 2 juillet au Lac Philippe, dans le Parc de la Gatineau. Amenez de la bouffe, ainsi que vos équipements de pique-nique/barbecue, de nage, de sport, etc – tout ce que vous voudrez. Nos activités au Lac Philippe ont toujours été remplies de plaisir et de camaraderie, et nous espérons continuer cette tradition.

lac philippeLa journée sera le dimanche, 2 juillet, pour donner la chance aux gens de participer aux activités estivales le samedi. Venez tôt (9h-10h) le samedi pour nous aider à garder notre place. Venez plus tard (12h) si vous ne voulez que de la bouffe 😛 Ça promet d’être une bonne occasion pour s’amuser et être ensemble entre amis, alors invitez vos amis et amenez-les!

Pour en savoir plus, envoyez-moi un courriel. Aussi, sauvegardez ce site dans vos liens favoris et retournez plus tard dans la semaine pour des infos mises à jour.

happy weekend after naw-ruz

AKA easter, otherwise known as ‘miscellaneous chocolate holiday‘. It’s been a nice, long, well-deserved, restful weekend, full of friends, spring cleaning, sleeping in, and goofing around. highlights? hung around with old high school friends from St. Peter’s — Matt D. lives across the street from me here, and we just watched movies, ordered pizza and shawarmas, and watched friends getting smoked at cards. It was all good. We finished the evening watching a homespun snowboarding video from the “Wildcats” team – that was interesting… some of it was a little outside my usual taste in movies, but the snowboard tricks were pretty wicked. r0xx0r.

Saturday we had Misagh (aka Mees) over for dinner, to the tune of phat chicken rotini and cheesecake. We chilled, talked about our experiences pioneering and doing periods of service for the Baha’i Faith, life in Zambia, and just simply conversed the whole evening. It’s amazing how similar are the stories of people who’ve done periods of service, whether in Africa, Nunavut, or Quebec. The time one spends in service is always a time of great tests and difficulties, of frustrations and pain, but invariably it’s also sublime, spiritual, invigorating and transformative. Perhaps these blessings are something we bring with us into worlds to come?

Anyway, apparently Vafa had some sort of bad movie marathon at his place that night, but we elected not to go (having myself developed a fatal allergy to the movie Starship Troopers long ago). I’m sure it was just fantastic.

Sunday, Aref and a few other people gathered at his place to wish Aram and Natalia a happy engagement. Oh yeah, in case you didn’t know, Aram and Natalia are getting married. Welcome to the 21st century.

Today, I slept in until 2 o’clock in the afternoon, because I could. It’s Easter Monday. Jesus rose from the dead so that we could stay in bed. Holla back.

Okay, I apologize if I’ve just offended the entire Internet.

This week promises to be nice and busy. Meetings basically all week, culminating in a phat day of youth activities on Saturday. I’ll post more about Saturday’s activities later on in the week, so you can know just what’s going down. Peace.

more birthday pics, and flu

so here we go: the dan jones birthday photos. the last-minute invitation for bowling at MacArthur’s Bowling Lanes turned out to be an enjoyable glow-in-the-dark free-for-all – and of course, dinner wasn’t bad, either.

argh. I was sick today. I guess it was a good day to get sick; it was pouring rain and overall very dreary. it was either food poisoning (bad curry) or a sort of 24-hour flu. whatever it was, it seems to have run its course for the most part – although I still can’t eat all that much solid food. man that sucks.

no work tomorrow. my family will probably be having a little get-together on the weekend, not so much to celebrate Christmas as to celebrate our time off. but to all those of you who celebrate Christmas, whether it be as a time for love, honour, and fellowship among men, or whether it be to celebrate the birth into this world of a Manifestation of God, well, Merry Christmas, and many more.

yaaaaaaaa

QUICK NOTE – to follow up the phatness from last sunday aft, we are meeting up to do prayer-capades again, this Sunday afternoon at 1 PM, @ Catherine & Dan’s pad in sector 9. come get your skates on. come have cookies and hot chocolate and pray in front of the fire. come in droves. let your friends know. or, if you can’t come, tell somebody else to come. and if you can’t tell somebody else to come, then God bless you.

Today has been the most insanest week (that was for you, Catherine). Lots of work coming in all at once – I guess everyone wants to get their web updates in before the Christmas holidays. One positive side-effect of the holidays is the celebratory luncheons where they give you boxes of chocolates and stress balls with smiley faces on them.

Who’s going out on vacation during the holidays? All my family are close by this year, so I’m thinking I won’t be doing many great trips. I was considering going out and visiting friends in Quebec, but I think that might be too much of a strain for me right now. Of course, the very interesting Quebec Youth Conference is in the beginning of January, down in my old digs, and I am planning on showing up there. So, what are the rest of you doing during your holidays? Are you planning on celebrating Christmas? What sort of meaning does it have for you, if any? Is it just a pleasant family get-together? A hellish stress-out and money pit? Or does it have some sort of real, living spiritual significance for you? Do you love or hate Jimmy Stewart? Are you celebrating something else instead, like Kwanzaa, or Hanukkah or (as Farshid suggested recently) Chrismukkah?

what the hey christmas holiday

chaussant ses patins...hello there people. the winter school was so great. I came back last night. I wish I could have stayed there for a week! what a cool atmosphere. it was an interesting challenge personally, and it was so fun to be around all the kids. i was asked to help facilitate a group of 13-16 year olds. it was rough at times but we made out quite well and I think the youth enjoyed themselves. it was a very different atmosphere, because there were parents involved in the process, part of the groups. everything centred around the youth, and apparently everyone loved that aspect of it. the whole school was a rousing success.

now I’m back in Ottawa, staying at my parents’ place. my mom is working today, and my dad (who is retired now) is taking it easy with us at home. we had a nice conversation this morning about the history of his family. I learn more about family history every day, and it’s helping me get a better understanding of the family’s evolution. you just need to ask and you’ll receive.

today (once we finally get going) Catherine and I are going to go downtown, do a little shopping, and meet some friends for tea. around about tea time, too. charming. (in a british accent)

I was reading a really interesting book this morning, called “To dine with the blameless Ethiopians”. it’s about the story of an african-american Bahá’í girl who decides to go to southern Africa on a year of service, and her struggles with apartheid and her own cultural identity, and her service to the Faith throughout all these difficulties. very interesting and very inspiring. I sometimes feel like I’m not doing enough in my service. and it’s true that other people have done a lot more than I have on their year of service than I have on mine. but I accepted certain conditions of life and service when I decided to go to Quebec. Quebec isn’t exactly South Africa. People aren’t really banging down your door to hear about a new religion. not that there are fundamentally different needs — everyone needs the healing message of Bahá’u’lláh — but it needs to be brought in a certain way. I guess the most important thing I’ve done is just to stay in the community, establish the local Spiritual Assembly, and offer my support and aid to the local community. I’m still thinking about this issue of finding courage, of finding that faith that moves mountains. the doubts and fears are very real, but they’re very real delusions. overcoming these delusions — that I can’t teach the Faith, that I don’t have the capacity to spread the message of Bahá’u’lláh, that I can’t live a life that’s infused with the spirit of devotion and love for His Revelation — is my challenge, and one that I am facing one step at a time. slowly I find myself gaining in courage and certitude. slowly I find myself mentioning the Faith to more and more people. slowly the seeds I plant grow, and it’s my duty to continue to water them, feed them, give them light. one step at a time, one day at a time.

anyway, I’m going to get ready to go now. I’m glad to be able to share these things with you people. And I’m not even sure who reads this. maybe a bunch of complete strangers. if so, I hope you take something good from it 😉