absence alert

so, if anybody asks, I’ll be away at the Unravel the Mysteries forum this weekend, unravelling the mysteries. I’ll be sharing a room with the dangerous combo of Martin, Vafa, Misagh and Kamran. Together, we’re kind of like a group of superheroes, except our super power is stuff like cracking jokes and doing Ruhi books and giving firesides and supporting core activities. And squealing tires. Then I’ll be out for the rest of next week visiting Drummondville, Victoriaville, and Trois-Rivières, doing a little catching up with some people, a little travel-teaching with others, and so on. I’ll be checking my email whenever I have access to a computer, but I may be less present overall until June 5th, when I’ll be coming back from Trois-Rivières. Hopefully I won’t bring back any mouse-related viruses (or any paper-related stench).

Salut la gang – cette fin de semaine je m’en vais à Toronto, et puis en revenant je vais passer une semaine dans le Centre-du-Québec et Mauricie… simplement pour retourner dans le coin et dire salut aux gens – et, si Dieu le veut, un cercle d’étude intensif du livre 1 de Ruhi à Trois-Rivières. Mon horaire a l’air un peu comme ça pour la semaine prochaine:

  • Dimanche le 29 mai: à Montréal le soir
  • Lundi le 30 mai: à Montréal le jour, à Drummondville le soir
  • Mardi le 31 mai: Drummondville
  • Mercredi le 1 juin: Victoriaville
  • Jeudi le 2 juin: Victoriaville (et les parages)
  • Vendredi le 3 juin: Victoriaville
  • Samedi le 4 juin: Trois-Rivières
  • Dimanche le 5 juin: Trois-Rivières le jour, et retour à Ottawa le soir

J’ai hâte de vous revoir… ah oui et la gang de Sherbrooke… je ne vous ai pas oublié… ça ne sera pas pour cette fois-ci, par contre, mais vous êtes les prochains sur ma liste 😉

return of the deadly haunted virus

oh crap! (mouse crap, to be exact.)

Hantavirus hits Quebec

MONTREAL (CBC) – Health authorities are dealing with the province’s first case of the deadly hantavirus. A man from Nicolet contracted the disease in a forest area just north of Trois-Rivières last year.

I’m going by trois-rivières soon, too. I guess I’ll make sure not to breathe in any mouse poop.

Lacoursière says Quebecers shouldn’t be too concerned, because precautions can be taken. The disease is carried by mice, humans can only be infected when they breathe the virus in, usually through dust containing mouse feces.

hi mom!

happy mothers’ day 🙂

It’s such a beautiful day today!!! it’s sunny, the sky is clear and blue. birds are singing everywhere. Catherine and I went for a walk this afternoon and I recorded a robin singing. Robins sing so sweetly. And they’re beautiful too. ahhh spring. hmm, did you know that we’re in the middle of the Baha’i month of Beauty? The Baha’i Calendar consists of 19 months of 19 days, all of which are named after attributes of God. We’re currently in the third month: The month of “Jamál”, the Arabic word for “Beauty”. There’s a whole song that we use to remember the names of the months.

That reminds me, I have to prepare for my time off at the end of this month. I’m taking a week off at the end of May, and I’ll be going to visit my peeps in Quebec. Holla back. It’s been a while since I’ve been back to visit, so this’ll be a well-deserved time to plug back in with my old friends up there.

Oyez, oyez: C’est exact, je vais retourner au Québec pour un bout vers la fin du mois de mai et début juin. J’aimerais bien passer voir tout le monde. C’est dommage que je n’aie pas plus de temps pour faire tout le grand tour… pour le moment j’ai l’intention de passer par Trois-Rivières, Victoriaville et Drummondville. Si je peux bien planifier tout mon temps, ça se peut que je passe aussi par Sherbrooke. En tout cas, si vous voulez arranger quelque chose, faites-moi signe et on se jasera ça. Ça me ferait trop plaisir de revoir autant de monde que possible!!!

spring is in the air

hi all. hope you’re all doing well on this lovely morning. the sunlight is quite beautiful this morning; opposite me right now is our east window where the glory of sunrise plays out each and every morning in divine hues of bold yet muted reds, sober oranges, and timid yellows melting into a quiet sea of calm blues. in the mornings the sun casts shadows through the trees and fills our house with shifting, branching lines that creep slowly down the walls and across the floor, until they finally disappear at sunset. today is day 18 of the Fast, so once again, no food or drink from sunup to sunset. I’m looking forward to breaking the Fast tomorrow night – this year’s fast seems to have been more difficult for me – but I know I’ll miss this time when it’s gone. the Fast gives us a taste of detachment that our otherwise complicated lives rarely afford us.

Tomorrow night, the Baha’is of Ottawa will be hosting their annual Naw-Ruz party, a celebration to mark the Baha’i new year and the spiritual rebirth that follows the month of fasting. Everyone’s looking forward to that (especially to the kebab). Just imagine a night full of music, dancing and revelry, good cheer, getting dressed up in your best duds, and eating enough Persian food to make you pop, just because you can – and waking up without a hangover the next morning. And no silly ball to drop in Times Square. Damn I love Naw-ruz.

It was three years ago, on Naw-ruz 159 B.E. (Baha’i Era; 2002 AD) that I first stepped out of the comfortable coccoon of complacent city life and began my journey of change on a year of service in Victoriaville and Drummondville. There was a blinding snowstorm that day, and still I lumbered on through the snow from Ottawa to Victoriaville in my Dad’s worn-out old Mazda 626 to begin the transition to a new life. I blogged about it one year later and reflected on the many trials and pitfalls that awaited me in the year that followed.

The process of change, progress and transformation has continued since then, as it will no doubt continue to. To be very honest, the past few years presented me with so many tests and trials that I was beginning to lose it. Eventually I had to come back to Ottawa to safeguard my health (mental, emotional, physical, spiritual – the whole kit). But once I did come back, divine confirmations began to kick in once again. And perhaps since that time I stepped back into the boundaries of this multiply-blessed city, the greatest change and the greatest transformation has begun. Not to sound prosaic or anything, but this is surely the bounty of God, a proof of the power of His confirmation and of the living waters of His mercy. I can’t thank or praise God enough for what’s happened in my life. Not particularly for the good times or the bad times – but for the change, the opportunity to grow, to become a little bit better than I was yesterday.

So happy new year all you peeps. many big ups and shout outs to all of my crew in the OT, in MTL, Gatineau, the Heart of Quebec, around the nation and across the planet. Kind thoughts and best wishes to a particular friend of mine who’s getting married today in Drummondville. Que votre union soit une lampe qui éclairera les ténèbres avec la puissance de la lumière divine. Meilleurs souhaits et Allah’u’abha.

Enfin, pour traduire en quelques mots, mes meilleurs souhaits à tous mes amis au Québec (et oui, même ceux qui ont déménagé mais qui sont encore là en esprit), et un très joyeux Naw-ruz à vous tous. Comme toujours, je vous aime et je pense à vous. Je ne suis pas trop présent de ces jours-ci mais vous restez dans mes prières tout le temps. Mes amis de Montréal, de Québec, de Sherbrooke, Drummondville, Victoriaville, Warwick, Trois-Rivières, Thetford Mines, Rimouski, Lanaudière, l’Outaouais, la Rive-sud, bref, de tout partout, je vous souhaite un merveilleux nouvel an. Je suis content qu’on soit amis et je suis content d’avoir partagé avec vous une partie de vos vies. Qu’on se revoit bientôt en circonstances des plus joyeuses 🙂

(PS: hé sam… sham… ou donc est passé samnsham.com??? faites pas la fugue là…)

ahhh rss victo!

Pour ceux qui connaissent le format RSS, vous allez flipper: les petits Hebdos Transcontinental ont maintenant des flux RSS. Ça veut dire, mettons, qu’un Ti-Jean n’importe-qui ayant accès à l’internet (moi, par exemple) peut lire les Actualités de Victoriaville dans La Nouvelle, ou celles de Drummondville dans L’Express, ou même celles de Bécancour et Nicolet dans Le Courrier Sud, sans y habiter — et même sans visiter leurs sites web! À l’aide d’un lecteur RSS (j’utilise présentement FeedReader), les manchettes apparaissent sur votre écran à mesure qu’elles sont publiées. Ayoye! En vérité, je trippe!