Thursday, 12 January 2017

Sunday, January 8th, 2017

Port of Spain, Trinidad

The Special Stone

When you are a monk, people offer you gifts.  While in Montreal recently, I was given one.  On the outside of the plastic pocket it read, “Akhavan—Natural Volcanic Pumice Stone.”  Inside the clear plastic was a handsome, pitch-black pumice for scraping off dry, dead skin from the bottom of the feet.

How thoughtful and unique a gift!

At airport customs, it appeared somewhat irregular on the screen.  “Is this yours? the officer asked, segregating my orange-coloured piece of baggage from the other, less eye-catching ones owned by passengers.  He inspected it, approved it and I was on my way to Trinidad.

In Port of Spain, at customs, I received a bit of trouble again.  My filled-out form was complete, but they wanted a contact number where I would be staying in the country.  The directory book, a Bhaktivedanta Book Trust publication which I carried, did not include a phone number for the Longdenville temple.  To use the slang, “I was skunked.”

The female official was quite formal about it.  Straight-faced, she demanded “a contact.”

“We can look it up.  Do you have a phone directory?  God’s my contact.”

“We don’t have one.  Ask an agent in the airport.  Next….

Fortunately a nice man, an official, looked up the number on his phone and I breezed through.  There at the arrivals was my dear friend, Agnidev, the well-known bhajan singer.  It was good to see him.  It was good to get my feet on the ground.  I can’t wait to use my pumice stone.

May the Source be with you!

4 km

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