To complement walking, swimming is one of those activities on the top of the list. A most pleasant person from Stratford, Jaya Gopal, picked me up from the big city to bring me to Lake Couchiching, one of three clean and tame lakes in the Orillia area. Now that was super sweet, however, the real purpose of the day was to partake in Orillia’s first Ratha Yatra festival. Done in downscale-style, the deities of Jagannath were set in the backseat of a van, and then driven to dozens of recipients, mostly young families with a background from Gujarat, who were very enthusiastic in this endeavor. They reciprocated, not only by waiting in their front yards for the deities to arrive, but were prepared with fruit, sweets, pooja trays with ghee lamps, cash donations and big smiles.
The driving about went on for hours and it was so exhilarating to see the response. Our final visit was to the home of a Patel Motel, where delicious Gujarati preps were consumed by the organizers, Nimai Nitai, Jaya Gopal, Vyasacharya, and my humble self, your servant.
It came to mind, amidst the process of meeting all these people, with mostly younger children, that how imperative it is that we set up educational facilities and not miss a generation of great potentials. Their parents can also benefit tremendously from Sunday school opportunities, worship and lessons from the Bhagavad-gita.
I managed to get some trekking in, which was done in the darkness, as our drivers were finishing up their late night meal.
May the source be with you!