Recently I joined the newly formed Toronto group of the Friendship Force (www.friendshipforce.org)
, a non profit cultural exchange organization since 1977 promoting friendship and goodwill through a home stay program. Most recently, I joined the group for a dinner held for people from elsewhere, including four women from Egypt and 15 or so from the USA. The American group that pulled the larger number together was from Connecticut. It was a fun evening with much camaraderie when I learned more about our visitors as well as the way the group works. Both as host and as traveler.
The next day, a member of the Toronto group gave a tour of Ward's Island (involving a ferry ride to get there) and invited us back to his place before we went to dinner at the Rectory, a charming restaurant on the water on Ward's. Some of us sat out on the porch and the rest at a table under the stars. Or the sun before the stars came out. I had the pleasure of chatting with a number of people, including a man from Virginia, Roger Dickinson, whose sister in law shares my name. He bought my novel to take back for her. A keen reader in the group, Sue Reiter, also wanted a copy. I don't often take books to events like this, but I thought Roger would be interested, as he was. And Sue wanted an autographed copy also, so I took one
to the desk at her hotel (as prearranged) the next day while she was out touring in Toronto.
Prior to this particular weekend of hosting folks from Connecticut (who were staying with hosts when they went north to North Bay, but had caught the Toronto group on a long weekend when many were away), we met out in the west end and had a mural walk on Dundas Street West before eating dinner at a pub.
|The aftermath of Hurricane Hazel. Mural in west end Toronto|