Child Haven gala fundraiser

A few weeks ago, a friend asked me to go to a gala fundraiser at the new Ottawa Congress Centre. It looked pretty swanky and I was concentrating on what the heck I was going to wear to it that I forgot yo look at what organization the fundraiser was supporting. It was only after my friend mentioned the son of someone I know quite well that it occurred to me that the organization was Child Haven. I checked, and sure enough it was. The odd thing was that I had decided that I was going to go out to Maxville today to drop off some cheques to Child Haven for amounts I had raised at my birthday which I had announced that people could donate to Child Haven instead of giving me a card or a present.

Quite apart from having to make the trip all the way out to Maxville, it meant I could give my cheques in at the gala and also be able to make further donations by buying at the silent auction.

Last year at the event at Tudor Hall (it’s a conference hall that has nothing to do with the Tudors and doesn’t even look like a Tudor building – though we were joking this evening that it is the site of Ottawa’s only Tudor jousting ground), I spent a fair amount of money and bought quite a few things, including a wonderful wool rug with a “flayed Man” design which is a common motif in Buddhist iconography. This year I put my name down on a six items, I think, in the silent auction. I let two go because people I knew were bidding against me. I ended up with 4 other items, two of which I was the only bidder on, and two where others had bid against me. One of those I had to snatch the bid away in the last 30 seconds of the auction.

I ended up with these items…

Lord Ganesh, brass figurine

Brass and copper prayer wheel

Thangka – Hand-painted wood (front)

Thangka – Hand-painted wood (back)

Silver and “amethyst” locket

(I think it is just glass, considering what the reserve bid was for it)

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Today was a good day!

This evening, Mom and I attended the Child Haven fundraiser dinner, at the Tudor Hall.

They have a great silent auction and sale tables. I bought a small figurine of Ganesh

and bid on three items in the silent auction. I managed to score all three items.

The first were a pair of silver earrings.

The second was an embroidered shawl for Mom. It is beautiful! (Sorry no photo. Mom took it into her room so I will have to take one tomorrow.)

The third thing I bought — and this was my BIG find — was this great hand-woven wool carpet from Nepal.

Isn’t that the most amazing thing you have ever seen!… Well. Maybe YOU don’t think so. I fell for it the second I saw it! I have this “thing” for images of death, skeletons, and skulls. I am hoping to be able to get some traditional Day of the Dead things as well, some day.

It is a “Tantric” carpet. Traditionally, they had skeletons and skulls, flayed animals or humans, or tiger skins. Not terribly surprising, I was the only bidder and I paid the reserve price.

Earlier in the day, after seeing a photo posted by my dear friend Az I had a terrific hankering for cheese. Some time ago, I heard an interview on the CBC with the owner of a new cheese shop in Old Ottawa South, on Bank Street. I have been wanting to pop in and pick up some cheese from Serious Cheese and today was the perfect day.

There was a very helpful and enthusiastic (and knowledgeable) clerk, named Julian, in the shop and he helped me make some choices (he also cheerfully got my mother a chair to sit on and offered her a glass of water to sip while I shopped).

I had wanted to try Le 1608 from Laiterie Charlevoix since I heard the radio interview. Le 1608 is made from the milk of The Canadienne, the oldest breed of cattle in Canada (and only breed developed on the North American continent!). The Canadienne, with less than 500 head left in North America, is now considered endangered.

It was delicious! A semi-firm, brine-washed cheese, it had a wonderful taste and an equally wonderful after-taste.

I also picked up a sheep milk cheese called Counting Sheep from Ontario’s Fifth Town artisan cheese maker. It is a soft Brie-like cheese. I haven’t tried a lot of sheep cheeses and was worried that like some goat cheeses, it might have a rather unpleasant flavour I associate with goat cheeses. I needn’t have worried. It was lovely! I’m not sure if it was “older” or “younger” but I took a sip of Mom’s red wine with the cheese and it was a wonderful compliment. I don’t generally drink wine but I might just have a tiny glass with it, in future.

I bought 7 cheeses , in total, including a smoked blue cheese which was, if I recall, Smokey Blue from Rogue Creamery; and Le Fleuron de Bruges, a soft Belgian cow’s milk cheese.  The latter reminded me of Oka which, due to my boycotting of this cheese (because of the role in the Oka monastery in taking from the Mohawks of the area the traditional lands…. which ultimately led to the Oka Crisis and ongoing land disputes), I refuse to eat. This is a slightly softer cheese but with much the same flavour.

“A Day in the Life”

A day at the Child Haven home in Kathmandu, Nepal

Vodpod videos no longer available.Part 2
Vodpod videos no longer available.

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