Month: February 2019

Making Newcomers Feel Welcome in Your Community!

Newcomers bring new revenue and fresh ideas to your community. Here’s how to get intentional about welcoming and celebrating them.
 By Quint Studer

We all know we need people moving into our community to help keep it healthy. New residents fill job openings, pay taxes, populate schools, and spend money in the local economy. Plus, they bring in fresh ideas and new energy to keep things moving forward.

For these reasons, communities spend a lot of time and energy attracting new residents. We focus on economic development and tout our strong schools, reasonable cost of living, and low crime rate. But what we often don’t consider is what happens once they get here.

As I travel across the country and visit different communities, I find that at times people may do a great job on the hard stuff and forget to do the easy stuff. We need to make it a point to celebrate and include newcomers. When communities do a good job of this, it can be very powerful.

Think about your own social circle. When you’ve lived in a community for a while, you already have well-established groups. It can be hard to invite people in. But seeing these “closed” groups only makes newcomers long for their old community. Continue reading “Making Newcomers Feel Welcome in Your Community!”

Book, Beach & Boca Chica! Sun, Sand & Santo Domingo!

Those of us who chose to make Canada our home, obviously love the snow! The world looks pretty! Even so, when it snows non-stop, for weeks, we seek the sun! Reading week for my university student was a perfect time to get warm and cozy. That’s when we landed in Punta Cana!

Since our preference was a not so touristy location, we chose an all-inclusive resort in a small village-town called Boca Chica. The bus journey from the airport to our resort was scenic, laden with hills and greenery! Arriving at our destination by night, our family, a hungry bunch headed straight for dinner! This beach resort, which was home for the next week had plenty to offer! Food, drinks, beach, nightly entertainment, easy access to the village……

On day two, we decided to visit Santo Domingo, the vibrant city that combines splendid centuries-old cathedrals and buildings with amazing parks, lakes and caves.

Travelling in a private car was a fun way to get around. Our enthusiastic driver, who spoke English was more than willing to be our tour guide. He brings us to gorgeous Zona Colonial, where the city’s oldest sights and trendiest shops co-exist adjacent to each other.

Although Santo Domingo’s Colonial Zone is small and walkable, the slow-moving Chu Chu Colonial train is an exotic way to explore the area’s treasure of antiquity. This 45-minute guided tour gives you a ride through cobblestone streets as you admire the historic monuments, cathedrals and archaeological ruins that have been there for centuries. Continue reading “Book, Beach & Boca Chica! Sun, Sand & Santo Domingo!”

Toronto Zoo Celebrates International Polar Bear Day!

Toronto Zoo is proud to be a leader in polar bear conservation and a champion for Canada’s vulnerable majestic species. The Zoo is involved in collaborative research projects with multiple accredited zoos and organizations to help better understand polar bear reproductive biology, nutrition and behaviour studies.  This  scientific research then provides valuable information to support polar bear education, research and conservation efforts both at the Zoo and in the wild. Some of these organizations include Polar Bears International (PBI), Parks Canada, the North American Polar Bear Species Survival Plan (SSP), and Acres for the Atmosphere.

Polar bear keepers are very passionate about working with this iconic Canadian species and behavioural training with the polar bears is an important component of their daily routine. Training exercises a variety of husbandry behaviours that allow Keepers to give the best possible care for the five polar bears at the Toronto Zoo. The Toronto Zoo polar bears are also trained to allow voluntary injections for vaccines and blood draws. These behaviours not only keep the polar bears physically healthy, but mentally stimulated and engaged.

Toronto Zoo biologists and researchers work closely with their wildlife biologist counterparts in the field with valuable learning and studies that can be applied to polar bear conservation in the wild. The knowledge gained through polar bears in our care provide invaluable information that is shared internationally and is essential for the survival of this vulnerable species. This is very important as biologists estimate there are only approximately 20,000 to 25,000 polar bears in the wild with approximately 60% of those living in Canada. Continue reading “Toronto Zoo Celebrates International Polar Bear Day!”

“Benchmarks for Training in Yoga”

Ministry of AYUSH and WHO are jointly organizing a three days Working Group Meeting for reviewing the WHO document “Benchmarks for Training in Yoga” from 26-28 February, 2019 at New Delhi, India. WHO is developing Benchmarks Document for Training in Yoga as part of its global strategy to strengthen the quality, safety and effectiveness of Traditional and Complementary Medicine.

Total 16 experts of yoga would be reviewing the draft document. Out of 16 experts, 11 International experts are from USA, UK, Canada, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Japan, Australia and Malaysia. There would be 4 session on all 3 days. All the technical sessions would be coordinated by the experts from WHO Secretariat.

The specific objectives of the meeting are to discuss the challenges in training of Yoga, to review & discuss the scope and structure of the working draft document, to review and discuss the contents of the working draft document, to identify the type, scope and criteria of information/data that are further required, and to discuss the working procedure and time frame for further development of the document. This benchmarks document will be used in evaluating Yoga therapy, identifying trends in utilization, developing payment structures for service models, establishing regulatory framework for Yoga practice.

World Health organization (WHO) has been launched Traditional Medicine Strategy 2014-2023 to help health care leaders to develop solution that contribute to a broader vision of improved health and patient autonomy. Continue reading ““Benchmarks for Training in Yoga””

BAPS Organizes Prayer Services Globally for Pulwama Attack Victims

As thousands of mourners attended funerals across India this week for the paramilitary personnel who lost their lives to terrorism in Pulwama (Kashmir, India), His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj offered his deepest sympathy and prayers. As spiritual leader of the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, Mahant Swami Maharaj, prayed for peace for departed and a full recovery of those who were injured. All BAPS mandirs globally as well as the 100 BAPS mandirs across North America held special prayer services. Together they prayed for strength and solace for the families of all those effected by this tragedy.

The prayer service held at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir at 61 Claireville Drive in Toronto, on Sunday February 18, 2019, was attended by the Consul General of India, Toronto Dinesh Bhatia along with many community leaders, dignitaries and hundreds of community members.

Echoing the sentiments of other well-wishers at BAPS mandirs across North America, Dr. Jamin Brahmbhatt, said: “The 44 CRPF personnel who lost their lives each have families and communities who are feeling their absence.  I feel part of their community and am here to pray for calm in their hearts which we know are hurting.”

The attack on February 14, 2019 has sparked peaceful vigils across India and the world, and BAPS joins in prayer for the families of India’s servicemen and for unity and peace.  BAPS as an organization and its followers have also pledged financial support of 10 million rupees for the relief fund to support the victims and their family members on the road to recovery. Continue reading “BAPS Organizes Prayer Services Globally for Pulwama Attack Victims”

Kesari trailer out now. Megastar Akshay Kumar Starrer Showcases ‘The Story Of The Bravest Battle Ever Fought’

The much awaited trailer for Kesari is out and has left audiences enthralled. After sharing glimpses of the battle of Saragarhi in three teasers that were released last week, the trailer, which is packed with action, drama and emotion gives audiences an insight into the bravest battle ever fought. 

The Kesari trailer begins with Akshay Kumar saying, “A Britisher, once told me, I am a slave and only cowards are born in India. Today is the day to give him a reply.” Just a few seconds later, the viewers can see thousands of Afghan soldiers running towards Akshay’s character Havildar Ishar Singh, the leader of the Sikh regiment. The trailer then takes the audience into the middle of the epic battle of Saragarhi. All who experience the trailer for ‘Kesari’ will be left with the urge to find out how these 21 brave Sikh soldiers fought against 10,000 Afghan soldiers to safeguard their land from invasion.

Akshay Kumar looks convincing as a leader of the Sikh soldiers, who can be seen roaring like lions in the midst of combat with weapons in their hands and rage in their eyes. The trailer captivates and fascinates with fearsome action scenes, spectacular sword fighting techniques, and intense dialogues. The trailer also introduces the female lead of the film Parineeti Chopra, who is filled with pride as Akshay Kumar heads for the battle.

The background score, action scenes and rugged avatar of megastar Akshay Kumar will surely leave movie lovers wanting more. Continue reading “Kesari trailer out now. Megastar Akshay Kumar Starrer Showcases ‘The Story Of The Bravest Battle Ever Fought’”

FAMILY FUN AT THE CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL AUTOSHOW

February long weekend is packed with activities for all members of the family

There is something for every member of the family at the Canadian International AutoShow.

From family vehicles to special features to the North American debut of the life-sized LEGO® TECHNIC Bugatti Chiron, the Family Day weekend at the AutoShow, presented by Allstate Insurance Company of Canada, is packed with activities and interesting exhibits to see.

    • The Volkswagen Family Pass — Start by taking advantage of a 10% discount when you buy a Family Pass of tickets. Get admission for two adults and two children for only $50.
    • LEGO® Discovery Zone — There are few children who haven’t played with LEGO®, and chances are their parents played with the ubiquitous building blocks as well. Challenge your imagination at the Discovery Zone, and be among the first in North America to see the life-sized, and operational, Bugatti Chiron made entirely out of LEGO® TECHNIC pieces.