July 19, 2013

The First Day at the Outreach

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:21 pm by satsanga

Outeach Day

Blog- Africa Yoga Project research Mission- 7/19/2013

 Today was truly wonderful, magical, filled with generosity, and flexible-on-mission research team members. We started with a yoga class taught by the amazing Susan Fain at Gracia Gardens. She read the Grasshopper Poem and got us all thinking about what we are going to do with our one precious life. It felt so good to take a class with Susan. It felt like home and this morning my body needed that.

 We quickly ate breakfast and met in front of of the vehicles. Here in Nairobi we have hired drivers. The AYP staff has set all of this up for us (Thank YOU Angie Wilkins!). James owns the company and he helps arrange for us to get from Gracia Gardens to the Shine Center and today he got us to four of the out reaches.

 Because of the printing complications yesterday, we had 70 sets of sorting cards that needed to be cut for the AYP teachers to complete. Susan Fain and Brooke Easton stayed back from the morning outreach so that they could do the cutting of the sorting cards. They were wonderful and HUGE team players. In fact, the completed the task perfectly (including catching and fixing a type-o). They met us in time for lunch.

 The first out reach was at the Pumwani Social Hall. This social hall is in the city of Nairobi, which I have come to learn is a big city. Fire, an AYP teacher, taught the class. It was great! There were many young men, lots of beautiful children, and a few young women taking the classes at Pumwani. After class we divided up into groups and completed the brainstorming session with the yoga students. The AYP teachers that were there helped us and explained things in Swahili when needed. Jerry got teased by the young Nairobi boys for his shorts and thick legs : ). I can’t wait to tell my daughters that their father is getting feedback on his shorts on other continents.

 We got in the car and headed over to lunch at Sophia (Wanji’s Sister and AYP teacher) and Joyce’s homes for homemade cooking. These two women opened their homes to the research team and provided delicious traditional meals made with warmth and love. After being completely nourished, the teams met at the outreach right by their homes. I think it is called Kariobangi social hall. Here we had another great class- see photos on Facebook. The team split into two groups. One group stayed and completed brainstorming right after class and then went to the Giovana School for the Deaf. The other group went to the Rehema outreach n the slum area. I will be posting lots of photos on Facebook- please check. It was beautiful and so very inspiring. Jerry, my husband, said that he learned that you choose joy. The children we met were full of joy, songs, and smiles that showed an inner light that most certainly was not about having material wealth. We saw first hand that you can have nothing much at all in terms of material wealth and have great joy.  The children told us about how yoga took away pain, made them feel great, helped them forget their worries and bad things that had happened, and brought health to them. They told us that yoga was fun and changed their lives. In Rehema the children broke into song and we danced, and clapped, and had a wonderful time.

 The day closed with all of us meeting in the Hibiscus Room at Gracia Gardens for the AYP Research assistant to complete their sorting and rating. They will be helping us tomorrow when we go to the Shine Center and work with all of the AYP teachers.


I want to acknowledge my team: Carla, Susan, Jessalyn, Nan, Steve, Brooke, Jerry, Irene, Wanji, Jemo, Musa, Joyce, and Louise. There is NO WAY that we could do this without the translation, and signing, and Love, and support of the AYP Research Assistants. I am so thankful for working with them and know them. We are learning so much.

 I also want to thank the Buffalo, Rochester, and Boston areas for all of the financial support, emotional support, and donations you have sent to make this trip possible. Last, our families chipped in a lot too! Thank YOU!

 LOVE LOVE LOVE and Namaste



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