Sunday’s Thoughts

Soon the driver will be here, to pick us up to teach yoga. Yes, we. I am not alone anymore another volunteer arrived. She will assist me in classes, which is nice. She arrived 5 days ago and her name is Erin. Then Jean (one of the three drivers from We-ActX that also drive us from and to classes) picked us up. This picture is Jean and his pregnant and pretty girl. She will give birth in a week and a half! one of the 3 drivers

Inhale – receive and accept, exhale – release and let go….

Today it was Sunday and taught the teens at the Mosque again. What changes from The House of Allah into The House of Love. It was very nice, as usual. The kids were much more calm than last week. One girl, a sweet one, she was so tired she fell asleep during class. I left her asleep. She probably needed it badly. I learned today that they are not all orphans. Some have a far away family member who is raising them or just lost one parent. Still they call them orphans then. The all are HIV+. All the children that gather around the mosque for activity on Sunday are HIV+. A few hundred. There might be a few exceptions, these are children who are living in a HIV+ system and undergo he same kind of stress and mental pain, since the close peer group is infected.

It’s sweet. Typical teenage behavior they show, also here i Rwanda. I lined up 4 mats in a row at the back of the classroom, and yes, 5 girls sat on it. They are best friends forever, sit together, don’t want to separate… I told them one should sit away from their little ‘group’, like, still very very close, but we cannot practice with 5 girls on 4 mats! But no, that was a too hard decision to make.. Who was going? Just when i was going to pick one, the girl that seemed to have a more ‘leading function’ in the group decided another one had to go. It seemed fine.
In class they were concentrated and tried to do their best. They count the breaths with me, it’s so sweet!

Also they help each other when needed. I really like that. What i also see, is that are really copying. Actually also the adults do that here. I guess people do copy the teacher in general, but here in Rwanda it happens i think even more. If we put our hands up for example and i point out a body part i want say something about, they all point out that body part instead of keeping their hands up… Funny. Then we did some teamwork postures. They loved it! Like Navasana (Boat Pose) with touching each-others feet, and holding hands. It was a playful and sweet class. Also concentration came back all the time. Then after class… The want to play with the iPhone. Play music, make pictures and look at those pictures and giggle!
After class we stopped at a store in the neighborhood there, the Muslim area, and it’s Sunday and still the stores were open.. many of them. Small stores, to buy little convenient things i guess.

Damescene, our ‘i-do-it-all guard’ made many pictures today and yesterday. He’s pretty addicted of making photo’s now he knows how the camera works i gave him for the ‘True Eyes’ project.

I didn’t write a few days. Let me see, what happened this week i want to share? Well, of course i could tell something about the Holland – Brasil game! Everybody knows what happened. We were the winners! I watched the game at the Mille Collines hotel. That’s Hotel Rwanda. It’s not the same one as i the film, i heard it was filmed outside of Rwanda! It was big fun! It did feel also a bit weird. Even-though it looks different than in the movie, this hotel was the one where the hotel owner was hiding many many ‘Ts’ during the Genocide. And that way saved their lives. (Did i mention before that the words for the two groups of people here are forbidden words now? I am used to use the letters T and H if there is any reason to talk about this differentiation.) A movie worth watching to see what shouldn’t happen ever again. So, in that hotel i watched a Dutch football game! Strange. Everyone was super excited. Especially after we won 2-1! There were many Dutch people, some Rwandans in Orange and some other foreigners dressed in Orange. Then there was in the middle of that, one Brazilian family watching. Beer, orange Fanta and finger-food was .. free! Wow, nice.. the Dutch way! Let’s change our stereotype! It was a good time.. met nice people and will go back this Tuesday when Holland does it again! Cross fingers!
Also Saturday i taught at the Serena hotel, which was very nice, the class went smooth and the rest of the day as well. I used the pool until the sun disappeared behind the hotel and then laid myself down in the sauna, sat in the steam-room and chatted with nice people while enjoying some fresh squeezed juices. This membership is sweet! It’s a Saturn’s day Yoga turns out to be the recharge day from now on i believe… Monday night i will start teaching Wazungu (the white people) in our house here and Tuesday night i will teach the people at the USA embassy. More info about classes is on a new page on my website, see ‘news’ on the homepage.

Sweetest dreams, Anneke


Sunday Afternoon

This day started a little lazy.

I went to bed early yesterday, slept more than 9 hours and when i woke up i just stayed in bed a little…
But then finally i was putting my legs outside and started my day. The first thing i did, was the whole first series, and it felt wonderful! Also i did some other things inbetween, like Hanumanasana! It almost worked. I think it won’t be long before i am down on the floor. Jumping thru goes well now. I learned that last week, well, to do it with all straight legs. One day all of the sudden i can do something i never could do before. It’s funny, i know that has to do with the mind. I am not taller, more flexible or anything like that than last week… Before i was never really trying hard. I was just happy jumping through cross legged. Now i decided i wanted to do it with straight legs, but i couldn’t. It only took me 1,5 day before i could. It’s that easy. The mind is much stronger than the body. Much much stronger…

Amazing i find it to teach the little ladies at the mosque on Sunday afternoon. These are mostly teenage girls and a few boys. They are orphans and most of them are HIV+. The driver is picking me up around 14.45h and brings me to the location. This mosque is in a Muslim area. It’s beautiful over there. Around the mosque is lots of space, where many groups of orphans in different age groups are getting together. Some do sports, some dance and some.. ..practice yoga! At the mosque are classrooms and in one of these rooms we practice. Today the floor in the room was pretty clean, that was nice. The tables were already stacked on top of each other. I only had to manage these a little and lay down the mats. There were not so many kids as usual today.
At the beginning of class we did some warming up and ‘grounding’ exercises, which they found pretty funny it seems… and after that we started with the first Surya Namaskar (sun salutation). They would reply after me… Injeza amuuka, suhoro amooka (inhale – exhale) sweet! Then i asked who could teach one round of sun salutations! Al hands went up! I picked a girl, she did a really good job. Then another one who did a great job as well! I seemed like it made them very proud on themselves. Then we started with the standing postures. What i like about these teens, is that in some poses they are helping each other. Normally i would not allow that in class, since everyone should be focused on their own mats. But the kids this age, i think it’s important for them to do it together as a group, to help each other. Especially these orphans! I think it’s very sweet. They do it with good intentions and i see they do it very mindfully. Also some ask for help, for example in Parsvottanasana, hand in prayer position on the back, one girl asked her neighbor girl to put her hands together. And she did. I think it’s amazing… They laugh and having a good time.
After class there was some time to play with my iPhone. They love the music on it and started to dance and sing along. It seems to be a release to jump and sing around a little. Then it was time for them to go outside and eat the banana and probably something like a bun and a glass of milk to drink. The driver was there again and he drove me back home.
Still i am home alone. Not all alone, Damescene is there, the i-do-everything-in-and-around-the-house guard. Every day we practice English together now, he’s learning some words. Which is good, then at least we can talk a little bit…
I go post this, then take a little shower. Really a little one, since the water is down and the only water that is left is in the big reservoir. Which is a very big tank, but still, we need to be very mindful with water on these days. That’s also Rwanda, i guess. Hopefully it’s back on and normal tomorrow again. My feet are always very red and dusty. It’s dry season and everything really is starting to dry out. I will not say this often, but i hope for a little bit of rain soon…
Ciaoo! Anneke