We did it

We’ve finished our Yoga Hall, and now we can get on with teaching Yoga to people in this area of Eastern Province, Zambia.

Raise your glasses, ladies and gentlemen, a toast to the people who donated money, yoga trousers and blocks (the Northern Ireland contingent come in for a whole Jereboam of champagne to themselves for constantly stepping in to support me). A toast to the ladies and gents of this rural community for embracing the project so wholeheartedly. And I give you a toast to the guest of honour, Swami Nishchalananda, who supported me without reservation, gave me the freedom and time to go and oversee the build, and most importantly, gave inspiration.

Continue reading “We did it”

A Yoga Hall for Christmas

So after the last post, donations came in up to £500 in total, also enough blocks and trousers for 2 boxes to be sent out. The donations covered cement and sand for making the blocks we built with, and some of the build costs. Thanks so much to everyone who donated.

I went to one of the sellers of roof timbers… huge piles at the side of the road, and Jason and I selected the straightest we could find. I started to realise that I am now quite old, and my idea that I’d just skip about putting up A-frames was… er… quite optimistic. But suddenly there are old friends turning up and taking the project to heart, and their friends joining in, so the main part of the roof was up in 2 days. I had to buy the wood, so now I’m pretty broke, but hopefully we’ll find some more money from somewhere for roofing sheets, then the last big expense of cement and a truckload of river sand for the floor.

If you would like to help us with that, all donations are very gratefully received, through the donation page here.

The nice touches can come later, plaster the inside, outside too maybe. Paint it, build a store for mats & blocks. But as soon as that floor is dry, we go. Yoga starts. Many people have expressed interest, and I have gone from being that strange phenomenon of a Muzungu (European) on the compound, to someone that people laughingly tease ‘Tony, when are you going to start learning our language properly!’

So come on you adventurers, start planning your trip; we have a good thing starting here.

Happy Christmas and may your New Year bring joy and growth.

Love from us all

We all need a Foundation

Thanks so much to everyone who has connected with our Yoga in Zambia project and given us practical help. You gave us £305 pounds, which has bought enough cement for the foundations and about 400 concrete blocks to build with. That’s a great start, and it’s £305 less for me to have to find. Also you gave us 29 yoga blocks of various sizes, and 13 pairs of yoga pants for the ladies to wear. So here’s what we’ve done so far.

We had a delay because Jason wasn’t confident about building a structure with pillars. The perfect solution (although costing another £250) was to get a builder friend of his to do the build, with Jason as apprentice/labourer, so Jason learns a new skill which is always useful out there where there are very few jobs.

pouring concrete for the foundations

Alice had to walk to the borehole for water.. half km there, half km back with a bucket full on her head…

So the two guys are working away mixing and pouring concrete, but the Heroine has got to be Alice, for getting the water for the mix. Now we just have taps we can turn on to get water but at Alice’s place, like all houses in this part of the world, you have to get water from your well. And when it’s the end of the dry season, waiting for the rains to start, the wells often run dry. So Alice had to walk half a kilometre to a borehole at the nearby lodge, then the half-kilometre back with a container of water on her head. Time after time. For two days!! Poor lass she was exhausted, but all she can say is how wonderful that they are getting a Yoga Hall. Alice, you are a star.

We have about 400 blocks that have been made by hand, using a mould. These blocks had to be watered twice every day to stop them drying out too quickly, which would mean they get brittle and fall apart. So now it’s full speed ahead with the building of the walls. I hope to be there to build the roof with my carpentry skills; that’s in the laps of the gods and Kenya Airways right now!

Water in reserve for the next lot of blocks. Onwards and Upwards

Thanks again to everyone. Your effort and generosity will be part of this structure, as surely as the mortar between the blocks.

Yoga in Africa is a very free affair. We have different denominations of Christian Faith people, also Muslim Faith people, practicing alongside each other. Yoga allows us to find freedom in our movement, which is fantastic when you’ve been cultivating your field with your back bent over all day. It also allows us to develop a freedom inside, a space, a spaciousness, where reverence can arise, maybe just for Life itself, or to enhance the reverence of one’s religious worship.

STOP PRESS!! Another donation while I’m about to publish. Another £100 from the Yoga Fellowship of Northern Ireland, who have already given one generous donation. Wow! God bless you my dear friends. Be excited for us. We are! Love from us all…..