Kigali - Day 1

Later on, we had "decent" breakfast: sensationally juicy passion fruits, sweet papayas, real tasty avocados and "groundnuts", as they use to call peanuts here in English. Whatever their name, they just tasted heavenly.

Last night "Daddy", my beloved ex father-in-law, died. The loveliest trip I ever did was a gift from him, and it, too, took me to Africa. Back then, this journey had blessed me with a kind of fatherly salvation, and, in the light of this, I am having the strong feeling of a circle closing: me travelling again to Africa the first time after 16 years, and Daddy saying goodbye to this world.

Thanks, Daddy, for everything. Farewell, and have a good journey. In my heart you will live on forever.

Today is Deirdre’s birthday, which I had not been aware of. Now we are sitting here indulging in rich pralines by Swiss chocolate manufacturer Honold. “Lotti’s Best”, they are named.

And what is on our agenda for Sunday? Yoga as trauma work with HIV-infected school children. 27-year-old Joseph, one of Deirdre’s most advanced pupils, will instruct. A well-muscled cheerful, lively young man. In his lesson, he uses a funny mix of Kinyarwanda and English, swift, encouraging, well centred and playful as he is. It is hard to believe that, five years ago, this very man had taken up working with Deirdre as a depressive and weak slumper.

14 boys between 12 and 17 practising the yoga dog pose (downward facing and upward facing) quite dedicatedly, yogishly greeting the sun, really excited, and so excitingly that it is mere bliss to watch.

In a separate classroom, others are dancing, the young men so vigorous and powerful, the young girls so lithe, graceful and expressive. Watching them, my heartbeat speeds up.

During lunch in a B&B named Iris, Marge, Donna and Deirdre tell us what these children all have gone through. For a moment, sadness leaves me speechless. The tears I cry are for them, and also for Daddy’s death.

I will get back to all this later, but first let my soul catch up with everything there is.

Fred-Marc put his own impressions of this day into his photos – see below. He really is a lovely companion for this trip.

#yoga #projectair #yogaastraumawork #kigali #greetingthesun

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