JAMBO! - Love from Africa!

Saturday, May 3, 2014 - Posted by Jess at 3:48 PM
                                                                    Yoga Sutras

                                                             The practical means 
                                                   for attaining higher consciousness
                                                        consist of three components:
                                                     self-discipline and purification,
                                                                    and devotion
                                                                     to the Lord.

Jambo (Hello) friends!

   Hope the spring is treating you well. The sun has been shining is my beautiful state and I am loving it! Just recently I got to take a trip to Africa, thank you Mighty Acorn Foundation! The place of eternal sun! (or so it seemed)

(This was my sunrise at the Karibuni every morning!) 

This trip has been something I won't soon forget. It began with my husband, Red Tide Productions, being asked to document at the orphanage for the foundation. So I got to go along to assist him. I was very excited to go and had somewhat of an idea of what to expect, but truly didn't know how it was going to effect me until really seeing and feeling it all first hand. 

We went to the orphanage for the dedication of their new building for the girls. This was such a huge celebration with the kids, some of the family members of the children, our crew from the US and some of the local government officials and all the others involved in this wonderful place. Lots going on and so much excitement in the air. This was my first experience of getting to meet the kids and see their home..... and THEY had me! The first young lady to come up and start a conversation with me was Sylvia. This strong, eloquent, and lovely young woman is in 8th grade and has lived at the Mighty Acorn home for several years. Her warm personality and shy smile made me instantly love her. 
She like all the rest of the children came from the Kipsongo slums in Kitale, Kenya. In the slums these kids really don't have much of a chance to succeed. The living conditions are not what we would accept here in the states and they have little food or none at all. Many grow up without parents, or parents that can't provide or are abusive. They live lives that we really don't even WANT to imagine. Thankfully the Higher Source was working through some lovely people there in Kitale; Pastor Richard and Mama Hellen. These two beautiful people went into the slums to rescue these kids, beginning with the ones that were highest risk. There is now about 180 kids living at the orphanage and about 300 going to the S.E.E.D.S Academy school. Hopefully more to come.  Long story short, these kids have excelled since getting a chance to have food, love, clean living conditions, and a stable environment. So really this was a celebration of life, love and service. So much is needed to provide for these kids, and Pastor Richard and Mama Hellen cannot do it alone. Thankfully, people back in the States heard their call for help and opened their hearts to help them out. Mark Cooper and family from Chicks for Children, and Denise and David DeMarchis of Matilda Jane Clothing, and Mighty Acorn Foundation have assisted Richard and Hellen in building a home for these kids to thrive and succeed in life. As well as soooooo many others that sponsor these kids and also who donate to these foundations. Nothing is done alone. 

So after seeing what love and caring can do in the lives of these children from people in their community who also struggle and may not have all of the extras that we have in the US. It really made me think about how I live my life here and the misconceptions we have about ourselves in this country compared to countries with less material gain. I am grateful that we have access to clean water, and food is readily available as well as good health care and a roof over our heads. And I know that we have many in our country that struggle for these things and I find that appalling. EVERYONE should have these basic things in their life. But there was something that these kids, even at 8 years old had, that I see lacking in alot of the lives in America. In my life included. 

While in Africa I was reading  Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, interpreted by Mukunda Stiles. And in the morning we would practice yoga and I would share a thought, or something I read. But this one reading really struck me; II,I- "The practical means for attaining higher consciousness consist of three components: self-discipline and purification, self-study, and devotion to the Lord." This is a familiar reading but I saw it differently this time. It was the proverbial light going off!

So as I am experiencing these kids and seeing their smiles, and laughter. They are genuine. They eminate love and kindness, they just want be with you and share with you. It overwhelmed me. (still does) But why? How can they so easily have this loving spirit. This spirit that seems to not have fear blocking them, even though they have come from such traumatic backgrounds? And I realized once I read that, that this is their secret! In Yoga this is the path to enlightenment, or attaining higher consciousness. And it feels like a struggle to me in my life. My mind gets so distracted, and I want to do it myself and its self sufficiency runs riot. But they do this everyday. They are taught self-discipline and to be pure of the spirit and body. To have faith in God, for that is really all they can truly depend on. And it works! Their faith is so strong you can't help but feel it yourself. Even for those that doubt there is a God. You feel its presence when you are with these kids. You see it happening in their lives and in their presence. It is so inspiring to me. They helped me to realize it is possible in my life too! That simple formula and faith in a higher power, everyday! 

So the rest of the days spent with them I tried practice these things. I tried to let fear fall away and just let love show through. And how magical it all was. They have etched their stamp on my heart and I cannot wait to go back. Now that I am home I feel compelled to do whatever I can to help them live healthy and successful lives with the little bit I can do. And I hope to inspire you to help as well. They are real! As real as it gets. The foundations are amazing and truly are using your money and resources to help these kids. And this doesn't only make a difference for these kids, it impacts generations to come. Their hopes and ours is that there will be no slums someday. That they will have their basic needs met. But in order to do that we need to come together as people, as a planet and share with each other what we are have to give. And there is always room to give! :)

The kids while doing their devotions would chant, "God is Good! All the time! Good is Good and all the time! That is nature! Whoooooooooo!" Loved that! 

And I agree, god is good all the time. And that is nature! Whoooo! :)

So I continue my journey back in the states to follow that simple formula to attaining that  higher consciousness. I am a work in progress! But I know that it is possible because I have witnessed it in them. And I am forever grateful!

If this has inspired you to help these kids you can find out how- 

Much love on your journey!