Day 14: Thursday 29 October – A Restful Day

This was supposed to be the day we were going to head for the town and hit the beach. The heavens had a different idea. Torrential rain poured down and made it practically impossible to leave the dormitory building. The little road that lead up to the Teacher’s hall was awash with muddy rain water and actually looked more like a river. We were going nowhere. Manitu, Patryk and Aaron braved the deluge to print more materials for the programme, but the rest of us were blissfully confined to barracks.

Rain storms wash over the road to the hall

A time to foot-soak  and reflect, a time to rehearse some more complicated songs such as the Mataji Qawwali (Allah Hu) which was Mabel’s personal request from the musicians. How could we refuse? It may sound odd, but this was actually the first opportunity we had to rehearse the music together with any degree of foresight. Up until that point we had always been pressured by any number of other priorities demanding our attention and time. Finally a day of relative rest gave us time to reflect and relax.

Otis in the men's dorm

That evening we were over-joyed when about 90% of the people who had come the day before came back for more. This time in the peaceful meditative calm of a troll-free zone.

Takoradi is an interesting place with a lot of seekers. Many Jamaicans and Rastafarians had elected to revert the tide of history and repatriate themselves back into Ghana. One of these was an ardent seeker who had read practically every false and not-so false guru that had ever ventured into print. Despite a pinch in the agnya, he had a strong experience and was keen to learn more. At first this took the form of asking some awkward mental questions that took considerable diplomatic skill to answer in front of all the others. Later he calmed down and settled into the vibrations as we let rip with the Mataji Qawwali and a whole host of Sahaj musical hits.

2nd public programme in Takoradi

There were also many more local women at these programmes than had been evident at Accra or Kumasi. Three in particular seemed very deep and showed great depth of interest. It’s difficult to say why more women didn’t come elsewhere. Probably because of cultural factors constraining them to the home, (or more accurately to the kitchen) especially after working hours. Certainly we made a conscious effort to talk to more women when leafleting and giving street realisation, but most of the women you meet in the street are selling things all day to make a simple living and don’t have free time to come to programmes – even if they were able to speak English. Next time we will probably need to arrange tailor-made programmes specifically targeted at women and run by women. It’s interesting that Ghana should be so different to the typical world trend, whereby women are usually in the majority. Perhaps it is something to do with Ghana being the Land of the Ganas – of Shri Shiva’s soldiers, tirelessly fighting off negativity and all manner of attacks to the subtle and physical body.

The beach at Takoradi

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