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August 2001

It's almost three weeks that I am in Africa, in Ghana and Burkina Faso (BK) to be precise.

To get there was not easy as I had little time in Europe to arrange visa's, compulsory injections and ticket cheap enough to afford. Beside this there was a wonderful retreat in Madhu Karuna the MG Quarters in Timmern, Germany.

Dc room was getting too small... Pizza, pizza and more pizza...


Meeting old friends...Dada Nabhaniilananada
and Subuddyanandji
Not even half turned up for the photo...

Than I heard that I really should come two days earlier to get a ride to the retreat in Ouagadougou. I rushed back to the Netherlands to get the visa's, and sat on the Ghana embassy steps ten to nine in the morning. There I heard that there are no visa's on Monday and more over no visa without a Ticket and the ticket was in London... That day I could get the vaccinations and rushed back to Germany where I had left my luggage and flew to London next day.

London Jagrtii, health shop and
Sunrise school
Nearby overgrown graveyard
with angels watching

Now getting hold of the person who was taking care of my cheap ticket was an other adventure... he did however arrange my visa for Ghana! He told my ticket was ready but he had been telling that for quite a while and from others I had heard that this could mean anything... Finally the morning of my flight he came and gave the ticket, I rushed so I could also get my BK (Burkina Faso) visa. Somehow with trains, subways, busses and getting soaked in the rain trying to find the embassy I managed all and was still on time for the flight. Even the 70Kg of luggage was accepted somehow! Finally on the plane we heard that due to heavy rain the flight was delayed by two hours. I had fever by that time... I don't know if it was due to the rain, the running around for so many days or side effects of the vaccination but as a special grace I had a whole middle row for myself and could sleep nicely on four seats.

Looking back everything went actually very smooth and there was really no need to be worried anywhere... This divine play is always like that.

Reaching in Accra, Ghana in the evening I was picked up by Dada Daneshananda, Suvidyananda and Mahaviir and brought to the Jagrtii. Of course we talked till late (later!) The next day I could take a bit rest, go for a walk on the beach (not so clean...) which is just across the street. While meditating there I managed to get sunburned nicely, only now two weeks later is it fully ok...

Children from Didi Kiiran's home having fun time at the beach.

Early morning Didi Kiiran came to pick us up with her pick up truck to drive to Tamale in the North of Ghana. This should have taken about 10 hours but... we took a wrong turn and were for six hours on bumpy sand roads, the people in the back were completely covered with dust.

Caught through the rear mirror...Didi ?
and Didi Kiiran
interesting tree on the way

and someone very dusty...
(Dada Daneshananda)
Group photo at the UKK

The road brought us close to the Ivory coast border. Anyhow full exhausted we reached Tamale at 2am the next day. Not all is challenge, there is a balance in the Universe... The place were we stayed was a thelux hotel with Air-conditioning run by one of the local margiis. We stayed there the next day as well to recover! The road to Ouagadougou, BK, was without much obstacles. No trouble at the border and we found the Jagrtii easily.

Now, maybe the first time in history, we had our UKK retreat at the national football (Soccer) stadium. There was plenty of space and the DC Hall was air-conditioned! (Maybe an other first time arrangement)

Childrens programs Our SS, Krpamayananda holding ??

I really enjoyed the strong African style kiirtan, the cultural programs and being with my new family here. Click for a detailed description of the UKK written by Dada Daneshananda.
On Saturday the President came to visit... yes we are well known... There was tight security and the compulsory welcome committee with guns and trumpets... after he joined us for kiirtan and Sadhana...

Welcome for the president 
with guns and instruments
The President visiting...


Ok, I'll explain, he didn't actually come for us, he didn't join the kiirtan... he came to see the national final soccer match played that Saturday. We were actual locked in our venue for a while to ensure his safety... After your own afternoon program was finished some of us went to watch the match as well, we had direct access to the field. I was happy to see there was such a family feeling in the stadium, of course everyone was shouting for their own favourite team, but there was no trace of the aggressive tension you feel from the matches in Europe. No high fences between the supporters or heavy police (beside the prim minister security)

The final national match


The last evening a local music/drama group was invited who played xylophone, some string instruments and naturally drums. They were amazing! One of them told a story (in French) and everyone (who could understand) was glued at his performance. It was accompanied with background music. It was followed by more drumming with amazing speed, rhythm and coordination. After a while the children went up to dance in front. This delighted the musicians who probably didn't expect a yoga group to do this. Some of the grown ups also joined and showed traditional dance!

Local musicians Kids and grown-ups dancing


After a few days it was time to go back. This time we didn't take a wrong turn but had two blown tires... One blew and than shortly after the spare tire also gave up. Our drive/mechanic and Didi Mayatiita hitched to the next town to get it fixed. We thought they had the hard part but no, while waiting it was getting dark and 1,000,000's of sand flies woke up... they liked us a lot! We didn't quite feel in the same way as they bite very nicely.

Three hours later they came back with a repaired tire and we made it to the border. Immigration was still open but the office which inspects the car papers was closed. We slept outside the police station on their veranda. Many more interesting insects were there... A 10cm large moth, a praying mantis and many others. Some frogs/toads came to have a look as well. It was also fasting day...

Next morning after breaking our fast there were no further obstacles and we reached the same Hotel safely. We thought we could reach Accra the same day but we made it only the next day, but still on time for few of us who had a flight to catch.

in the middle of nowhere with a flat tire

what to do? (Dada Daneshananda
and our SOS Suvidyananda)

Now I am very peaceful in Accra Jagrtii, waiting for a flight to Johannesburg, South Africa. The same brother had arranged my onward ticket and booked me on the flight last night. I am still here... the flight was actually not confirmed and over booked. Next flight is Monday evening. There is 3 hour Akanda Kiirtan Sunday morning so all is well:-) An other advantage is that I am getting time to sort out all the photo's and write this! I may even try the beach again, putting sunscreen this time!

In His Love,
Dada Krpasundarananda

PS No Akandha Kiirtan as I got fever... and flights full for an other 10 days... Still I am happy being here.


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