Finally! A blog!!!!!! I’ve been here nearly two weeks and email has proven to be a harrowing experience. Much thanks to my roommate Jen who shipped my my computer!!!! There is a lot to catch up on and so much has happened since I set out to teach yoga here, but I will begin with today:
I’m staying on the outskirts of Kigali in a sort of warehouse/ woodworking mill/district. Its dusty, hot and there are very few taxis or motorbikes from whom to get rides. Armed with sunblock, water and hope that I would get picked up somewhere along the long dry road to the warehouse where I teach my morning class, I began walking. I had 10 yoga mats to transport and followed the locals by carrying them on my head as they were too bulky and heavy otherwise. The usual yelling of “Umuzungo” (white person!) was followed by much pointing and chatter at my feeble attempt. After nearly a mile, a car finaly stopped (clearly amused) and gave my a ride to my destination.
This yoga studio is otherwise known as the “Utexrwa” (textile mill) At 930am, I meet a group of 20 Rwandan students looking to learn this thing called “yoga.” The group is made up of about 10 genocide orphans, and 10 others from a variety of backgrounds. Most are in their early 20′s and trying to work and go to school. Thanks to the generous donations I recieved before leaving the US, I am able to provide my students with water and transportation. Those who are not orphaned provide their own transportation, those who are, are given a ride from the camp they they’ve been living at for years.
When I arrived this morning I found my students already practicing the sun salutations they had just learned the day before!! This group is going to keep me on my toes, for sure. I managed to bring a wide array of yoga books (also thanks to donations) and they appear to be eating them up, looking at them every spare second.
Unlike the US, the majority of my students in both classes are men. Don’t get me wrong, I love the ladies, but this is . . . in strange way . . . a bit refreshing. It creates a new energy that I’m enjoying working with. Off