Thursday 20th March 2008
Subsequent to Matt’s departure from Sierra Leone we say goodbye to Obi from UK on Thursday 20th March. This leaves us as a reduced team consisting of Rajen, Bertrand, Peter and Patrick. We go to the St Edwards Secondary School and book the hall for next Tuesday Evening and Poster the surrounding area with Shri Mataji’s picture on the poster.
Friday 21st March Freetown
The usual morning meeting under our favourite twin trunked tree on the beach opposite the UN facility at Aberdeen resulted in more new people having the experience in front of the huge Chakra poster afixed to the shade tree. We now have a regular group of seekers and realised souls who are attending daily.
That afternoon saw us at the ABC TV Studio again working with the crew to prepare an half hour program to honour Shri Mataji on Her birthday. We considered that the segment of Shri Mataji giving Self Realisation in Sydney April 17th 1991 was the most effective way to involve the approximately 1,000,000 viewers throughout Sierra Leone to share in the event at Chindawara.
At 6.00pm prime time this discourse by Shri Mataji was screened along with streaming text stating that today was Shri Mataji’s 85th Birthday and subsequent prompts asking viewers to follow the instructions given by Shri Mataji and to feel for the cool breeze. The program ended with the Sierra Leone Website details and contact phone number.
That evening we gathered to watch a Birthday Puja and celebrate the great event.
Saturday March 22nd
Meeting of newly realised souls and seekers continues on the beach today after that
Peter, Patrick and George go to the Indian Temple and after bowing to the statues of Deities unroll the large chakra chart in the temple and in front of the priest and others present Sahaja Yoga. Following this we are invited to have lunch whereupon the various seekers wish to hear more. Shri Mataji’s three great Mantras are sung and some Kundalini’s checked.
5.00pm We are having our usual footsoaks at the beach before our evening meal.
Sunday March 23rd
As is our regular program we arrive at Aberdeen Beach 8.30am and expand on the knowledge of Sahaja Yoga and the singing of Banjans. As usual some newcomers arrive for Self Realisation. At about 3.30pm Kitty Fadlu-Deen arrives at 81 Regent Rd, this is her second visit to see us following the Ballanta Festival soon after we arrived, when she saw the large Chakra poster with Shri Mataji’s photo on it and her face beamed and beamed. Kitty gained Self Realisation in the USA about 9 years ago, she is born in Singapore and is married to a Sierra Leonean. Kitty stays with us awhile and agrees to hold a regular Public Program in Freetown within a couple of months. After a phone call home to South Africa Rajen advises us that we should have Puja in keeping with activities in India, so we watch a DVD of Easter Puja and have small Puja.
Monday 24th March
Usual beach program and evening footsoaks. Many small children have come along the beach and a range from 4 year old’s to 9 year old’s have taken the experience, a little girl arrives and attaches herself to one of our brothers arms and she won’t leave, she does not speak but quietly stays for 40 minutes. Angelo arrives with a partly completed sketch of Shri Mataji taken from our advertising poster, however it is 3 times bigger, it turns out he is an artist and asks us if it’s OK to finish it of as a gift to Shri Mother.
Tuesday 25th March
We decide to go to Freetown following our morning on the beach and call on Jamal Conteh at ABC TV who books a football field and Radio advertising in Bo for out intended tour to that city. Freetown is so busy and full of people, in fact one could mistake the surrounds for India. We go out to the St Edwards Secondary School (presumably Catholic) to collect our refunded deposit for use of their hall tonight, this has been denied when the Priest saw our posters advertising the event for tonight. Another issue we face is the constant requests for money from people, we try to explain we do not charge but the requests do not stop. People are on the breadline and suffer a lot of insecurity.
We go back to the beach to clear out before going home.
Wednesday March 26th evening
Tonight Heman comes in at about 8.30pm on a flight from Hong Kong through London. Today we attend to our morning Beach Program. We are still staying with Sam Bangura and his wife Eleanor in the house at 81 Regent Rd Lumley. However we make ready to relocate to Bo which is where Patrick Sheriff and Family live. We arrange for Radio announcements to run for 4 days prior to Sunday when we have Football ground booked for a Musical/Self Realisation Program
That evening Peter and Patrick travel to the City of Freetown and board the Ferry that crosses to Lungi Airport to meet Heman. Fortunately Heman borrows a phone and calls us from the Airport to inform us he should catch the Ferry that is soon departing from his side, swiftly we get off the Ferry as we would have been trapped in Lungi overnight and passed him as he came across. We arrive in at about 12.30am after a full day.
Thursday March 27th
Bertrand flies out to Ghana whilst Patrick, Rajen, Heman and Peter cram into a Diesel Peugeot 405 Station Wagon along with luggage on the roof and set out for Bo after lunch. The road is reasonable for the first 60 km but it breaks up into a terrible mess for the next 90km hammering the vehicle and occupants severely. Midway we suffer a gradual power loss over about 20km and find that the fill up in Freetown of diesel was dirty and the fuel filter is blocked, after removing it and cleaning it out we are again mobile.
Somewhere about three quarters through our journey an overheating problem besets the car and we have to find water and top up the radiator, with the hold ups and the road conditions we arrive into Bo about 9.00pm to find our booked accommodation is not available now and resign ourselves to staying with Patrick at his House, this is very basic and we turn in at midnight on hard beds, all very tired.
Friday March 28th
We rise early and meditate, however some Christians arrive into the house (which is shared with others) before we can eat and start a lot of loud discourse and singing of Hymns. Our plight is poor and we realise accommodation and food will pose a serious problem. Also we have no water supply to the house and no toilet or shower, our taxi driver has slept in his car so we decide to cancel Bo and take the tough return trip to Freetown. At about 3.00 we all arrive at the Miriam Hotel near Aberdeen all vey worn out and try to negotiate the bill down from $215.00 per night for a 2 bedroom suite of moderate quality. After some bartering this is reduced to $160.00/night. We go to the nearby beach and gather at our tree. Footsoaks are welcome and we realise the folly of being inland away from the sea. We also know that much more opposition from Christianity awaited us at Bo, in the City of Freetown it is apparent but not so direct.
Evening meals and decent beds await us.
Saturday March 29th
We assemble on the beach under “our tree” at 8.30am and no one comes as we are supposed to be in Bo, however eventually the guy with no hands sees us from down the beach and comes to speak with us, he is one of several amputees that have been regular. We agree to be back at 5.00pm for a footsoak, we return then and enjoy some Banjans with those who come, followed by footsoaks and singing of mantras. Food and shelter await us at Hotel Miriam. Life is better and our vibrations too!
Sunday March 30th
Today we assume our regular beach meeting at 8.30am, however Heman and Rajen begin a program of invaluable training for those who come daily, this consists of joyfull singing of Banjans and modified local songs which have Shri Mataji inserted in at appropiate places plus the use of mantras and how to clear chakras. Within a few weeks we see devotional expression of these seekers towards Shri Mataji who they appear to recognise, we have Peter Jumbo, Angelo Scott and George Lahai who are showing lots of promise plus a variety of other men and children.
Monday March 31st
Rajen and Heman go to the beach and teach more Banjans, they are amazed that the newcomers can pronounce the words so well, as though they have known them, saying this language suits us. Peter and Patrick go to Freetown to get hold of the necessary forms to Register Sahaja Yoga as a NGO and to also open a Bank account. Red tape slows the operation. However Mr Jamal Conteh of ABC TV comes to our aid with the forms and we fill in the necessary at day’s end.
Tuesday April 1st 2008
Partick’s Birthday today and he is 75, we all wish him a great day! Heman and Rajen attend to the educational program of more advanced Sahaja Yoga on the beach and encounter a small child who accepts Self Realisation and then asks for money, on refusal he rips up the small Sahaj handout with Shri Mataji’s picture on it, this is dismaying. Patrick and Peter go back to Freetown to complete the registration business. we meet Patrick’s daughters Patricia and Magdelene in the city and have a sort of a party in the lounge at ABC TV which includes Juice and even a Cake. Our relationship with Jamal is so good we have him join in too! That night we again celebrate Patrick’s Birthday.
Wednesday April 2nd
Partick and Peter continue with events in Freetown including finalising both the registration and also the return of Sahaj materials used at ABC TV. Rajen calls to say go to Kenya Airways to confirm our flights for tomorrow and advises that 20 have attended the beach program on this our final meeting, meetings will continue Tuesday and Wednesday mornings run by the trio we have as a base, this will happen at “our tree” opposite the UN.
At 2.00pm we meet with Kitty at the Ballanta Music Academy and discuss her intention to open up a regular Meditation session for Sahaja Yoga in the City, she is a wonderful lady and has lots of contacts throughout Sierra Leone. Peter and Patrick go home to pack ready for tomorrow. The Tour to give realisation is over, it has gone very well, it has attracted some good people, many have “got it”, the TV coverage on 2 occasions where hundreds of thousands saw Shri Mataji and may have experienced the Ruh remains an unknown. It was as easy as India when it came to giving people Realisation in shops or those one met, this seems to be a unique characteristic of this population.
As much as we made considerable efforts to properly prepare for this Tour over 3 months it was finally decided to ask Shri Mataji to designate our Itinerary and we saw Her in action with us on a daily basis, as She said in Burwood 2nd night of Navaratri “I will be there”. Much was achieved during the 27 days in Sierra Leone by the 6 overseas Yogis and 1 local Yogi. Five of the 6 Yogis who flew in paid there own airfares and basic costs. However much more could/would have been achieved if we had the support of the entire World collective.
Thanks for the support of Hauke, Chris Staff, Naina Staff, Sue Sutcliffe, Lawrence Dowsett, Max Lieberman and Greta More who constituted the Sierra Team and also to Rajen Moodley, Matt Dain, Obi Obi, Bertrand Tiechand, Heman Lam, Peter Corden and Patrick Sheriff, all who worked in Sierra Leone.
Appreciation and thanks to those who donated a total of more than A$5000.00 towards this Tour which was converted into Sierra Leone Leones for expenses. Additional information will be placed on the Website for viewing and as a history of Sahaja Yoga in Sierra Leone.
Thursday April 3rd
Rajen and Heman rise early and catch the first Ferry at 8.00, however the taxi with Peter and Patrick aboard breaks down and they take 2 hours, therefore missing that Ferry. However a second Ferry takes off at 11.30 and amidst tears on both sides Patrick, Magdelene and Patricia leave go with hugs at waters edge. By 12.30pm we are at Lungi Airport, Rajen and Peter are to fly out at 6.10pm and Heman will go up to Heathrow leaving at midnight. We transit the customs and the requests for money handouts continue as we pass through that maya of officialdom.
Our plane comes in at 6.20 and we go out late at 7.00pm however the turnaround at Ghana is fast and we arrive in Kenya only half an hour late. Rajen is so pleased as we take our seats in time for the leg to Johannesburg. At 11.00am Friday 4th we touch down and Irene and children meet us at the Johannesburg Airport.
Jai Shri Mataji