Posted in Africa Yoga Project Blog, on August 07, 2012
After a visit to the elephant orphanage here in Nairobi we split into three groups to go and visit the community outreach classes that are taught by the AYP teachers. This is a chance for us to see firsthand the service that the AYP teachers provide their communities. Below is an account from one of those visits.
Today was the day we got to join the AYP teachers at their outreach class. The group that I was a part of went to Giovanni School for the Deaf. Irene and Faith welcomed us with a dance presented by the students ranging in age from 5-16. Seeing the deaf students move in synchronicity without music was amazing. Then we had a tour of the facility. The grounds are home to both the school for the deaf and an orphanage. The orphans attend a separate school but since it was Sunday, they joined in welcoming us with open arms. We saw the school's classrooms which were colorfully decorated with posters to aid learning in a very visual way. We saw where all of the children sleep and then went to the building where they practice yoga.
Faith and Irene lead a very inspiring class. The teaching was done through sign language. The class involved a balance of games, flow, and poses. At different times in the class, students took on the leadership role of leading the class. It was obvious that they have learned much from the time the AYP teachers have spent with them and enjoyed the opportunity to take on the role of instructor. After the class was finished, the headmaster spoke about how having the yoga program in the school had benefited the students in a multitude of ways. One girl in particular was paralyzed on one half of her body. Now, after regular participation in the yoga practice she had gained full mobility. With the students' shining smiles, full engagement and interaction, it was evident that the AYP teachers are making a big difference in the lives of the students at this school.
After leaving Giovanni School for the Deaf, Irene was gracious enough to host us at her house. Her home was a place full of love. We felt so welcome and invited. Her mom had made chapati and skuma (a Kenyan kale). It was so thoughtful and tasted delicious! By far the best we have had since we have been here. It was wonderful to see the community that she lives in, always surrounded with friends and family. We truly felt the love!
Our day ended, with a 4 hour meeting that focused on reflecting on our time and celebrating our unity and connection. It was definitely a love fest!
- Jess Gardner, Seva Safari participant