The first 6 weeks of Journey Outreach work are over – so much done and so much still to come. During the month of September alone we reached more than 1000 people, young and old, with the incredibly transformative and healing tools of The Journey. Wherever we go it feels like encountering a sponge that has been lying dry for long and is only too ready to soak up these teachings until completely saturated.
Geographically, the focus of our work lies both in the poor outskirts of Nairobi, mainly Dandora which is home to Moses and Beatrice, two of our super great Kenyan Trainee Journey Practitioners, as well as in Nyanza, the area south of Kisumu, around the shores of Lake Victoria, Oyugis and Kisii.
Most of the people we work with are school children age 13 upwards, i.e. classes 8 of local Primary schools plus all Secondary school age groups and their teachers. So far, 19 schools have been worked with, a selected number of which will receive regular follow up visits from our Journey Outreach volunteers throughout 2010 (provided funds are available to cover travel costs). A smaller number of clientele are members of community groups and here we seem to be “specializing” in bringing the Journey tools for healing, forgiveneness and hope to people living with or affected by HIV/AIDS, for instance the Chaukweli Women’s Group in Dandora/Nairobi and Raganga New Vison HIV/AIDS Group in Mosocho near Kisii. Another yet smaller focus falls on introducing local leaders, the so called chiefs, to our work, because experience has shown that if the local leaders and school teachers got The Journey message, everything else just flows easily and effortlessly whereas if these key multiplicators are not in favour of what we do, the spark doesn’t get ignited with anyone else in the community. Luckily, in the locality we are most active, we enjoy tremendous support from both the sub-location as well as the area chief plus various school principals and teachers – a blessing not to be underestimated!
For the last three days I myself have been seriously knocked out by a severe allergic reaction to certain fly bites, so much so that it felt my body was going into an anaphylactic shock. But due to the wisdom and foresight of my beautifully Africa versatile daughter Zoe, I was given homeopathic Rescue Remedy the day before yesterday and am now slowly recovering, though the flies keep biting and I therefore look forward to travelling back to Nairobi next week. And from there we’ll be off to the coast for a couple of weeks, a mix of Outreach work and family holiday. And Zoe really can’t wait for her best friend Daya and her parents to visit and spend time with us on the beach … At least my illness gave the rest of the Team the chance to facilitate two morning workshops in different schools on their own, first working with the teachers, then proceeding to facilitate Classroom Journey processes with various groups of students. And they mastered the challenge admirably. Well done you three fabs – Moses, Beatrice and Sheila!
It really is amazing how we’ve been made welcome by the local community and how eager people are to understand what this funny new thing called The Journey is all about. Is it a new church/denomination trying to catch people off guard? And if not, why on earth does one have to close one’s eyes in order to undergo the Journey process? What’s the meaning of the logo sprouting on our freshly printed T-shirts? And what is the role of that mentor in the Journey process? Has it got something to do with Yoga, because there too one is breathing in deeply? And anyway, what’s the practical use of it in daily life? Is there not even a hint of material gain involved? Is that Mzungu (white) lady really not giving us any fish but insists on teaching us how to fish for ouselves, to quote the metaphorical language that she keeps using? I she serious in her attitude not to reduce us to beggars anymore but to draw out our own rich resources, our creativity, ingenuity, that elusive boundless potential these Journey people are talking about …
Well, those are some of the questions we meet with on a daily basis while on the road. And yet, those people who “get it”, and they are the vast majority, leave us with feedback so rewarding that every single word we speak seems worth more than it’s letters written in gold. Let some of that feedback speak for itself … So many shining eyes!
We also intend to put up more pictures, but can’t promise anything right now, because we have to deal with an extremely limited power supply – no mains electicity far and wide. Thanks to Thomas’ unbelievable ingenuity we’re able to charge the laptop off the car battery but only once a day and then we have to push start the car. Never mind, so far it’s worked and given us about 2 hours computer time a day shared between 7 competitors. The other issue is the equally limited internet connectivity – best bet is to try uploading anything during morning and evening rush hours when most people are stuck in traffic and therefore offline … Or to wait until we’re back in Nairobi, where electricity supply is available, though rationed to 5 pm to 8 am – roughly, depends on when the person switching the power for the entire estate off gets out of bed!
But back to our Journey Outreach feedback. Here’s some: