Malawi Expedition/Challenge -The Story Begins
I was introduced to the lovely inspiring Ania Jeffries by Daniel working on one of our business projects. I read her email on what she was planning - and has been for two years. An Expedition/Challenge for 14 entrepreneurial women to take their skills to Malawi for 10 days and work with the women and children of Malawi. I picked up the phone to speak with her and it was one of those moments when you know you have made a real connection with someone. All we stood for was parallel. We were so on the same page.
Ania inspired me straight away and was aware of the work we were doing at TRE UK. She suggested I think about it but let her no asap. With only 4 weeks to go I didn't think there was any time. It was for me already decided. A chance to share with like minded women who 'get things done' I was in.......
I soon realised there was quite an expense to this Volunteer Expedition so taking a lead from another of the participants I started something I have never done before - set up a Fundraising Page.
I am not one to ask but time to put those inhibitions to one side and ask.I was just blown away by how quick people responded. Friends , family, my yoga students past and present and TRE UK®clients. My target is £3,000 - thanks to beautiful people I have raised half of it. Of course there is still time if you feel you would like to support me on this Expedition.
What has been encouraging is the wonderful comments shared:
- I believe in the practice of the TRE for healing and change and wish to support spreading it to others far and wide and to support others who have the passion to do just that.
- Go Caroline! Your work is life enhancing and miraculous.
- So inspiring to hear you supporting so many women, and prisoners good on ya!
- A great cause, they'll benefit from your knowledge as I have :)
I have benefited greatly from the TRE so want you to help other people. Good luck
First things First
So I am committed. Flight is booked, jabs organised - going to hurt the bank more than the arm! What is next? Well day to day life took a bit of a hold. Workshops all ready in the diary and planned. I love delivering the Workshops. They are something super special. With only one weekend before the off I have two Workshops to deliver - Wiltshire and Somerset.
I have also been invited to speak again at the Swindon Trauma Conference. Always an honour. Yoga classes keep me busy too. Just love the life I live and giving hope to those who have none and making those who think they feel great something that makes them feel even better! In between all that of course the excitement is mounting. I keep looking at Malawi on the map and reading all the great info material that comes through. Lots of lists, checks and things to sort. But that is all part of the excitement - the preparation.
Malawi Expedition/Challenge - Meeting the Team
Last Tuesday I was well excited, after teaching my fabulous Tuesday morning class yoga, I went back to the office, dealt with the essentials and then prepared to go to London to meet Ania and the team of lovely women I will be going to Malawi with.
Though I had plenty of time and indeed I should have had, but having been given the wrong directions to get to Bond Street, I managed to try find my way using google maps. the situation seemed to get worse as it appeared I was moving further away from my destination! Gave in a caught a taxi. Seems i was miles away. When I eventually arrived my first thought was 'please don't leave me up Mount Mulanji on my own, yo will still be looking for me a week later' !!
It was a fabulous evening meeting everyone. The energy was high. We all got our T Shirts and Jasmina Paul of Wellness TV interviewed us all. A long night but feel so happy to be taking TRE to Malawi and sharing what I do as well as learning about all the abundant skills of everyone else.
Malawi Expedition/Challenge - Three sleeps now!
Becoming reality now as I snatch five to update here. I guess for all of us going we are in the same boat, doing our work and preparing this amazing expedition ahead of us. Last Thursday was delighted that Mandy Winters invited me to highlight the trip on White Cliffs radio. I know the other ladies have been recording on Kent and Sussex radio. We are all spreading the word and sharing. Thank you all so much for you giving.
It is going to be a step into a surreal world for sure, but I go to give what I can and also to learn. That of course is something we never stop doing. Still not packed but mostly all laid out. as I finish each class this week it is feeling real as I know I will not see them for a week or two. It is wonderful to have so much support and kindness around. I hope to send some Blogs and Vlogs back to UK to keep an update of the Adventure.
Malawi Expedition/Challenge - Big Count Down
Just one sleep and then tomorrow we leave. Just decided to review my what I thought was modest packing! My reflections on where I am going is that if the women out there have little then I should go with little. So a complete review. If I am going to learn about the real world the women of Malawi live in then best to get as close to it as I can.
Actually that feels good. I will have enough to get by and to cover my outside and my TRE to keep me good and resilient on the inside. I am looking forward to sharing my unique TRE programme so women and children can keep it for their future. healing themselves and building resilience.
I am looking forward to meeting and working with Ania as a member of her special team understanding their way of life and how they work and play. I think there is going to be a lot of listening and reflection.
Malawi Expedition/Challenge - The journey begins
Up bright and early to ensure nothing was let behind. Set off so we could say good bye to daughter before heading off towards Surrey to see No 2 Son. Fortunately left enough time to turn back as left Vaccination record at the chemist!! Daniel to the rescue so managed to see him too.
After lunch in Farnborough headed off to Heathrow. Oh it was great to connect with Ania, Debbie and Becca at the bag drop. Gradually everyone came together. Lots of excitement and chatter before finally time to board the plane. I sat next to an airline pilot from SA. How lucky was I. All the low down on how take off and landing works. Made the flight even more interesting.
Managed to sleep some and then before we knew it we arrived at Joburg. We then had to move through to get our next flight to Blantyre. Time to catch up with the team again and enjoy coffee.
On the next flight I sat next to two Pastors from the US going to an orphanage in the same area. I enjoyed my time chatting to them.
Malawi Expedition/Challenge - Sunday #FEAE
After a long journey we settled into Fisherman's Rest. Saturday evening we enjoyed a meal in the garden and all got to connect as Ania shared the weeks busy programme. Zina suggested Church the next morning so Sunday am those of us that chose to go set off. Wow a service and a half. Packed full of worshippers. I just love listening to Gospel singing. The messages and preaching were very profound. Our hearts melted.
We then all regrouped and travelled to various locations to connect in meetings. HIV/Aids, Radio, Womens Rights and mental Health. I chose Mental health. It was just amazing to share voices, listen to what stresses, anxieties and traumas they have to deal with and make real connections. I was thrilled that later that day I would be working with Chiyemkezo a young policeman who with his chief's blessing would learn the Total Release Experience with me and share it with those in Malawi. He is also safeguarding school officer too and was very excited about the work.
It became clear we had a great Guide (Ron) for the week and a safe and brilliant driver (Justin).
Malawi Expedition/Challenge - Monday
We went to the Workplace of Trinitas. She was a lovely lady that was at the meeting yesterday. What an inspiration. She makes washable sanitary wear. the biggest problem for girls is not being able to attend school at that time of the month as they have no money for sanitary wear. She told us her inspirational story of how she suffered herself as a girl and decided to do something about it. She took big chances and now is slowly building with the limited resources she has.
She has a lovely man that helps her to cut patterns and sew the products. She travels to South Africa twice a year to get the best materials so that her product is absorbent and hygienic. She presents them in a pack of 7 although sold as single items. Genius idea. Think there is a lot of scope here. the savings would be phenomenal.
What I loved about her was that to her quality was the overriding factor. Although she had competition offering something cheaper the risks to end users were greater. She sticks to her values and principals. I love that - a women unto my own heart. She is expecting her first baby in December after many complications.
Malawi Expedition/Challenge - Tuesday Part 1
After a photo call we left Fishermans Rest to go to Samaritans. Near to the Orphanage that Madonna adopted her children. Stella gave us a talk about all the good work they do to inspire children and teenagers to have hope empowering them to be inspired giving them hope to create a better future. Here I was able to give some of the things for children I bought with raised funds to Centre.
Listening to the plights of children as they are often abandoned by parents. When relationships split maybe through abuse to the mother, the mother then struggles to feed her family, it is the wonderful work of those such as Stella that keeps the children going to alleviate their stress and anxiety from their traumas.
We then set off, stopped for lunch. Spotted two Zebras together - special! We visited a Tea Plantation before then driving to the base camp as tomorrow we climb Mount Mulanji
Malawi Expedition/Challenge - Tuesday - Part 2
Arriving at Base Camp we settle into our Lodges. I shared with two others. After supper unfortunately had an accident and banged the head on a tap! Sam was a nurse and stopped the bleeding and Fiona was there with her oils. I slept well and was up at 4,00 am to prepare for the climb. We were to be at breakfast for 5.00 am. By 4.30 I was sick - great. I was told there would be no mountain climb for me. I was to go get checked out. I was mortified.
After they had set off Ron took me to a Clinic to see a Dr. Wow we have no idea how lucky we are. Anyway despite my concerns I left there with two neat stitches in my head and something for feeling less sick. Which was (fortunately) totally unrelated. I ate a salad the day before - and most likely washed in water that does not suit us Brits!! I was then asked if I wanted to rest or go and see sights. For me there was only one thing to do - if it could be organised. That was to go up the mountain! !0.00 am ready to go I paid two guides who were amazing. Still feeling sick and no energy off we went. One step in front of the other. A different route to the team . We went straight up more or less - very steep. I kept stopping and sometimes almost crawling up.but matters not as in the end I got there and 5 minutes before the others, don't know who was more pleased. The TRE I do for myself tested my resilience. The Universe decided I should be challenged - I most definitely was. I have raised my bar! Keep going no matter how difficult things seem to be.
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Malawi Expedition/Challenge - Wednesday
After an incredible experience in the Lodge, just like something from the Waltons - after a short sleep I felt more human. Great evening, before we ate, laughed and sang I did a TRE session with everyone. Including George the chief Mountain Guide. He was blown away - I had my second recruit! By 9.00 pm lights were out. Challenging to sleep in a small room with 14. There was s lot of shuffling and moving around. Up at 4.00 am as with 4 others we were setting of to go down the longer route. I was delighted that I would get to see both sides of the mountain.
The whole experience was excellent. Once down - a shower was never more welcome, before we said goodbye to the good guys and set off to a Hotel for a treat.
Thursday a Day for a Miracle
Today was special. We went to the Yodep Children's Centre. There we were greeted by cheering children, drums playing and adults swaying. We could feel the warmth of the welcome. Everyone soon gathered and introductions made as the Yodep leaders spoke of the work they do. There are many problems there for them to deal with. Mental health issues, discrimination, disabilities and HIV. One could not help but be in awe of the amazing work that is done.
We were treated to a display of their traditional dance after which it was talking to the children and the adults. I had the intention of sharing the TRE. I asked for some time and was given it. The leaders then engaged with me and after their firs experience of the practice they were joyful. We agreed to work together so they could start to share with their children. What follows was beyond my dreams - I had 8 new recruits.
We then left for the Home stay. To experience the life they live. I felt privileged to embrace their sharing. The cooking, cleaning, knowledge of their lifestyle and how to make bricks! Every day I wake I think of them. Beautiful people with so little, yet richness in their hearts.