Day 7: Thursday 13 May – Kumasi Calling

Determined to leave early, we still somehow didn’t leave until late. The double tragic news of the sudden death of Lionel Ekwe, the co-ordinator of Cameroon who had died in a car crash and the fatal plane crash in Tripoli affected us quite deeply, as we quietly contemplated the forces at work within Africa.

We had hoped to visit Ray Godus’ art studio early that morning, but now time would not allow. He was a sculptor in wood and a painter and an intense seeker who had managed to keep meditating regularly for most of the seven months since our last visit. He still retained his Rasta look, but was much gentler than last time and always asked very deep questions about spirituality. We had hoped perhaps to find a potential present for Shri Mataji, possibly a carving of the Mother of Africa, Shri Africeshwari, to accompany the 84 Sanskrit names that we had created in the lead up to the tour with Jane, Maike and Bokwe from the South African collective.

Back on the road, we headed for Kumasi. Francis’ choice of route was not the best and before long the road disintegrated into a moonscape of dust and pot-holes. Instead of arriving in Kumasi for a mid-afternoon lunch the journey nearly doubled in length and we arrived in a state of gnawing hunger 30 minutes before the programme was supposed to begin! Quickly we dashed into Vic Baboo’s cafe just around the corner, downed a bottle of cooling malt (a long established tradition with Ghana tourists!) and tucked into some fantastic Indian food.

We just had time to nip back to the Guestline Lodge which is where the programme was scheduled to begin at 6pm, before our guests began to arrive. Luckily Ghana runs on what they call GMT – Ghana Mean Time – which means most people will be late! In all we had texted and called about 40 people and we were curious who would turn up at such short notice. In the event 10 people came into our guest room, which doubled as the venue. Mahesh the owner of the hotel (a Paramhansa Yogananda follower who had come to the programmes with his family last year) had beautifully set up the room for us, removed the beds and replaced them with rows of chairs; and so within a few minutes the altar was set up, the Charlie chakra banner was flying in the AC breeze and we were ready to go.

The format was similar to Takoradi and ended with everyone working on each other. The vibe was quite different in Kumasi – very light on the heart, but rather heavy on the Agnya. Last time we had come there had been a dramatic thunderstorm full of the announcing power of Shri Vishnumaya. In the cafe I had commented how we had not felt the presence of Shri Vishnumaya so acutely as on the last tour. Amazingly, as the programme began, cloud-shattering thunder filled the air. Shri Vishnumaya was very much with us!

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