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Melting Tim Tams

Uncategorized Apr 05, 2024

I once handed a DL Flyer for a voluntourism trip to Ghana to give to my dad while I was in my first year of uni.


The pamphlet, however, was a total fake, designed just so I could get over in a way that seemed legit, when really I was going to meet a guy I have only ever chatted with via email.


Who I was chatting to was an orphan himself, wanting to now start a foundation in his local village. Foreigners would be invited (and I assumed picked at random?) to come over to lend a hand.


I got my flight sponsored to get me there (which I later found out was booked with stolen credit card details, ahhhhhhhh I promise I had no idea), and flew in alone.


Armed with nothing but melting Tim Tams and a whole lot of stationary to donate to the community, I set off on a journey that would change my life forever. I flew halfway across the world to a place that seemed almost unreal until I touched down.


I was on a mission to find a "Jamal". As I stood in that airport, scanning the crowd for a man I had never met, my anxiety started to get the best of me, and I wanted to spew.


What the HECK am I doing?


Then I find him. Tall, wearing a bright white Ghanaian smock and a big smile.


What followed were weeks of invaluable lessons, adventures, and profound connections with the other volunteers and his community. We worked together to serve others and figure out our own paths in the process.


That journey taught me something I could never buy - that the greatest moments in life come from taking risks, stepping out of our comfort zones, and embracing the unknown.


It's a lesson that has stayed with me for many years as I continued to travel, share yoga, and then eventually start my own family.


I see risk all the time within this studio. It takes a lot of courage to come to a yoga class for the first time, to come to a place where we openly speak about our vulnerability in a group environment.


It also takes a leap of faith to take it one step further and enroll in a yoga teacher training, discovering not only how to share yoga but also the layers of self-discovery within that, as well as making new friends along the way (which is still totally possible as an adult by the way!).


As Oprah Winfrey once said (I used to be awkwardly obsessed with her podcast), "Do one thing every day that scares you."


Whatever that is for you, I am crossing my fingers and toes it's not as naive as lying to those who love you and flying to Ghana on stolen credit card details to meet someone you do not know.


Annika xx


P.S. As someone with two daughters, just bringing up this story again really frightens me. It's an extreme example of risk, and I am in no way saying that anyone should do what I did over 15years ago. You can, however, volunteer with the Dream Africa Care Foundation, what the orphanage I visited is today, and be safe and well-taken care of like I was by clicking here and visiting their website.


P.P.S. Yoga Teacher Training starts on Sunday, May 5th, from 9 am to 12 pm, either in the Penrith studio or online via Zoom. You can learn more about Teacher training by clicking here.



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