The SHAME of Europe: Refuge as Business…

The SHAME of Europe: Refuge as Business…

A terrorist is not a Muslim. A terrorist has lost his faith…’
– Pope Francis in Moria.

‘Will Europe make a large detention center of Greece Yasmin ‘, asks one of our dear Greek friends with pain in his eyes. ‘I did like you to write a letter to the European Union with all the insights you have collected’. I look at him: ‘I am not an activist, but a peacemaker. But no longer I can deny this situation…’

There are places such as Kara Tepe where everything is neatly arranged. There are more social workers than refugees. I would send 90 percent of them home and I would put the refugees themselves at work. You give them the feeling back that they are human…

As a counterpoint, there are places everywhere like Moria-Camp. Moria symbolizes the shame of Europe. Even if it is not possible for us to enter through the front door, we have seen a lot through the back door. We have met people from more than twenty countries. Apathetic people – sad people – happy people and above all lots of brave people. I do not feel pity. That is inhumane and that I do not feel anymore. I tell them frankly that the situation in Europe is anything but rosy, and if they can not live together in peace at this place, they can  better go back to the war in their own country. They are surprised and get lively with my directness.

Of course I understand that there is no ready-made solution in this. But to put innosent people behind bars in a terrible kind of prison – where even NGO’s withdraw en masse, is mockery to our humanity and feeds the frustration.

We can not continue to commute our fear with buckets of money, of which like always only a small portion reaches the refugees.

In Moria-camp there is hunger – often a lack of water – people sleep in the bloody heat in a tent on the floor and the bathroom is a accusation. They fight for food – almost every day. Some time ago, the Afghans put the tent of Pakistanis on fire. 70 people get injured…

For some refuges their escape was a hell, for others a great adventure. The dream of a life without war, to have the right to speak out freely, kept them alive. That dream has been shattered. Except the people from Syria and Eritrea only a very few will have the opportunity even to leave the islands. You need to SEE a place like Moria to believe it!

By meeting people they are no longer images for me but living souls. By looking them in their eyes I put them in my hearth. We adopted our Pakistani hero. He asked me to bless him before we left Lesbos: ’Why Yasmin I had to wait for so long to meet YOU? I have met so many loving people, but the meeting with you both has lift me up. I dare to face life again…’

To BE with the people here has enriched my life. My heart was already open, it is even more open then before. I did not came for them. I am here in the first place for myself. If God is willing – Inshallah – we will go back by the front door – straight into Moria Camp. I like to do what I did everywhere: People learn to live together in PEACE.

Unknown makes unloved. Or as Sham told us: I am raised with hatred toward Israelis. Here I discover that Israelis are lovely people too.

A terrorist is brainwashed and lost HimSelf.  He never reached his inner Source –  I will call Love…


Part 2. The drame of Sham from Pakistan

Ons adoptiekind. Sham uit Pakistan

When you kill someone, you will kill everyone
When you save a person, you will save everyone
– Sham

The story of Sham has been stripped of self-pity, though he shows his emotions clearly when he talks about his parents. He wants to protect them – he does not like them to know the situation he is in…


The situation in Pakistan is not safe. You can find information on the Internet. I limit myself to Sham.

A brother of Sham and his uncle get killed. Others were tortured so they lost limbs. We know these stories from Kashmir, where the current situation – according to Sham – is worse than ever.

His family brought money together and he found a smuggler who should bring him safely to Europe. In Iran, he was kidnapped and tortured. Burns from hot iron are clearly visible on his back and arm. Eventually he get handcuffed and blindfolded left in the bush. He managed to free himself, got help and continued his journey. He went without too many problems through Turkey and reached seven months ago Lesvos. Finally free! Two days before they closed the borders…

Sham is Muslim and computer specialist. He meditates and write poems to transforms his trial.

His suffering is not over

A group of volunteers open a wonderful camp in the bush. There are 1500 refugees and no fences. Suddenly, with European funds, they restored the huge prison next door, including fences and barbed wire. The existing camp is dismantled. Five hundred Pakistanis go into detention. They will be sent back to Turkey. That is the end, Sham knows. He finds out when the guard is asleep and escapes. With blankets he climbs the high fences with barbed wire. He hides a month in the bush. Keeps alive by boys from the camp. If the detention order expires Sham returns to the camp through a hole in the fence.

He is not complaining about food or anything else. I feel that he is risking his life. But he likes to do what he has to do…

After an intense talk Sham leads us around the prison. It is a horrible place. Pope Francis called it during his visit the greatest shame after the Second World War! Caringly Sham puts his arms around my shoulders as if he likes to protect me…

  • Sham is never complaning. He is going for his asylum for Greece even if he knows he can sent back to Pakistan. He likes to enter by the frontdoor…

Part 3. A fortnight in Lesvos

Dogs, cats and pigeons. They fit naturally into the streets. Like the Romans, which, however, are left to their fate and try to scrape by begging their food. Refugees do not beg. We meet wonderful Greeks and volunteers from all over the world who seek us to ventilate their frustrations about their organization. The Greeks are the most lovable people I ever met. In every way life is more relaxed than in our country.


Without knowing anything I feel I need to go to Camp Moria, the hell of Lesvos. We defy the enormous heat and meet many people outside the gate or on the way. Sometimes little miracles happen:

Osana from Egypt is a shining Light
  • Like the family of Syria which we encouraged to move to Kara Tepe. Despair transformed into joy.
  • Haslo from Guinea with his open heart who wants to tell his children what life is like in Europe.
  • Basil from Jordan who has a spirit the world can float on. We eat together with his Syrian friends at Kara Tepe – of course with our hands.
  • Osama from Egypt who leaves his wife and child behind to find a way to make a living for them. He calls me his teacher and tries to learn English as much as possible during the meal we share. He wants to go to his brother in Italy. “Please, take me on the boat,” he asks. Unfortunately, even that is not possible.
  • Our friend Jafar from Afghanistan, together with his brother, survived the trip under a truck and arrived safely in Switzerland – thank goodness!

Part 4. The old hospital

Playing with Hothefa from 14

Back in Pireaus we are surprised by the heat and pollution of the city. We get told that we did better not to go the old hospital in the heart of Athens where our friends are, because the project is taken over by the Mafia. We just go. Without exeption our friends are very glad to see us. But the spirit seems disappeared. The dullness even struck at Fatia, the undefeated power of Piraeus…

What a drama! The project started by an English couple initially for Syrian families after the conclusion of Pireaus, has been taken over by Syrian youth. They steal food supplies and medicines collected by volunteers and convert them into alcohol and drugs. For days there is no food. Today we will eat together and we will bring some money to our families who have a hard time. Samir even thinks about going back to the war in Syria after more than half a year in Greece and no place to go. Even not to his daughter in Germany. Life here is too hard and too hopeless, he says…

According to Sham America and Russia are the culprits. They create refugees and saddle them onto Europe.

Anyway, a massive migration is taking place. Good or bad, we will have to learn to respect and to tolerate each other. The only way to do this is to walk the way my SELF…

Every day I get touched until my soul,

Om Shanti – Let US live in Peace
Yasmin

Salwa from Syria and I love each other

Pireaus Port – Refugees

Pireaus Port – Refugees

The moment you look people straight in their eyes, you will meet their true Being. Strangers no longer exist.

Syrians, Afghans, Kurds, Iraqis, Iranians, Cashmere, Tunisians. We meet them all at the port of Pireaus where they are stranded five months ago after the borders closed and which port is now in Chinese hands…

Although there is a difference in status, their stories are almost identical. Many have fled the war and lost relatives, others came because they wanted to build a better life in the ‘promised land’ of their imagination. They were imprisoned in Turkey, crossed the border in the night and were terrified to be arrested or to drown with the boat. Some left entire families behind, others have a family member somewhere in Europe.

Signposts

The army and the church take care for food. There are tents and blankets provided by the UN. There is a Red Cross post, free transportation and loads of young people coming by organizations to assist with food and clothing distribution, to teach English or to play with the children. Some people are totslly apathetic, others like Fatia, her sister and their families have created a home where everybody, refugees as well as volunteers can recharge. You get offered something everywhere: tea, coffee, fruit juice or fruit. People are starting to know us, kids shine as they see us. Literally I put my arms around them, large or small. Sometimes we are a signpost for new volunteers…

Safely

We do nothing – and because of that the energy called Love flows naturally. The moment you embrase people, all judgments will disappear. No, the Syrians are not poor, but they lost their homes and family members in the war, left everything behind and paid huge sums to escape to a safe place. And we would certainly do the same. Whattsapp provides a wunderful connection with friends or relatives elsewhere.

Everyone lives his own blueprint. Situations that seem inhuman in our eyes, undoubtedly lead sooner or later to polish the pathway our soul has chosen for.

Human

I am not here because I want to be good, I am not here because I want to be an angel. I am here because I want to be in all respects a true Human-being. To experience and to be present with an open heart and to put literally my arms around the people, all judgments are fading away and I meet all particles of mySelf. Undoubtedly all of us become richer…

Heart-warming

Fatima - Modisa Afghanistan

Jafar from Afghanistan is here because for him there is no future in his country. He is caring for a group of Afghan men and acts together with those guys as brothers and protectors for Fatima and her daughter Modisa. Heart-warming! He does not see another way out then to leave the country illegally. But first he wants to find a safe place for this mother and daughter. We try to help him. There is no way back. In my heart I will travel with him…


‘The Koran is a wonderful guide to walk our pathway,’ Jafar tells me. ‘Unfortunately, there are just a few who live this nowadays…’

My dear Jafar, you are living it. And many people  I have met in those days…

Squat

A couple from Wales together with a group of Syrian people are creaking an old hospital. We pay the taxi for father Samir to get there with their furniture and we take the subway with his wife Salwa and their three kids. It is an incredible mess, but they are happy to have a place for now. We help Salwa to clean up the biggest mess. When we come back two days later their room is spotless, though there is still no toilet and electricity. Salwa is cooking for us and hungry or not, we have to eat. We know this habit globally! ‘I love you’, Salwa says as she looks into my eyes. ‘I love you too’, I answer sincerely.

Evacuation

Syria - Fatia - Yasmin and Zubaida

Will it finally happen? The police came around to mention that this camp will be closed on Monday.  Many families have already been evacuated elsewhere. There is a special camp for Syrians. Fatia and her family will get a caravan there. There is also a tent camp for Afghans.

But what to do with all the others – that is until now a mystery…


Om Shanti,
Yasmin


The power of silence

The power of silence

If all sounds are stilled and we have gone to the bottom of our fear, there remains nothing else then to surrender ourselves to the flow of silence. We finally come home to the world we were constantly looking for…

Compassion

I wake up and stretch myself. While chuckling, I feel my heart is opening up. It is not a disaster to be alone. I am not bad company! I embrace myself in compassion and my heart opens up further and further. From the boundless flow of unconditional love my compassion is going to our Refugees. I am thankful that I am not in their shoes! In my imagination I embrace them with an open hearth while offering them a bunch of roses. I feel compassion for a world that feels alienating and split up because we live in the illusion of a separate I…

Quiet

Although different than before, it can be pretty quiet around me now I am pulling back again from the visible world of activity. At the same time there is a huge need for silence inside of me. The moments that I feel uncomfortable, are those moments when I think I finally have to do something! Unfortunately, it is not working like that anymore. Once I let go and return to the boundless space in myself, there is no compulsion, and I am utterly boundless. I know I am doing what I have to do – even though my contribution seems less visible in the outside world.
People who are a tad alienated of this society feel at home with me. I accept them the way they are. Eventually I am also not a ‘normal’ tribe-member.

All-one

Regularly I go into nature. There is nothing that distracts me and I immensely enjoy the silence. All difficulties disappear like snow in the sun and I feel truly safe in the arms of the Father/Mother. I become one with nature – my nature.
Once you leave the beaten track you come to mystical places. In front of me a deer stands on the path. A buzzard is looking for the right thermals. What a power! How lovingly the couple coots take care of their young. A lapwing cries desperately after losing her nest. A swan with kids is swimming in the river. A lamb calls for its mother. Mother sheep breaks away from the flock and knows unerringly to find her child. A group of geese expels an intruder in their territory. Everything seems to be in bloom and the diversity of greens are a blessing for body and soul.
My energy is flowing abundantly and I feel grateful and privileged that I can walk, that I can enjoy…

Experience

I am grateful that I am born in the Netherlands. It is in many respects a great country and in essence we are a hospitable race.
We have, in my opinion, one weakness. We like to arrange everything and that deprives people of the possibility to discover the essence of life. Children need to learn the difference between good and evil. They can only learn this by experiencing this by themselves.

Silence

If we allow ourselves to make mistakes, if we dare to be rebellious, if we have the courage to question the established order, especially within ourselves, we eventually learn that we can only be responsible for our own Self. When we playful and curious dare to explore our own lives, when we honestly dare to look in our own mirror, we stop pointing to others. We accept that is what is, without having an opinion or a judgment. We reveal what the Creator intended with his creation. Words lose strength, silence takes its space. We quit to believe that we have to do something. We are what we are: pure Love…

Fear

Embrace your fear and it will disappear like snow in the sun. It does not matter which path we have chosen. It is always the right path! And if you need something from someone else, you just have to ask. It is that simple!

Om Shanti – Let US be in Peace…
Yasmin – Ambassador of Love


Immortal

Immortal

People who say that there is good without the associated evil or a good government without the associated misrule do not understand the main principles of the universe, nor the nature of creation…
One might talk about the existence of heaven without an earth or the negative without the positive, which is obviously impossible. Nevertheless, people talk incessantly about it. Either such people cannot be wise or they keep fooling themselves…
– Chuang Tzu –

Unworthy

It was my deepest conviction that I was not okay, so my life was a sequence of misery and unhappiness. I believed I had no right to live. People around me tried to convince me daily of that, and see they were very successful! These recurring affirmations got stuck in my head – eventually that became a conviction that I began to experience as truth: ‘Lord I am not worthy!’ On behold, my unworthiness manifested itself in my body as illness. Slowly but surely I lost my childlike innocence and my self-confidence and I died little by little…

Improving

During this process of decay I got more and more insight into the true meaning of life, so I started to improve myself. Initially I was angry at my parents, educators and churches that they had restricted my divinity. This anger has been the engine of my movement. The moment I stopped to blame them I demanded my birthright back. I did not see myself as sick anymore, but as someone who is constantly improving. The whole process of guilt, inferiority and sickness has taught me that it is no longer necessary to walk the path of decline and to associate myself with illness. Altogether I am healthier than ever and my body is more youthful and more flexible than many years ago!

Deathless

I believed in mortality because they wanted me to believe it. How should they have been able to suppress me and to mitigate my divine spirit if they had told me who I really was? I became immortal at the moment I was allowed to catch a glimpse from the infinite vastness of the universe. From that moment my fear of death disappeared, and I started to transform the whole process. More and more I began to realize and also to experience that I was a divine and immortal being who could not improve herself because I was already perfect in the moment!

Self

No longer I feel the need to blame somebody else for my shortcomings and I take full responsibility for my well-being. I am self sufficient and do not stick to any religion anymore. In short, I do not believe in anything or anyone, only in myself. I see God or Love reflected in nature and in everything and everyone around me. I am open en flexible en willing to examine everything, but I do not take anything for granted, until I have experienced it myself.

Power

I do not need to blame churches or educators. I do not like to see anyone behind bars. Overall, I have manifested all of this by myself, partly because I needed to experience things to learn who I really was! Without this process of apparent contradiction I would never have been able to experience and to enjoy real Life; so viva the Church, viva the government and especially viva my educators. We cherish our image of the outside world as long as we need it. At the moment we wake up they will lose their power over us.
I am a divine being – just like you. I hold the same powers than the Master Jesus and many others – just like you. No longer I feel ashamed to stay proudly and grateful into this world. I honor myself in me and in you. Because you are me and I am you.

Engine

God is Love with a capital letter and that Love is the engine of my existence. There is nothing outside of that Love or whatever you like to call it, so it is impossible to include or exclude anything or anybody.
We do not fall in love because of appearance, age or gender. We do not like a certain person because the body where we cling a certain age and certain mortality to – as if there would exist something as time!
We love each other because of our spirit – which is eternal and immortal. Our divinity will increasingly reflected itself as soon we purify our emotional and spiritual body and fully dare to admit and to embrace ourselves.
From the moment I recognized myself and started to love and to embrace myself, I could look everyone in the eyes and say convincingly: ‘I am worthy, but not I alone, you too. And no matter what you ever did or what you might do yet. Now you are worthy and there is no need to improve yourself because you are already perfect!’

Debt

All over the world I see people following the same path. We give our responsibility in the hands of sources outside ourselves. Churches and educators have given us the feeling that we were not good enough; that there exist a God and a devil. As if Gods creation is not Oneness. By believing in good and bad, we create good and evil. We cannot even blame God for that! Also, we cannot expect Him to save us because He has no judgment so he finds it all quite amusing how we get stuck in our ego plays here on earth. To say it frankly, more than this you cannot name it, can you?

Game

As long as we live in this self-created world of uncertainty we try to undermine each other with words or with powers. My tribe is better than your tribe. My God is better than your God. What a joke! Unfortunately for most people, deadly serious and not something to joke about! Anyway, by now I know it all pretty well, the power games and the tricks, so I can understand it too. The smaller we are, the more we like to blown up our ego. And as long as we can impress others we will continue to play our game with gusto. But eventually we out voice only ourselves and once we close our mouth, our self-created reality collapses as a house of cards, and we fall into the abyss of self-pity and sheer misery; at this moment a process worldwide is happening and what some of us will call hell!

Improve

I believe that I am improving myself every day; that every day is worthy to live and to experience at the fullest. My body constantly renews and rejuvenates itself. Bumps in my life are only there to make me more aware of my Self. I may take those bumps without nagging. And when I am occasionally nagging, let me be aware that I am nagging! Even that I do not have to change. That is just what it is at that particular moment and when I let it be without judgment, it will disappear as fast as the rain showers from this morning.

Wealth

I love myself. Wow, I have created a wonderful life, a gorgeous body. I have created a beautiful environment and what a beautiful people are surrounding me. But even if all off this will disappear, I will stay upright. Because within me is a wealth that is independent of anything and anyone and cannot be expressed in money. It manifests itself as an eternal field of flowers which bloom continuously without ever withers. There is so much to be grateful for. There is only gratitude…

I love myself – and because of that I love you…

Yasmin – Ambassador of Love

‘The moment I fully embrace myself, I embrace the world without exception’.


Meru – Kenya

Meru – Kenya

Staying on my balcony I am watching Mount Kenya. An eagle ascends from the treetop and circles higher and higher. My mind takes a leap and merges with the eagle. I oversee the meaning of life and feel free – completely free…

Meru

After a time of completion of projects, saying goodbye to my friends on the coast and a final Dennis-day at our favorite beach, I arrive at my new friends in Meru. Again I ended up in paradise…
Meru is the opposite of the coastal area. This area is not dependent on tourists. The infrastructure is good and the land is fertile. Meru is the storehouse for export of tobacco, coffee, marijuana, Mira, fruit, vegetables, maize, cassava, etc. Sometimes elephants are crossing the road…

The climate is delightful. Cool at night and warm during the day. The rain is expected any time and that is sorely needed. Elephants and monkeys come inside the habitats and people have to lit fires and make noise to protect their crops…

Majengo

Jeetje wat een cadeautjes

Once you leave the main road you will find purity and poverty. Children run through the bush paths: ‘Muzungu’! I step off of the engine and hug the wise and old ones and the small and pure kids. Majengo is the place where the poor brewing their illegal beer. Even you can better not walk here on your own in the dark, I feel at home in the chaos…


Alone, with my motor guy and sometimes with rangers and guns I explore the beautiful nature. I climb waterfalls. We visit the dry desert area of Isiolo where Jesus passed on a donkey on his way to Ethiopia. He touched the soil with his staff and there arose a fruitful source in the desert. Until today shepherds with their flock come here for drinking water.

Chuka

We visit Chuka, the homeland of my friends. Here you find the sober African life my friends have left behind. Mother of 90 spontaneously takes my hand and we dance and sing together. Living in a community like this means that everyone is responsible for everyone and loneliness is an unwritten word…

Family ties are very important. You are not only responsible for your own family, children and grandchildren. All the children of your brothers and sisters are yours. You are also responsible for their place at school, etc. If you want to extract yourself, you are an outcast and you can better go elsewhere…

The prison is full of people who committed minor offenses: brewing, thefts. Nowadays, sometimes someone get robbed and raped and even murdered. Michael and I were lucky when we climbed to the waterfalls. We were warned just in time and escaped the robbers by stabbing the river as quickly as we could…

Lawyer

My host is a lawyer. Therefore he can play an important role in complying with the new constitution. At home he is the one who sets the price, but occasionally there is an intimate atmosphere and we exchange something essential. ‘Thank you master,’ he will say. ‘Karibu sana master’ or welcome, I answer…

Tradition dictates that the wife is not working outside the home. She is the boss in the house and kitchen. The last place is off limits to men. The truth commands to tell me that women usually are not willing to give up their place of power. On the other hand a woman will not ask her husband were he is up to in the evenings. That is his field. Traditions change, slowly but surely. It takes time.

Power

The power of Kenya has changed me. I have much more space. Let things just happen without controlling them. I observe without judgment. I can say I am now a real coach…

Kenya is a rich country. Property here is normal. You not measure your wealth on that. Even though 52 percent earn less than $ 2 a day, if you own a piece of land with your own private hut you can can have a good living.

When the rich stop to fill their own pockets and are willing to share, then livein Kenya will be much better than it is in the West. Let us stop to send our money for their Development. Let us stop to be that arrogant to think that we know what is good for THEM and finally give them a possibility to mature. Every human being has the right to find his own dignity. Support out of pity is not working. It gives us Westerns a feeling of superiority but makes people there lazy and dependent…

Smart people make beautiful movies in problem areas. We watch and think this is Kenya and pull our pockets because we find it too sad. The money we donate mostly does not reach its destiny…

The new constitution is unique. It divides Kenya into provinces and the power lies with the people. It will take a while before the implementation in practice is flawless, but it is coming, slowly but surely.

Home

I landed safely at Schiphol and I catch the train from Amsterdam to ‘s Hertogenbosch. It is cold, the sky is gray and the fog is thick. In Utrecht, a watery sun breaks through the clouds. Wow, it feels magically. My HEART pops open. I feel at home – at home in myself. Home is where my heart is and for this moment that will be here…

Jeetje wat een cadeautjes

Grateful for AL what I experienced. Thankful for ALL that I could share and distribute: building houses and a chicken farm – paying school fees – activate shops – sending people to Dubai’s for a job – paying for hospital, medicines, motors repair and so on…

Love is All that is
Yasmin – Mutanu


Kenya – Ribe district

Kenya – Ribe district

After fourteen days of intense fasting and not being on the internet, I feel reborn. The pain in my body has passed away. My inner space feels boundless. I feel quiet – quiet from the inside – quiet from the outside…

I have given my wisdom out of hands to someone who thought he knew my body better then me myself. Literally that has put my whole sensitive system on its head. Thank God, in all respect I have taken back my own space…

Ribe district

Together with Chai and Rasta Chai I travel hours on the bike through the bush to the Ribe district. It is a beautiful area with rivers and hills. We visit the remains of the first church, the cemetery, the first bridge and on top of the hill we see the first school.

Kaya – the ancestors

The Gateway to KAYA

We leave behind the engine, walk through narrow forest paths and stand at the gate of the Kaya, the holy place where the ancestors lives. When an epidemic broke out, or in times of war they were consulted. Rhasta Chai looks at me. ‘You are very privileged. There was never a white one in this place, let alone a white woman.’ I feel that it is not a coincidence; I ought to be at this place…


‘At that time there was a direct gateway to God. There was no middleman. You did not have to be baptized to be chosen. Everyone was chosen…’

Gateway to heaven

It is true that the church and the west with all their good intentions destroyed a lot here in Africa. However, this is part of the evolutionary process. We cannot go back to the past. We have to go forward. It is time that Africa start to remind her inner strength and stops to sell her soul to the West in exchange for money.

These turbulent times will give each of us the opportunity to turn inside and to come home inside our self. We have to find our own special gateway to heaven. So we will, wherever we are, in every church, mosque, in nature or anywhere else, experience our true connection with what we call God or ALL THAT IS…

Successful

She comes from Tana River Delta. A disputed region on the Somali border, where many were killed in recent years. Her father was successful with the production of honey which he exported to Lamu. Success is not accepted here; his brothers murdered him and took the house. Her mother had to leave with the children and brought them up as a single mother.

History repeats itself. She runs away from her husband who mistreats her, works as a teacher and teaches classes of over 100 students. In the evening she provides tutoring so her children can go to college. ‘What are you worried about?’ ‘I need 200 Euro exam-fees to pay for my daughter. I’m waiting for a miracle. ‘Thanks to a special person in my life I can provide her this miracle. She cries of pure joy…

She is on the list for surgery. She has no confidence in that and ask me to treat her. After three weeks she starts to feel a different person. ‘Do you have a new doctor,’ they question her on her work, ‘You are so energetically…’

Mombasa

At the moment I seriously think whether it is possible to stay here forever, we are again on fire:

Al Shabab lures children to Jihad with free food. Police raided a crowded mosque. There are two officers slain with pangas. The police started to shut. Several children are killed. The following Friday they call for revenge. Muslims pelting the police with stones. People are trapped in their houses. Street – shops will be demolished and some people are killed. At this moment the police seem to have the matter reasonable under control…

Forgive and forget

Hi is badly abused by his father. As a 14-year-old he walked out of the door and never returned. I ask why he wants to visit his father in the hospital. He looks at me thoughtfully: ‘Your Westerners never forget anything. We Africans do horrible things, but we forget them and start at new.’

And that’s absolutely true. No rancor in Tuva, who was almost killed while his motor was stolen, nor by James whose brother was slain, or by my friend whose father was killed…

If you see that someone is killed then you make sure that you do not really see it. If you report it to the police you can be the next one…

Yasmin – Mutanu



Lamu – Paradise in Kenya

Lamu – Paradise in Kenya

The time on the island of Lamu seems to stand still. The transport is going by dhow or boat, by foot, by donkey or by bike. The population is a mix of Swahili, Arabic, Indian and Chinese and mostly Muslim…

Old Town

We find an artistic residence in Old Town, the best preserved Arab settlement. We sleep in an open house with hundreds of steps and hidden spots. The only drawback is the heat.

She flew with her father in his private jet from Nairobi to Mogadishu. Her father decided to land on something that looked like a landing strip. At that moment she felt in love with Lamu. She is an artist and born in USA. She has her Kenyan citizenship. Recently the USA changed the law. No longer she is allowed to enter her fatherland…

Chained

Although I belong nowhere, on a natural way I am part of all life in and around me. While I am working on the computer, the young man next door is producing a lot of noise. He is chained on the roof. It is taken weeks already but reportedly, he will soon functioning normally again. Amazingly, it does not shut me down and it does not bring me out of balance. There is even no need to change the situation…

Veiled women laughingly stabbing their hands to help me aboard. Men naturally reach out to support me to get on wall. Quay on Service is as natural here as breathing in and out…

Dream

The people are friendly and respectful. There is no security in this house. However, also here on this island tourism had a blow. The results are unemployment, drug abuse, HIV/AIDS, unseen poverty, and a hidden dream that it will be better elsewhere…

We enjoy the beautiful scenes of people and donkeys. We are all equal. As we are all moving on foot status disappears. We buy fruits and vegetables at the local market and drink African coffee on the street…

Shela and dolphins

Shela, with its twelve kilometers of sandy white beach, is paradise and cooler than Lamu. We walk for an hour along the coast or take the boat, swim in the sea and enjoy a blissful time when ten beautiful large dolphins give a performance especially for Dennis and me. What a divine gift…

Children come to me spontaneously. They stabbing out their hand, pressing a kiss on my hand and radiantly say Jambo…

Matondoni 

Kenya-Matadoni-dancing-hugging

With a packed wooden boat we pass by Mkowe and navigate to Matondoni. Immediately it feels like home. How special to be at a place where time seems to became to a standstill. At the same time this community has everything Westerners are longing for: JOY – vitality – wholeness – spontaneity – playfulness – inner wealth and EMPTY heads. In short, a state of enlightenment for which we will count down great amounts of money to ACHIEVE this state of satisfactorily what not can be achieved by anything – because it just IS already there! This people do not know – they just live it: One large family – in short, an Oneness – where I fit in seamlessly. We dance, we sing and off course we cuddle…
There is apparently nothing disturbing the silence, no car, no machine. But where dirt accumulates in places which are not seen by the tourist, behind the silence of the unemployed youth is growing a desire to leave this place…

Because of no disturbances from cars or machines our heads are empty, Skyna from fourteen proudly says. I chuckle at her. Do you know, sweetheart, in the west, people are willing to give out large amounts of money to reach this state of emptiness. Believe me; they are very jealous of you!

Cultural festival

Dhow races, donkey races, drummers and tribe dancers. The island is full of visitors from the mainland. We hear the orphans drumming and hurry up to the square. It is packed of people. Here one does not dance in public, but only at weddings. So I have to dance on my own. This time I get a great dance partner. His name is John, he is an artist and has eight children! I enjoy tremendously, sweat enormously and play bubble with the kids. Great!

Dennis has to go home to arrange the wedding of his sister. I am not ready yet and decide to stay.

Pitfall

What can I do if I would like to live here? That question is still in baked inside of me. Thanks God, I am aware of it. Things arise and pass away without saying if I do not try to pull my fingers on it…

Fear-mongering

The media gives the picture that Kenya is to dangerous and has to be avoided. Is Kenya a threat to the West? But people here and elsewhere do the same and warn me: ‘Do not walk along the coast on your own, it is too dangerous’. They sow seeds of fear, that if you are not alert will grow out into trees and make you afraid and dependent…

Wedding

Shadow is hardly to be found in Shela, but the water is lovely. I swim and fall asleep and against 17.00hr I decide also to walk back. And that is the reason that I end up in a Muslim wedding with stick dances and great drummers! The rhythm is catchy and puts me in installment. The atmosphere is upbeat. Afterwards it is almost dark and too late to walk and still I have to take the boat to Lamu.

Help syndrome

By observing one of the guests who hardly trice to change the situation from the man on the roof, I realize myself that we, spiritual people, are exhibit with the same drive than those with all their good intentions who came/come to Africa to rescue the poor souls and thus let/have thrown them into hell.

We also believe that we have a monopoly on the truth and want to save and to heal people and so on. To let things BE with an open HEART without wanting to change things or situations is a challenge and goes far beyond the ego. From inside we will be confronted with things that we rather not like to face. IS the man on the roof that crazy OR is there something we can not comprehend…

Wedding at the Fort

Muhammad says that I stole the hearts of the people in Matondoni and invites me for a special wedding at the Fort. I may help to pack the surprise boxes and later on with my own box, bottle of Fanta and some sweets I join the party. I am the only with one and surrounded by three hundred beautiful women. The Christian women from up-north are dancing in the circle in their colorful, expensive robes. The black robes of the Muslim women are a gorgeous backdrop. I enjoy these authentic women and their ceremonies. When four hours later the couple drops in and climbs the stage, all the attention is taken up by the bride. Her appearance sweeps away the groom completely…

True power

Ostensibly, the power is in the hands of the men on this island and undoubtedly throughout whole Mombasa coast and a great part of Africa. But behind the buibui and the veil hides the true power. Understated, but not to be beaten by anything…

I decide to spend my last night in Matondoni, to great delight of Muhammad…

Blessings from Heaven
Yasmin – Mutanu

(E) Bookshop

Ancient rituals

Ancient rituals

In this time when the old is doomed to disappear, there is no place for maintaining forced ancient rituals. They often has become hollow and empty and they carry no longer the power of the spirit within. Life itself will be our new initiation. It is intended that each of us will find his own inner temple: the essence of Love what is the true meaning of being human. That means that every attachment what prevents us from being fully human has to die first…
– The Power of Being

Prison

He is a Gypsy, a bit Indonesian and a bit Dutch. He is young and beautiful. He radiates something pure childlike. I am surprised that many of these ‘petty criminals’ are such a beautiful and unspoiled souls. I saw you come in, he says, you hit me right in the hearth. You have -his hands make a big circle- such a beautiful aura around you. When it is time to go back to his department I spread my arms and give him a hug. Thank you Stanley, it was enriching to meet you. It’s amazing how I feel at home among those guys. They have at least felt hell, do not pretend to be something and expect nothing from me. Overall, I can totally be myself here…

Brave

After prison I drive into town to visit Rick. He is in the final year of his detention, wrote a book, and asked for support. As we walk to the park we have intense talks about Buddhism and ethics. But we can also be quiet together. I know with a deep inner knowing that Rick is going to make it. Return back into this society is almost an impossible task. Do you have served your sentence, for your environment you will keep signed forever. A new start is reserved exclusively for those who literally have gone through the mud and suddenly got awake. That moment you take responsibility for your own actions without having to wallow in guilt. It takes courage to go inward and to turn your back to the old familiar surroundings. To succeed your coming back you have to be a loner – a rebel – who is willing to let go the desire of belonging to someone or to somewhere…

Grateful

I am grateful for all the love and the care I received on my way to healing and mobility. Grateful for all the energy exchances here in my beautiful garden. It is my dream that the flow we started spontaneously may have a sequel. That our doors will stay open for ever and ever to unlock a new world…

Om Shanti, Yasmin


Tanzania

Tanzania

We stay on the Kenya-Tanzania border. The chaos, dirt and stench of Mombasa and Likoni make room for order and cleanliness. The traffic is orderly and controlled and the bad road suddenly changes into a brand-new one with stripes and even room for cyclists. Here everything is to arrange for money and thanks to that I have vaccination booklets for both of us. Without yellow fever injection you are not aloud to cross the border…

– Clean, tidy and safe driving on the road. Spotless public toilets. Good working banking systems, real electricity pylons…

Bagamoyo

After two days in Dar es Salaam wo go to Bagamoyo: the slaves bastion on the mainland. A nice place where art and music occupy an important place and I finally find back the djembé! For 10 shillings you buy yourself a cup of coffee and a cookie on the beach. Delicious! The local population – usually Muslims – populate the beach. Surprisingly girls and boys mingle freely with each other.
My plan to cross with a Daw (fishing boat) to Zanzibar seems not possible. After a few days on the turbulent sea, I understand this all too well.

People here are not interested in muzungu’s. After independence, they throw them out. Tanzanians barely speak English. Swahili is their language. This is a setback they now try to overcome since they have a capitalist government. The good thing of it is they seem to have more self-esteem then in Kenya-Mombasa. The benefit for me is that I am not seen as the one who have to save them…

Zanzibar

Back in Dar es Salaam, we take the ferry to Zanzibar. As a rare white one, Mr. Pipe takes cares for me and he does it in such a delightful way I can really enjoy. On the other side we find a nice Hostel in Stone Town. For a few days we enjoy the old Arab town and its narrow streets.

Dennis is disoriented. He was never out of his region and he wanted to go home! Slowly he begins to enjoy. The disturbances caused by his environment in Kenya is clearly not present here!

Stone Town

Stone Town is not clean and is mostly populated by the descendants of Arabs, Muslims. Last Sunday the second priest was murdered here. Nobody takes the responsible for that. Always it is done by people from outside! Also here in Zanzibar tourism decreases.

Even if you do not see any tourist in the fishing port, it is my absolute favourite. It smells of fresh fish and is simultaneously a true SOURCE of LIFE…

Dala Dala

We leave behind the small suitcase in the Hostel and proceed with our small pack bags three days to Kizamkazi and Paje. We take the Dala-Dala. One of the highlights of my trip. The conductor stands behind the footboard and is mimicking from footboard to the roof where he piles the luggage ever higher. Cosy packed together there is an intimate atmosphere. Words are not necessary. I get a baby on my lap and feel at one! Four hours stopping and going is a bit long. My bum is sore but local transport is not only cheap, it is my favourite way to travel!
Kizamkazi is a fishing village where we see dolphins, but not in the way I wanted. Unfortunately, the fishermen are not aloud to take us! In the morning the fishing boats are coning back and they bring ashore an size of biggies I never saw before! Paje is beautiful and not very touristy, but I am not looking to great beaches.

Lushoto

After a week we take the ferry back. This time it is not going without struggle. But in Dar es Salaam there is Mr. Pipe. He has already seen me and leads us to a taxi willing to take us to Ubundu. From there we can take the bus to Lushoto.

The rainy season has started. We end up in a big traffic jam. Our taxi driver wants to be smart, deviates from the road and we are literally stuck in the mud. Here is a solution for everything. By joining forces, a muzungu – white one – behind the steering wheel, children and people who push for a little pocket money, we get out again. We stay overnight in Ubungu.

The last part of the 7 hour bus ride to Lushoto is spectacular. We are transferred sequentially and crammed into a small van, which funnily enough never bothers me here in Africa! Easily we find a lovely hostel and I enjoy unwise the coolness!

Waterfalls

Tanzania-waterfalls-Soni

We rent two engine guys and have to wear the mandatory helmet. (Here it is not aloud with three of four people on the motor!) The guys bring us thirty kilometres into the mountains to the rainforests and the waterfalls. I send them home, we’ll see how we get home. We enjoy the atmosphere from forest and waterfalls and walk the whole way back to the main road. Moments later it starts to rain cats and dogs and in no time we are soaked to the bone. We still have a thirty kilometres to go! We drink hot tea under a shed. The rain gets lesser. I do not like to get cold, so we have to walk! After one and a half hour and a lot of fun a van is stopping. Soaking wet I plump down in the back next to Jake. Fifteen minutes long I have a true encounter. Jake is from the USA, broadcasted stationed in this place without knowing before. Life among the mountain people he did not understand but who stretched two open arms toward him changed his life!

Reluctantly we leave Lushote after three days and travel to Tanga. No, there’s nothing. TO clean, TO western. You can cross the street with closed eyes. I miss movement and colour and I realize how this heat is affecting me!

We take the bus back to Kenya. After the border the order and beauty changes in chaos and at Likoni, the stench, the heat and the dirt are coming towards us. But also life. After the ferry we take a matatu to Majengo. When I get out, the boys have already seen me. ‘Karibu tena – Welcome back Mama Africa: One Love – One Tribe’ yell the engine guys. I can not make a phone call, so we just take the first two guys. I do not know them, but she know me. Their concern is heart-warming. We pass my village. Men and women evoke a warm welcome. Several times we has to stop, even the village elder will greet me. The children shout a cheerful Jambo. Chai is in his pub and is beaming from ear to ear…

Home

Outside the gate, I meet some guys from my place on their way home. Cuddling and greetings. ‘Everyone loves you’, says Stephen. ‘Because you love people’. And yes that is absolutely true! My room is spotlessly clean and there are even two vases of flowers. It touches my heart! Tired and sweaty we immediately dive into the pool. And then there is Faithy. She has heard that I am back. We play and cuddle in the water. This is life with CAPS. To be honest I do not want all that shaking on motorcycles anymore. The sea at this spot is not special at all, but undeniably this is my home…

The situation in Kenya from 2007 has repeated itself and is worrisome. People hide themselves for a week. Schools and shops were closed. Gently life begins to move again but everyone eagerly awaits if there will be new elections to come. And when that happens, well I prefer not to think about this…

I greet you from my HEART
Yasmin – Mutanu