Marita and me go for a swim during our lunch break. I arrive to afternoon class a little salty but completely rejuvenated. Each of us is called upon to teach a spontaneous 5 minute class. Craig directs us to use our intuition to feel what it is our students want in the class. This is easier said than done. It’s interesting; we are being trained to teach with the heart.
Later, the instructors let us know that we will be forgoing regular evening schedule for Uncle Roberts night market in Pahoa. Quiet cheers erupt from the crowd like bubbling lava flow. In just under two weeks, I feel like I’ve been living on Kirpal for months. We haven’t left the centre except to walk to Pohoiki beach for a swim. Or once when I went for a Medical trip into town. I love it here, but I am thrilled for a change in scenery.
We all pile into our respective rides at 6:30pm sharp. Abbey that works in the kitchen, Louisiana Abbey, pulls up her truck and swiftly Marita, Lena and I climb in the back. Lena is from NYC, though Columbia originally. She has rainbow coloured hair and an even more vivid personality. I love her soft brown eyes and her hugs. The road we drive down starts off flat then slowly becomes closely spaced rolling hills. Lena remarks, “it’s like we’re on a roller coaster!” as Marita lies down with her eyes closed. I begin to feel sick myself. I close my eyes and practice Pranayama breathing exercises to fight the nausea.
The market is in full force when we arrive. It is a beautiful community scene. There are locals selling homemade Kombucha, vegan desserts, and hot tamales; craft makers displaying all kinds of things, from 3D tie dye shirts to crystal necklaces and crochet bikinis; card readers looking out from their booth with an other-worthy, all knowing gaze. The group disperses quickly towards food booths. I indulge in a piece of passion fruit cheesecake, a peanut butter cookie, ice cream and a veggie wrap. Some girls, who have been patiently eating vegan food for two weeks, beeline towards the pork roast at their earliest chance. Then the band starts to play. It is soft at first, a mix of folk and island reggae. The beat calls us towards the packed dance floor. Locals swing their beer-holding hands up to the sky with each movement. I close my eyes as the sound grows louder and more powerful, I let my body move freely with the rhythm of the band. I let my curls down and toss my hair back and forth. April, who runs the catering aspect of Yandara with her husband Bolo, is on my left dancing barefoot. I kick my shoes off and join her. Allison, our instructor, comes up next to April. She dances like an other-worldly mystical gypsy. She is gorgeous in her movements; graceful and inspiring. It is like she was born of a different time. I think how it’s a treat just being in her company. The cool Hawaiian air licks the sweat off my shoulders and I keep dancing, until the music dies down and the ecstatic dancers rest their tired feet.
April and Bolo offer us a ride in their Volkswagon van. The nine of us squeeze in. Sonia and Rebecca lay down in the truck in a bed of blankets. I sit next to Trish and Cosmic Mama Brenda. Rebecca sits on a chair and Shana, who works at Kirpal as a volunteer, sits on the floor. I’m not sure how it starts but we are all high from endorphins, from the spirit of dancing for hours, from each other’s company, and we break out singing. We jump from song to song, humming when lyrics abandon our minds. Bolo and April stop their car when we are halfway home. “Everybody out,” they call to us. I feel like we are their children being led on an unknown adventure.
We are on a black volcanic cliff over the ocean. The light from the moon illuminates the distant sea and each others’ faces. I walk out toward the edge and sit, peering over the side. Below me the waves pulverize the rock, though it doesn’t shudder. It stays strong and still. I think how amazing this experience has been. I silently thank the group, for their love and support. I thank myself for being free and vulnerable. I thank the earth for always being there for support. I thank the moon, for illuminating the way.