The government asked us to stay in preventive quarantine, and we decided to do it with joy. “Let’s play the game: what if Corona virus comes to Baan Unrak?
It was a very good setting to learn how to change our bad habits and adopt new good ones, such as always washing our hands, coughing in our elbow, keeping safe distance between us, using only our personal stuff, etc.
The government knows how Baan Unrak is part of almost every aspect of the life in Sangkhlaburi. So, while protecting us and the community, we are living our quarantine as a game.
The children’s spirits are high, they feel energized by all the new teachings that Didi has been giving them, and all the things she is telling them to reinforce their body and mind.
Didi said: “What if… Corona virus comes here? We have to be prepared!” And so she conceived a game, a joyful game that would teach the children all the measures to take in case the virus reaches our village.
Didi taught the children about the many precautions to take: for example, we must avoid coughing in our hands, as we would be spreading germs. Instead, we cough in our elbow. As we now know, corona virus is spread when mucus and saliva droplets are ejected from our mouth or nose as we cough or sneeze. Therefore, using our elbows would prevent easy transmission.
As we are learning, we also recognize that we tend to touch our face quite often. In order to try and avoid this, we help each other by pointing and shouting “HEY!!!” to whoever touches his/her face.
This way, we are living this moment of general concern… as a game! All for the children. And this is a serious game, that prepares us to fight the virus.
We put all this into a song and choreographed a dance, to make it even more fun and memorable.
The children also wrote positive affirmations. They wrote them in Italian too…
…because Zia Caterina is with us, and so she can send them to her children (her SuperHeroes) in Italy. Perhaps she will put some of these banners in her very special taxi back home!
We will talk more about Zia Caterina in a coming article, but for now, we can tell you that she came to Baan Unrak at the right moment, bringing extra joy to our children.
We even have our own slogan now! One person says: “Everything is for…” and everybody replies: “… the best, the best, the best!”
The Bath Mantra
Didi also saw this situation as an opportunity to do things she had never done with the children before. One of these is to teach them the yogic Bath Mantra.
How it works: After the bath, with the body still dripping water, you chant the mantra facing a source of light. For this purpose, the sun coming up in the morning radiates a very beneficial light.
These mornings the children have been taking the boat to an island on the lake, just in front of Baan Unrak farm.
They first do their collective meditation there, then the asanas (body postures, yoga as exercise) and finally, as the sun rises, they take a bath in the lake. Coming out of the water still fresh from the night, the children chant the Bath Mantra all together.
They love this new morning routine, which they do separately, one day the boys, the next the girls.
We also took advantage of this situation to perform the general cleaning of our Home. We deep cleaned our kitchen, moving everything out.
We also introduced new soap dispensers.
Before we eat, we now sit while Didi speaks to all of us, sharing some thoughts and also checking that everyone has their own bottle of water, plate and spoon with their own name on it.
We sing Baba Nam Kevalam, the infinite love vibration is all there is, we thank for the food we have, and then we start eating, forming smaller groups around the dining hall.
Elisabeth, a former volunteer at Baan Unrak, recently had a stroke. When Didi got the news, she decided to sing for her, changing the way we perform our meditations.
Now we all sit in circle, we close our eyes and concentrate that, right in the middle of our meditation hall, Elisabeth is there, and we send her good vibrations.
Didi didn’t hear from Raphael, her husband, for a few days, until a new message arrived: Elisabeth is still alive. She was supposed to die, but she is still living, he said. So we keep singing.
Now we do the same also before eating. We sing Baba Nam Kevalam and keep on meditating for Elisabeth.
This is an important lesson for us: during an epidemic as this one, even if we have many problems ourselves, we can’t stop helping others.