Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Gypsy has Landed

I know it's been a while since my last post, and to all those who commented and kept on visiting, I really appreciate it!

Not in Kansas anymore!

So, I have landed in Oxford England, far from my tropical home.  Just about as far as you could get in terms of weather, culture and development! I am here to work for Oxfam, so through that I will at least still be in touch with my beloved tropics and life in what some people might call "the majority world" - that is, the parts of the Earth where the majority of the population of our planet live.

Perhaps you have seen this before:

If the world were a village of 100 people:

61 would be Asians, 12 Europeans, 8 North Americans, 5 South American and the Caribbean, 13 would be Africans and 1 would be from Oceania.

20 people own 75% of the entire world income.

80 would live in substandard housing

24 would not have any electricity (And of the 76% that do have electricity, most would only use it for light at night.)

67 would be unable to read.  

Only 1 would have a university education.

50 would be malnourished and 1 dying of starvation.

33 would be without access to a safe water supply.

What always strikes me when I return to Europe or North America is just how much we take for granted the privileges of our every day lives.  We view these things not as a luxury, but as a basic entitlement: housing, running water, education.  In our commercialized world, we buy goods without thinking of whether or not we really NEED them.  In some places people have to count every penny they earn and spend, feeding their families on less than the equivalent of $1 or $2 per day.

Today as I wandered the streets of my new home - exploring, shopping (sweaters! socks!), walking, I can't help but feeling like a stranger in a strange land, or like the children from the Chronicles of Narnia - knowing there is another world out there that most people are completely unaware of.  The challenge for me will be to exist in this world mindfully - and that is where yoga will help me!

Stay tuned for more Yoga Gypsy as I discover the yoga scene in Oxford, become a yoga student again, and keep on reflecting on learning and teaching yoga, as well as development issues, mindful consumerism and a whole lot more.

It's going to be a great 2011 folks!!


PS: Cool bit of trivia - Amsterdam's Schipol airport has a meditation centre! How awesome is that?


  1. enjoy your new life , new town for new year

  2. Call me whenever! My number is on my exploring yoga site + on the footer of my emails xxx

  3. hooray! glad you're settled in and starting this new adventure. :) i was just checking out your Twitter page last night to see if you were back in action. my psychic abilities are astounding. :P xoxox

  4. Oxford is a magical place. I hope you enjoy your time on this tiny crazy island :)

  5. I've always wanted to go to England! I can't wait to hear about your experiences.

  6. So many privileges and luxuries yet so little true happiness.
    I look forward to reading about your new adventures. :-)

  7. Wow! How long are you in London for, or is this a kind of permanent (for now) thing?

    I definitely know what you mean - after spending time in countries where people aren't as affluent, I find myself speculating over the littlest things. Like... being able to buy vitamins that I think I "need" for my well-being. And what had to happen in order for those vitamins to be produced.

    Good luck with your adventures in a new country, however long they last! xo

  8. Yay, I have missed you all and your blogs!

    @Lila - Thanks! It is certainly a drastic way to start a new year!
    @Rachel - can't wait! I will have to come to Cambridge at some point for sure!
    @YifY - You rock, girl, what can I say? ;)
    @Steffi - Thanks, and thanks for commenting!
    @MoonlightMaiden - I look forward to writing about them. ;)
    @Brigid - Yes, so much is taken for granted isn't it?
    @Svasti - Until the end of August, as plans stand at the moment... and if my poor cold feet can last that long! :D