At the beginning of 2019 we held a Ladies Wing lunch and explored ideas for our SA group.
One of the topics was self-care for women and we reminded each other that we need to serve and look after ourselves so that we can continue to serve more in the community. Someone suggested that perhaps we should go to Kangaroo Island. Although somewhat unrealistic, we laughingly started planning to go to Kangaroo Island for a few days.
We have now learned that if it is Sai Baba’s wish, it can be done with ease!
Just like we have read the stories of Mother Sai taking devotees on outings to various hill stations, our retreat also had that divine feeling – all the details were taken care of. Even the commercial company, SeaLink, had given us a very affordable deal for the ferry cost and our group accommodation. It was meant to be!
We went from Friday 19 to Sunday 21 July 2019. Our group was made up of 22 ladies; 6 of these were senior, wise and dynamic women of around 80 years of age! We also were joined by a young family of 4 staying off campus and with the young mum joining in the retreat activities when she could.
Early Friday morning we carpooled and made the 45 minute ferry trip to beautiful Kangaroo Island, a small oasis of peace and old worldliness. Arriving at the sea shore hotel, OZONE, in Kingscote, we watched the tranquil ocean and aqua coloured sky. A vegetarian lunch was served and the sound of laughter filled the room – we all were catching up on news and inspirational Sai stories.
Our next stop was the Beehive, a large shop, where we could buy Ligurian Bee Honey, beauty products, souvenirs and beeswax candles. We also indulged in home-made ice cream, tea and coffee.
Relaxed and curious, we arrived at Vivonne Lodge, a 33-bed camp with comfortable beds and heaters in all the bedrooms. The large communal room had comfortable sofas and a wood fire. This is where we assembled an altar from natural materials and a beeswax candle.
This large comfortable room, and the bonfire outside, became the central places for our devotional singing and where we stretched our bodies with yoga and our minds with the yoga nidra. We enjoyed a fun spiritual quiz, told stories and recollected experiences of our SA Sai history going back to the late 70s.
Our KI massage therapist was continuously on standby for treatments to assist with more relaxation. And of course we consumed our home-made tasty food together.
The weekend included excursions to the beautiful Vivonne Bay Beach and Flinders Chase National Park on the wild western end of the island. We admired the cute and playful New Zealand fur seals frolicking in the wild surf and rock pools. The park’s coastal scenery includes Admiral’s Arch, a beautiful massive rock shaped by the powerful Southern Ocean, and the boulders known as Remarkable Rocks.
Old friendships were rekindled and new connections formed. We all experienced the strong Sai sisterly connections and our goal of SAI SELF CARE was certainly fulfilled with His Grace.
Janine Barelds and Deepa Rajesh