A Human of Majorca

By Shirley Roberts

Most of us in Majorca know Bianca.  She is one of the beautiful faces behind Radio One Mallorca.  At least she was, until she gave up her flat, left her job and headed off with a backpack into the great unknown in December 2019.

Hang on a minute I can hear you say, wasn’t she the lovely lady who got stranded in the Gambia in 2017?  Yes, a constitutional crisis in the Gambia started after the presidential elections on 1 December 2016, and ended with the outgoing president Yahya Jammeh being forced to step down in favour of his elected successor Adama Barrow on 21 January 2017. Right in the middle of Bianca’s holiday.  The adventure of trying to get back home in all the civil unrest was enough to put a traveller off.

That was not going to happen as the urge to go, do and experience, was already in her brain and winter 2019 was the time to go. Her definition of the decision goes something like this ‘in order to go on this soul searching trip I have to find a way to screw my head back onto my body if that makes sense.

When you are constantly running and stressed it feels your head and body are 2 separate entities. Your head is just going 100 miles an hour and the only thing that your body does is being the vehicle that does all the hard work.

On top of that I smoke, eat the wrong food and don’t say no to a glass of wine or two/three, don’t exercise enough and oh, did I mention I hardly sleep because my head is always ticking. So yeah, basically I’m a heart attack waiting to happen.

I need exercise, healthy food, rest, and I need to be retuned like a broken radio with a lot of Reiki.’

This story begins, after spending time in Amsterdam with her family.  She stood in the airport remembering that 29 years ago she stood there on her own with a suitcase on her way to the Canaries for six months then went to Majorca and never came back. Now she stood there again, not even with a suitcase but with a 10 kilo back pack. Nerves kicked in whilst sitting at the gate waiting for the flight to Abu Dhabi then onto  Kochi in India.

‘What am I doing?’

A Hotel overnight and then a driver to take her deep into the Indian mountains to meet a Reiki master and live with him and his family for 2 weeks. There to be trained up to be a Reiki practioner. She has always been fascinated in energy healing and even helped a few people, but decided she would love to truly understand the skill. It wasn’t easy to find a real master but after much research had chosen a teacher.  She was ready for the adventure now – bring it on.

TheMaster and his family were welcoming and this was now her place in the universe for the next two weeks.  She wasn’t quite ready for day one but it went something like this…

 ‘Master Aji puts some loud Indian music on (don’t forget its 5.30 am) and tells me to hop up and down with my feet firmly  on the ground for 15 minutes.  Guys this is material for a reality programme, I’m hopping up and down like I need to go to the toilet for 15 minutes. Then he says 15 minutes of free dance, so Master Aji and I are having a rave at 5.45 in the morning… Welcome to the first day of training!’

‘The noises of the night from chipmunks to cockroaches and my brain wondering what I am doing is my feeling as I drifted off to sleep.  I am also missing my lovely boy on his birthday in Majorca.

The days’ spin past and I am learning so much and loving observing such a different way of life.  No freedom of movement for me as a single white woman is just a strange object here.  The family take pity on me and take to to the Temple.  I am confused about the Gods and they way it all works but I am equally enchanted. There is  lighting of oil lamps, a lot of shouting of priests and wild throwing of water. I am getting pushed around a lot because I’m always in the wrong place at the wrong time but I am loving every minute of it.’

Bianca’s Humans of Majorca story next week will take you from this point to Corona lockdown in the jungle. Our Bianca is definitely living a gold star adventure this time…

THE ADVENTURES OF BIANCA HADLEY PART 2

A Humans of Majorca story

By Shirley Roberts

We left Bianca last week in the middle of the Reiki world of India. After a lifetime in Mallorca and the world of Radio One she packed a bag and headed for India. This is where we left her last week.

Training with Master Aji was still going full speed, meditation, yoga and Reiki and then Master Aji decided that Bianca had completed her Reiki level 2. This was the end of the road for at least a year before she could go on to do a Masters degree. He asked if she would like to stay in Arambol to be his assistant for a few weeks which tempted but friends and serious fun was waiting in Goa. It was time to move on with much gratitude for a great experience.

Goa was fun and the contrast to the life she had just lived could not have been greater. Then the time came to say goodbye to Goa friends and fly to the other side of India, Chennai. This was followed by a 3-hour car journey to Auroville. This is the place which was her inspiration for the whole trip in India to the Sadhana Forest.

Like most of us Bianca really liked to donate or help a charity but a lack of trust held her back.  Where is the money going to? Why do I have to pay a lot of money to donate my time and effort these were her questions.  She played with the idea of setting up her own charity project, but where, what and for who? Everyone donates to cute animals or kids she understood that, but eventually, after 2 years of research, she was drawn to the Sadhana forest.

When Bianca was talking about pushing herself out of her comfort zone she wasn’t really contemplating just giving everything up, travelling on her own or living with an Indian family.  Her plan was always the Sadhana Forest. Six weeks of living in a forest in a treehouse, vegan food only, no smoking or drinking, living a completely different life. The daily work was to help to restore a tiny bit of nature, helping out the local communities and planting trees. She knew she was going to learn more in the coming 6 weeks than she had in the past 10 years. The  Sadhana Forest had called and would  help her more than she could contribute.

Then the virus came

Bianca suddenly found herself in a 2020 apocalypse style movie  Where she thought ‘madness, complete and utter madness! One virus and it has brought our world to its powerful, arrogant knees. The only one smiling is Mother Nature who is on a well deserved holiday’

Under her mosquito net in a little wooden hut in the forest she could  only hear the sounds from the forest and no human noise except for some laughing or someone playing a guitar. No loud temple music in the background, no traffic noise from the main road, just birds and insects.

She had found life amazing in the forest and learned to appreciate the old saying ’May there be many forests to grow people’. No therapist or anti depressants can do what nature does. She didn’t want to join the woollen socks and open sandal brigade just yet but an important  life lesson was waiting to be learnt.  When you plant a baby tree and water it every day knowing that you will never sit in the shade of it  you realise how long it takes to regrow the trees that the rest of the world are eagerly cutting down.

Before the lock down the basic routine was getting up at 5.30, stretching and going into the forest to plant, water or look after the trees. She had to keep pinching herself as she saw herself as Jungle Jane walking through the forest at 6am, dogs running and everyone watching the young forest wake up.

Back for breakfast to do the second “Seva” which is normally anything to do with the community. Bianca was soon assigned her community project practicing Reiki. She found it amazing to help people in any physical or emotional pain and see it actually work.

Afternoons were free for work shops or the team hopped on bikes to go into town to eat chocolate dosas and the best vegan ice cream. Yes, vegan Ice cream, it was so easy to be vegetarian or vegan with delicious and cheap food

 She learned that the Sadhana Forest was once destroyed in the UK quest for cashew nuts. In 2003 the land was given back so the forest could regrow

When living with Master Aji Bianca was sharing a room with a chipmunk which was cute, In Goa she  shared her toilet with a frog but the Sadhana topped it all. In her hut  she came face to face with a 2 meter bright yellow snake. This was one of the less comfortable moments and she realized where she was.

Bianca is loving her life and all the experiences.  Smoking and drinking have gone and healthy food is in their place. Great people sharing the life and the values but the Corona Virus is here.  They are in lockdown with the rest of the community and the fellow travelers are all worried about their families in their home countries. Italy then Spain and their part of India thinking it is unscathed and then it wasn’t.

Airports are closed and no-one is going anywhere  No shops but luckily the group have supplies from the markets coming in and water from the well. The community has become very close. Everyone just works together and is supportive.  The consulates have been rubbish so far except for the Germans, they got all their people out. Now Bianca says ‘its just a waiting game, so I keep planting trees knowing I will never sit in in their shade, but hopefully the next generation will.’

The breaking news is that on 1st May Bianca made it out of India on a repatriation flight.  This is her message

‘After a 30 hour road trip straight through a locked down India, Pondicherry to Mumbai, countless police checks, health checks and police escorts, eating food on the side of the road, Mumbai airport only being opened for our evacuation flight, 9 hour flight, train and taxi, I made it in time to surprise my Mum on her 70th birthday.’

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