I have to work backwards a bit now. Then I’ll move forward again, and in the end it will all make sense and we continue to dwell in the present…

Things feel so time-sensitive with Sesam at the moment. He is my first child, so I want to make sure to capture the ‘first of our firsts.’ For example, our recent trip to Copenhagen was Sesam’s first international trip and first time flying on a plane. But before this first, which was documented  in my three-part photo series, Copenhagen inspires!, Sesam’s first yoga trip was to Pori, Finland. Yes, as in the Pori Jazz Festival! Yes, yes, as in Astanga Shala Pori! And before that, Sesam’s grandmother, or Cucu, as we say among the Kikuyu people in Kenya, came to visit her first grandchild. So, here are a few photo highlights from these seminal moments in a small baby’s life…

Cucu Sesam bonds with her grandson, who already has his father’s steady gaze in this photo.


We got these fun animal hats at a market in Northern Thailand for Sesam. Until he’s big enough, we’ll have to pick up the slack!


Sesam with dad as Cucu looks on.


 A quiet moment between generations after naptime 


And now, a word about my mother. She is a cool lady who gets up to all kinds of adventures. At the age of 68, she started Ashtanga yoga with Petri and I at our annual winter retreat in Koh Mak and continues to have a daily practice to this day! Before she came to visit us in Finland, she was in Kenya, where she lives for half the year.

Below: My mother and father spend time at the Kenyan coast. They were at a town called Kaloleni which is believed to have been the home of a semi-mythical Giriama* woman called Mepoho. She is believed to have been a prophetess who, among other things, spoke of the coming of the white people and all the changes that would involve. The place where they were at is where Mepoho is supposed to have disappeared into the ground at the end of her life. The people they were with are a group of local women (mostly traditional healers/herbalists) and men who respect the memory of Mepoho and are trying to preserve this site as a sacred/cultural site. Not your typical beach vacation…

*Bantu group who live in coastal Kenya

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Shortly after Cucu left for the US, where she and my dad spend the other half of their year, Petri had a workshop scheduled in Pori, so Sesam and I came along for the ride…

 Sesam’s first train trip and our first time in the family cabin. A nice idea, but works best for one family only! 


Sleep! Glorious, precious sleep!


The welcoming door at Astanga Shala Pori…don’t mind if I do!


Further inviting signs that you are in a yoga shala, good and proper: the tea cabinet and yoga wear rack…don’t mind if I do, yet again!


Yogi and son hang out in the shala.


 Petri acquaints Sesam with Sharath’s poster.


10pm. Yoga time for Wambui…


 Sesam loved the futon mattress…like a cat, it was his place to curl up for a nap. 


Sesam sleeps peacefully during his first kirtan.

 IMG_1934  IMG_1932


Behind the scenes! The traveling yogi family: transforming a stylish, serene massage and treatment room into their cluttered digs for the weekend!




 Sesam makes a new friend and Erika lends a helping hand. See you in Houtskar Erika! 🙂

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We also got to enjoy time outside the shala. Pauliina and Petro took us to Yyteri. Beautiful. Windy too (that day)!

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 Sesam and I practice flagging down the bus during our first visit to a traffic park. 

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The esteemed author signs some copies of his books.


Thank you Pauliina for Sesam’s successful first yoga trip!


*Bonus pics: A few more ‘firsts’…

 Reissu-vauva (lit. trip baby) among the suitcases at CPH airport. 

  sesam airport

 Sesam and Petri in the airplane.

sesam airplane

The first time Satu, Sesam’s godmother, meets her little godson.


This isn’t really a ‘first’ of anything. I just like taking pictures of the brothers together. Sesam is a bit fussy and tired in this one, but notice how gently and competently Julian cradles Sesam’s head! A young man who listens to instructions? Go ahead, Julian!


Our first art project. Sesam was two weeks old when we documented his tiny little footprint in his baby book!


 First time at the sauna. You’ll bypass the frightening ‘mom hair’ and focus on the stunning sunset instead, I’m sure! 🙂


What about you all, dear readers? What are your most precious recollections from the first time you experienced (or remember experiencing) something during your childhood? What are some of the ‘first’ moments, from your own childhood or your children’s, that you recommend documenting? 

  Baby Buddha says, “Stay blessed and find something that makes you smile daily! Or be someone else’s reason to smile! Om!”



4 thoughts on “Grandma, Pori, and a first time for everything

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