I first joined Adodi in 2008, after being encouraged by a brother I met online from DC CHARLES NELSON. He encouraged me to apply for the Scholarship, where 50% of the fees are paid for by Brothers who can afford to pay. He said that if I did and was successful, he would pay the other half, I would only have to pay the flight etc.
I looked into Adodi, thought I would give it a try, and posted off my application; which after Charles’ help was successful – and he kept his word. He held my hand throughout the time, up until the retreat in Ohio in July 2008. We spent time together before & after the retreat, sharing hotels and food etc. It was the first time IN my life that I had witnessed and experienced something so generous and unconditional; on the retreat I met another 90 or so Brothers, who all thought the same. The experience was life-changing, to say the least. I decided there and then to commit to Adodi for the rest of my life and attend the annual retreats, and chant to that effect – being a Buddhist.
Five years have now passed and each year is better than the last and the Brothers keep on giving – sharing – caring and ‘ Breakin bread together. There was no bitchiness, no puttin down, only caring, sharing, loving, greeting positive fellowship and warmth all the time. The retreats daily morning affirmations uplifted us all, gave us sustenance for the days workshops ahead and made me feel stronger in myself.
The Adodi ‘afterglow’, as they call it, stayed with me for some 6 months, sometimes more, and allowed me to feel my full and real potential as a SGL black man. I have been honestayed – picked up and taken to airports, always selflessly, tirelessly, with no complaints, but joy in service and effort – Adodi gives 150 % each time!
I am now trying to bring some of that love and Adodi spirit to London and potentially Europe, where the love and caring of Black men needs a lot of work and attention. More so now, with the recent riots in London and the lack of purpose of young people, plus lack of nurturing and attention to their needs. Adodi for me, is THE most loving group of SGL black men on the Planet right now. The talent sharing is something to behold, plus the Tribute to the Ancestors and the emphasis on African traditions and values. Each and every brother I have met has something positive and unique about them and shares it in their own unique and special way.
I love Adodi, like my life now, and repayed the debt of gratitude I received in my first days as a young Adodi virgin. As such, I helped a brother in a similar situation attend this years’ 25th Annual Retreat. Thank you Charles, for your trust in me, your patience, your caring and your heart. Thanks to you all, who are so blessed and so wonderful. I absolutely adore and LOVE YOU GUYS!!
Ado Stephen (2011)