Africa is not for sissies

   The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. -Gandhi  

During trips to Zimbabwe, I end most days sitting on the verandah of the B&B I stay at when I'm visiting the children supported through House of Loveness.  After a day of travel to villages and working with the children, I enjoy digesting the day as I watch the African sky change from blue to a rainbow of soft colors as the sun is setting.

One evening a man on the porch greeted me as I took a seat.  He was Zimbabwean and was surprised to hear my American accent.  He didn't live in Zimbabwe anymore.  He was even more surprised when I told him I traveled alone to Zimbabwe (and other parts of Africa) several times a year.

"Africa is not for sissies," he said to me. 

He had a hard time understanding why I would come to Zimbabwe to help the children, rather than just go on a vacation and relax at the beach. 

I do get the benefits of a vacation when I'm in Zimbabwe (tourism and recreation) but I also benefit from the self-discovery that comes with being out of my comfort zone and being of service to others. 

On a traditional vacation, I return home many times feeling exhausted.  When I return from my retreats to Zimbabwe, I feel energized from spending so much time in nature and more alive from being engaged with people, especially with children who need our help. 

 It's been a desire to share the beauty and soul of Zimbabwe with others.  Later this year, I am leading a retreat to Zimbabwe (November 23-30, 2013).  Our group will spend time working at a local school, visiting a local hospital and orphanage, and ending every day on the verandah before we enjoy a delicious meal together.  Daily meditation and movement classes will be offered by Qoya founder Rochelle Schieck

Your breakfast table at the safari park.
The second part of the trip will be spent on safari where we continue our Qoya classes followed by daily game drives, horseback riding, rhino walks and dance parties in the evening under the magic of the African sky. 

Thanksgiving Day (for anyone coming from the US) will begin with the option of an elephant ride at sunrise, a game drive and a lavish Thanksgiving Day buffet in the safari park, featuring a few surprise guests.

So do you need a vacation this year, or maybe a retreat instead? Only seven spots (of 10) still open.  If you reserve your place by July 1, you save $250.

Click here to reserve your spot with a $750 deposit.

House of Loveness founder Betsy Blankenbaker in Zimbabwe

Will you be Giving Thanks in Zimbabwe November 23-30, 2013?
House of Loveness Service & Safari Retreat 
Join House of Loveness founder Betsy Blankenbaker and Qoya founder Rochelle Schieck.
Includes daily Qoya classes led by Rochelle, three days of service at local school and hospital, three magical nights at a safari park with daily game drives, an elephant ride, rhino walk and horseback riding. A special Thanksgiving Day celebration in Zimbabwe (Thursday, Nov. 28) includes a game drive to see elephants, lions, zebras and rhinos followed by a beautiful buffet in the safari park surrounded by the natural beauty of Zimbabwe, with a few surprise guests. 

Cost $3,000 includes 7 nights of shared accommodations in Zimbabwe, airport transfers, all meals & transportation within Zimbabwe, game drives, elephant ride, rhino walk, horseback ride and special welcome presentation from local Zimbabweans.
Excludes air travel to and from Zimbabwe. 
SPECIAL RATE before July 1, 2013 $2,750 ($250 discount). 
*The Qoya classes are for women only but you are welcome to bring your partner or children on the trip (same price). For more information: 

House of Loveness was founded in 2008 by filmmaker Betsy Blankenbaker to care and educate at-risk children in Zimbabwe.
Mother's Day 2012 in Zimbabwe


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