JOURNEY INTO GHANA
MAY 25th - JUNE 1st, 2019
Join us for a Yoga and Meditation Service Retreat in beautiful, adventure-filled Ghana. This life-changing experience includes 8 days of service, cultural and nature excursions, beach and village experiences, incredible West African food, and of course meditation and yoga!
Why a Service Retreat? Seva, the Sanskrit word for service, is a part of the tradition of karma yoga and meditation. There are many ways to practice Seva on the path to enlightenment. Learning to let go of ego and give yourself without any agenda or hope for personal gain is one. This once-in-a-lifetime experience will open your spirit and transcend cultural boundaries while supporting community based empowerment programs in Ghana
YOGA AND MEDITATION
Each day of the retreat will begin and end with a yoga and/or meditation practice. These practices will be all levels and will help us to integrate and process our experiences on this retreat.
YOUR TRIP GUIDES
Caitlyn “Cait” Gill is the founder of Urban Yoga https://squareup.com/store/UrbanYoga in Corvallis, OR. You can also find Cait teaching studio classes at Live Well Studio and Oregon State University. Outside of Yoga, Cait has served as the Treasurer of SSEP since 2009 and also serves her local community as a volunteer for Girls on the Run and the Corvallis Environmental Center. She is the proud Mom to two beautiful daughters and is passionate about empowering girls worldwide through education.
Bee Intakanok is the founder of Georgia Meditation Circle www.meditationcirlce.org an affiliate of the Georgia Meditation Center Dhammakaya foundation, which promotes meditation and spiritual awareness. Bee pioneered various programs into the infrastructure of the Georgia Meditation Center, including a meditation membership base program and creating Sunday Service for indigenous members, her efforts are being duplicated throughout the 23 other affiliates in the US. Through her commitment and passion thousands of people have been introduced to the Middle Way meditation practice.
Sara Allegra is a licensed social worker and therapist. She brings her advanced training and two decades of experience as well as a passion for supporting and empowering marginalized groups to the non-profit she founded in 2009, Sub-Saharan Education Project (SSEP). SSEP enriches the lives of women and children in Ghana by providing educational and vocational programs, student scholarships, medical outreach and rural school builds that touch the lives of thousands.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Guests will practice karma yoga and meditation as they participate in the service projects with the Sub Saharan Education Project.
A typical day will include:
Early mornings begin yoga, meditation and hearty organic breakfast
Activities with local communities, cultural tours, school visits, nature excursions, rural village experiences.
Mid-afternoon light lunch Free time or leisure activities
Afro-centric and Continental cuisines will be enjoyed throughout the trip during group dinners
Cultural, music and dance activities
INVESTMENT PER PERSON
Double Occupancy $ 2,050
Single Occupancy-limited availability $ 2,350
Deposit $ 750 due with registration
Deadline: March 31st, 2019
Final payment deadline: April 19th, 2019
Your investment covers everything you need to have a relaxed, enjoyable, well-planned retreat and service experience.
8 day / 7 night hands-on experience with SSEP’s founder and local staff.
Private airport transfers
All ground transportation within Ghana
Daily morning meditation
Daily Yoga led by certified instructor
Guided Excursions and all program activities
All meals and non-alcoholic beverages + wine tasting (Breakfast, Dinner and Snacks)
24-hour support and security
Accommodations and Amenities
International airfare, vaccination and visa fees not included.
Cancellation 60 days or more prior to departure = Loss of deposit
Cancellation between 30 and 59 days prior to departure = 50% loss
Cancellation within 30 days of departure = 100% loss
Day 1 : Arrival In Ghana
After clearing customs, you will be taken via private transfer, to SSEP’s Guest House. Our attentive staff will welcome you with refreshments and help you settle into your lodging.
Day 2 : Accra City And Culture Tour
Our day will begin with a gentle yoga stretch on the guesthouse grounds, followed by meditation practice. Next, we will grab our cameras and set off for an day in Accra, Ghana’s capital city. Guests will be taken to several historic sites around the city and visit the largest outdoor market in West Africa. We will also visit the Artist Alliance Gallery. Arguably the most famous gallery in Ghana, Artist Alliance Gallery is a large five story building boasting a variety of high quality African art, handicrafts, clothing and artifacts. Our group will return to the guesthouse for a early evening yoga practice and together, we will set an intention for the trip. Our cultural immersion will continue with an African dinner and Dharma talk to centered around our experience.
Day 3 : Art And Music
Our morning starts with a Vinyasa and meditation practice, followed by breakfast at the guesthouse. Today our group will enjoy a hands-on experience, learning eco-friendly, traditional African bead making process and have the opportunity to make beads and design a piece of jewelry for themselves. In the afternoon we will learn African dance and drumming taught by a local dance group.
Day 4 : SSEP Schools and Medical Outreach
Following a morning Vinyasa and meditation practice and a hearty breakfast, we will venture from the guesthouse to enjoy our first hands-on experience in SSEP partner neighborhoods and schools around Accra. With the help of SSEP staff, volunteer nurses and medical students, we will host a medical outreach program for the students and teachers at an SSEP partner school. Students will assist SSEP staff in providing free basic medical treatments and preventative care including basic check-ups, wound care, health care education, mentoring sessions, and the provision of health-related materials. We will return to the guesthouse to enjoy dinner and a night out dancing at a local jazz club.
Day 5 : Monkey Santuary
We will wake early and set off to visit the Shai Hills Monkey Sanctuary. The early mornings are the best time to observe the monkeys and enjoy a refreshing hike through the forest. Following the hike we will enjoy a picnic lunch in the bush, we will visit a nearby indigenous bead making factory. Beads play an important role in West African culture. They were historically used for trading and continue to be used today in ceremonies throughout the region. We will have the opportunity to learn about the evolution of bead making and their cultural significance. Upon return to the guesthouse, we will end our day with Yin yoga and a wine tasting dinner featuring African wines.
Day 6 : Cape Coast Tour
This morning we will set off from Accra and journey to the Cape Coast region of Ghana. The region is notable for its forts and castles which operated during the trans-Atlantic slave trade. We will visit the historic site and museum, Cape Coast Castle. Here we will have a private tour of the castle and learn about its historical significance. Our tour will continue throughout the afternoon as we explore other colonial forts and the township of Cape Coast, Elmina and the local fish market. Our evening will be spent at Brenu Beach Hotel. Brenu Beach is located just outside of Cape Coast on a stretch of pristine coastline. Upon arrival, we will enjoy a dusk yoga practice on the beach. We will dine on freshly caught seafood, alfresco, overlooking the hotel’s private beach.
Day 7 : Kakum National Park
After breakfast on the beach and morning yoga and meditation on the beach, we will set off for nearby Kakum National Park and tropical rainforest. The park is at the forefront of wildlife preservation in southern Ghana and it is one of only 2 locations in Africa with a canopy walkway that connects seven tree tops and boasts an unforgettable view of the forest canopy. Our guide will explain the economic, cultural, and medicinal values of plants and farming and take our group on a hike and treetop canopy walk. We will return to Brenu Beach for an evening Yin practice of stretch and meditation followed by dinner, served beachside.
Day 8 : Village Experience
After an early morning yoga and meditation practice, followed by breakfast, we will travel to the village of Bentum. Upon arrival in the village we will be greeted by the local community and introduced to the village elders and chief. After a tour of the local farms, we will learn traditional rural West African cooking and enjoy freshly prepared fufu and light soup. We will end our day in the the village with a group meditation and mindful reflection of the trip experience. We will travel back to the guesthouse and prepare for the late evening return, via private transfer to the airport to fly to the US.
Recommendations for Ghana include:
Hepatitis A & B