Are you a woman who enjoys seeing the world, learning about culture while learning about yourself? Then join Zarinah El-Amin Naeem on our upcoming trip to the Motherland, Senegal, West Africa.
We're bringing a small group of dynamic women to see and explore dynamic Senegal. Organized for us by 10,000 Girls, this experience is designed to offer you an intentional break from your routine, and the space to find inspiration, build new relationships, and grow new ideas while seeing the world.
Enliven Your Soul Tours with Zarinah El-Amin Naeem are about embracing the unknown, and living the best version of yourself with an incredible community of women supporting you.
We work hard day in and day out, taking care of our families, our jobs, our friends. Sometimes we need to take care of ourselves. We need to do the things that excite us! That we dream of! And guess what, you must MAKE it happen for yourself.
This is your chance.
Senegal, with its vibrant and deeply spiritual nature, is a place of the soul where rich traditions and natural beauty combine to great effect. For 13 days, we will move from Dakar's Door of No Return, to Medina Baye, Touba and then on to the waterfalls of Kedougou and the home of the 10,000 Girls.
Always want to travel but no one is up for the challenge? Don't worry, our small groups allow you to be with others who LOVE the world just as much as you do.
An adventurous and cultural experience uniquely designed to tap into your soul.
While experiencing the beauty of the Senegalese culture, we'll also take time to connect with the women there and learn more about women's development, cultural experiences and life under the African sun.
You show up. We take care of everything else.
DRAFT ITINERARY! CHANGES MAY BE MADE BOTH BEFORE AND ON THE SPOT TO MAXIMIZE AWESOMENESS.
Day 1 - Dakar Arrive at DKR, Dakar Airport. Upon Arrival we'll check into our hotel, rest up and meet for our orientation. We'll take the day to rest up and get refreshed. Depending on your time of arrival you may wish to visit Place d'independence or simply relax at the hotel. Dinner opening ceremony.
Day 2: Today it's off to Goree Island. The island of Gorée lies off the coast of Senegal, opposite Dakar. From the 15th to the 19th century, it was the largest slave-trading centre on the African coast. Ruled in succession by the Portuguese, Dutch, English and French, its architecture is characterized by the contrast between the grim slave-quarters and the elegant houses of the slave traders. Today it continues to serve as a reminder of human exploitation and as a sanctuary for reconciliation. In the evening, we'll enjoy dinner and learn about Senegalese culture with a local historian.
Day 3: After checking in with the American embassy, we'll enjoy a city tour of Dakar including the Presidential Palace, The Medina Grand Mosque, Craft Market of Soumbedioune and the Sand Painting Gallery. Lunch and Dinner. Later, we will discuss how we provide economic and humanitarian support to create jobs and equal opportunities for youth and improve access to education and health care. If we have time we may take a hour drive to the Pink Lake to explore this natural phenomenon.
Day 4: Today we'll be heading to Kaolack (Medina Mbaye) which is about 3.5 hours drive from Dakar. The spiritual center for thousands of Tijaniyya Sufi Muslims, Medina Mbaye has captivated the hearts and souls of millions over the years. We'll have lunch on the way within the Bandia Animal Park.
Upon arrival, we'll visit with Shaykh Mahi Cisse, spiritual leader and have a chance to partake in zikr (spiritual chanting).
Day 5 - Medina Baye
After breakfast, we'll tour the masjid as well as the African-American Islamic Institute, a school home to children learning the Quran. Then we'll have Jumah (Friday prayer) and a lunch before heading to the market. In the evening, those who wish too can partake in a Maghrib Zikhr Jummah recitation.
Day 6 - Touba
After breakfast, we'll head to Touba (roughly a 2.5 hour drive) where we will spend the night. We’ll tour Touba. Home of the Sufi Mourids and followers of the great leader, Shaykh Ahmadou Bamba. His tomb is located within the Masjid Touba, one of the largest and most beautiful mosques in West Africa. Touba is now home to of one of the largest annual pilgrimage festivals on the African continent. Later we'll leave for Tambia (Tambacounda), the second largest city in Eastern Senegal. This will serve as our rest stop on the way to Kedougou.
Day 7 – Leave for Tamba. This will be a day of travel towards our final destination of Kedougou. Tamba is a wonderful resting place which is roughly 6 hours from Touba. We’ll leave in the morning. There won’t be a place for lunch so we’ll have bagged lunches. We’ll arrive at the hotel for rest before continuing the journey in the morning.
Day 8 - Kedougou
After breakfast, we'll be leaving bright and early for Kedougou, home of the 10,000 Girls project led by Dr. Viola Vaughn. The road is smooth but be prepared for travel. Kedougou is in the run Segou Village, a place of lush greens and plants, waterfalls and beauty. Our accommodations here will be modest, but what you may miss in fancy amenities, is much made up for in the beauty. We'll visit the hibiscus center, where we will do some deep inner work on developing our goals and later implementing them. We'll enjoy a village welcoming celebration where we meet the local officials and villagers.
Day 9 – Kedougou Today we'll have about a mile walk up a mountain trail to visit the Djindifello waterfalls. For those not up to the challenge, feel free to enjoy resting back at the lodging. Later we'll enjoy a nice lunch and then discussion on the WHEPSA principles led by Dr. Viola Vaughn. (That you love YOU and appreciate physically, psychologically, and spiritually who you are, where you are, how you live and with whom you live, what work you do and how you do it. And if not, change.)
Day 10 - Kedougou
Today we'll enjoy the beautiful centuries old art of tye dying and batiking. Later, we'll have dinner and discussion on CHANGE. Personal, and community.
Day 11 - Kedougou
Today is about Dance and Cooking! We'll split into two groups and alternate between dance class and cooking class. Lunch and Dinner.
Days 12- 13
We'll enjoy our farewell brunch with a discussion around philanthropy and development. Then we'll leave for Tambia, spend the night and then head to Dakar for our final day before flights home.
Day 14, Departures for home.
WHAT TO EXPECT
This trip is for the culture lover, inquisitive-mind, and soul explorer, someone wanting to become in tune with themselves, comfortable with the unknown and experiencing life as it unfolds, rather than planning for what to expect at every moment.
Senegal is a spiritual home, and reminds you of all there is to love in the world. The landscape is varied and you should be prepared for a different type of living. Nothing is as it seems. French & Wolof are the languages of the day, however we have English guides and those to help us.
ACTIVITY LEVEL - Active. Be prepared for lots of walking and there may be some uneven terrain.
**If you have mobility issues please let us know ASAP so that we may try to accommodate you as well as possible within our limitations.
ACCOMMODATIONS- Outside of the major cities, 4-star hotels are not available and accommodations will be more modest. Please be prepared for this.
FOOD - we will be eating mostly Senegalese food. We’ll have American options in the major cities, but it will be hard to come by outside of Dakar.
All meals except Day 1 and Day 14 in Dakar.
English Speaking Guides
All entrance fees
Private Transport for the entire tour
Flight to Dakar
Tips for hotel staff or others who serve you
Shopping and personal costs and anything else.
3-4* Hotels in Dakar and major cities. Best available in other cities.
Accommodations are based on double occupancy. In Kedougou, we will be staying in the women's center with has bunk beds in two large rooms. For Single Occupancy when available, there will be an additional cost.
($2450 if paid in full)
Full Payment: A non-refundable deposit of $500 USD is needed immediately to hold your place as spots are extremely limited!
Payment Plan: A non-refundable deposit of $500 USD is needed immediately to hold your place as spots are extremely limited!
7 Payments of $293 are due monthly till January 15, 2018
Your trip must be paid in full by January 15
*This payment plan is available but you must be paid in full before the trip departure.
*Important: this trip is open to all spiritually based women. You should know that I am Muslim and we shall be visiting Islamic places of interest and eating all halal foods. There will be no alcohol in our dinners.
Please note: Any cancellation will result in a total loss of the $500 USD deposit.
Any cancellation received prior to December 1, 2017 will result in a loss of 50% of the trip price. Any cancellation made after December 1st and the trip departure will result in a total loss of funds.
******We reserve the right to cancel the trip if it is not meeting the trip minimum (if we do so your deposit is refunded in full).******
Travel Insurance is Required. Check Travel Guard Insurance online, SquareMouth.com, or choose from several policy options with your credit card or current insurance.
**You will receive a welcome overview via email within a few weeks of registering. We also have two conference calls prior to the trip where you can ask questions regarding exchanging money, what to pack and other essentials.
Zarinah El-Amin Naeem
Zarinah El-Amin Naeem is a publisher, global presenter and cultural specialist from Detroit, Michigan. The founder of Enliven Your Soul, Niyah Press & Creative Living, and Beautifully Wrapped, Zarinah creates - and helps others to create - meaningful products and events that enliven, encourage, inspire and educate the community in which we live. In 2001, Zarinah made a bold decision after graduating from Howard University with a Bachelors of Science in Computer Science, to turn down a lucrative career in technology and move to Egypt to experience a new culture.
People thought she was crazy, especially since she had no family or support system there. However, it turned out to be one the best decisions ever. The spark was made and the year abroad placed Zarinah on a life-long pursuit of cultural awareness, tradition and love of humanity. From there, Zarinah went on to work in international development and became the Africa Program Coordinator for Life for Relief and Development, an international NGO. Based in Sierra Leone, West Africa, just a few years after the horrendous civil war ended, Zarinah was able to re-energize the local staff office and put policies into place to revamp and extend the reach of programming. But the "giving" was a two way street. Zarinah learned much, not only about the importance of sustainability, but about forgiveness, hope and the resilience of the human spirit.
After returning home and marrying Halim Naeem, a psychologist, Zarinah attained a Masters in Anthropology and began working as a university specialist at both Western Michigan University and the University of Michigan. Always focused on culture, Zarinah's role was to create innovative community and campus programming to spread love and respect between peoples of various cultures and eliminate racism.
Zarinah's current work is eclectic. Her time is split between helping to ignite cultural shifts by teaching new authors how to self-publish powerful books with messages through her company, Niyah Press (www.niyahpress.com); and teaching the global art of headwrapping through presentations and workshops called Beautifully Wrapped.
Having been home to an exchange student from Indonesia for a year, Zarinah is excited to facilitate this women's workshop in a little slice of heaven.
Your Tour Leader
Dr. Viola M Vaughn, Executive Director WHEPSA
Dr. Viola M. Vaughn is founder and Executive Director of the Women’s Health Education and Prevention Strategies Alliance (WHEPSA)and 10,000 Girls in Kaolack, Senegal, West Africa. She founded WHEPSA in 2001, to develop new strategies for offering health and educational services to girls in rural Senegal.
Viola’s own story is a remarkable one. An American grandmother with an Ed.D. from Columbia University’s renowned Teacher’s College in New York, she acquired considerable administrative and teaching experience in health care and education, in both the U.S. (mainly in her native Michigan) and six African countries, including Senegal. In 2000 Viola and her husband, Jazz musician Sam Sanders, made the decision to emigrate to Senegal with their family, to provide their five grandchildren with an international, multilingual and multicultural education.
Her personal experience home-schooling her grandchildren led to some local curiosity in their community in Koalack. One day a 9-year-old girl asked Viola to help her finish third grade. And so 10,000 Girls began.
Read what UNICEF has to say about Viola and 10,000 Girls.
Viola’s vision led her to work with the girls to create WHEPSA’s innovative approach–an approach that integrates education and employment for girls in a self-sustaining program. Its two main components are:
1. Education for girls at risk of failure or dropping out of school; and 2. Employment and training for girls who have failed at school or never attended.
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