#BTOR: 2020 HEALING RETREAT (BENIN, WEST AFRICA)

Cotonou, Benin

CW
Chef Wilize Maleombho
  • Mobile phone verified
  • Email address verified
  • Facebook verified
  • Twitter verified
7 reviews
Jan 4 - 13, 2020
Group size: 5 - 10
#BTOR: 2020 HEALING RETREAT (BENIN, WEST AFRICA)
Cotonou, Benin

Chef Wilize Maleombho
  • Mobile phone verified
  • Email address verified
  • Facebook verified
  • Twitter verified
7 reviews

$2500
Deposit: $390
Jan 4 - 13, 2020
Group size: 5 - 10

About this trip

AWURA'S ANNUAL BACK TO OUR ROOTS HEALING RETREATS ARE INTIMATE JOURNEYS INTO THE WISDOM OF OUR ANCESTRAL AFRICAN CULTURES.

What would it feel like to walk on the same ground as your ancestors? to be surrounded by people who look like you? think like you? understand you? To be immerse in real culture and native traditions? We get it, and get you, because we are you! 


Our  Jan 2020  #BTOR  healing retreat  in beautiful Benin (West Africa) is a retreat that was created for people of the african diaspora who are interested in learning more about their roots. You will be traveling with a group of like minded individuals who just like you want to learn more about  their west African culture and  history. Moreover, we will dwell deeper into the ancestral traditional healing and spiritual practices of Benin. 


                                        What To Expect 

You will feel  EMPOWERED to know the truth of our history, you will feel more GROUNDED and more at  PEACE by RECONNECTING WITH THE SPIRIT OF YOUR ANCESTOR.


During the retreat:
1. We will explore the beauty and sacredness of Benin, West Africa.
2. We will explore and undo the myths surrounding our ancestral African spiritual practices
3. We will release the pain that our ancestors endured during slavery and colonization through various healing rituals.
4. We will learn to create balance and peace in our own lives, through the wisdom of our ancestors.ancestors.


Register today! Retreat catered for sisters of the African Diaspora. Deadline for deposit for regular package is November 1st  2019, and deadline for full payment ticket purchase is December 1st 2019. For detailed itinerary click here .

 PAYMENT PLAN AVAILABLE FOR ALL PACKAGES

 visual by Noella 


                            ****BY PURCHASING A PACKAGE YOU AGREE TO OUR POLICY  BELOW***

                                                                           OUR  POLICY 

Due to the intimate size of this group trip, preparation, and vendor contract, there will be NO REFUNDS issued by neither Awura nor Wilizé Maléombho LLC for the Back to our roots 2020 Benin retreat. By purchasing a package, you have acknowledged and agreed to our NO REFUND POLICY. However,  you may purchase a trip cancellation coverage through a travel insurance agency which ables you to forgo the unnecessary worries around what happens if an emergency occurs and you can’t make your trip. A few good travel insurance agency options are Travelex insurance services, Travelguard.com and Allianz Global assistance.  


***By purchasing this package you have acknowledged and agreed to our  NO REFUND POLICY and our liability agreement***

What’s included

  • Packages
    Different packages offer different services please read each package carefuly
  • Travel Insurance
    Travel or health insurance, (not included )
  • Travel documents fee
    Passport, visa, and vaccinations, (not included)
  • Baggage fees
    baggage fees are not included, (not included)
  • Meals
    outside of those mentioned on the itinerary (not included )
  • Gratuity
    For drivers, guides, waiters (not included)
  • Excursion
    Excursion outside those that are listed in the itinerary (not included)
  • Personal items
    items of personal nature (not included)

Available Packages

Early-Birds: The Love Package
Available until Aug 31, 2019Sold Out

Our most popular package to date! Now available at a discounted price! ( for a limited time)  it includes everything that you have available in the Live package except for flight tickets & the 2 complementary massages. 


Package Detail-FOR WOMEN OF COLOR 

 

1. Airport transfers (from airport to  residence)

2. 9 nights Living accommodation, comfortable 5 star residence (Cotonou & Ouidah-shared) 

3. Coach travel around Benin

4. Access passes to The Voodoo Festival 

5. Access passes to touristic tours 

6. Daily morning meditation 

7. Healing workshops & circles 

8. Culinary workshops 

9. Nutritious meals (vegan and vegetarian option available)

10. Goodie bags- gifts from all of our sponsors 


Special feature 

***MOST POPULAR PACKAGE ***


$2500
Deposit: $390
The Love Package***-For Women of Color
Available until Nov 25, 2019Sold Out

Our most popular package to date, it includes everything that you have available in the Live package except for flight tickets & the 2 complementary massages. 


Package Detail-FOR WOMEN OF COLOR 

1. Airport transfers (from airport to residence)

2. 9 nights Living accommodation, comfortable 5 star residence (Cotonou & Ouidah-shared) 

3. Coach travel around Benin

4. Access passes to The Voodoo Festival 

5. Access passes to touristic tours 

6. Daily morning meditation 

7. Healing workshops & circles 

8.culinary workshops 

9. Nutritious meals (vegan and vegetarian option available)

10. Goodie bags- gifts from all of our sponsors 

Special feature 

***MOST POPULAR PACKAGE ***

$2800
Deposit: $390
The Live Package ***INCLUDES FLIGHTS
Available until Nov 29, 2019Sold Out

Don't want to worry about flight tickets? don't worry we got you! In our live package everything will be taken care of for you, from plane tickets purchases  to  2 complementary massages by specialist, Laurence Sessou + team. 


Package detail-FOR WOMEN OF COLOR 


1. Flights to Benin (From NYC ONLY)

2. Airport transfers (from airport to residence)

3. 9 nights accommodation, comfortable 5 star residence (Cotonou & Ouidah-shared) 

4. Coach travel around Benin

5. Access passes to The Voodoo festival 

7.Access passes to touristic tours 

8. Daily morning meditation 

9. Healing workshops & circles 

10. Culinary workshops 

11. Nutritious meals ( vegan and vegetarian option available)  

12. 2 complimentary massages 

13. Goodie bags- gifts from all of our sponsors 


Special feature 

**Airfare included + 2 complementary massages***


(flights leaving from NYC ONLY)



$4600
Deposit: $1900
$2500
Deposit: $390

Early-Birds: The Love Package
Past Trip

Itinerary

Day 1
Welcome

Arrive at Cotonou Benin's international airport  (Airport Cadjehoun) where you will be warmly greeted by our Awura rep that will chauffeur you to your beautiful home. On arrival, there will be a welcome drink reception, followed by a traditional Benin feast to be served while you make yourself at home; and to finish a cacao ceremony  to helps us know each other better and break the ice . You will also receive your goodie bags from our sponsors. 


Your home in Benin will be available  to you starting Jan 4th 2020. We encourage travelers coming from a different time zone to settle in a little  before the 4th at their own expenses, in order to rest and  adjust to the new  environment ( PLEASE NOTE***:  your package  apply on January 4th 2020 )  


For a more detailed itinerary (including healing circles, meditation, daily activity with times, meals included and more) please visit the site  by clicking www.wilize.com and download the travel catalogue. It also includes answers to frequently asked questions, from what to pack to important  traveling documents.

Your Organizer


CW
Chef Wilize Maleombho
7 reviews
We help amazing millennials women of color, like you, find peace. We help you find balance in your everyday life. We do this by sharing the various tools available for W.O.C in our society and community. We gather healing stories from women of color around the globe as well as host wellness workshop, healing circles and therapeutic retreats to Africa.

Reviews

What a wonderfully curated experience Wilize created. A culturally expansive women's adventure for the ages. #BTOR was a space to learn about the beautiful intricacies of West Africa and all she has provided for the world. The space created to have conversations of differences, similarities, trials and joy all while learning how we connect with each other, the world around us, all the while connecting back with my true self. It was a blessing and honor to embark on this experience that Ill never forget.
My first voyage back to Afrika was a success with Wilize and her staff. We stayed in a spacious and beautiful five bedroom home that has a front yard that feels like paradise. No exaggeration. I valued the deep table talks I had with the ladies over some amazing Afrikan cuisine from the wonderful cook Josette. Wilize was accommodating with our requests for extra shopping or other activities and genuinely care about our concerns. This retreat definitely filled me up with a variety of experiences: partying, city, country, village, spiritual, etc. Considering this was somewhat a solo travel I never felt unsafe. Laurence she was a wonderful person to meet and gave me good laughs and made me feel warm inside. Her workshop sparked in me a re-connection with essential oils and her massage creates an interesting fire of relaxation. Random but Wilize got the connects. I've always wanted to go back to Afrika and felt so good I didn't have to go it alone. Instead I was surrounded with like-minded beautiful black sisters all trying to dig deeper spiritually and reconnect with our ancestry. The beautiful thing is Benin, has set-up memorials, the Vodun festival, and a yearly walk in an effort to call Afrikans of the Diaspora back home and atone for our unfortunate and unforgettable departure from home. I invite you, Afrika invites you, and Awura Experience is waiting for you to see for yourself. ;)
Thank you Wilize for creating a safe space for women to come together, bond and learn from each other whilst exploring the beautiful country of Benin. This is the best retreat that I have been on. Every aspect of it was well thought out; from the delicious food made by our wonderful chef Josette, the beautiful villa that we called home for 10 days, to all of the workshops and sites that we visited. I am feeling so blessed to have been a part of this experience. Not only did I leave with a strong sense of sisterhood but I also learned a lot in terms of history, spirituality and about personal and community growth. What made this retreat so special is the organic nature in which conversations flowed, stories were shared, experiences occurred - I am grateful for the memories created. If you are curious to learn about spirituality, the various forms of healing, sharing and listening to stories in a safe space, I highly recommend this retreat!
There is so much to say about how incredible this trip was. Wilizé was such a caring and attentive host throughout the trip, making sure that each of us had everything that we needed. At the same time as this, she was never detached from the experience and seemed as much a part of the visiting group as anyone else. Her level of research and familiarity with locals and friends from Benin was what enabled us to seamlessly experience the country in a way that did not feel shallow or heavily touristic. Instead, it felt that we were being shown around by family and friends, which was invaluable. Highlights of the trip were the visit to Bab's Dock for an aromatherapy workshop with Laurence Sessou, the Vodoun festival, the Connecting to Self through Ancestry workshop by Anike Bello, and the visit to the Python Temple, among many other things such as the beauty of the residence that we stayed at. The schedule was the right balance of activities and downtime to make sure that we could process all of the information that we were taking in. I also really enjoyed the consistency of everything - having the minibus taking us from place to place, with our wonderful and patient driver, Donathon, and the amazing food by our chef, Josette, who was such a warm and motherly presence in the house. I loved the fact that Josette also made traditional food for us which enabled us to deeper connect with the culture. All of this made us feel incredibly safe and welcome at all times. I am so glad that I took the chance to go on this trip. I remember doubting whether or not I could make the investment but taking a leap of faith and it has paid me back many times over in terms of what I was able to experience, how much more my sense of connectedness to West Africa has grown, and the confidence with which I move through life. I also look forward to meeting many of the girls again, and feel fortunate to have been part of such a well bonded group. There's probably more I'm forgetting to say, but it truly was an enriching trip which I would recommend for anyone, particularly of African descent, who is open-minded, cares for and is interested in the indigenous traditions, culture and history of West Africa. If that's you, take this trip. Thank you Wilizè!!
AE
This trip was definitely my highlight of the year. And I have 11 months to go as this was a January trip. I travel extensively and avidly and this experience was incomparable. The fullness of the planned excursions that were sometimes off the beaten path with true locals, experiencing the comradeship of like-minded women of Color was such a cherry on top of an already satisfying and delicious dessert. I actually do not care for Group travel but this has opened my mind and heart greatly. I truly cannot wait for more African trips to be planned and brought forth. I would definitely support annually as the locations grow. If you’re hesitant or unsure about joining... DO IT, you will be hooked and other groups will seem so much lessor than that you can’t ever go back to mediocrity!
Show More Reviews

References

SS
The BTOR retreat has been a magical, transformative, and reflective positive moment in my healing journey. I always felt an ancestral call to return home [Africa] but never imagined that my first trip would be to Benin. After spending 10 days healing, learning, connecting, and evolving I know exactly why my first trip back home had to be Benin. Carefully curated, each we arose in an opulent house and gathered for group meditation. This was a necessary start to our day. It helped me to center and be present. It also united me feel united to the sisters in our group. We ate traditional breakfast and dinners prepared by a local chef. The food was everything! Oozing with flavor and filled with the love and joy by the delightful sister who prepared them. The conversations that we shared over a fulfilling meal were food for the soul. Each day we explored the culture and traditions of Benin, working to unlearn, learn, and relearn the stigmas of Voodun. The most impactful lesson being that the Voodoo Festival, in many ways, is a call to return home to the diaspora from the people of Benin. Who would have thought that this whole time Benin had been cultivated a space specifically for us. You feel grievance from the complex history of the slave trade in the museums and monuments created in honor of our ancestors. Walking the path of the slave road step by step with a local guide who breaks down the significance and the story behind each stride. I felt overwhelmed with emotions. The days prior had been filled with a serendipitous trip to a village to learn about herbal medicine. I watched the gratitude on each of our faces as we watched the herbalist fly from one plant to the next. Explaining the benefits of every succulent he could while joy radiated from his presence. We had a workshop held by Laurance, who skillfully took us through balancing our chakras through the use of essential oils. An impromptu workshop on Connecting Through Self Through Ancestry by author and one of the sisters participating in the retreat, Anike. We’d experienced the get down as we turnt up in Benin’s nightlife. We paraded in the streets in honor of our ancestors during the Voodoo Fest. There were so many memories being created and bonds being formed between the women on this trip. Too many to mention, but much to be explored for yourself. I urge anyone interested in discovering more about their roots to start your year off right, through this magical retreat. Wilize was the perfect guide. Her love and passion for the diaspora are clear and pure. I felt personally supported and cared for during my retreat which was really a time of healing. I have a tremendous amount of gratitude for Wilize and the women I shared this time with.
By Shaina Simmons on Jan 26, 2020
BT
My trip with Awura experiences was absolutely life changing. On the BTOR Retreat we participated in a series of workshops and adventures. Starting with learning about history from and about our ancestors in West Africa, engaging in sacred traditions to learning about black health and nutrition. Want to share and highlight the nutrition experience that has been very healing for me in particular. We spent some time with a popular herbalist - healer at her family's healing/ nutrition center in Benin . First off, this was a life long wish that came true. Left with more knowledge and insight on how I would like to continue living my life in the most reasonable homeopathic way possible in a westernized world/culture that relies entirely too much on manufactured food and pills. Prior to this trip, had been having issues with my digestion, IBS, losing weight and diabetes. After this one of many powerful and positive experiences on this amazing trip, was inspired to adjust my diet to one that consisted of less gluten and incorporated various mixtures of herbs that had healing properties for my health issues. Since January, I've lost over 20 pounds , lowered my A1C and have had no ibs or digestive issues. Overall , something minor, like having the opportunity of being able to sit down and have a clear and concise conversation with someone who looks like you, knows common issues that affect people like you and understands your body- DNA and it's functions ; as well as knows your history and details of your lineage definitively is such a undefined experience in its self. In addition to healing physical health issues, this experience has had profound healing affects on my mental health. One take away, was finding true confidence in my blackness, ancestors journey and really understanding my worth and purpose from a new perspective and narrative. Since gaining new clarity, been making more progress within my career endeavors here in the US . Things are seeming to align differently for me. Spending time in Africa with Awura experiences has further helped me be more assertive, clear and focused on getting my needs met . Would recommend Awura to any black woman - WOC searching for new culture filled experiences and looking to achieve a breakthrough in their lives.
By Bri Tney on Apr 23, 2019