Magical Lamu Creative Retreat
What is creativity? How do we cultivate more of it?
Creativity is a vast and wide subject, and yet it mystifies many. But if we can better understand how it works, we can better put it into practice.
This special creative retreat has been developed by artist, art educator, and Coalition Ambassador Andrea Slusarski to help deepen our understanding of creativity. It is designed for anyone interested in the inner working of the creative process.
Join Andrea and our Founder Jen Gurecki, who has spent nearly 20 years traveling through Africa, for a magical 10 days in Kenya where you get to explore your creative practice and deeply experience a people and place.
On this 10-day adventure and creative retreat in Kenya you'll also sail on traditional dhows, indulge in traditional Swahili cuisine, and find hidden gems that will take your breath away with every twist and turn through the carless streets.
Extra bonus: You'll get to meet the women of Zawadisha, learn about their community and way of life, and be wowed by the wildlife.
Dates: July 30th - August 8th, 2024
Skill level: Whether you're an artist, an educator, or simply creativity-curious, this retreat will help you to better tap into your creative process and begin to make new creative connections to the world around you. All you need is an open mind, big heart, and a passion to explore.
Impact: HIGH!! All funds benefit Zawadisha, a micro-lending nonprofit serving women in rural Kenya founded by our CEO Jen Gurecki.
Cost: $2,999 for those who commit to fundraising a minimum of $500 of tax-deductible donations to Zawadisha or $3,499 with no fundraising; you can reserve your spot here for a non-refundable deposit of $250.
Cost for add-on: If you are joining us on the cycling trip and would like to add this on to your Itinerary, the cost is $1,500 if you are fundraising and $2,000 if you are not fundraising.
✔️ Five days of small group creative exploration, led by Andrea Slusarski
✔️ Two wildlife game drive where you'll see elephants, giraffe, zebra, and more
✔️ Cultural immersion in the community with Zawadisha
✔️ Two traditional Swahili dhow sailing trips
✔️ One massage and three yoga classes with certified Kenyan instructors at the Banana House Wellness Center
✔️ One tour of Lamu's Old Town
✔️ All in-country transportation including train and flights
✔️ All meals except for two lunches and two dinners in Lamu (so that you can explore the island yourself)
Please note that airfare, insurance, alcohol, and tip for services is not included.
Read this: Please note that international airfare is not included. You will need to purchase that separately. The payment you make today is to reserve your spot. You will be invoiced for the remaining payments once your participation is confirmed. Travel insurance is required. We are committed to creating a safe space for all participants and as such, have a zero-tolerance policy for harassment, intimidation, and/or verbal/physical abuse.
DAY 1, July 30th: Evening orientation in Nairobi with Andrea Slusarski and Monica Makori, Zawadisha's head of operations in Kenya. You'll have an Ethiopian dinner at one of our most favorite restaurants, and a night at a lovely guest house next to the Village Market (so you can take care of any last minute needs!)
DAY 2, July 31st: Hop on a quick flight to Lamu where you'll meet up with Jen. Get ready to be transported to somewhere very, very different as you take a water taxi from the airport to our accommodation at the Banana House and Wellness Center. Spend the afternoon at the pool or strolling through the streets of Lamu.
DAY 3, August 1st: Andrea will facilitate a We are all Creative / What is Creativity?half-day session. You also will have ample time to gather your creative energy poolside, explore the carless streets of Lamu, enjoy a coffee, visit Jen's secret gems, sun on the beach, read a book, chat with the locals, rest, and dream. In the evening we'll unwind with a sail on a dhow, a traditional Swahili wooden boat.
DAY 4, August 2nd: Andrea will guide you through visual journaling. You'll also have time to explore the old town of Lamu with a local guide who will explain the history of the island. You'll get to meet woodworkers, silversmiths, and more. And you'll love the boat taxi to and from our guest house.
DAY 5, August 3rd: Get ready for 1:1 critiques and more time to explore the island. Don't forget your yoga classes and spa treatment!
DAY 6, August 4th: This is your day. Dream, vision, explore, and connect. We'll end the day with a Swahili dinner on a dhow.
DAY 7, August 5th: For your last day in Lamu, Andrea will guide you though a Creative Share.
DAY 8, August 6th: Fly to Mombasa and take the train to Voi where you'll be picked up for a short drive to the rural community that Zawadisha calls home. Spend the afternoon learning about our work and enjoy the mini-game drive on the way to Kivuli Camp in the Tsavo Conservancy.
DAY 9, August 7th: Keep your eyeballs peeled for elephant, giraffe, zebra, and more during our morning game drive. Then you're off to learn about life in rural Kenya from the women of Zawadisha. You'll travel into the community, visit their homesteads, and meet the Neema Women's Group. Bring your box of tissues and some extra cash for those handmade baskets. Lodging at Kivuli Camp in the Tsavo Conservancy.
DAY 10, August 8th: Enjoy a first-class seat on the Standard Guage Railway as you gaze at the countryside (and if you're lucky see zebra and elephant) as you make your way to Nairobi. You'll have lunch at one of our favorite restaurants in Nairobi (it will be one of the best meals you've ever had) and make your way to the airport to depart for home.
How many people are going? Maximum 10 people will be on this trip; it requires six people to run. We will all have a chance to get to know each other before the trip through optional monthly Zoom calls. Anyone regardless of identity is welcome to join us; we will be centering the experiences of women, non-binary, and trans participants.
What will meals be like? Meals will vary from Western dishes, to Swahili dishes such as ugali and Sukuma wiki, to Indian food. All meals will be prepared for you, and we can accommodate dietary needs. It is all healthy and delicious.
What about accommodation at Kivuli Camp? Expect double occupancy, a cozy bed and mosquito net, uninterrupted views of the landscape, and the sounds of wild animals at night.
And at Banana House? Expect double occupancy, a cozy bed and mosquito net, views of the ocean from the property, a private pool and veranda, and daily breakfast.
Who's organizing this trip? Jen Gurecki, the founder of Zawadisha, is organizing this trip in collaboration with the local Zawadisha team.
How do the payment plans work? We will work with you to set up a payment plan. You will need to pay the full amount before the trip starts. You also can pay the full amount at one time if that is more convenient.
What about the donation/fundraising part? We will create a fundraising platform like this one from our 2022 cycling trip that makes it easy for you to raise tax-deductible donations for Zawadisha. If you choose the lower fundraising rate, you are required to fundraise at least $500. We do encourage everyone to fundraise so that we can make the most positive impact in the lives of the women we serve.
What's your refund policy? You can receive a full refund up to six months before the departure of the trip. If you need to cancel within three to five months of the departure, we will provide credit for a future trip. There is no refund provided for cancellations within one month of the departure date. If we are not able to run the trip due to COVID-19 or other circumstances out of our control, we will reschedule the trip for 2025.
Want to learn more before you reserve a spot? Please contact us!