Mother Africa: Birthing a New Vision

When anything new wants to come into being,
whether a new book, a baby, or a business,
there are contractions, birth pains.

Most of us are feeling these contractions right now
both personally and collectively.

While we sometimes experience them as pain,
contractions mean we can expand.

Our choices dictate our impact in small and big ways.

Whether you are clear on the next choice you're being called to make or not,
the womb of Mother Africa will nourish you while also
pushing and inspiring you into higher levels of consciousness.

This Service & Safari Retreat is both an inner and outer journey.

When we lift others up, we heal ourselves.
We find clarity for ourselves by helping others.
We find personal truth by experiencing connection.

Connection has brought you here.

You sense you will find it through service to the land,
the animals, and the families of Africa, and in doing,
enrich your life in unknown and unknowable ways.

This trip is a game changer.

Be prepared to be broken open and put back together by visionary experiences outside of your comfort zone.

Get ready for heart healing, for a renewal of your faith in humanity.

Feel the excitement of hearing and creating stories like none you've known before, tales that root your expression in the outside world, that unmake and remake your life.

Imagine a renewal of your body through time spent in nature, the healing energies of animals, healthy food, daily movement, and deep, nourishing rest in a peaceful natural environment.

Find the support of a loving community. Hearts. Wide. Open.

After a recent Qoya retreat to Zimabwe, Lindsay and I felt called to return and create a project that would give back, in the best way that we know how, to a community that has deeply enriched and inspired each of us.

We are both doulas and passionate advocates for moms and babies so we’ve teamed up on a project to improve maternity care services for our friends and their families in the Wedsa region of Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe is listed as the 15th worst country in the world for maternal outcomes with 570 women dying per 100,000 births. There are huge cracks in the system of care that far too many women and babies fall through.

The overall need in Zim is incredible, well beyond even our collective ability to fix. But together we can save many precious lives and make a huge difference for hundreds of families in one very special community.

We were in Zim recently and met with local mothers, midwives, nurses, doctors and policy makers and together we came up with a solid plan! Lindsay and I have agreed to work with the community to overhaul and upgrade the local Idube Rural Health Center.

We began in December 2016 by building on-site housing for the nursing staff, followed by the creation of a mother’s shelter, planting of a community garden, and structural upgrades to the farmhouse that houses the clinic.

We will continue work on this project together on this Service & Safari Retreat. Let's make a difference together!



In this retreat, you will learn how truth guides you moment to moment.

Through Qoya movement, you will learn how to find
the physical sensation of truth and follow it.

You will live gratitude, not as a philosophy,
 but as a daily, living practice.

You will be called beyond what you know
 and reconnect with your deepest values.

On this retreat, you will:

  • Move your body through daily Qoya classes
  • Nourish yourself with healthy, delicious food
  • Engage your soul in ritual and ceremony
  • Give your time and talent to the local Idube Health Center
  • Learn first-hand of the challenges Africa faces and how you can help
  • Spend time on safari with African animals
  • Return home with a greater perspective of life outside what you already know
  • Feel more compassionate towards yourself and others
  • Gain a new community of sisters who will support you during this retreat and beyond

"As a birth doula, Elan has helped hundreds of women bring their babies into the world with a deep reverence for the birth process. As a Qoya teacher, Elan uses her birth expertise to guide a woman to rebirth her life. If you are ready to make a midlife transition, take a class or retreat with Elan."


"As a busy CEO who spends quite a bit of time in my head figuring out marketing strategy, business plans, and financial reports, it's good to get grounded in my body through movement, ritual, and community. There are so many thought leaders and mentors teaching and preaching what CEOs and leaders SHOULD do to create success; through Qoya and Lindsay's teachings, guidance, and promptings I return back to my body and soul to know what is best for me and my business. She allows me to lead from the feminine."




Elan McAllister

Elan started her life as a dancer and is grateful to return to that first love through Qoya. Her other passions/careers have included theater production on Broadway and the West End, and helping families have empowered, safe and fulfilling births through her work as a doula, consumer advocate, and founder of Choices in Childbirth, a NYC-based non-profit dedicated to improving maternity care for all mothers and babies. Currently, Elan is traveling the world on her Leap of Faith Tour, teaching Qoya, writing her story, and raising consciousness around the creative power and spiritual sacredness of childbirth. One day soon, her work will be found at


Lindsay McKinnon

In the Appalachian Mountains of Roanoke, Virginia, Lindsay works as a Nationally Certified Massage Therapist with over 12 years of experience. As a Childbirth Doula, she bears witness to women as vessels of transformation as they usher their babies into this earthly body and being. Lindsay is a Qoya Dancing Queen and provides space and music that takes others on a journey to the wise, wild, and free frontiers of their own soul. Let's meet there, shall we? Lindsay is committed to holding space for others to dive deeply into their Souls, to feel everything, to process what they find there, and to support them as they create changes that feel good, better, honest, and true. It is her deep pleasure to be a Qoya Teacher and provide a place for dance, for ritual, for community gatherings, and for pilgrimage.

RETREAT SAMPLE ITINERARY (exact times may vary)

Friday, May 19, 2017 - Travel Day 
Arrive at Harare (HRE) Zimbabwe airport by 3pm. Complimentary transportation to The Sable Lodge at Imire Wildlife Conservation. If you can't arrive by 3pm, it’s suggested you arrive a day early, and we can organize a room and airport transportation for you at an additional charge. 
7pm: Welcome Dinner
8pm: Opening Circle and Gentle Qoya class before bedtime
Saturday, May 20 - Welcome to Zimbabwe
8-9am: Breakfast
10:00-noon: Qoya class in garden
1-3pm: Lunch in safari park, visit to the Library
3-5pm: Afternoon free time by the pool, naps in garden
5pm: Sundowners in game park
7pm: Dinner
Sunday, May 23 - Safari Day 
7-8am: Optional sunrise rhino or elephant walk
8-9am: Breakfast
10am-4pm: Game drive and lunch
4-6pm: Sunset Qoya in garden
7pm: Dinner & 3 Card Story
Monday, May 22 - Service at Health Clinic
8-9am: Breakfast
10am-noon: Painting, gardening, cleaning & organizing clinic
1pm: Lunch at the Clinic with Nurses and Midwives
2-4pm: Painting, gardening, cleaning clinic
5 pm: Sundowners in game park
7pm: Dinner
8pm: Fire Ceremony
Tuesday, May 21 - Service at School
7-8am: Optional sunrise rhino or elephant walk
8-9am: Breakfast
10am-noon: Small teaching groups at local school
1pm: Lunch in safari park
4-6pm: Sunset Qoya in garden
7pm: Dinner
Wednesday, May 24 - Service at School and Animal Sanctuary Visit
7-8am: Optional sunrise rhino or elephant walk
8-9am: Breakfast
10am-noon: Small teaching groups at local school
1pm: Lunch in safari park
2pm: Depart for Animal Sanctuary Visit and afternoon tea
6-8pm: Sundowners and dinner at animal sanctuary
Thursday, May 25 - Service at Clinic
6-8am: Optional sunrise hike to sacred mountain
8-9a: Breakfast
10am-noon: Qoya  
1pm: Lunch in safari park, visit to the library
4-6pm: Service at Clinic  
7pm: Dinner
8pm: Closing Circle & Despacho
Friday, May 26 - Travel Day (Departure) 
6-8am: Optional sunrise rhino or elephant walk
8-9am: Breakfast
10am: Transportation to airport (book flights for 1pm or after) 



You have the option to add an excursion after the retreat from May 26th through 28th. This excursion will cost includes your flight (one-way from Harare to Victoria Falls), accommodations, a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River, high tea at the famous Victoria Hotel, and a unique African dinner experience at The Boma Restaurant.

Friday, May 26th - Travel Day 
6-8am: Optional Sunrise Elephant or Rhino Walk at Imire Game Park  
8-9am: Breakfast
10am: Transportation to airport
12pm: Flight from Harare to Victoria Falls
2:00pm: Arrival and taxi to hotel
4:00pm: High Tea at Victoria Hotel
5:00pm: Sunset Dinner Cruise on the Zambezi River
Saturday, May 27th - Victoria Falls! 
8-9am: Breakfast
10am: Victoria Falls, one of the 7 wonders of the world! 
Victoria Falls activity, shopping, rest & relaxation by the pool, visit the oldest baobab tree
5pm: Dinner at The Boma Restaurant
Sunday, May 28th - Travel Day
8-9am: Breakfast
10am: Victoria Falls activity or shopping
1pm: Leave for airport and happy trails! 

To enroll, simply let Betsy know when she contacts you to arrange payment.

“In Lindsay's Qoya classes, I find and lose myself. She creates a safe, warm space to be vulnerable and free in a judgmental world. She "leads" yet she empowers me to let my body lead. Lindsay is more than a movement instructor; she's my personal shaman.”



The Sable Lodge at Imire Wildlife and Rhino Conservation, also referred to as “Imire,” is an oasis, a lodge in the midst of a wildlife game park and preserve. It is the realization of a vision shared by the Travers family, three generations of passionate conservationists. At Imire, you will have the opportunity to get close to many of the animals you might see from a distance on safari, including the very rare black rhino. You will stay in exquisite, clean rooms in your own private thatched-roof hut on the grounds of the oasis that is The Sable Lodge. 


$3,700 per person for your own bed in a shared room.

Private rooms can be arranged for an additional $1,500, subject to availability.

Your tuition includes:

  • 7 nights' accommodations
  • 3 delicious meals a day 
  • airport shuttles to and from the Sable Lounge
  • Qoya classes and rituals
  • sunrise walks with elephants and rhinos
  • sunset horseback riding
  • daily sundowners
  • game park excursions
  • trip to Wild is Life sanctuary
  • staff gratuities
  • service projects

Your tuition does not include:

  • Airfare to and from Harare, Zimbabwe Airport
  • Any additional taxis or shuttles other than the ones already included
  • Additional tips at your discretion

Early Bird Discount

Save $500 if you register by February 15th.

Place your deposit to hold your spot today:

Betsy from House of Loveness will follow up to arrange your remaining payment.

*The cost of this retreat includes a sizable donation to the projects we are funding in the community. Approximately half of your retreat fee will be fully tax deductible.

Cancellation Policy
If you need to cancel for any reason and we can find a person to take your spot, we will refund the amount paid minus a $250 non-refundable deposit. If we cannot find a person to take your spot, there are no refunds; however, you can transfer your paid spot to someone else, so you can send a friend or family member to the retreat in your place.


Take a step towards trust, in yourself and in the world. 

Be in the highest service to the earth, the animals, humanity, and your own vision for the future. 

Hearts. Wide. Open.


+ What time of day does the course start, and what time does it finish?

Please plan on arriving no later than 3:00 pm on the 19th at the Harare airport, and book your return flight anytime after 1pm on the 26th.

+ How do I get to the retreat?

You should fly into Harare Airport, and we will make arrangements with a private shuttle to bring you to The Sable Lodge at Imire.

+ Is it women only? What age group?

This is a women only retreat for women ages 18 and up, though Lindsay's husband, Tom, will be joining us for the service projects and safaris, lending his technological skill to our efforts. There are no levels in Qoya, and all levels of movement experience are welcome. No experience with Qoya is required!

+ Do you cater to specific dietary requirements?

We will cater for any dietary requirements provided you let us know when booking.

+ I have more questions. Who do I contact?

Any questions we haven't covered here? Email us at