An exotic journey through the Cradle of Civilization
Ethiopia is the country known by many as the Cradle of Civilization. It is a country with the richest stories about the origins of man. The 3.2 Million year old skeleton of Lucy, and the 4.4 Million year old remains of Ardi are both from Ethiopia. As well as the relatively newer stories about the first modern humans emerging from this part of the world about 200,000 years ago and spreading into Europe and across the rest of the world. All of these stories and the ones that cover the last 2,000-3,000 years make Ethiopia filled with rich explorations of man’s evolution, belief systems, as well as life itself and consciousness.
Our tour in Ethiopia, will take us on a journey through time as well as the grey areas between fact and mythology and the cross roads of many major religions. We will see how this country is connected with the Queen of Sheba, King Solomon of Israel, and their son Menelik 1st, who brought the Ark of the Covenant to Ethiopia in 950 BCE. We will visit some of the amazing rock-hewn Christian churches of Tigray, some with histories dating back to the 3rd and 5th century CE, and the incredible monolithic churches of Lalibela that were carved out of living mother rock, and an ancient pagan temple that predates all of these.
This country is also filled with plenty of natural beauty; we will see hippos, crocodiles and zebras as we explore the sacredness of the Lake Tana and the origins of the Blue Nile River. Even the ancient Egyptians, classified Ethiopia (“Punt”) as the “land of beauty and plenty”. Egypt’s Queen Hepshutsut at multiple times sent legions of boats and merchants to trade for the riches of frankincense, myrrh and exotic animals. Still today, in the markets, we will see huge bags filled with these incenses that were once worth more then gold. We will journey deep into the Simian Mountains to see Gelada Baboons, Walia Ibex and if we are lucky some Caracals.
The beauty of Ethiopia will be all around you on this journey, whether you are looking at the centuries old wall and ceiling paintings, or marveling at ancient buildings carved out of solid rock, or tasting healing honey from the sacred bees that live inside a temple, or listening to groups of monks chanting in ancient G’eez, or making your own coffee pot from river clay, or cooking enjerra over an open fire.
The experiences we will have on this tour are all designed to help us explore who we are and to help us grow. Ethiopia may be the Cradle of Civilization, however I see it as the Cradle of Consciousness, this is the country where the energy of the universe created a quantum leap in humanity’s history, as if a true fingerprint of God energy was left here.
One thing I know is that this country needs to be seen and experienced, to be believed. Join us on this amazing journey into the Cradle of Humanity.
Love- Malcolm, Loretta and Scott
A Journey into the mysterious wildernesses of the Mighty Genghis Khan.
Mongolia, what can we say when Marco Polo summed it up really well in 1324, "I did not tell half of what I saw, for no one would have believed me".
In the 1200’s, Mongolia was the home of the greatest Empire on the planet and across all of recorded history still ranks as the 2nd largest empire that ever existed. It stretched from as far west as Egypt across to Korea and from far into Russia down deep into China.
It is a land steeped in not only in rich history but also in a unique permutation of Shamanism, Buddhism and Tengrism. On this tour we are going to explore the depths of all of these, and see how this incredible crossover creates an exciting experience of learning how we can incorporated a variety of belief systems into our own world and have them fully functional within our life.
Monks, Nuns & Hot Springs
Buddhism in Mongolia (starting in the 1500’s) was relatively recent in comparison to Tibet, India and Nepal. Yet Buddhism became the major religion with the assistance of the Chinese Ming Dynasty, so much of what we will explore in the way of Monasteries and temples here will be the Chinese version of Gelug Buddhism.
As we spend time in these monasteries (some dating back into the 1600’s) with the monks, nuns and Lamas we will uncover a very unique cross over of where Buddhism was added on top the Mongolian’s earlier connections to their Shamanistic and Tengrist traditions, rather then what we see in other parts of the Buddhist world where the religion usurped or was totally separate to Toher beliefs.
Whether we are exploring the Tuvkhun Monastery at the feet of Orkhon falls, the hot springs at Khangay or spending time with the monks at the 400 year old Zaya Gegeen Monastery at the White Lake, we will also be experiencing and connecting with the unique customs of these people and learn how they live and exist in harmony with their environs.
Living with the Nomadic Mongols
The Mongols from the beginning of history are nomadic people, and they still exist in many ways the same today, numerous houses in the cities are Yurts, and the people in the outer regions could pack up and move across valleys and over mountains within a few days.
On this tour we will truly exist in nomadic fashion spending time with the locals, sharing their food and hospitality, staying in Yurt camps and Gers, we will travel on horses and in 4x4s across rocky terrain.
A Mystic Journey of Ancient Shamanism
And as we get closer to the Blue Pearl of Mongolia, the stunning Khuvsgal lake, we will be able to go deeper into the shamanistic practices of the people at the Southern foothills of the Altai Mountains, and learn what the origins of all their beliefs are based on, Tengrism, the central Asian belief system that every animal, every plant, every aspect of life has a god energy, that the sky and earth are living energies, and to be alive is to know and connect to the god energy of everything around you, and live as one in the very flow of nature itself.