Wednesday July 10, 2019
Hello friends and family !
GLA Bali session two has begun! Ten out of the fourteen students have arrived. They came with happy faces and energy. Usually, when students get off these long flights, they are zombies. But not this group of students, they were so clipper and ready to take on adventure. Lilly, William, Jordan and Rohan are still yet to meet us. Lilly has landed in Bali and is with our local director, Gita, driving to home base as I type this. William, Jordan and Rohan will be arriving late tonight, around midnight, and they will be greeted by Nicole, our international Director.
Once the ten students all arrived earlier today, we hopped on the bus and drove through the city to get to Ubud, the location of our home base. Dinner was ready for the team once we got to our homebase, Madra. Madras is a home stay, we are staying at a families compound. It is very homey and the family is very kind and welcoming. A great start to welcoming the students into Balinese culture.The students are connecting so well with each other. Everyone is very inclusive and engaging with each other.
Some students have said they are very tired, so we gave them the rest of the evening to chill, relax, unpack, and get used to the environment. I have a feeling they will go to bed early, but we will see. The staff is so excited for this group of students to be all together. Tomorrow, we have orientation and this is a time where we tell them everything they need to know. We can’t wait for the other students to arrive later tonight and be one big happy family!
Thursday July 11, 2019
We finally all arrived safe and sound after almost two days of traveling and were very tired, but that didn’t stop us being super friendly and kind as we got to know each other. From the moment we met each other at the airport we bonded instantly, and from there getting to know each other in Bali is easy. This morning we had orientation where we learned about the trip in general. We also got a language lesson before lunch. Later we got to test our language skills in a three hour scavenger hunt where we had to talk to locals. Talking with the locals taught us a lot about their culture. This evening we’re hanging around our Ubud home base and looking forward to the rest of our trip in Bali.
Kami di depan 🙂
Brianna and Julia
Friday July 12, 2019
Today our group had an early start!! We ate breakfast at 8:30 and had to be ready at around 9. At 9 we met at as a huge group and did a little ice breakers and learned what it meant to be a global citizen. We then broke into groups and made posters that we are going to hang up at our next home stay to decorate it!! Next we had to get ready to go into town, so everyone put on the sarongs that we received.
We went to a Banjar which is a neighborhood community center and did some fun activities. We did wood carving, played instruments and danced! Then we went back to Madra Homestay and broke into smaller groups to go over rules and guidelines. We ended the day with a delicious dinner and bonded more as a group and then went to bed to get ready for our early morning.
Sunday July 14, 2019
Hey family and friends <3,
Today, in the morning, we packed up all our things and left our trusty homestay in Ubud.
After a 1 hour drive we then arrived at Ulun Danu temple, one of the most photographed places in Bali, where we were able to witness beautiful flower gardens and architecture. Then, after a lovely all you can eat buffet, we headed towards Singaraja, where we are going to stay for then next 7 days.
Before heading to the tourist beach for some afternoon fun, we took a small walk around the neighborhood village, coming to the conclusion that the people here seem more friendly and interactive.
In the evening our group spent some time on the beach, completing our swim tests and eventually taking part in a BEAUTIFUL sunset boat ride.
The night was eventually ended with some delicious burgers, which a friend from the Bali institute prepared for us in her beachside restaurant, and singing by the bonfire.
Overall, we can say that the day has been a great success and that we are ready to get some sleep, in order to be energized for our first day of community service tomorrow.
Lots of love (hab euch lieb) and we miss you a lot!
Lilly + Will
Monday July 15, 2019
After having a hardy breakfast consisting of oatmeal, eggs, and toast we loaded up into two vans and headed to the beach.
We spent three hours at the beach. We swam, shopped a long the beach, and ate lunch. There was a nice cafe on the beach’s boardwalk that many of us ate at for snacks. We then headed back to the hotel and made a stop at indomart (a local grocery store). We all got snacks to keep us satisfied throughout the day. We then went back to the hotel and got ready for our second day of service.
After a quick drive we arrived to smiling kids at the school’s enterance. Three hours past quickly as we went through teaching the kids the body parts in English. We teach the kids in three different stations, art, games , and in the classroom. After saying our goodbyes, we eventually loaded back onto the bus and headed back to the hotel.
At the hotel we had a more western dinner consisting of potato wedges, corn on the cob, barbecue chicken, and veggies. We then debriefed all together and ended the evening with the evening activity. We decided to work on a performance to show the kids when we go to the children’s home tomorrow evening.
-Jordan Joseph “the animal” Port & Katharine Dorothy “the best child” Judy
Wednesday July 17, 2019
Hey MOM, DAD, FAM, and FRIENDS
Today had its challenges, we started with an awesome breakfast and some tea. After that we got to do a team bonding activity where we were blindfolded and got to go through a maze. I wore a motorbike helmet and rain poncho. Then we got a break and most of us took naps. Felt awesome. Then we lesson planned for class, we taught fruits and veggies. It was the third day of service, we taught the kids about different fruits and vegetables.
It was difficult at first because the younger group of kids weren’t getting it and many of us became frustrated but after taking a step back we tried again and at the end of the day they all had so much fun. They also got more comfortable with everyone and gave out so so many hugs !! We then went to the children’s home where they put on a show for us, we saw them dance, sing, do yoga, and more. They’re all so talented, they were so excited to practice their English and spend time with us. Overall it was a very fun and rewarding day we’re all so happy to be spending time with these kids but we miss home too!! Can’t wait to come home and tell you everything.
P.S. tell my fish and finny that I miss them
Thursday July 18, 2019
Hi family and friends!
Today we started our day with banana pancakes and Nutella for breakfast, and then spent an hour prepping for our next lesson with the kids later in the afternoon. We then drove to the Mandara school, which is a prestigious boarding high school for less fortunate kids. We learned about their experiences and got to know them by talking and playing fun games. After we ate lunch with them, we got back on the road and headed straight to our volunteering at the school. Todays lesson was about land and sea animals. Once we finished teaching, we headed back to home base to eat dinner, debrief, and hang out.
See you soon,
Piper and Bri
Friday July 19, 2019
Today we went to a resort in Pemuteran to learn about a coral restoration project, where metal structures are places on the ocean floor and an electrical current is passed through the structure to promote coral growth. After hearing about this technology, our group had lunch before going snorkeling. The waves were calm enough that we could see fish, coral, and even a turtle.
We got to see the structures that were put in place and the growth that had occurred since the program began. We stayed at this resort for a few more hours to enjoy the pool and order some food. Although spending time with the kids at service is a lot of fun, today was very relaxing and a nice break.
Saturday July 20, 2019
Hi family and friends,
The day started off normal with a 7:30 am wake up call, and morning lesson prep. After lesson prep, the group gathered in the dining hall for a GLA session. Today’s session was oriented around ethical tourism, specifically regarding photography. After watching a short documentary, we discussed how we plan on sharing our experience with our peers on social media. Following the GLA session, we ate lunch and prepared to leave for our final day of teaching. The final lesson, sport vocabulary, flew by.
It was finally time to say goodbye to the personalities we had grown to love over the past week. We left straight from the elementary school to Anik’s restaurant for a beachside dinner. After dinner, we gathered around a bond fire on the beach, where we were treated to live music and fireworks. Today was a bitter sweet farewell to Singaraja. Sending love to all friends and family.
Monday July 22, 2019
Hey family and friends,
Today, at 8:45 am we left our home in Singaraja and traveled to East Bali Immersion, which is located on the north-east side of the island. After our arrival at 11:00, we were kindly greeted with some coconut-melon refreshers and were eventually given a tour of our new home base.
East Bali Immersion is a eco friendly camp, which belongs to the East Bali Cashew farm. The EBC was founded in 2011 with their main mission of not only producing organic products (such as granola, flavored cashews and tea), but also creating a safe and stable community for the locals. We learned a lot about the company because we had a tour of the factory by the locals. We were very grateful to witness the making of the products first hand in the factory and even got to help peel the cashews (it’s harder than it sounds…)
After the factory tour, the GLA team headed back to the complex and had some free time, in which we were able to enjoy the beautiful scenery.
Then, for dinner the lovely staff served us some organic red rice, soy tempeh, fish sates and fruit.
However, our day did not end there, as we sat around a bond fire, roasted bread (Stockbrot) and bonded even more with one another after star gazing.
We love and miss you all,
Camille and Lilly (Hab euch lieb)
Tuesday July 23, 2019
After a restful sleep we began our morning with a nice and healthy breakfast of eggs, papaya, granola, and bread. After breakfast, some of us took up the option to go along with our councilors to pray in the Balinese Hindu temple on our camp sight. Others took a longer (well needed) sleep or just rested after a very eventful week.
After we packed our bags, as well as a short hike, we drove off to our next destination, the Amed Beach Bungalows. Once we got to Amed we participated in an activity led by a women who works for a NGO called Peduli Alam Amed. There we learned about the trash problem in Bali and tried to create what people call ECO bricks. After the activity was finished we had a break to swim, relax, and unpack until dinner was served. Finally we wrapped up the evening with our group activity and went to sleep in our bungalows.
Katharine « the cool kid » Judy
Wednesday July 24, 2019
Hi Fam bam and Friends,
Today was a pretty relaxing day for us. It was our first day since arriving at our camping location. We started with watching the sunrise from hammocks and then headed to breakfast and then activity. We took a cooking class and got to make our own lunch of fish and coconut with corn fritters and fruit. We got then chance to visit the chickens and hold chicks and get their eggs for breakfast tomorrow.
After that we all headed back to our huts to sleep and rest before our cultural activity. When break time was over we proceeded to head back to our main space and help the local community prepare for galungan. It’s a festival in Bali that celebrates the victory of good over evil in the balinese hindu religion. After that we had rest time which consisted of showers, naps, volleyball, card games and more. when the rest time ended we headed to our group space for some pizza and tea for dinner. After dinner we had a bonfire and some bonding time while enjoying the stars. Goodnight family we miss you lots and can’t wait to share our adventures with you once we get home.
Kennedy and Felicity
Thursday July 25, 2019
We woke up to the beautiful sunrise at our beach bungalows in Amed. We then had amazing vegetable omelets for breakfast. The night before we were split into 2 groups for scuba diving. The first group left at 7:45 to complete their training. The training consisted of a briefing of the rules, regulations, and how to properly use the equipment. Then we tested our skills in a 10 foot pool at a beautiful resort on the beach in Amed. By the time the second group arrived, the first group was finished with training. We then relaxed a bit and headed to complete our first dives. We saw lion fish, stingrays, sea turtles, eels, and even little sharks.
We also saw a beautiful underwater temple and old post office. Before our second dive, we had amazing fried rice for lunch at the resort. We then went to the second dive location called the pyramids and saw even more marine life. After that we headed back on two trucks to our bungalows. Once we arrived back we relaxed at the pool and on the beach until dinner. For dinner we had chicken burgers and some people had veggie burgers. The food was really good and we were all very satisfied. We then had our evening activity where the last 4 people shared their life stories. After that we were all exhausted and went to bad. Overall, it was an outstanding day!
-Jordan and Brianna
Today we woke up in the beach bungalows and ate yummy banana pancakes for breakfast. We packed up our things and left Amed at 9am and drove for a few hours towards Ubud. On the way we stopped at an indomart for some snacks and at Waiunghana for an hour lunch break. We returned to Madra homestay, which is where we started our trip, and then had a few hours of free time before our GLA session.
During today’s session we debated about children’s welfare in developing countries regarding the world cup and other big sporting events. Later on we ate dinner consisting of rice, chicken, tempe, fried tofu, veggies and watermelon. Before bed we played a fun movies guessing game for our evening activity.
Today was our second to last full day of the program. We got an early start at 6:30am and ate some banana rice pudding before heading out for our full day of adventure! We started off by going to a local coffee/tea company and trying out samples of their best flavors. The groups overall favorites were Coconut Coffee and Vanilla Coffee!
Next we got into small groups and headed to white water rafting on class 1 rapids! After rafting, we stopped for lunch overlooking beautiful rice fields. Then we went back to base and settled in for our final GLA session where we reflected on how we’ve grown throughout this experience. Then we had dinner, and are currently on our way to a final surprise!