Time Capsule Letter
Wow! Can you believe it has already been a few months since we were all together in Bali? I feel like it was just yesterday that we were eagerly awaiting your arrivals at the airport and see your jet lagged faces ready to embark on an adventure of a lifetime! I wish we were back at EBI sitting by the fire and roasting some roti bakar. Who knew grilled bread could be so good!
We all can still remember the kids smiles on their faces every morning when you stepped foot out of the vans. We all really admired the work you did and how amazing you made the trip for all of us! I hope that you have had an amazing start to your new school year. I have no doubt that you have stayed true to your OMGs that you left with at the end of the program and that you have a new understanding of your role in the world. Stay strong and follow through no matter how difficult it may seem!
Keep traveling and keep taking risks, I know that each of you is going to make such a difference in the world!
Miss you all and stay in touch!
Much Love, Gita, Meg, Sita and Dr. Nicole
PS. Here are just some of the things we remember from our summer together:
– When every single person danced at the children’s home. Every person got into it and had joyful smiles. It made me think of little kids first seeing a slide- pure joy!
– When you guys saw Mount Agung for the first time. So many faces were shocked with how big the mountain was and how small we felt.
– When people looked at the women that were peeling the cashews in awe because they were amazed how with hard the women were working.
– When ya’ll got pizza in Singaraja. I have never heard such yells of pure joy for food!
Sunday June 16, 2018
We have arrived in Bali!! Every student is accounted for and present in Bali! Each student has come with a smile on their face and hop in their step. The start of our wonderful program has begun. All students arrived safety through customs, immigration, and baggage claim. One by one the students came out with their blue “be the change” T-shirt’s and immediately found their new friends. This is my personal favorite part of the program, watching all the students meet for the first time and knowing in my head that their friendship will soon blossom into being there new best friends.
Once the students got to home base and we showed them their rooms and allowed them to unpack and get situated. We then meet up for dinner, we had typically Balinese food. Many students tired all the new foods, I was pleasantly surprised. Once dinner was done, we meet upstairs and re-introduced ourselves and went over the schedule for the next day.
We are so excited for the students to be here! We have prepared many days for this moment. We are all looking forward to connecting with each students.
-Megan Quinn (GLA Bali mentor)
Monday June 17, 2019
We went to the Banjar today in the town. A Banjar is a local community center where people learn about Balinese traditions and partake in them. We learned about their music, legong dance, woodcarvings, and how to make an offering. Then we walked to the Prince of Peliatan’s Palace. We had a tour of the palace and had dinner with him. We talked about tourism and technology affecting Bali.
He was very well educated and wanted to tell everyone about the love of Balinese culture he has. He was really nice and open minded. After dinner we had a private cultural dance showing!! It was so beautiful. This is our last day in Ubud and we’re packing for Singaraia tonight. We love Bali and we are so happy to be here!
Tuesday June 18, 2019
Salamat Pagi friends! Today we had an adventure like no other. To start off the day, we had breakfast In a box at 6:45 and headed to rice paddies for an herbal tour. While on the tour, we saw amazing views of the rice paddies and tried some of Bali’s local fruits and herbs. Stopping at a local cafe along the way fueled us up for the day. Later we went shopping at the herbal shop and collected souvenirs.
After shopping, we made our way to the Tirta Empul temple where the purification process is held. We toured the purification pools and then entered the inner sanction where we prayed with the other priests of the temple as well as other locals. Then we packed up and headed to lunch. At lunch, we enjoyed a buffet styled meal along with the beautiful views of the Batur mountain and lake. After, we headed back to our home and settled down for the day.
Salam sayang (With love),
Ryann and Jack
Thursday June 20, 2019
Hello love ones back home,
Today we moved into a new home base. While traveling we stopped for lunch, and visited a very scenic temple. Named the Ulun Danu Bratan temple. When we arrived in Singaraja, after a three hour voyage, we toured around the town. The town is located on the coast of the Bali, and is the old capital of the island. After familiarizing ourselves with our new home we started to lesson prep for our first volunteer day. We can’t wait to meet the kids of this community and teach them English!
Friday June 21, 2019
Today we started our morning with our first day of volunteer work. It was very fulfilling! We were all excited because we prepared many hours for this. We taught third, fourth, fifth, and six graders colors and numbers. Once we got to the school, all the children greeted us with happy smile’s. The children were so happy to see us and we’re so excited for us to be there. That made us happy to be there with them too! After that we went back to home base to eat lunch, de brief, and plan our lessons for tomorrow.
When we finished we all went upstairs to relax and get ready to go to the beach for our swim test and sunset boat ride! We had an amazing time. We all loved being on the water and seen the sunset in Bali. We had to pinch ourselves of our reality. They then surprised us with hamburgers and french fries which was AMAZING!! We finished the night at the beach with a bonfire, live music, singing, and dancing.
Love- Alex and Ryann
Saturday June 22, 2019
Hello Everyone! Today we had our second day of teaching at Sekolah Dasar Neheri Dua Kaliasem, the topic of today was animals and fruits. We think that because it was the second day the kids were more engaged and excited to learn. A lot of the kids were more eager to form connections, and talk with us. After teaching we did a team building challenge when we got back to the home base. It was very frustrating for many of us and it was a good way to lead into our discussion on collaborative leadership.
The game was frustrating because everyone was good at different aspects of leadership than what they were assigned. After our discussion we took a survey to figure out what type of leader each of us is and we split into groups based on our results. The groups were action, vision, empathy, and analytical and we had discussions in our groups about our strengths and weaknesses.
Then after dinner we got introduced to an array of tropical fruits. We tried sawo, snake fruit, dragon fruit, jack fruit, star fruit, and mango. Later today we will split into our mentor groups for an evening activity. We are missing all of you but we are having lots of fun here in Bali.
— Samaya and Sophie
Sunday June 23, 2019
We went to the school for volunteer work in the morning. We taught the students body parts and clothing. Every group came up with great ideas on how to teach these subjects. We noticed the kids were more excited to see us and ready to learn. That was encouraging for us to see how happy they were that we are here. We had lunch at the school that followed with a debrief of the day of volunteering. We then went to the beach for a couple of hours and had a nice relaxing time.
The beach was beautiful, it had black sand! While we were at the beach, we spent time together and got a taste of the local culture. We also had the opportunity to go to the markets and get some Balinese souvenirs. We had lesson prep at home base and then had a fun evening activity!! Tomorrow we are teaching about places and occupations. We can’t wait for tomorrow!
Photos coming soon! 🙂
– Love Scarlet and Eleanor
Monday June 24, 2019
Today we are reminded of how beautiful the children of Bali are. As we arrive at the gate of the school, we see the familiar faces of the children grinning at us with eager anticipation. It may only be day 4 of us teaching, but we have already formed bonds with the children. Our hearts melt when they give us drawings or handmade bracelets. It is their kindness and energy that keeps us going through tiring days of teaching. When the school day ends, the kids line up, and each of them places the back of our hand on their forehead as a sign of respect. It feels like we have 70 younger siblings looking up to us. At the end of each day, this feeling reminds us why we are looking forward to seeing the kids the next day.
Later in the afternoon today, we visited a children’s home called Narayan Seva. The mission of the home is to provide disadvantaged children with love and a holistic education that emphasizes physical and mental well-being through yoga and meditation. The atmosphere of the home felt very spiritual, and the children radiated happiness. Some of the children there were our age and preparing to go to college. The home has had dozens of children go through college, and many of them have families now. It was great hearing that despite the children’s background, they have a future ahead of them.
Spending time at the home was a fun experience. They showed us around their living areas and their open-air meditation space. They welcomed us into their spaces and even had us participate in a yoga class and meditation session. Afterwards, they provided us with a vegetarian meal, which is a part of their lifestyle. After dinner, the children performed traditional balinese dance, flexible yoga tricks and a hip-hop dance. We, in turn, performed the macarena, the cupid shuffle, the cha-cha slide, and a couple old trendy dances like the whip and nae-nae that are the epitome of being an American teenager in this day and age. After the performances, we said our goodbyes and headed to our favorite place: indomart (a convenient store). If you are wondering where your child’s money is going, they are either rookies at bargaining or they are spending all of their money on snacks.
To any parents worrying, rest assured that we are happy and having a great time! We are soaking up the sun and the culture of Bali!
Sing ken ken ~ no worries
Tuesday June 25, 2019
Today we had a break from our service and headed to a resort west of Singaraja, in a town called Pemuteran. We got to sleep in this morning which was great and we headed over to the place around 9:30 am. When we got to the resort we watched a presentation on the coral restoration project that is happening off the shore of Bali. They use biorock and an electronic wave to increase coral reproduction and growth. We then went into the water and snorkeled in the area in which the restoration was happening. It was really pretty and we saw a ton of fish and new coral growth. After snorkeling, we all lounged by the pool and drank tropical drinks. Then we headed back to our home base and the mentors surprised us with Pizza! Tomorrow we will head back to service at the school, but today was an amazing rest day!!
Hi Mom and Dad!!!
<3 Josie and Georgia
Wednesday June 26, 2019
Hi Friends and Family !
We started off the day with some yummy toast. Then we headed to our 5th day of service. After service we went home and ate lunch which consisted of noodles, chicken, circles of rice, chicken broth and some flavorful toppings. Once we all finished lunch we got supersized with a Gelato run, which we all needed and enjoyed. When we got back we lesson planned for the next day. We had a little bit of free time before we went into the Cross Cultural Commutation activity where we are split into five different groups. In those groups we were given a description of how we needed to respond when we were greeted by that new person from another country.
Everybody had different cards with different greeting types. After the activity we compared the cards to any country that related to those culture attributes. After that activity, we did another activity called Cut the Small Talk. In that activity, we choose a series of questions that we were asked to ask the other person we were with. One person had one minute to talk and the other person was asked to be quite and to solely listen. We learned how to be a active listener and we realized that it’s a lot harder to just sit and listen instead of talk. It was a really neat activity.
Next was dinner, we had rice chicken and watermelon. Afterwords we all got dressed and our team colors before we went to go play futsal “soccer”. It was so fun!! We were running around and laughing trying to play. We didn’t realize that running in humidity was not easy. Then we came to home base showered and went to bed. We were tired from the day and was looking forward to sleeping 🙂
Love you all!!
-by Fedora and Jack
Thursday June 27, 2019
In the morning we woke up and went to another day of volunteering at the school. Everyone had a good time because of the high energy and happy spirits of the children. After school we came back to our home base and ate lunch. At two thirty pm we left for the Bengkala Village tour. We got to watch a few villagers weave baskets and partake in the craft if we were brave enough.
It was amazing seeing how quickly they created these beautiful baskets. The village has a large population of deaf and/or mute individuals. They form a community together and created jobs for those individuals. For dinner we took a bus ride to Anik’s Restaurant on the beach where we ate spaghetti and had a bonfire with singing and dancing. After a long day we returned to home base and packed before we went to sleep. Tomorrow we’re moving home bases and we’re very excited.
– by Parker and Sophie
Friday June 28, 2019
Today we embarked on a new adventure. It was our last day teaching in Singaraja, and was a bitter sweet moment saying goodbye to the students. It was amazing to see how much they learned and to watch how far they have come. Knowing we had impacted a small part of their lives brought tears of joy to some of us we will all miss them greatly.
After we left the school we went back to what is now our old home base for lunch and to pack our bags to head to our new home base, East Bali Immersion, it was a two hour drive (most of us slept the whole way). Once we arrived, we unpacked our bags and settled into our huts! We had an hour of free time then we were taught how to prepare a Balinese dinner. It was amazing!!!
After dinner we sat around a fire and made Balinese s’mores (its like a sweet dough.) For our evening activity we sat around the fire and 5 people in our group shared their life stories. It was very cool to hear about where some of the other kids live and how they grew up.
Saturday June 29, 2019
Today we got to wake up later than usually so that was a nice start to the day!! next we went to the East Bali Immersion Cashew Farm. This is a Cashew Farm that a lot of women work at. We got a tour of the farm and we also got to take the shells off the cashews ourself !!! next we had lunch and then planned what we were going to teach to the pre schoolers that the cashew farm ran to help the woman working on the factory out. The Cashew farm runs a preschool to educate the kids while the woman work. At the school they get an education, a doctor every 2 months, a meal and nap time. After we finished the whole time at the factory we walked back to home base. we had dinner and sat around the fire chilling. We have bedtime next and we can stargaze as well.
P.S. we got so noice hot showers while we have been here
P.S.S. grace says hi even tho she did not write this
written by: Fedora
Sunday June 30, 2019
Hello friends and family,
Today we woke up at 4:30 to go on a sunrise hike! It was brutal but beautiful!! Once we got it the top we watched the sun rise then walked to a nearby village to hitch a ride home. When we got back we had a reeeaaaallly good breakfast then went to pick rosella in the fields to make jam and learn how to make hibiscus tea!! It was so yummy! Then after lunch we headed to Amed in clown cars that were slightly cramped but the view during the drive was awesome! So fun!! lol. Now we’re in Amed and staying in super cool beach bungalows and it’s sooooooo beautiful! There’s a restaurant on our property with good western food- heck yeah! Time for bed!!!!
Hello mom and dad and all fam out there!
Grace and Sophia
Monday July 1, 2019
Today was scuba day in Bali!! We woke up early and had a yummy breakfast over looking the ocean. Then we put our sunscreen on and headed to the dive shop down the road. When we got there, the instructors went over the basic diving skills and safety tips. We practiced in the pool first to get the hang of it and then drove a few coves over for our first dive. Our first five was an easy dive for beginners where we saw colorful fish and got the hang of being underwater with our tanks.
Then we headed back to the dive shop for a fried rice lunch and rested at the pool for a little before heading out for our second dive. Our second dive was amazing! We say endless colorful fish and a few sea turtles including a baby sea turtle!! It was an amazing experience! After diving, we drove back to our beach bungalows and hung out by the pool and the bean bag chairs on the beach. We had a relaxing afternoon after a long day of scuba and exploring Bali’s beautiful ocean! We ate dinner by the ocean and ended the night with a evening activity.
Sending love home,
Tuesday July 2, 2019
Today we woke up and got to enjoy an amazing breakfast that we got to choose. After eating we left our beautiful beach bungalows and begun a extremely long two and a half hour drive. About half way through the trek we stopped at the beloved indo mart for snacks. At 12:30 we stopped at a cute little café for lunch. When we were done we got back in the cars for ten minutes until we reached our new home base. For the rest of the day we debated, made bracelets, and played cards. Over all it was a good day for rest and forced group bonding.
See you all at home in 4 days!
Sophia and Fedora :))
Tuesday July 2, 2019
Hi Friends and Family back home!!
This the is International Director Nicole. Students got back to home base a little late last night so I took over the blog. Sprits are high as we are fully into our last week in Bali.
Today we had a full day! Things started off strong at our Batik work shop. Batik is a wax resistant dyeing technique, which originated in Indonesia. Students had the opportunity to select a pattern and get to work. The process is done by tracing a pattern with hard wax and then using a light wax to fill in the background. When done, we dyed each pattern to our liking.
This was actually the first year GLA offered the Batik workshop and I have to say, I think it was awesome! During the workshop students even got a chance to try a tasty Balinese snack, which consisted of rice flower filled with palm sugar and wrapped in coconut!
When we returned home students had lunch and got ready to head to Tanah lot temple where the land meets the sea. Tanah meaning land and lot meaning sea is a place where a sacred snake lives and keeps watch over the temple. Students enjoyed a quick cultural lesson explaining what the temple was and then made their way into the market area. Everyone left the temple with full bellies, empty pockets and all the souvenirs anyone could ever want! All in all it was a great day!
Until next time!
Today we had banana pancakes for breakfast. After breakfast we headed to a coffee farm. We got to try many different flavors of teas and coffees that they make there. After that we white water rafted the Telaga Waja River. Half way through the rafting trip we stopped at a gorgeous waterfall. Once we were finished rafting we walked 173 steps to eat lunch overlooking the river.
Afterwards we headed back to home base and had a GLA session where we wrote our goals for when we get back home. We had dinner and the mentors surprised us with a Fourth of July cake, sparklers, and face paint. Then we took a trip to a “secret location” for a surprise celebration!
~Cerena Patel and Ryker