Wednesday June 20, 2018
Arrival day for the Children’s Education in Action was a success here in Bali! After 20+ hours of travel for most of us, we took a nice beautiful drive through rice paddies and light rain to get to our home base at Madras in the outskirts of Ubud. After everyone got settled in, we had a welcome feast of a Balinese favorite called nasi campur (rice, mixed vegetables, chicken, noodles, sambal sauce, and corn fritters!) We finished the night with a fresh coconut drink and some juices as we played name games and wore ourselves out for the night. Excited to see what awaits us in Bali tomorrow!
Thursday June 21, 2018
Halo semuanya! Apa kabar? Halo, kabar saya baik. (Hi everyone! How are you? Hi, I am good.)
Today was an amazing first day in our new home of Ubud, Bali!
This morning we woke up at 7:30, jet lagged, and somehow managed to make it to breakfast on time. For breakfast we ate delicious banana pancakes, with various fresh fruits, kopi (coffee) and teh (tea). After breakfast, we had orientation. During orientation we learned first hand about the Balinese culture from Gita and Yanti, two local Balinese women. They taught us specifically about Balinese religious practices, temple etiquette, health & safety advice, tri hita karana (three causes of goodness), and the subak system (irrigation system for rice paddies native to Bali).
Next, we ate lunch, prepared by the outstanding “Mama.” She made a delicious soto ayam (chicken soup) in which nearly everyone had two servings! After devouring lunch, we had our Language 101 class with Gita and Yanti. We learned numbers, greetings, simple phrases, foods and descriptive words to describe foods, as well as family structure. Due to the near torrential downpour we quickly began our next activity…the Ubud Amazing Race. (Fun Fact: In Bali, during religious ceremonies, rain signifies blessings to the people.) We split into three groups and each group ventured to a different part of Ubud trying to complete a scavenger hunt which required you to interact with the local Balinese people.
Unfortunately, our ventures were cut short due to the torrential downpours. We returned back to Madras, soaking wet, and split up into our mentor groups where we journaled and established our “team” name, motto, and values. Next, we ate dinner consisting of rice, potato fritters, chicken curry, sweet tempe, and stir fry water spinach. After dinner, we ended the night with our student led evening activities: two truths and a lie as well as story strips!
We could not have asked for a better first full day in Bali and cannot wait to explore deeper into the Balinese culture.
Grace Lee & Emma Miller
Friday June 22, 2018
We started off today with a delicious breakfast made by Mama consisting of some tropical fruits and an omelette. After our breakfast we walked to the banjar close to our homestay. At this banjar we got to experience multiple cultural activities, including learning to make offerings, wood craving, learning traditional dances, and playing Balinese instruments. We came back to the homestay to eat lunch, which was fried rice, chicken, and vegetables. After lunch, we were lucky to have nice weather, and continued our amazing race scavenger hunt of Ubud. We got to immerse ourselves into the culture and see rice paddies. We came back and had a group discussion about what it means to be a global citizen. It made us think more about the world around us and how we can make a difference. We played some other group games as well which helped us get to know each other a bit better. We’re excited for dinner and evening activity, which is going to be charades!
Isa and Isha
Saturday June 23, 2018
Today started off quite early- 6:00 am! We hit the road by 7:00 am in order to arrive for our herbal tour through the rice paddies. Westi, our tour guide, had high energy and gave lots of laughs! After the tour we had an opportunity to shop at the local herbal shop for lotions, balms, and masks. Afterwards, we began the trek up to the Tirta Empul Temple. There, we purified ourselves in the springs by submerging under the water.
In the central part of the temple, we learned how to do traditional Balinese prayers. Upon our departure, we were given time to shop in the neighboring stalls. Many students learned the art of bartering! A scenic 45-minute drive up the mountain left us at a beautiful overlook of the volcano. We were fortunate enough to be able to eat a yummy lunch buffet there as well!
At 4:30 pm we left to take a tour of the palace of the Prince of Ubud. We were also able to chat with him about various topics such as common problems that the Balinese people face to his Instagram accounts as well as current music artists! After dining with the prince, we watched a balinese performance with loud music, colorful clothing, and traditional dances. Day 4 was a busy but very successful and fun day!
See you guys tomorrow!
Cody & Paige
Sunday June 24, 2018
Today was an exciting day. We woke up to soft rain and ate delicious apple crepes. After that, we gathered around two buses and began the long drive to Singaraja, the location in which we will be teaching english. Midway through the drive we stopped at the Ulun Danu Beratan Temple–one of the most famous temples in Bali. We toured the temple and then had a delicious buffet lunch. Once we began the long drive, we saw monkeys running wild around the streets. Finally, we arrived to Singaraja. We toured the city and then had a delicious dinner of noodles and chicken. In the evening we made a run to the local Indomart and had snacks while we played a heated game of pictionary. Om Santi Santi Santi Om!
P.S: hi mom and dad.
Monday June 25, 2018
Today was the best day yet! We started off early this morning in our new town of Singaraja to get a head start on what we came here to do. The children we began working with today were overwhelmed and so pleased with our presence. We were divided into 3 groups where we alternated class grades throughout the morning. Our three groups focused on 3 different things Games, Art, and most importantly Classroom. Our lesson’s focus for Day 1 was Numbers and Colors.
After the lessons we grabbed lunch and debriefed our eventful morning. Then headed back to the A/C. We lesson prepped for Day 2 and met in our mentor groups to do a small check-in. The coolest part of the trip so far was getting to go to the beautiful black sand beach, where we went out on spider boats to swim in the clear ocean and watch the sunset. We also enjoyed an American style dinner for the first time all trip and listened to some locals play some great music around a beach bonfire with the stars above. We concluded the night with a quick trip to the Indomaret to get some treat yourself treats.
-Holland, Cody, Charlotte
Tuesday June 26, 2018
Today was one of the days where we focused on more service and interactive lessons within the group after our second successful day of teaching! They asked us, What is cross cultural communication? To answer this question, the mentors showed us a documentary called ‘Framing the Others,’ a short film that identifies the effect of tourists and ethical photography. Basically, it demonstrated the relationship between the Mursi people of Ethiopia and western tourists.
In the video, a Mursi woman describes her village life, where she and her companions depend on the money that tourists pay to take pictures of the village. However, the tourists don’t see into the photographs they take. They take pictures of the Mursi people and leave without connecting with any of them. One woman tried to barter her way out of paying two Burrs, which is 24 cents in USD. They come and go for pictures yet know nothing of the Mursi culture. Watching this documentary opened our eyes into the difference between being a tourist and being a traveler. We never knew that taking something as simple as pictures could cause a rift between two different walks of life.
Other than that, service went fantastic! We focused on the topic of animals; the kids drew pictures, learned new vocabulary, and played fun games such as Sharks and Minnows. It was especially touching when the children decided to write our names and nice messages about us with chalk in the courtyard. As for the rest of the night, we ate a yummy dinner and played Mafia! Turns out we have a really competitive group (: HI DAD HI MOM HI MORRISSEY
-Madeline & Amanda
Wednesday June 27, 2018
Today we got to sleep in (until 7:30). We then spent two hours picking up trash left near the beach just down the street from our hotel. We managed to fill three whole trash bags. Then we traveled home and did our lesson prep for Friday. We did not have school today due to the election going on in Bali. The school was being used as a polling area. Then we ate lunch, which for some of us happened to be a binge on Pop Meis (instant ramen).
Then we went to the beautiful Lovina Beach where we spent all our money on iced coffees and clothes and went swimming taking in the beautiful Bali landscape. After four hours at the beach we went home and had free time. Our dinner consisted of “Western Food”, spaghetti bolognese, chicken strips, and french fries. Our evening activity tonight is movie trivia and a much needed, and anticipated, movie night.
Bye for now!
-by Charlotte and Savannah
Thursday June 28, 2018
Hi fellow bloggers, Dr. Monica, and Dana!
All thirteen of us had another outstanding day in Singaraja. Again, we went to the school and delivered lessons all surrounding the topic of “body parts.” The kids embraced the lessons from sprinting outside on the concrete, to singing “head, shoulders, knees, and toes,” and labeling the human body.
After an exhausting, yet fulfilling four hours of teaching, we debriefed the morning and enjoyed American style sandwiches (yummmyyy!!!). We returned back to the hotel, ate again, lesson prepped for the next day, got an hour of WiFi, and slept.
After two hours of free time, we embarked for the Narayan Sede orphanage in Singaraja. This orphanage is home to 83 Balinese kids ranging from 8 month old babies to 18 year old adults. Upon arrival, we were greeted instantly with hugs, smiling faces, and fist bumps. The orphanage brought us into their family by calling us brother and sister, including us in their spiritual meditation for their Guru, a talent show, and a delicious dinner.
Overall, it was a very insightful, eye opening day that we will never forget.
Sumpai gumpa (see you later),
Grace Lee and Isha
Friday June 29, 2018
Today started off with day 4 of service! We taught weather and nature! We left right after for a packed day in the beautiful Pemuteran, specifically Taman Sari Bali Resort and Spa. There, we listened to an educational presentation about the coral restoration project called Biorock. Afterwards, we got to see the biorock in action while snorkeling off the local beach.
We had the luxury of using the resort’s pool and poolside service. There, we sipped smoothies and snacked on american foods such as chicken nuggs and french fries. The resort was a nice reward to enjoy the fruits of our hard work! We also stayed for dinner and had pizza and wifi! Yay! Then we headed back and are now writing this blog and we are all tired so we apologize for any errors in this post!
~Paige & Holland~
Saturday June 30, 2018
This morning was just another fun day of service at the school! We taught them articles of clothing, such as shirt, pants, shoes, etc. It was hard for them to grasp at first, but they got the hang of it eventually!
Things got super interesting when we took a trip to a waterfall in the afternoon. The water was so beautiful and refreshing, maybe even a little cold to some. Sadly, we could not jump off any of the dangerous-looking yet intriguing rocks, but we still had a super awesome time. There was even a little slide, and I know all of us enjoyed that the most. When it came to the hike back up to the road, which was an extremely steep staircase, I think everyone could agree that it was an intense workout, especially for your glutes!
Our lesson prepping is also improving as of today. So far, we’ve been struggling with coming up with ideas that aren’t repetitive or boring for the kids, and finally we delved into our more creative sides. Tomorrow the topic will be Places and Transportation; for example, the Art class will be having a paper airplane contest and origami lesson!
The evening activity was definitely one of the highlights of the day. We judged a Lip Sync Battle by splitting everyone into two teams and having them prepare a routine to a song of their choosing. The winning group lip synced “Tik Tok” by Kesha and it was absolutely hilarious. The other team did great too, with the song “Party in the USA.” When we made a quick trip to Indomaret beforehand, we got a winning prize: a bucket of Wafer Sticks! (It’s all we could afford lol)
Overall, today was a super fun day for the group and we’re excited to see what the first day of July has in store ! (:
Amanda & Hope
Sunday July 1, 2018
Selamat Malam Parents and GLA Family!
We started day 12 bright and early with the beginning of our second to last day of teaching at the school :(. Today we taught the kids about different places and modes of transportation! We continued the day with a series of GLA activity sessions surrounding discovering what our true leadership style is! These activities included an obstacle course (blind folded), mentor groups where we checked in with our outstanding mentors to see how we are doing, and a leadership activity to find out what type of leader we are.
After a delicious dinner we headed out for another surprise…Indoor Soccer/Futsal Tournament!!!!! We split up into three teams to play in a tournament-style competition where winner takes all! We truly channeled our internal leaders today. The soccer tournament specifically was great way to let out any extra energy before bed!
Indo language guide
Tidur~Going to sleep
Monday June 2, 2018
Today was our last day in Singaraja, so our morning was full of tearful goodbyes to the children. Seeing some of the kids cry definitely hit a spot in our hearts, and it really shed light on how much the children cared about us and our role as teachers and friends. Many of them gave us cards, letters, little notes, candy, and jewelry! It was the sweetest thing ever. However, the gifts were not what we really wanted from them; it was the memories and bonds that we hoped to create since the beginning.
For our afternoon activity, we visited the Bengkala village, also known as the “Deaf Village,” because of the local population of deaf and mute people, which is 40 out of 3,000 inhabitants. We saw their homes as well as their workplace. They were very welcoming, even though they couldn’t speak to us. It was a heavy experience for us and it made us realize how lucky we all are.
For dinner, we headed over to Anik’s restaurant at the beach. We ate some yummy food, watched the beautiful Balinese sunset, and sang along to some acoustic One Direction at the bonfire. As a special treat, they set off some awesome fireworks!
I know we all really enjoyed our last day here, but we are also excited to move on to a new place: Amed!
Thanks for checking in on the blog,
Isha and Amanda
Tuesday July 3, 2018
Hi Parents and Families!
Sorry for the mild two day absence from the blog..poor service here ):. We’ve just been loving and lounging here at the beach with some added activities and a visit to a local environmental NGO !
Today in Amed our small group of thirteen was split. Ten of us went on an epic scuba diving adventure, while the rest of us stayed at the beach and went snorkeling. The scuba divers started off their day early to get the most out scuba diving. We headed over to the diving training center at 7:45. Only one of us, Charlotte was certified so she broke off from the group because she was not required to do training and got to go diving immediately. The rest of us stayed and got our training in the pool.
While in the pool we learned basic skills which ended up taking a couple hours. We then moved to a bay close by for our first dive so that there would be no current. We went around 10 meters under for our first dive and saw a lot of cool coral and amazing fish. We then had a lunch and headed out for our second dive. We went to a more open place where there was a current and got to experience more sea life. This time diving we went under 12 meters. We saw sting rays, a bunch of colorful fish, a sea snake, a bunch of new colorful coral, and even got to see an eel. Our second dive took us around forty minutes. We headed back to the beach to finish off this exciting day relaxing in the sun.
The other half of the group had a nice relaxing day. Isha, Isa, and Madeline got to sleep in listening to the ocean waves crash onto the shore. We then got to go get breakfast and just got to hang around reading, listening to music, and taking some nice refreshing naps. Around noontime we gathered for a nice quite lunch that consisted of some fried rice and different types of pasta.
After we went to let our stomachs digest the yummy food, we grabbed our snorkel gear and waddled into the turquoise waves. Our eyes were greeted by the fantastic underwater world close to our shore and spent about an hour and a half diving down to greet our new fishy friends…who swam away. After we snorkeled we came back and hung out, read some more, got some water, and just relaxed until dinner. With dinner concluding we played our nightly dinner activity and spent the rest of the evening stare gazing/ meditating. HI MOM HI DAD HI MORRISSEY-Madeline
-Written by Madeline & Cody
Friday July 6, 2018
This morning a couple of us woke up early and watched the sunrise. Then we ate breakfast and had a couple hours of free time to say bye to our favorite beach spot. After that we packed our things and left Amed 🙁 Our trip lasted about three hours, with a stop for lunch, and of course an Indomaret run for snacks. Finally we arrived back at our home stay in Ubud where we had an hour of free time to unpack and rest.
We did a GLA Activity where we talked about the effect of major sporting events such as the World Cup on the countries that host them. This activity opened our eyes to a whole new perspective on these events. After that we had dinner which was highly anticipated by many, if not, all of us (we all missed Mama’s cooking). Once dinner was over we headed to a local night market. Here we tried tarang bulan (pancake chocolate), had ice cream and other delicious treats. Some of us bought clothes as well. Tomorrow we are looking forward to attending a laughing yoga session.
See you in a few days,
Savannah and Linda 🙂
Saturday July 7, 2018
Today started off with yummy banana pancakes from mama for breakfast! Then we headed off to laughing yoga! We learned that it is okay to laugh even if there is nothing funny going on. We practiced this through four different types of laughs (ha, ho, he, mmm), different dances, and ended with some traditional yoga! For lunch we had Paige’s favorite dish- soto ayam- with clear noodles, cabbage, egg, broth, chicken. Then we had some free time!
During free time some of us went up to AlfaMart to go get ice cream! We were able to use WiFi when we got back and when free time was over we headed to Tanah Lot. Tanah Lot is a famous temple on the water and around it are a bunch of shops! It was around a two hour drive, but it was worth it. We had a lot of fun buying souvenirs for ourselves and our families. Some of us even got Henna Tattoos (temporary stick on tattoos).
We were given some money to go buy dinner and some of us went to an American restaurant called Natya’s. After a bit more shopping we got desserts like lava cake then began our journey home!
With full bellies & empty wallets,
Hope & Paige
Sunday July 8, 2018
Today we woke up had breakfast at our homestay and headed to a luwak coffee cafe. Luwak coffee is a special balinese coffee made of animal’s poop. It’s one of the most expensive coffee’s in the world. We are lucky we got a free tasting. We tried multiple types of luwak coffees. After spending the morning learning about Luwak coffee we drove to the white water rafting place! We were on the river for 2 WHOLE hours with a short break to take cute photos in front of a beautiful waterfall. There were a lot of wonderful waterfalls throughout the trip, too, we even went under one and got even more soaked then we already were! Our guides worked very hard to ensure we all had a good time and made it back safely.After those two hours we then had to hike up who knows how many stairs in order to get back to our buses in order to get to our delicious lunch which had a great view. Then we took off for an hour ride back to our homestay, where w did one of our last GLA activities to close up our 3 week session in Bali. Can’t believe it is almost over!! ): After dinner, we headed to a surprise for Holland’s 16th birthday!!! Yay, he can drive!! Happy Birthday Holland! We hope you had a fun birthday 🙂
See you back in the USA!
Savannah and Isa (and Brenda)
Hi CEA Bali and Family!
I can’t believe the program is over already! All but one are off and on their way back to their homes. With one student spending a little extra time in Bali with our GHI program (more time in the sun for Grace !). 🙂
Yesterday we spent our last day basking in the sun and working on our surfing skills. Although we did see a few minor wipeouts, everyone really looked amazing catching waves and gliding through the ocean! After our surf lesson with Pak Wayan we had some lunch and headed over to the smoothie truck to have some delicious and fresh juices and smoothies.
We then headed down the street to do some last minute shopping, making sure we got just the right souvenirs to bring back to the fam. With an hour and a half bus ride back to Ubud everyone took advantage and napped the whole way. When we arrived back home we had just enough time to shower before we had our last farewell dinner with Mama! Unfortunately our favorite chef (Mama) couldn’t make it because she was visiting family in Java BUT it was clear her love still came through in all the delicious food that was enjoyed.
After dinner we had our closing ceremony where we spoke our commitments to Bali and our home community out loud to the group. We received our wood carvings from our second day at the Banjar workshop and lastly enjoyed donuts by the projector screen as we watched a slide show of our time in Bali.
This afternoon we said goodbye to our group as they made their way through security to begin their journey! You all will be missed so much! Safe travels and I know all the family reading this right now is so excited to see you.
We will leave you with a collection of our favorite group photos! Until next time !!!
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om
Much love 🙂
Gita, Lena, Brenda, Yanti and Nicole