Thanks for the checking out the blog for this Global Leadership Adventures program!
This blog is for the Bali split session starting July 5, 2023, which includes both the 14-day and the 21-day student groups.
Here are a few things you can expect:
- We typically receive 2-3 blog posts per week here at GLA Headquarters from our program staff and students, so please don’t be alarmed if you don’t see a blog post daily – that’s totally normal.
- Blog updates sent on weekends may not be posted until Monday.
- Due to many factors, including but not limited to internet accessibility, photos may not always be available to post onto the blog. Sometimes onsite program staff are only able to send text back to Headquarters, where our team updates the blog.
Thank you for your patience and understanding, and we hope you enjoy following along on these unforgettable adventures.
Cell Phone Policy: The GLA cell phone policy is currently in place this summer to help foster meaningful connections between students. This means your student’s phone will be collected every day and returned to them after activities are completed to have with them through the night. Actual tech times and regularity will vary greatly by program location and time zones. During designated ‘tech time’, your student may use their phones as they wish. Please note that your student may not always choose to use this time to get a hold of their parents. If you are not hearing directly from your student each day, you can assume that no news is good news! We strongly recommend you follow the blog to follow your students’ experience without talking to them every day. If you are a parent and would like to get in touch with your student directly, you can call us at +1-619-758-3031 and we can set up a formal time for you to connect with your student.
For frequently asked questions about the blogs, please visit our Program Blog FAQ page.
-The Global Leadership Adventures HQ Team
BLOG POST FOR JULY 5
This is Andrea, the International Director for the Education & Sustainability Adventure program here in beautiful Bali. We are absolutely delighted to have our students embarking on this incredible adventure on this enchanting island. As I look at the schedule and contemplate what lies ahead, I can’t help but feel a surge of excitement!
Our students, arriving from diverse destinations, have finally arrived at Home Base after their respective journeys, some longer than others. To welcome them, Ibu Coma and her family prepared a delectable Balinese dinner. We played some games as students start to get to know each other. Carter will be arriving later tonight and Lime, Nani, and Satya will be arriving tomorrow, we are excited to have them join the group.
During their bus ride from the airport to the homestay, students were able to engage in delightful conversations, bonding with their fellow adventurers. Now, it’s time for all of us to rest and recharge, ensuring we’re fully prepared for the extraordinary day that awaits us.
I’ve attached some snapshots of our campers, captured a mix of exhaustion and excitement.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 6
Today we woke up at 7 am ready to take on our first full day at camp. Breakfast was banana crêpes and fruit, which was very, very good. After we ate, we sat down for a long 3 hours to go over the dos and don’ts, what to expect, icebreakers, and some Balinese culture. This included learning common phrases, numbers, and some history of Bali.
Afterward, we ate lunch, which was a mix of rice cakes, meat skewers with the choice of peanut sauce or chicken curry, tofu, watermelon, and eggs. Then we took off into town for the first time to complete a scavenger hunt. We were split up into 4 teams and assigned different tasks to complete, only able to do so by asking the locals. Exploring the city was incredible and unlike something we’d ever seen before. The streets were crowded with buses, bikes, people, and dogs. We were even able to enter some local’s homes and get the breakdown of their religion. Once we came back to home base, we had some time for ourselves to do whatever we wanted.
Then, we took a short 5-minute walk to a Banjar where we got to participate in a blessing ritual that included 5 prayers, each somewhat different. The priest continually rang a bell, signifying when to start praying. The sound of the hard rain and bell was extremely relaxing. At the end of the ceremony, we were gifted some small snacks and got to keep our flower headbands that the priest and others placed on each of our heads.
We went back home and had dinner which was rice, chicken, noodles, eggs, snake fruit, oranges, and full coconuts with water that was collected during the scavenger hunt. After dinner, we were all pleasantly surprised by 3 women who performed the welcoming dance. Afterward, we discussed the community agreements and decided what they should consist of. For example, be inclusive, respect the culture, and be open-minded. We closed off the night by each writing a letter to our future selves to read at the end of the trip. We are excited to see how far this program takes us.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 7
Written by Nanni and Jay
First, we woke up early to an amazing breakfast and a quick get ready to the paddy fields. We start off the paddy fields with a tour of the fields and an explanation of the system, then followed by learning how to plant rice, and ended with a mud fight. After an eventful morning, we had a good lunch and a quick break at home base to get ready for an eventful evening. We took a long drive to the palace for a tour and dinner with the Princess, followed by a Q&A. After we said our goodbyes to the Princess and the palace, we headed back to home base for a wrap-up activity and a little bit of downtime to get ready for the next day.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 8
Our day started off with an early wake-up call and a delicious breakfast. We then headed to our local banjar where we learned a series of traditional Balinese activities, including wood carving, making offerings, dancing, and music. Then, we went on a long bus ride to the PKP community, where we learned about the amazing story of the founder and what the purpose of her community and foundation is. Shortly after, we had a filling lunch and relaxing yoga class. Finally, we did some shopping in an artisanal local market and spent too much money, then returned to home base. We ended the night with an educational and fun game of trivia.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 9
Written by Carter and Mateo
Today we started by having an amazing, energizing breakfast consisting of peanuts, chicken, and rice. Then we headed to an organization called Food Fighters, which provides food for people who need it. Following that, we handed out the food we prepared to people working at a landfill.
After that, we returned to home base for lunch. For lunch, we ate the same food we prepared earlier at Food Fighters. This taught us that we shouldn’t give five food to people that we wouldn’t eat ourselves.
After lunch, we went to the local market to buy snacks and it was really fun. We then enjoyed some free time until the next activity. The activity was split into three groups of 7 and we competed against the other groups to see who had the best musical knowledge.
Following the activity we had a nice dinner, and we tried the stinkiest fruit, durian. Following dinner we went to the library, which actually turned out to not be true because we were surprised with playing an exciting game of football instead. After this, we went back to home base where we had chow circle and then went to bed.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 10
Written by Max and Alyson
Finally, we went to the beach. After breakfast, we started our road trip to the beach. There we spent our time messing around in the water, but also paddle boarding through the polluted mangrove forest to help clean the trash in order for the mangrove trees to remain healthy and be able to continue growing. After the Beach, we headed back home for dinner. Everybody was exhausted and sunburned, but we still had to prepare for our service coming up. All three mentor groups split up to prepare their own lesson plans to teach the Balinese children.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 11
Written by Landon
Today we woke up early and packed to move homestays from Ubud to Pemuteran. Many people have started suffering from Bali belly and it made the journey slightly longer than expected. Along the way, we enjoyed the views of the mountains and stopped at a garden temple on the lake and mountains. We then arrived at the homestay and swam at the beach. We finally went on a boat ride and watched the sunset as we dove off the boat.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 12
Written by Noah
Today we enjoyed the beautiful Pemuteran beach of Bali, and had our first day of service at the local school. We started off our morning by having a delicious breakfast of toast and eggs, and then swam in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. After that we prepared for our service at the school with our mentor groups, with the theme of professions.
Teaching the kids was a great experience for both sides, and everyone is excited to go back to the school tomorrow to spend more time with our new friends, and hopefully continue leaving a lasting impact on the local community. Teaching the kids about professions through art, English and even P.E. was a rewarding experience, and one that we can build upon in the next couple days of service. We ended our day by yet another swim, and our traditional chow circle.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 12
Written by Sophie and Conrad
Today some of the group had an early wake up call where they watched the sunrise on the beach with Adham, one of our mentors. After that, we had breakfast and quickly got ready to go to the beach to snorkel. There, we learned about coral reefs from a local organization that focuses on bio rock coral restoration. They gave us our gear and we headed into the water where we saw many cool fish, sea life, and underwater sculptures. Some were lucky and were able to see animals such as turtles, pufferfish, and eels.
After the beach, we had lunch and discussed our lesson plans for our service at the local school. There we split into groups based on mentors and taught the common theme of family. The kids were so excited to see everyone again, and we can’t wait to go back tomorrow and teach them even more.
We later went shopping at a few local stores and bought snacks and jewelry. Following that, we had dinner and an evening activity where we talked about the things that are important in our lives that shape who we are and who we would be without them.
It was another great day, and we can’t wait to see what tomorrow will bring!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 14
Written by Molly
We arose quite early this morning and headed down the street for a dive equipment fitting for our diving lesson tomorrow. We came back to eat breakfast and chill out before we went out again to the store and found a restaurant where we ordered drinks among the fishes! After lunch back at home base, we continued our service prep for our last day of teaching at the local school.
Today’s theme of classes was health . In english, the students learned about healthy habits through a fun competition. In art, they made origami ninja stars and colored in healthy habit coloring pages. In gym, the students played monkey in the middle, soccer, and had a dance off. To end our three days of service, the students shared a dance with all of us, took lots of pictures, signed many notebooks, and even made a few Tiktoks. It was sad to see them go but we are all so grateful for the time we had with them.
After service, Max led us in a very intense game of musical chairs and we headed to the beach for a mentor lead activity and sunset swim. For the activity, we all brought an object that is meaningful to who we are and shared it with the group on the beach before going swimming. After sunset, we walked back to the home stay, showered, and ate dinner.
After dinner, we hung out in the common area for a little bit until Andrea had the genius idea of walking down the street to a local restaurant that had live music. We walked down there, ordered pizzas and drinks and danced. We created a 19 person conga line around the restaurant, we were graced by Musha’s beautiful rendition of Love Story by Taylor Swift, and we all signed our names on the wall.
Overall 10/10 day.
Live, Laugh, Love.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 17
Written by Carter
Today all of us 3 weekers had to say goodbye to all of our friends that were only staying for 2 weeks. It was a day full of tears and hugs as we said goodbye. In the past two weeks we spent valuable time with each other. We learned you can make very strong friendships in a short amount of time and it was difficult to say goodbye.
After saying goodbye we went to PKP, a women’s shelter, to teach children English. Upon arriving we were given delicious fried banana and a coconut treat to snack on. We were then introduced to the kids and started off by playing a game of bingo. However, the class unexpectedly ended early as the children had to go to the temple.
Due to this, we decided to play a game of charades with each other to boost our morale as we were all a bit down after watching the others leave. Following charades, we hung out at PKP until dinner was ready. PKP kindly provided us with a delicious dinner to end the day. After dinner, we headed back to the Homestead to end our day.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 19
Written by Conrad
We started the day by going to a coffee plantation where they made the famous luwak coffee. There we were given trays with several cups of different coffees and teas layes out on them. We were also given the choice to order the luwak coffee. Later we went to the gift shop and bought several bags of coffee and tea to take home.
We then drove to a river where we went white water in groups of four. It was quite scary but very fun. We went back to our homestay where we played a game called “The Beast” made by Musha, one of our mentors. We were then dismissed for the night.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 20
Written by Jack
We started the day by having banana pancakes for breakfast. After that we got in the bus that took us to a hiking spot. We saw many exciting insects such as praying mantises, orb spiders, and even a tarantula hawk wasp. The hike was very beautiful, with very nice views. Our end destination was a small village, but there were stops along the way. We stopped to try some locally made honey which was very good. After that we got back in the bus and went to a store. Then after that we came back and had some free time, before we had dinner, and afterwards played a game. It was a gambling based game similar to black Jack, ran by one of our friends, Carter. We did not actually gamble real money. Then we ended the day with chow circle.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 22
Written by Satya and Mateo
Today we went snorkeling around 7:30 AM and we saw lots of things! the boat was a very bumpy ride and we were all splashed like crazy! We all went to four different spots and each was very different than the last. The first spot we saw a bunch of bioluminescent plankton and manta rays. In the second spot the water was very clear and we saw a bunch of different colored fish and even a shark! The third spot and fourth spot we saw amazing fish and corals. We ate lunch at a nearby beach and we went over to a dock like area and watched the waves which was very nice and peaceful. After that we came back to the homestay and worked on some service prep for the next day. We then went to an amazing temple inside a cave. We went out for dinner tonight and the venue was super cool! there was a pool and a beach, plus the food was really tasty! We ended the day with a nice chow circle and headed off to bed.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 25
I am sitting in Madra, our beloved Original home base in Ubud. The silence of this place seems to echo the absence of our cherished students.
As I write the final blog for our program, my heart brims with love and gratitude. The conclusion of this journey marks the start of new adventures, each unique to every individual.
During our time together, we all underwent a profound transformation, shaped by the people we met, the breathtaking locations we explored, and the thrilling adventures we embarked upon. This experience gifted us with fresh perspectives and a profound understanding of both a new culture and our inner selves.
Witnessing the students bid tearful farewells to one another warmed my heart, reminding me of how fortunate we are to have created such strong bonds and meaningful connections. These emotional goodbyes are a testament to the love we share.
Working as their International Director this summer was a tremendous honor. I am confident that the students carry with them an abundance of cherished memories, experiences, and knowledge. Each one of them played an invaluable role in making this program truly exceptional. The lessons they taught me and the impact they had on my life will forever be treasured.