Thursday August 2, 2018
Our session 4 globe trotters arrived to Bali safe and sound and the GLA staff and our local Bali Institute partners have welcomed them to the island and also into our leadership family! A delicious Balinese feast and hydrating coconuts (with reusable bamboo straws!) were the perfect end to a long voyage.
Flight delays and traffic meant that most students got in later than expected, but as of today the students have met each other, learned a little bit about the staff and their peers, and have settled into our home-base, Kaya House. Everyone is looking forward to the next two weeks where we will dive head first into the culture, language, and scenery of this magical island-Let the journey begin!
We are still waiting on a couple students to join our crew, but they will be here soon!
*not pictured- Abigail, Sarah L., and Cierra
Friday August 3, 2018
Today was our first full day in Bali, and although we were all a little jet-lagged we still made the most of it! We started out the day with orientation and getting to know each other. We also got into our mentor groups and continued to make deeper connections with each other.
After learning about the Balinese language, we headed out into our local village of Mas in groups for a Bali culture scavenger hunt. The prize of a massage on the beach was clearly on our minds. Following a great dinner we had health checks and made envelopes that will later be filled with messages from the other students. Time to sleep and recharge for another day filled of adventures tomorrow!
~Megan E. & Izzy
Saturday August 4, 2018
Today started off with a 5:45 wake up call, which was way too early for many of us. After a delicious meal of green, banana pancakes, fresh fruit, and black coffee we set off in a caravan of buses to a herbal walk. We were led by Westie, a splendid Balinese herbal entrepreneur. He led us on a walk through the beautiful rice fields of Ubud. We learned about the family and financial value (1 rice field straight is approximately 10 Lamborghinis) the rice fields hold. We stopped at a warung and had coconuts and nasi kuning (Turmeric rice, veggies, noodles, chicken, and LOTS OF SPICE). We finished the walk by looking through Westie’s herbal shop and bought a variety of products used for good health and well-being. Although some of us may have stepped in rice field canals (Ayden), the trek was worth it in the end.
We then walked back to our busses, turned the music up to 11, and drove to the Pura Tirta Empul. This location is one of the oldest water temples in the world and was said to appear in the 10thcentury. Before entering the temple we all put on a sorang, which is needed to appropriately walk into the temple. While at the temple, we gave an offering in the traditional Balinese-Hindu method. After our offering we visited the “Instagram Pond” and observed many large Koi fish. We also saw the bathing areas which are used to cleanse the soul.
After meandering through a market of clothes and other items, we left and went to lunch by a volcano and, as usual, had delicious Balinese food. Then, we drove an hour and a half filled with bad music remixes back to home base. We had an hour to relax and hang out before we welcomed the medical students we will be working alongside for the remainder of the trip. We split up into six groups and went through the necessary steps for a successful home visit including taking one’s weight, height (which is more complicated than it sounds) and blood pressure. Directly after our medical lesson we had yet another scrumptious dinner. After finishing dinner we learned how to travel more sustainably from Kelsey. As many of us were still jet lagged from the flight over from the distant USA, we made our way to our rooms and went to sleep, ready for the following day.
Livin’ the dream from Bali! Selemat Malam (Goodnight)!
Steven Lin and Ayden Sabharwal
Sunday August 5, 2018
It was a very eventful day filled with many activities and we were able to immerse ourselves into the Balinese culture. We went into a local banjar, a small community, and took part in a workshop that involved us learning how to dance a traditional Balinese dance, make music, carve our names into a wood plaque, and make offerings which are used by Balinese people during prayer!
We had some lunch and then went to a local market to stock up on some munchies! We then split into smaller groups and went with local medical students into the community and offered free medical checkups to different families who don’t usually see a doctor.
After, we came back to home base and ate some dinner and participated in a personality test which showed the type of leader you are! We learned how each personality type interacts and how we all are different but still able to lead effectively! Overall today was a 10/10 and we can not wait for the rest of our adventures in Bali!
– Lindsey, Alaina, Victoria
*A note from the Bali Program Staff: As you may have heard, tonight we experienced an earthquake. We just want you to know that we are all safe here!! There was no damage near our home base and everyone is calm and in good spirits! Also, we are inland in Bali and far from the coast so there was no risk of a tsunami here!
*A note from the GLA Bali Program Staff 8/5/18: As you may have heard, tonight we experienced an earthquake. We just want you to know that we are all safe here!! There was no damage near our home base and everyone is calm and in good spirits! Also, we are inland in Bali and far from the coast so there was no risk of a tsunami here!
*Update from the GLA Bali Program Staff 8/6/18: This evening, there was a moderate aftershock off the coast of Lombok island. There were very minor tremors experienced in Bali for a few seconds. We’d like to reassure you all that the students are safe, secure and sleeping at the home base now. There has been no damage reported in Bali and there is no danger of a tsunami. Staff will continue to monitor the situation and provide you with updates.
Monday August 6, 2018
The students were given a brief break from writing the evening blog since Day 5 was such a busy day and a late night, but I thought everyone would still appreciate a recap and some pictures from the eventful day!
The morning consisted of a session of ever-hilarious, but also rejuvenating “laughing yoga” at Ambar Ashram. This practice combines dancing, traditional yoga poses, and you guessed it-lots of laughter- to heal the body and spirit. We all left feeling great! Laughter truly may be the best medicine.
The afternoon was filled with another day of successful home visits where the GLA students continued to assist the local medical students to provide medical services and check-ups to Balinese families. It’s always a treat to see the students in action and to witness the gratitude and smiles of the patients!
The evening was a royal affair as the students were invited to the Peliatan Palace to enjoy a dinner hosted by the prince and to watch a private Legong dance performance. They got dressed up in their sarong and sashes and looked their best for the outing. At the palace, everyone learned about the historical roles and the current day-to-day lives of Balinese royalty and were wowed by the art and skill of the dancers. Balinese dancing is all about calculated eye and hand movements and each Legong performance portrays fables of the gods. Some of the students were even invited on stage to show off their moves!
What a day!
Om santi santi santi om,
Kelsey Stone (GLA Mentor)
Wednesday August 8 through Friday August 10, 2018
We are back in Ubud after fun couple of days in Amed, the local beach town. Before heading to amed we stocked up on snacks at the indomart and hit the road. On our journey through the windy mountain roads we stopped at a majestic water palace and took in the scenic views. We walked on water, admired large koi fish, and enjoyed a traditional balinese buffet styled lunch
After arriving at amed we all passed a swim test and were ready for some much needed free time. we spent the day in the pool and exploring the black sand beaches. At night we enjoyed a close to American style dinner and played some pool games before and after dinner. On the next morning we woke up bright and early at 5 am to head out on our sunrise boat tour. we watched the sun rise over the horizon as we headed towards a Japanese shipwreck to snorkel among beautiful fish and coral reefs. It was an awesome experience to see eye to eye with the bio-luminescent plankton.
(We even saw the cast of finding nemo!) After snorkeling we enjoyed our breakfast and then had the rest of our day to relax. Some enjoyed a massage while others enjoyed a nice dip in the pool. Later that day we visited a recycling NGO hat works with trash clean up in the area and other towns. we also learned how to make eco-bricks which are an efficient way to recycle a ton of trash! later that night we bonded over a bonfire on the beach while roasting some marshmallows and having a great time.
The next day we headed back to home base to relax after being tired from our beach trip. Later that night we visited another NGO which offers free and cheap medical insurance and visits areas in need of medical assistance. The food we ate was money we donated to the organization so they can continue to build upon their organization and help hem continue what they do. We then prepared for our next round of service when we returned to home base.
-Sonia, Lucas, Abby, Rose, Sophia
Saturday August 11, 2018
We started off the day living the dream with some delicious banana pancakes and fruit, then headed to Bumi Sehat, a clinic which offers free medical services with an emphasis on natural birth. We were treated to an interactive tour, informational and tear jerking videos, and a snack. After a spicy pork lunch served in banana leaves, we headed out for our first day of leading health workshops at the local elementary schools. We were divided into 6 groups; each group was teaching either hygiene, nutrition or fitness.
The main challenge was the language barrier, but we overcame that with laughter, games and of course chocolate. The happiness and enthusiasm from the kids kept us all smiling and excited for our future service days. We came back and headed to Indomaret to pick up some snacks and came back to Mama’s pasta, chicken nuggets, and French fries- it was a nice surprise after a lot of chicken and rice. We then went to play futsol (soccer) at a local center. We split into four teams and everyone was super competitive but we had a lot of fun (blue team for the win!!). It was a long night and we are all excited for a good night’s rest.
Selamat Malam from Bali!
-Sara, Emily, and Kaiya
Monday August 13, 2018
Our day started at 7am in the morning where we at pancakes with chocolate for breakfast. We soon drove for an hour for
Along the way, we stopped by at an Balinese coffee shop where they allowed us to taste all the coffee for free and buy their products. Our personal favorite was the vanilla coffee and the lemon honey tea. They were also selling the world famous lawak cat coffee which is actually made of their poop.
After another 30 minute drive, we finally arrived at our final destination where we water rafted for two hours. We all got super wet but it was so fun and refreshing since today was so hot. After rafting, we ate lunch and then drove back to our house to change and get ready for our last day of the Children workshop. We taught the children about hygiene, exercise and nutrition. At the end of the workshop we gave the kids a certificate, book, pen, pencil and a snack.
After dinner we celebrated John’s birthday with chocolate cake.
-Stephanie and Kate
Our last couple days in Bali together were packed with final service, karaoke, ceremony, traditional healing, soccer (futsal!), and fun in the sun!
Our last full day together was spent in Legian Beach where students shopped, lounged, and caught some waves! After surfing and chilling beach-side, the evening was spent reflecting on our 2 weeks of adventure, cultural immersion, and service. Students shared their goals for the future, made one final offering, and watched a slide show of special moments from the trip. A mini “graduation” ceremony closed the night where student’s received a wooden Balinese carving of their name and an Indonesian flag.
This afternoon, everyone headed off to the airport to depart from Bali. Tears were shed, hugs were given, and wishes of safe travels filled the air. The GLA and local Bali Institute staff were so glad to meet the session four students and live and learn alongside the 25 leaders and future world changers! True relationships formed and we have no doubt that these awesome individuals will be lifelong friends! While our time together in Bali is complete, our memories and GLA bond are forever <3