Sunday August 4, 2019
Welcome to the beautiful Island of Gods, Bali! Today, we welcome 17 out of our 19 GLA Students (waiting for Raegan and Ashlee to arrive tomorrow) to take part in a learning-filled Super Summer Adventure! We are all stoked to start our Health Services and discover the Balinese Culture in the next 14 days!
Parents and families! Please don’t forget to check and comment on our daily blog entries! All the best!
RJ (International Mentor)
Monday August 5, 2019
Today was the best experience I could’ve imagined for a first day of our Balinese adventure! I can say that I speak for a lot of us that the jet-lag was pretty real as we slept last night. With that being said, it was really nice for us to have a slower, more relaxed first morning filled with the best cinnamon and coconut banana pancakes prepared by our staff as well as some fresh fruit for breakfast!
Our day went on with the start of orientation, which just made all of us more excited and eager to get out and explore the unique culture that this beautiful country has to offer! Did you know that Bali has a different calendar that practices with 210 days on it? That would mean that most of us were in our 30s!
We established the best friendships so early on in our trip throughout our day through various activities and hang out time where we made friendship bracelets, laughed, and shared stories together! The staff was also so inviting and great mentorships and friendships were formed there as well!
As the afternoon approached, we all became ansi to leave our cocoon, which luckily for us, is exactly what we got to do! We had a scavenger hunt planned by our leaders with a bunch of questions about the culture of Bali and different foods, areas, etc of the community! Our goal was to ask locals with the greeting “salamet sore” if they spoke English and could help answer questions. Many of the locals were very helpful and all replied with great smiles strung across their faces! There were 5 different groups of us that each had about 3 with a counselor on our mission!
Most of us encountered locals that happily answered our questions, and some even let us into their home to give us the food we needed for a scavenger hunt or different pictures that we needed to take. While doing this, we were able to be emerged into the real culture of our community and get in touch with our environment. Some groups walked through main streets, seeing temples and markets, others ventured to the rice paddies. We came back to some free time where we bonded more just talking and visiting with each other about our goals for this trip and what we are excited about!
Dinner was great fun as Ashlee and Raegan were able to join us around that time from there long hard journey to get here! It was followed up with some cake for Jack’s 17th birthday which was great fun celebrating him and singing happy birthday! We had our mentor groups twice today where we were able to be in a smaller community and voice our thoughts, fears, and goals. It is yet another amazing safe space we have!
All in all, my favorite parts of the day were forming new friendships and getting to see the local part of where we are in Ubud (something you don’t often get to see)! I can’t wait for tomorrow and the adventures that await!
Tuesday August 6, 2019
The day started off with us having an early breakfast at 6AM. After everyone finished eating, we had our first major outing for the day! The first place we went to were the rice paddy fields as well as hiking up a small hill to learn about the different Herbal Medicines used in Bali. We also went to store that sells all kinds of natural and organic products like perfumes, massage oils, face masks, and even lip balm!
Next, we went to a Water Temple where we learned how the people in Bali pray and how they practice their religion. For this, we had to wear our sarongs to show our respect for the culture. After praying at the temple, we visited a volcano that is called Mount Batur. With the great view of the volcano, we had our lunch in a buffet restaurant. Like the breakfast, we really enjoyed the food!
In the afternoon, we went back to home base and learned a lot of facts and information about Global Health here in Bali and Indonesia, and also learned the topics that we will be teaching the students tomorrow for our Health Workshops. We have topics like: dental hygiene, nutrition, and physical wellness. The hardest part of this service will be translating the presentation into the language that these local kids speak. After planning the lecture and activities, we ate dinner and finished up the day with a night activity and our mentor groups session. I am looking forward to tomorrow and the days to come!
– by Anisa
Wednesday August 7, 2019
This morning we had breakfast at home base and got straight to work! Today was our first day of service. We went to an elementary school and taught various topics relating to public and global health. We will be going to the elementary school for 3 days, so we have 2 more days of teaching.
Before going into the school, we spent time preparing for the lessons that will be given tomorrow. Each day we’re given a new topic to teach to the kids, so we prepare with our groups the day before. These lessons are given in Bahasa, each person has a different speaking part and it is really pushing all of us out of our comfort zones.
Before we left for the school we went to the Balai banjar workshop. This is a community centre where villagers prepare offerings and food for ceremonies. They also discuss village affairs, practice music, dance and just chat with one and other. While we were here we painted our own masks, learned a traditional balinese dance, how to play the gamelan, and made our own offerings.
These activities gave us insight into the things needed to be done to make a beautiful Balinese ceremony. We quickly learned that the dancing is not as easy as it looks, many of us stumbled and did not look nearly as graceful as our teacher, everyone had so much fun laughing at our selves and learning more about the culture.
We came back to home base and had lunch, after this we were off to the school. Going into the school we were filled with excitement and nervousness. Our anxiety quickly left when we met the children. They were equally as excited and made us feel very welcomed. During our first lessons today we all had such an amazing time with the kids, they were very responsive and engaged. Although we did struggle with the language, they were able to understand us with the help of activities and many hand gestures.
Once we were finished with our first day of teaching we knew exactly what to change for tomorrow. We all had a group discussion afterwards and there was a common feeling of fulfilment and success. We also all agreed that we learned just as much from the children as they learned from us. they helped us speak proper Bahasa, showed us more about their culture and even learned a few of their games. Once we were done we were graciously thanked.
Finally, we had dinner at the Fair Future Foundation. This is a non profit organization that gives all their proceeds from their restaurant to help deliver free health care to those who may not be able to afford it. The food was very delicious and we all had an amazing time laughing and learning more about the organization.
Once we finished eating we went and got gelato then went back to home base. We ended the night by finishing our lessons for tomorrow, talking and relaxing. We are all anxiously awaiting tomorrow to giving our new lessons to the kids, dinner with the Prince, the tour of the Royal Peliatan Palace and laughing yoga.
– by Paige and Elise
Thursday August 8, 2019
Today started off at 7:00am for breakfast, we had delicious green pancakes and fruits. Right after, groups began splitting up to prepare for service. We drew up posters and planned lessons for students at the school we’ve been teaching at. Examples of topics we teach include hygiene, healthy eating and bone structure. When designing our lesson plans we have to make sure to not only be creative but translate our English to Bahasa perfectly.
Before we left for the school to teach, we attended a local laughing yoga class at 9:30. As soon as we arrived we were kindly greeted and started the class. At first, many people in the group felt awkward but quickly began to laugh along side our mentors and friends. We practiced dancing and yoga. The class was relaxing and enjoyable!
Then after lunch, we left for the school. Right at arrival, we were greeted with smiles and waves by the students who were happy to see us. There were 3-4 of us in each group who were assigned a class to teach. Every half hour the groups would switch and in total we taught 3 different classes about our given topic.
Not only is this experience enjoyable and exciting for the students, but for us as well. Although it is only day 2 of teaching, we have already built connections with our students. At the end of service we say our goodbyes to the students and are filled with joy. Short on time, we rush back to home-base to ready ourselves for dinner at the palace of Bali.
We wear our sarongs with an appropriate shirt. When we arrive, we are given a tour and then prepare for dinner. Unfortunately, the Prince had duties to fulfill and couldn’t meet with us. Even though we did not have the opportunity to meet him, everything else was followed through as planned. After dinner we receive tea and relax after a long day.
Once we are finished, we head back to the front of the palace to watch a Kecuk Dance. The local Balinese dancers performed 5 dance presentations for us and they were all amazingly executed. On the bus ride back home, we sing to music on the speaker and are excited to go to bed after a fun filled day. At 9:00 we head off to get ready for bed and discuss the day with our friends!
– by Sophia G.
Friday August 9, 2019
We started our day off with a nutritional breakfast to put a pep in our step. Following that we all enjoyed ourselves by prepping for our school lessons to teach the kids about health.
We had the opportunity to visit the Bumi Sehat, a natural birthing clinic, and engage ourselves with more knowledge about the births and health of babies and mothers in Bali! During the visit we had the amazing experience to meet, listen, and chat with Robin Lim, awarded as the 2011 CNN Hero of the year! After the Bumi Sehat visit we had lunch at home base and had a longer prep for the schools. A few involved themselves in naps or games!
Headed to the school for our last day of Health Workshops. We had sad goodbyes as we all enjoyed ourselves with the kids. The smiles and hugs made all the hard work worth it and was truly humbling to us all!! We left inspired with the smiles on our hearts. Following our farewells we headed back to home base to prep for dinner with the STIKES, Medical Students from Bali, who taught us how to attend house visit needs.
We ended our day with a inspirational TED talk started by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. She gave us all insight on our perspectives and sharing more then one side story. We learned to not judge quickly and to embrace everyone for their full story not “the danger of one”.
– Anna and Ashlee
Saturday August 10, 2019
Today we started our day with a wonderful breakfast of a crêpe with bananas and brown sugar.
Once we had that, we watched a video describing the wonders of traditional Balinese healers known as Balians. After learning a bit more on eastern medicine and the tradition of these healers, we went out to meet a Balian who lived very close to home base. He offered us a free and quick reading. Most of us were told we are in good health but some of the things he told us were very accurate and incredibly interesting. For instance, the Balian told Tate that his arm was in pain when he had scars on his arm from a prior injury. He had a long sleeved shirt on so you could not see the injury.
Then after that, we walked back to home base for lunch and to prepare for the afternoon service work. We met up with the STIKES medical school students and walked around the neighborhood doing basic health checkups and taking vitals of any of the people who wanted them. It was rewarding knowing we could help a community out. We got to see a few of the kids who we taught the other day so that was really special too.
We came home afterwards to an hour of free time before we enjoyed a wonderful dinner before we took an adventure of a night activity to really get to know each other on a lot deeper level. It’s crazy how we all met a short week ago but we talk and trust the people here like we’ve known them forever.
– Tate and Andrew
Sunday August 11, 2019
Today we had another relaxed morning with breakfast starting at 8. We had eggs and toast with jelly.
After breakfast we went to a local NGO called Senang Hati. The foundation helps disabled people by giving them a place to live and work. While we were there we listened to a presentation about what the foundation does and went on a short tour. We also had the opportunity to purchase goods that were handmade but the people at the foundation. After lunch, we headed back to home base.
The afternoon was Day 2 of the home visits. At each house we would perform heath checks. This included getting height, weight, blood pressure, and glucose levels of everyone. We also would check people’s bathrooms for mosquito larvae and teach kids how to properly wash their hands.
At night, we ate dinner and then had an activity which involved stepping forward or backwards with some pretty important choices in life. We went into our mentor groups and talked more about life then cooled down and went to bed.
– Jack and Malachi
Monday August 12, 2019
The day started off with waking up at the crack of dawn to start our trek to white water rafting. We had an early breakfast of fried rice and a fried egg with fruit, then quickly after took off. After an hour of jamming in the car we were surprised to end up at the famous Bali Swing. We were given a quick coffee tour to get to our final destination at the swing. We all took turns trying the different coffees and teas, as well as, having the opportunity to clip into a swing and feel like your flying over the jungle. The view was breath taking and totally worth it!
After our quick stop, we soon headed to Telagawaja River. We soon all got into our groups, took a mentor and headed out. During the two hour journey down the river we took many turns, bumps, and almost fell out of the raft numerous times but the thrill and view made it all worth it. Half way through the rafting trip as a whole group we took a pit stop to take a group picture at a huge water fall. After finishing the treacherous trail we hiked up hundreds and hundreds of stairs to our buffet lunch that had a view of the whole island.
After lunch, we headed back home to start packing for our trip to Amed the next day! Soon after, we got ready for our last service day at the homes of the local community. We visited many houses and helped many patients with the short time we had there. It was so rewarding to see the smiling faces of the people who were able to be checked. They were ecstatic to finally get their patient card. We finally said our goodbyes and thank you’s to our medical students who helped us during our home visits. To show our appreciation we handed our certificates to show our gratitude for them.
We headed home and built our own traditional Indonesian plate, Soto Ayam. We could choose whether we wanted to include potatoes, rice, glass noodles, cabbage, chicken, tomatoes, eggs, crunchies, and to finish it off we topped it with a savory broth. It was delicious! Whilst eating dinner, Beni, our local director, told us that we needed to all get dressed in our “fancy clothes” for our mystery night adventure.
Anticipation soon came upon all of us and we were excited for what was to come. Our hour long car ride was just to long for all 19 antsy students. As we pulled into the parking lot, we were shocked to see that we arrived to the Happy Puppy, a local karaoke joint. We all stumbled in and were excited to start the party. Songs started playing and the whole room began to shake with all of our dancing and “wonderful voices”.
After a short two hours all of our voices were almost gone and our legs were tired from our fantastic dance moves. We truly sang our hearts out from the oldies to the newest hits, and everything in between. Although we had an adrenaline rush, we quickly crashed once we hit the air conditioned bus seats. We arrived back at home base around 10:30 and all ran to our rooms to jump into bed. The many adventures of the day tired us out and we quickly fell asleep. We cannot wait until we arrive in Amed tomorrow!
Hannah and Tattiyanna
Tuesday August 13, 2019
We started our morning by waking up, eating breakfast, and packing up. Our adventure today began by loading up the buses and heading out to Amed.
On the three hour ride to Amed, we stopped for a quick buffet-style lunch. Next, we arrived to our beautiful beachfront bungalows in Amed’s Good Karma Hotel. After unpacking and exploring the resort, we headed to the pool to take a swim test (which we all thankfully passed) and some of us took our first dip in the Bali sea. We had a couple hours of free time to wind down and swim around. Before dinner, we geared up with our snorkels, life jackets, and flippers for tomorrow’s excursion. We enjoyed dinner at the resort’s restaurant followed by a short hike through a tunnel which led us to private area. We ended our day with lots of laughs during a Riff-Off (a singing competition) and a Human Machine activity.
Overall, the group enjoyed a relaxed travel day and some free time to enjoy our gorgeous new accommodations for the next two nights in Amed, Bali.
-by Manning and Maddie
Wednesday August 14, 2019
Hi guys, today we started our day off very early and woke up to see the sunrise on the beach at 6:00. After that we went to breakfast and ate eggs, salad, crepe, and a watermelon juice. After breakfast we were suppose to go on a boat ride but since the water was to rough it was unfortunately canceled.
Then we all changed into our bathing suits and went to the pool. At the pool we did face masks and some girls did their nails. For most of the day we all hung by the beach and went into the pool. Around 2 o’clock we went to a NGO and built Eco-Bricks out of single-use plastics.
Later that evening we watched the sunset off the top of the hill and took loads of pictures! After that we got take out cheeseburger and sweet potato wedges from a local restaurant for dinner. For our night activity, we had a bonfire and made s’mores!
– by Sophia C.
Thursday August 15, 2019
We started off our day in Amed and some woke up to watch the sunrise at 6am. Everyone at 8am met at the restaurant for breakfast which was a piece of bread, scrambled eggs, salad, and a chocolate crepe and a watermelon juice drink.
After breakfast we all went back to our rooms and packed our bags. At 9:30am we met at the restaurant which is our meeting spot, and head to the buses. It took around 3 hours to get back to home base. Once we got back we had lunch around 12. After lunch we did an activity where we wrote and came up with goals for ourselves and then came up with a whole group goal. Our group’s OMG (One Meaningful Goal) was to be more aware of the problems relevant to our society, and appreciate the small things and look at the big picture. After our OMG activity we split up into our last mentor groups for the trips for about an hour.
After mentor groups we had dinner and then head to the indoor soccer facility to play “Futsal”. At soccer, we were split into 4 groups which were gray, white, blue and black teams with around 5 players per team. And we played tournament style games. After soccer we came back to home base and got ready for bed.
– by Davis
Friday August 16, 2019
Rise and shine the waves are waiting!!
This morning we started our adventure off by waking up and leaving home base by 5 am. Most of us didn’t think this was possible because we tend to run late to everything but we managed to leave on time!
Our first stop was the beach!! This is where we ate our breakfast, learned how to surf, caught some waves, and played on the beach. Many of us were surprised with the waves we could shred and then the epic wipe outs that soon followed.
Following the beach we went and spent a couple hours shopping for some fun gifts and souvenirs to bring home and show you all a little part of Bali! We learned how to bargain and made some deals of a lifetime!!
After shopping we got an additional activity to go spend some time at an amazing waterfall, while getting the opportunity to swim in the refreshing water!!!
We continued home showered up, then we packed up our stuff for tomorrow, took our surveys, had PIZZA for dinner, and then our staff had us all involved for some last night games and a ceremony where we each received a flag and a Bali bracelet!
It’s almost time to say our goodbyes and we are ending the night with face masks and last minute jam sessions before our farewells tomorrow!
We have had a trip of a life time, that will forever change our perspectives and the way we look at the world!
Keep your sweetest smile and we will see you all soon!
We started off our saying goodbye to Paige and Jack as they left to go to the airport this morning. Then we all had breakfast at 8am and we had eggs and toast. After breakfast we went back to our rooms and finished up packing and hung out with each other.
Around 10am we took a snack run to the food store so we could get snacks for the plane ride home. Once we got back to home base we had lunch at 11:45am and started to pack the buses and leave to go to the airport around 12:15pm. At the airport, everyone that is flying to Hong Kong said their goodbyes and the people that are flying to Sydney went to the nearby mall.
I just want to thank everyone for an unforgettable trip and for gaining a family forever. The memories and lessons we made will last a lifetime!
Here is a video presentation prepared by one of our mentors, RJ. We are so happy sharing these experiences to all of you!