Sunday July 1, 2018
All 8 globe trotters arrived to Bali safe and sound and the GLA staff and our local Bali Institute partners 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. Everyone met each other, learned a little bit about the staff and their peers, and settled into our home-base, Kaya House. A much needed night of sleep will prep the wary travelers for their first full day in Bali. Tomorrow we will dive head first into the culture, language, and scenery of this magical island-Let the journey begin!
Monday July 2, 2018
Our first day here in Bali, we got to sleep in to help get over jet lag. After breakfast, we had an orientation, where we learned many things about the island of Bali and its culture. For example, life is mostly about the relationships and the community. Along with that the Balinese people live off of rice according to Beni and Fika, “Rice is life!” Then we went over the basic rules of GLA. Afterward we played some games to get to know each other.
Then we had lunch. After lunch, Beni taught us some of the Indonesian language. Just simple phrases like, Suksma means thank you and Apa means What. Then, we set out on the Amazing Race. There were two teams, Team Coconut Sisters and Team Pork Blood. We each had a long list of things to find or do around the village, it was a great opportunity to talk with locals and get to know the area. In Bali, the people are super friendly and helpful. During this game we learned a lot about the culture and the way of life. The Coconut Sisters spent time playing with local kids in the family compound, while Team Pork Blood spoke with locals about religious offering. Both teams had students that picked a coconut off the tree. We learned the legong dance which is dance style special to Bali. We came back to home base and relaxed a little before dinner.
After dinner, we had some free time before Rudy set up the evening activity, so we all hung out and got to know each other. Our evening activity was a model UN set up, where we did roll play discussing the issues that came up after the 2014 World Cup hosted in Rio. At the end we discussed our personal views on the topic. Once we finished our evening activities we headed to bed.
-by Paige and Addie
Tuesday July 3, 2018
Today started off with an early morning, we had to leave by 7:00 in order to make it to the herbal walk on time! The walk was really interesting and we got to learn about a variety of different herbs and flowers and their purposes in traditional medicine. In the middle of the walk we took a break and got enormous coconuts, they were bigger than most of our heads.
After that we kept walking and then at the end we went to a store where we drank tea and shopped for some natural beauty and health products. After that we took the bus to the water temple, tirta enpul, changed into our sarongs and sashes, and went to see the thirteen water fountains/spouts. After the morning full of activities we all went out to a buffet lunch with a beautiful view of the mountains and surrounding area.
After a full belly we loaded back up onto the bus and headed to the rice fields. Trekking up the high and uneven steps on a full belly wasn’t ideal but the view and experience was worth it. Luckily we had a hour ride back to home base to rest up before meeting the medical school students. Right before they arrived Rudy gave an informational presentation on what global health is and what it really means. Flying through the formal introductions we jumped straight into learning about what we would be doing for the next three days.
We broke off into small groups and got to know the medical students better. We learned how to take blood pressures and whatnot. Afterwards they joined us for dinner. On a full belly of chicken and potatoes, Kelsey filled our brains with information on sustainable travel and how we can work together to create an overall greener footprint. I guess could say we had a great day. Tiring, but overall great.
Wednesday July 4, 2018
Happy Fourth! Today we started off the day with a very interesting cultural workshop in our local Banjar- a place in Bali where local communities meet. Through dancing, making of offerings, wood carvings, and playing musical instruments, we experienced a whole new set of traditions that really opened our eyes. It was fun to interact with the local people, all of whom were extremely open to sharing their culture with us. Each activity came with its own set of difficulties, but constant encouragement from our friends and the locals really pushed us to do our best.
During our afternoon activity, we visited local homes in order to start our health checks. We met up with medical students and started visiting homes all throughout the local Banjar. It amazed us how open and happy the locals were about receiving the physicals, as such a warm attitude is extremely rare in other parts of the world. The trust the locals had in us was particularly endearing, and made us volunteering even more meaningful. We truly do look forward to continuing the service the next 2 days, as it means meeting even more wonderful families.
For our Fourth of July celebration, we ate our first American meal of the trip, at a local restaurant 10 minutes away from home. Most ordered burgers, and let’s not forget the mouth-watering desert at the end of the meal. A night of laughter and an exchange of stories, today was definitely a good day.
Authors: Erica and Emma
Thursday July 5, 2018
Today, we woke up and came down for breakfast. This morning we had pancakes and an assortment of fruits. We had some time before we left for laughing yoga. Once we were all ready, we hopped on the bus.
Laughing yoga? What’s that? Well that’s what all of us thought. We got there and had a giddy smile on our face from beginning to end. We learned different ways to laugh using our head, throat, chest, and stomach. Between the little sections of laughter there were these dance breaks, these were so much fun. We also were taught about “laugh o’clock”, basically the time of day that you have to try to laugh. You can pretend to make a phone call or look at your watch, just remember, it’s always laugh o’clock somewhere.
Once laughing yoga ended we head back to Kaya House for lunch. Today we had a boxed lunch. We had some free time again before our next activity, so we played games and just hung out. At 1:30 we headed out for our home checks. We did the same thing as yesterday, we went to houses in the local banjar and took some basic data. We took things like height, weight, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels, along with that we asked a few questions. Also we taught some people how to use hand sanitizer. Today we ended early and headed back to Kaya house to change for dinner.
For dinner we went out to a restaurant in Ubud. After dinner we walked into the town to the area where we saw legong dancing. It was beyond amazing. There were three stories each very different, but all beautiful. The most incredible part was the dancers’ ability to dance with their eyes. The amount of coordination they have is astonishing. The music that was played behind the dancing had everyone in a trance, even the dancers that know the music. At the end, we rushed out to head back to the bus, but not without a quick pit stop to get gelato. Everyone got their gelato and we continued our trek back to the bus. After a long day we all went to bed.
Friday July 6, 2018
The first thing that we did today was go to Yayasan Bhakti Senang Hati, a community of people with disabilities dedicated to demonstrating that they are just as capable as any fully abled person. While we were there we played music in the drum circle with a group of the members there and after that we helped teach them a few common phrases in English. We finished with lunch and a bit of shopping for some of the products they made there like bracelets, book marks, and necklaces.
In the afternoon we finished our last day of home visits with the medical students, we managed to finish almost all the homes in the Banjar we were working in! We finished early and took some pictures before saying goodbye to the students we were working with and getting ice-cream.
At the end of the day we went out to dinner at the palace with Prince Chris who is seventh in line to the throne out of 72 princes! Before dinner we got a tour of the palace whose intricate detailing was stunning. Dinner was surprisingly relaxed, the prince was very chill and our final topic of conversation was mermaids and the apocalypse. After dinner we returned to home base and made yet another stop at the market for snacks.
Friday July 6 through Sunday July 8, 2018
On Friday morning we left Kaya house around 9 am. On the way to Amed, we stopped at the Water Palace called Tirta Gangga. We saw a lot of koi fish. After lunch we continued our journey to Good Karma Bungalows. At soon as we got there we headed to the pool. Most of us got beach side massages. At night we all had girls night and got to know each other even better.
The next morning we woke up at 5 am. We went out on traditional Balinese fishing boats to watch the sunrise, it was so beautiful. We went snorkeling at an abandoned Japanese Shipwreck as well. The rest of the day we hung out by the beach and pool. Later in the day we visited a well-known Balinese spiritual healer. He told all of us things about ourselves and futures. We had burgers for dinner and then went night swimming.
Today we left Amed around 9 and we stopped at a place that recycles trash and makes it into to cool stuff. Tonight we had dinner at a place that gives health care to people less fortunate. All together it was a great, relaxing weekend. It was SO MUCH FUN!!!!
-by Jada and Addie
Tuesday July 10, 2018
Hi everybody! Today we started off by going to an NGO called Bumi Sehat, which is an all natural birthing center. Mothers from all over Bali come to receive free pregnancy care and other services. We toured the facilities, watched informational videos, and overall it was an amazing experience where we saw people from different economical circumstances receive the same healthcare.
In the afternoon, we went to a local school to meet local balinese children. We conducted workshops about the importance of nutrition, hygiene, and exercise. It was fulfilling to see how much the children were eager to participate and share with us their joy and energy. After a few hours of fun and activities, we are extremely glad that we will be coming back the next few days to continue these services.
Tonight we also met another girl who will be joining us for maybe the rest of the trip due to weather complications. As our trip in Bali winds down to the end we are very excited for the upcoming adventures and new experiences.
Authors: Emma and Erica
Thursday July 12, 2018
This morning we woke up at 6:30 to delicious pancakes. The 9 of us then loaded the bus and headed to a coffee place where we got to taste many teas and coffees. We then were able to purchase whatever we wanted from the wide variety of natural Balinese drinks. After we were buzzing on them beanz, we headed to white water raft. Some of us were nervous but ended up having a lot of fun. Halfway into the river, we encountered a beautiful waterfall where we stopped to admire the view. After rafting, we climbed many flights of stairs to get to a yummy Balinese lunch.
Service day 2 began at 2:30pm with our second round of lessons with the kiddos. We taught the kids about hygiene, exercise, and nutrition. It was so fun to interact with the kids. We then headed home to eat dinner and plan our lessons for the next day.
The last couple days in Bali together were packed with final service, ceremony, a birthday, karaoke, 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 morning, 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 two students and live and learn alongside the 8 leaders and future world changers! Girl power was strong this session and we have no doubt that these awesome ladies will be lifelong friends! While our time together in Bali is complete, our memories and GLA bond are forever <3