Sunday June 16, 2019
It has been a long journey to get to our new home for the next 2 weeks in Bali. After arriving to our homebase, we received some refreshing coconuts and Balinese food. Tomorrow begins our amazing adventure and we can’t wait to share it with everyone! We aren’t quite complete as a group yet due to some late arrivals but, we are so excited, we don’t know how we will be able to sleep!
*Isha and Lilly B. not pictured
-Desiree, International Director
Monday June 17, 2019
Twenty-two girls, all jet-lagged to no end, got to wake up in the lively and goregous village of Mas today! Lily and Isha, who arrived late last night, made us complete!
The Kaya Cultural House outlooks the original skyline of the city. We started the day with a semi-early breakfast, which everyone was extremely excited about. The meal included Pandan pancakes and fresh fruit, which was all delicious. After breakfast we were ushered to the floor of our community room/dining hall. There, the generous staff, who we already adore, gave us a detailed presentation on the culture, expectations, and geography of Bali! The information was super helpful and gave us a wider look at the country we are visiting.
Along with the presentation the local staff taught us how to wear a Sarong and Sash. They also taught about specifics surrounding their religion and beliefs. The super kind-hearted Jro Mangku Tri, the owner of the Kaya Cultural House, went into detail about their local religious practices. We even got to witness her meditation ritual! After the orientation we were served a lovely traditional lunch that contained rice noodles and curry.
When we had digested our delicious meals, we broke off into two seperate groups called Mentor Groups. Inside these groups we played games and learned more about the intricate language from one of the local staff members.
With our new language skills in tow we were sent on to an extensive scavenger hunt around the village! We spilt into four groups and were tasked with items like; picking a coconut from a tree, finding Traditional Balinese art, asking questioms about the family compounds with a typical household, and 20 more vigorous things. The group that won was lucky enough to find a local teacher that spoke really good english. Lucky ducks:)
The groups had the opportunity to interact with the locals in-depth, and even got to play with some children! When we got home, the dinner was delicious! It was rice and chicken kabobs, with cucumbers, and coconuts. Again with our bellies full, we split back off into our mentor groups and had a lovely nightime bonding activity before we all tirelessly jumped into bed. It was a memorable first day 🙂
-by Tana (Sophia)
Tuesday June 18, 2019
We started the day very excited and optimistic! We ate breakfast bright and early at 6AM, and then boarded the buses for an early morning herbal walk through the rice paddies.
On the walk, we saw the farmers tending their crops and tasted different types of traditional Eastern herbs. Our guide explained each herb’s purpose. We stopped for some fresh coconut and tasted local herbal tea. Learning about the natural remedies was super interesting and was very different from Western medicine. We then visited a traditional Balinese temple and learned how to pray and meditate using offerings and holy water.
After this, we drove to a volcano on the north side of the island. We had lunch overlooking the view, which was stunning. We’re beginning our prep for our presentations at local Balinese schools tomorrow. We can’t wait to teach the children about hygiene, nutrition, and exercise; we’re super excited for what’s to come!!
Emmy and Elle
Wednesday June 19, 2019
Today we went to the Banjar (a Balinese community centre) for a workshop! We got to do cool stations like making offerings, mask painting, Legong dancing, and playing traditional Balinese instruments.
After that, we came back to our home base for a delicious lunch. Then we headed to service to teach children about hygiene, exercise, and nutrition. We had some challenges with the language barrier but we were able to overcome them with hand gestures and drawings.
We came back to the home base after to prepare our lessons for tomorrow and eat dinner. We had a very fun day here in Bali and can’t wait for more fun tomorrow!
– Lily B.
Thursday June 20, 2019
Today we woke up early to finish our lesson plans before our busy day. We attended a laughing yoga class that was very different than anything we’ve ever seen before. The instructors incorporated dancing and laughing all into a form of relaxing yoga.
Then we went to service and taught the kids about exercise, nutrition, and hygiene. It’s challenging to come up with lesson plans because of the language barrier, but once they understand it is very fulfilling.
We ended the day by meeting the Prince and taking a tour at the Royal Palace, Puri Agung Peliatan. He fed us at his restaurant where we ate nasi (rice), chicken, and fruit. After the restaurant, we watched a traditional Balinese dance wherein the performers used their fingers in a very complicated way that was very cool to see.
-Emily and Marissa
Friday June 21, 2019
Today we woke up and got ready for another wonderful day in Bali. We had stuffed jam toast with fruit and hot tea. Then we got ready to leave to visit the NGO Site which was a disability foundation. It provides a home for people with disabilities who would normally be segregated due to the belief system in Bali. We took a tour of the site, played music with the residents, and had lunch.
Then we drove home and finished prepping for our final day of volunteering at local schools. Overall our last day was definitely our best day! We all felt like we made genuine connections with the kids. After that we went to buy snacks from a local supermarket and then had dinner. Finally we had activity time and small mentor group sessions. Also we packed day bags for our trip to Amed tomorrow!
-Ella and Rose
Saturday June 22, 2019
We woke up early and drove 2 and a half hours to Amed today. We saw rice paddies, beautiful blue water, and spider boats. When we arrived, we arrived to bungalows and a black sand beach.
Everything open, including beds outside and a hammock. No air conditioning but we weren’t complaining because of how cool the setup was, one of the features being a bathroom outside. We had free time to swim in the ocean, lay on the beach, and swim in the infinity pool. For lunch we ate a chicken and egg dish with rice and for dinner we ate chicken salad. While staying at the Good Karma Bungalows we are free to order our own food, also drinks so we’re filling up on papaya, watermelon, pineapple, and mixed fruit smoothies.
With the night coming to a close and 10:00 PM approaching, we hung out on the porch of our bungalows… lounging on the beds, chairs and hammock.
-by Emma R. & Jenna L.
Sunday June 23, 2019
Today we all woke up bright and early to watch the beautiful sunrise over the ocean. We then continued to snorkel over a reef which was absolutely amazing. For the rest of the morning the 22 of us enjoyed free time to relax by the water and swim. Lunch was at noon which consisted of chicken curry and rice.
After lunch we hiked up to meet a women that informed us of how to make Ecobricks and when they are used in Bali. It is a beneficial way of getting rid of plastic garbage. Once we returned it was time to relax for a while again.
As the sun set, some of us hiked a small mountain to watch the beautiful orange and pink sky. Dinner was served soon after which made many of us ecstatic. Finally some French fries and a chicken burger! Followed by the bonfire activity and some much needed sleep.
– Grace and Lily C
Monday June 24, 2019
Today we spent our last morning in Amed and drove back to home base for 2.5 hours. Once back, we all unpacked and got our laundry together.
In the afternoon, we listened to a presentation about the Public Health in Indonesia, in comparison also to the health statistics in the US. It helped us gain additional insight on what’s the health and medical situation here in Bali. Then we met some medical students and guest lecturers who prepared us for our service for the next three days with training exercises for taking height, weight, blood pressure/sugar, and heart rate.
-by Lily M. and Madison
Tuesday June 25, 2019
Our 10th day in Bali started off with a great breakfast of toast and jam, eggs, and fresh watermelon. We then prepared ourselves for a small trek in town to see the traditional healer. There we gained insight on Balinese medical practices. After spending time with the healer we made our way back to Kaya House for lunch. Lunch was fried chicken and fries, yummmmm!
Right after lunch we had a small break before we met up with the med students for home visits. During home visits we learned how to take blood pressure, measure glucose levels, and record the height and weight of everyone in the family. After a long day of service we came back to home base, went for a very needed snack run, had dinner, and did evening activity with our mentor groups. The End.
-Gabriele G. And Mackenzie
Wednesday June 26, 2019
Today we went to a natural birth clinic. It was a lot of fun! We learned all about the great foundation and how beneficial it is to the locals. It’s a non profit clinic that not only helps mothers but other locals too. A GLA student who now works there had an inspirational speech.
In the afternoon, we started our Home Visits, assisting the Medical Student Volunteers on checking the blood pressure, recording the height and weight, and doing the medical surveys. Then by dinner, we went to a restaurant that was founded by Fair Future Foundation. We learned about their work and their impact on the community. After dinner for dessert we got gelato and crepes! It was so good.
-by Isha and Amara
Thursday June 27, 2019
After an early 6am breakfast, all of us hopped in our assigned buses and drove to Legian Beach, Kuta. We started with some surfing near the coastline, listening to the instructors and trying our best NOT to belly flop off the surf board. After, we continued our beach day with some shopping in the city, accompanied by our mentors. They willingly followed anywhere we went to buy clothes, jewelry, bracelets, and some cool-looking items. When we made our way back to the beach for lunch, we enjoyed some spicy chicken and rice. When we finished, we all loaded back into the buses and made our way back to the Kaya House.
We started to work on inputting data from our medical examinations into a computer. Since we had some free time, we all started making our own friendship bracelets and giving each other braids in our hair. Then, Beni had his own evening activity. Hmmmmm mysterious. Once again we all loaded into the buses and made our way into Denpasar to a karaoke place called “Happy Puppy”. All of us were loaded into a room and we sat on the couches provided. Then the music started. We all shot up and started screaming our heads off to different songs. Throwbacks, rap, pop, country, the works. We ended with, of course, Party In The USA by Miley Cyrus.
We left in our buses again and headed back to the house. We all went to our rooms, got ready for bed, and instantly fell asleep when our heads hit the pillows. Now, onto another day.
-by Brooke and Sophia B.
Friday June 28, 2019
I am both sad and happy to report our final day on the GLA Bali Global Health Initiative Trip. We started our day with Lilo and Mami’s infamous stuffed magic toast, than at the crack of dawn (7 AM, but it felt really early lol) we loaded the buses to go on our water rafting adventure. Our mentors surprised us with a herbal walk/amazing Balinese coffee shop stop in the middle of the jungle (the coconut coffee was the best hands down). I know more than a few of us would say that we saw the most beautiful place on earth today, in the middle of the jungle, on a slightly sketchy rope swing;)
After that we once again loaded the buses for the rafting trip! We rafted 14 kilometers of sketchy-fast-hard-core-adventure-rapids and took pictures next to these amazingly gorgeous waterfalls (we also had a relatively intense water-raft-race). When the 2 1/2 hour rafting adventure ended we climbed what seemed like a mile of stairs up the mountain to drop off our rafting gear, and eat a buffet-style lunch! After that we loaded the buses and headed back to Umud for our final day of service.
We were very tired, but our last day of service was definitely our best! Everybody had their methods down and were a lot more efficient with the medical home visits. After service we all gave thanks to the medical students and exchanged Instagrams! When the medical students left, we all had to take turns entering the medical data we collected. As GLA members entered data, everybody else either packed or made bracelets (: Later on in the day, we all started getting ready for dinner and were surprised and shocked and thrilled to see PIZZa!!
We all got half a slice, and I know personally it was the best pizza I ever had! Finally to end the day we had our evening/closing activity for the trip. Our mentor, RJ made this amazing video of our entire trip and let’s just say more than a few tears were shed… We ended our perfect day with a closing ceremony (Our local director Beni explained the importance of these ceremonies to Balinese culture at the beginning of the trip; it’s also important to note we started the trip with a ceremony, and ended it with a ceremony.)
We then said goodbye to our first member leaving. (Emmy we all love you and miss you so much already!) Describing this trip as Incredible, would be the understatement of the year (I just cannot think of a better word to describe how all of us feel). This was the experience and opportunity of a lifetime, and none of us wasted it. Many of us are going to go home with a different outlook on our life and community. We wouldn’t have wanted this trip any differently and we thank you; Desiree, Beni, RJ, Ning, Wahyu, and all other GLA staff and mentors, for giving us this opportunity. Live, Love, and laugh always; Bali Global Health Initiative, 2019 June session, closing out (:
-by Lillian G.
Saturday June 29, 2019
Today marked the last day of the 14-day GHI program for these 22 amazing leaders who travelled from the west to the east: to serve, to discover a new culture, and to learn more about themselves as future ambassadors of positive change!
The day went so fast as the ladies bid farewells to each other, giving each other one final hug before departing on their flights. It just has been 14 days, but the bond they made was as strong as a sisterhood; surpassing cultural and personal challenges that came along the days of their service here in Bali.
As a mentor, I am very proud to see how they developed as an individual, and managed to create a harmonious relationship as a group while living together in a faraway place— outside their comfort zones. They have been genuinely supportive of each other, and very enthusiastic when it comes to the health service programs, consistently wearing a smile on their faces and radiating positivity to every local Balinese they met.
In behalf of the GLA Team here in Bali, we wish each one of you a great and amazing life ahead, may you indeed, be the change that this world needs!
RJ (International Mentor)
Hello GLA Bali families!
International Mentor RJ prepared an awesome video of the program to share with you all! Click the link below to watch the video 🙂