Saturday June 30, 2018
Greetings from Bali! WE MADE IT!!
What an adventurous start to the program! Students were diverted all around the world because of the volcano on the island of Bali, Mount Agung, erupted! Rest assured that the alert level for the volcano has not been elevated and we are safe to stay on the island of Bali.
After tireless travels, most students spent the day catching up on sleep or making their way home from the airport. Together we ate a traditional Balinese dinner at the home base, but not before we ate we sat down together to share stories of our crazy travels to get here and to pay gratitude to all those who helped us along the way.
HUGE shout out to all the families and our GLA staff members that worked endlessly to make sure everyone got to where they needed to be safely. With everyone safely here, we are now ready to start the program and have some fun! Stay tuned for more updates 🙂
Please note, the end date for the program is still the same. We will be losing a day in the mist of the eruption, but the students’ community service hours will not be affected.
Photo 1: Group photo after dinner at home base!
Photo 2: Director Allie picking up the last student at the airport!
Written by: Mentor Lauren
Om Swastyastu from your Bali Global Health Initiative “Blog Squad!”
Sunday July 1, 2018
Seven a.m breakfast led to a short but sweet yoga session thanks to our international director Allie! Of course, before we could start our adventures, we had our orientation regarding house rules and cultural norms for our next three weeks in Bali. Satisfying our hunger with a delicious lunch, we prepared ourselves for “The Amazing Race Ubud…” “The world is waiting for you, good luck, travel safe, GO” was our motto for the next few hours of our competitive hunt through our newfound lands. As the groups split off, team-building skills became stronger and unbreakable bonds formed between students. Throughout the scavenger hunt, we had to search for temple art forms, perform dances, and talk to locals in our best native tongue. Returning back to homestead, we had a wonderful evening full of travel stories, laughs, and delicious food. Finally, to conclude the day, we met in our mentor groups and called it a night.
Monday July 2, 2018
Early morning wake up call had us all ready-to-go on our adventurous day planned. We began with an Herbal Walk through the Magical Rice Fields of Ubud, which felt like a fairytale story come to life. We learned about how local famers have effective sustainability practices; for example, Did you know that the coconut tree can provide a farmer with water, oil, sugar, wine, bowls, meat, and endless other possibilities? After completing our Herbal Walk, we were off to the beautiful Water Temple of Ubud. The aura of the temple was mesmerizing, with many fountains cascading water into the sacred pool. Then, we were given the opportunity to present an offering and receive a water blessing in the main temple. After leaving, we drove to an amazing restaurant that provided an all-you-can-eat-buffet, leaving everyone feeling as full as a volcano ready to erupt! Returning back to homestead with a little free time, we left to eat dinner at the Fair Future Foundation restaurant, learning about the program and how they provide free medical treatment to the very rural and poor areas of Bali. To conclude the day, we met in our mentor groups and reflected on our time spent in Bali so far!
Written by: Savannah, Sara
Tuesday July 3, 2018
This morning we woke up and had a later breakfast time from 8 to 9 am. After breakfast we went to a Disabilities Clinic, which aided local peoples with disabilities to help live a normal and healthy life. After enjoying our time singing and dancing along with them, we had a delicious lunch and proceeded to head back to homestead. For most of the afternoon we had free time to pack our things and prepare to head to our next homebase in Singaraja on the North side of Bali. Finally to conclude our day, we had the privilege of touring the Royal Palace, as well as meeting and eating with the Prince, Kris.
Dinner was very spicy!! Before leaving the palace, we were presented with the traditional Legong dance; the dancers entranced us with their eyes and beautiful dress, while the music only emphasized their dance and the story. Finally, we spent our last night at the Madra Homestead.
Wednesday July 4, 2018
Today, we had a delicious breakfast of homemade apple crapes, and sadly said goodbye to the Madra Homestead. We then stopped, on our way to Singaraja, at the Bumi Sehat International Natural Birth Clinic. It is world re-knowned for natural and holistic care for expecting mothers; the facility was amazing. Leaving the birth clinic, we stopped in the mountains at a wonderful buffet restaurant, and then proceeded to go to another Water Temple alongside a lake. The temple was absolutely gorgeous, and so many amazing photos were taken. Each buddy group was swarmed by other visitors wanting photos; like bees to flowers, and everyone had a great time.
Around late afternoon we arrived at our new homestead and before dinner, we met our medical student mentors for service week! They showed us how to take blood pressure and explained what we would be doing during service. After the meet and greet, our group was surprised for the 4thof July with dinner on the beach, a bonfire, singing, dancing, and a small fireworks show! After dancing our feet off, we came back to the homestead and crashed for the night!
Thursday July 5, 2018
Today was our first day of service!! Everyone was very excited this morning, and we had a warm welcome at the local village by small, smiling children and wise elders. After the briefing, we split into our service groups and walked throughout the small village, taking blood pressure of the adults, checking the cleanliness of the homes and eradicating any mosquito larvae. We did this both morning and afternoon, and finally ended the day at the beautiful Lovina beach; swimming and laughing were at an all time high this afternoon. After dinner at homestead, we had a speaker come and discuss his foundation on HIV/AIDs, and the day ended very happily.
Friday July 6, and Saturday July 7, 2018
Everyone was up and ready to go for our second and third day of service, excited to reunite with the children and people of the village. For the second day of service, we once again toured the local homes and took blood pressure and asked questionnaires in Balinese language.
Towards the end of service time, we also picked up trash on the streets. Touring morning and early afternoon, we wrapped up our volunteering time and headed to a local children’s home in Singaraja. There, they showed us around their home, led us in a meditation session, and gave us several performances (during which we joined in one dance)! Sadly leaving after dinner, we returned to home base for mentor group meetings and wrapped up the day. During our third day, our service involved a pop-up clinic in the same village. There, the med students aided us in providing local residents with health information such as blood pressure, blood sugar, height, and weight; we also served food and played with the children.
After completing the pop-up clinic, and saying sad goodbyes to the children, we had a wonderful treat of spending the rest of the afternoon shopping, swimming, and tanning at the beach. Our dinner consisted of delicious pizza while sitting and stargazing on the beach. We finally drove home and called it a night.
Thursday July 12, 2018
These past few days since our last blog post have been filled with hard work, laughs, excitement, and adventure! After completing our first 3 days of service touring through the villages, our next task was to teach Physical Exercise, Nutrition, and Hygiene at two different local schools, with each of our groups teaching a different subject everyday. This proved to be a tedious task due to the language barrier between GLA students and the loc students, but through creativity, laughs, songs, posters, and “charade-like” styles of teaching, we all took away our own valuable lesson from the experience.
However, our days were not just service, as we had many other exciting and beneficial activities planned! We visited a local nursing home that was free for elderly residents; our students even performed for them, we took a small hike to a gorgeous waterfall and went swimming below it in the chilly yet refreshing waters, and finally after our last day of service, we took a sunset boat ride off the coast, swimming and playing in the crystal clear waters while watching the colors of the sun dance in the sky. A delicious dinner, a bonfire, and singing was a high note of our last day in Singaraja!
We are at the beach, so the pictures are loading really slow! We will send more soon 🙂
Sunday July 15, 2018
Our recent stay in Amed was out of this world!! Arriving Thursday, our new homestead consisted of beachfront, bamboo bungalows outfitted with a front porch, hammocks, an outdoor bed, a small upstairs area, and a gorgeous communal infinity pool! We were all in awe and so excited to spend the next 3 days there! Our time in Amed was spent playing in the water, both pool and ocean, making eco bricks, and of course, SCUBA diving! 19 of our students decided to take the Discover Scuba course with Bali Reef Divers.
They learned the basics of SCUBA, completed a pool dive, and then were able to participate in a shallow water dive off the beach of the resort! 2 of the GLA students and staff Allie were already SCUBA certified and went to Tulamben, just north of Amed, to dive a much deeper dive, exploring a sunken shipwreck as well as dive a vertical coral shelf dropoff. Many amazing photos were taken by both SCUBA excursions! The remainder of students who didn’t dive were able to relax, go snorkeling, and take another sunset boat ride!
Each morning, many students woke up early and sat together on the beach to the beautiful sunrise over the east horizons; Our last night at the bungalows consisted of a picnic on the grass, eating delicious burgers and we finished our stay in Amed around a beach bonfire!
This is by far the saddest blog post to be written, as the end of our 3 week trip is here. Our last few days in Ubud have been filled by entertaining market shopping, laughing yoga, visiting a sacred beach temple, having a karaoke night in Denpasar, and last but not least, an epic morning of surfing! As we are about to leave our separate ways, we have all formed amazing lifelong friendships and experiences that will last a lifetime. Over and out from your June 29 to July 19 GLA Global Health Initiative Program!
Blogs written by: Savannah
Note from director and mentors: the student have all been dropped off at the airport and are on their way home! What an amazing group, we will miss you so much!!!