Thanks for the checking out the blog for this Global Leadership Adventures program!
This blog is for the Bali split session starting July 6, 2022, which includes both the 14-day and the 21-day student group.
Here are a few things you can expect:
- We typically receive 2-3 blog posts per week here at GLA Headquarters from our program staff and students, so please don’t be alarmed if you don’t see a blog post daily – that’s totally normal.
- Blog updates sent on weekends may not be posted until Monday.
- Due to many factors, including but not limited to internet accessibility, photos may not always be available to post onto the blog. Sometimes onsite program staff are only able to send text back to Headquarters, where our team updates the blog.
Cell Phone Policy: The GLA cell phone policy is currently in place this summer to help foster meaningful connections between students. This means your student’s phone will be collected every day and returned to them throughout the program during designated spaces of time we call ‘tech time’. Actual tech times and regularity will vary greatly by program location. During designated ‘tech time’, your student may use their phones as they wish. Please note that your student may not always choose to use this time to get a hold of their parents. If you are not hearing directly from your student each day, you can assume that no news is good news! We strongly recommend you follow the blog to follow your students’ experience without talking to them every day. If you are a parent and would like to get in touch with your student directly, you can call us at +1-619-758-3031 and we can set up a formal time for you to connect with your student.
Thank you for your patience and understanding, and we hope you enjoy following along on these unforgettable adventures.
For frequently asked questions about the blogs, please visit our Program Blog FAQ page.
-The Global Leadership Adventures HQ Team
BLOG POST FOR JULY 6
Om Swastyastu! (Hello!)
We are happy to report that we have sixteen students landed, fed and off to bed. Everyone received their welcome coconut, sarong and journal, and had a healthy meal of rice, noodles, chicken, tempeh, veggies, rice crackers and sambal. The group seems pretty excited about the resident puppies (named Pigi and Molan) but less excited about the humidity. We can’t wait for the final two to arrive tomorrow afternoon!
The students will be in touch again soon!
Jaime (GLA Mentor)
BLOG POST FOR JULY 7
After a good night’s rest, the group gathered for our orientation sessions this morning. We started with a cultural orientation, which included lessons on tying a sarong and sash and important Bahasa Indonesia phrases. We then got to put the newly acquired skills to use in an Amazing Race Ubud activity. Students really enjoyed meeting friendly members of the community, learning the traditional legong dance, and trying new foods like salak (snake fruit).
In the evening, we participated in a Sisya Upanayana blessing ceremony at a nearby banjar (community center and temple). This ceremony is intended for those seeking knowledge and provided a nice opportunity for reflection to start the program. While at the ceremony, the final two students arrived at home base.
We’re excited to continue the welcome activities tomorrow with the whole group now in Bali. More from the students soon!
Selamat Malam! (Goodnight!)
Lauren (GLA Director)
BLOG POST FOR JULY 8
Written by Ava H.
Day #3: Banjar Workshop & Peliatan Palace Visit
Today on day three we woke up to some delicious fruit and toast for breakfast. Later today we had our GLA activity of a debate that is relevant to the country you are in. The prompt was if the schools should cater to tourism or local culture.
Then we had an authentic lunch called soto ayam (broth with rice cakes/noodles, vegetables, and chicken). Later we got to know one another by playing two truths and one lie, but we were able to question one another on the sentences before guessing. This seemed to be a good and fun way to find similarities in each other.
After we had some down time we walked over to the banjar and participated in four activities. We danced, made daily offerings, carved our names in wood and played local instruments called the gamelan. A crowd favorite seemed to be dancing out of the rest.
Later in the night we went to the royal palace for a tour from two of the princes of the royal family, this typically never seems to happen so we were very lucky and thankful. Along with a tour, we were able to eat with the princes and ask questions. Before we left we were able to take photos on the thrones for the King and Queen.
It has been the most amazing past three days and I personally have loved every minute of it. I have never been happier and keep falling in love more and more with Bali and the Balinese people. To my family; Mom, Dad, Cole, Moose, Grandma Janice, Papa Bill, Grandma Corrine and Grandpa John, I miss you so much and love you all!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 9
Written by Lauryn (Leader of the Day)
It’s Day 4 and we started the busy day with an early morning. Starting the day with a herbal hike and viewing the rice paddies. To end the day we created a lesson plan for the first day of our service project. We enjoyed lunch at Kintamani with the most beautiful view of Mt. Batur and ending the night with a group game of Pictionary.
We will be in touch with you all later!
Selmat tinggal (Good-bye)
BLOG POST FOR JULY 10
Written by Ray
Today was full of activities starting with breakfast at 6. Shortly after breakfast we headed onto the minibuses to begin our journey up to the bike tour. During the bike tour there were a few crashes, but it was overall a great time. Because we started at a high altitude, there was barely any pedaling needed and we were able to relax and take in the environment. After the bike ride we headed to lunch at a very nice restaurant with good food. After all of that there was the ride back and some free time for everyone to recharge. After the free time, we headed off to the school! The kids were very excited to see everyone and they even had a chant for GLA. At the school we presented all of our different lesson plans for all of the different topics we were meant to cover. All of the students were very attentive and they really tried their best. From what I heard every group was able to get the students to grasp the information they were meant to present. After that wonderful first day of service, we were all quite tired and we ate dinner that I did not attend. From what I heard there was American food that was a nice refresher of people’s memories of American food. Next, we planned for day #2 of service. Currently I am dying from the inside with Bali belly so I am tired writing this.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 11
Hello all of the GLA families, my name is Bea. I am one of the 14 day students. Today we woke up to a lot of rain. Breakfast today was blake rice pudding and fruit. After that we went to an NGO, Non Government Organization, where we learned to play some authentic music.
Later we went back to the schools for our second day of service. As a whole we had to adapt on the spot for our lessons because of the rain and use of less supplies.
On the way home we stopped for some groceries at a convenience store for some snacks to remind us of home.
We ended the night with dinner and lesson prep for our last day of service at the school.
It is now late and I am going to bed,
BLOG POST FOR JULY 12
Hey GLA Fam,
Anton on the mic. First of all today was another rainy morning in Bali. We visited a NGO that focused on creating sustainable products. We were also able to create our own beeswax wraps. After our visit we went to the schools for our last day of teaching. It was very exciting to see the students one last time. After teaching all of the students received a certificate with a goodie bag and a high five! When we arrived home we had a well deserved rest and had another evening activity planned. We went to a Legong Dance & Ramayana that lasted a whole one and a half hours. Back at home base we are all excited and packing for our 3 day adventure to Amed!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 13
Written by Raj
What a day! We are now in Amed the astounding beach town in the Northeast of Bali. After three days of teaching all of the wonderful Balinese children we have reached our reward. By the way this is Raj 🙂
We kicked off the day by having some delicious eggs and toast made by Komang, the kind homestay caretaker. After partaking in some GLA activities we set off on our four hour long drive.
We had our phones for the trip and I got on the bus fully believing that I would spend the entirety of the journey using it but everyone in my bus ended up proving me wrong. All the members are reaching the point where we are really getting to be comfortable around each other. I can really feel ourselves becoming a big family.
The trip was broken up by a convenient store stop as well as a lunch break at a temple called Tirta Gangga. It was composed of the flavorful and unique Indonesian food that we have all grown accustomed to. After eating quickly we were back on the road.
Our arrival was around two in the afternoon and once we had situated ourselves with our beautiful new home it was time for some swimming. In order to guarantee the safety of all members, we were given a swim test which was grueling and near impossible to complete. Just kidding! Everybody passed with flying colors which means we are all good to go scuba diving in a few days.
Then we had some down time which we used to, guess what… swim some more! After enjoying the warm water for as long as possible, we showered and got ready for the amazing dinner in store for us.
It felt like a little taste of home for me when the chicken burgers were served and the reaction of everyone was priceless. We feasted on our delicious meal which seemed to go by way too fast. I blinked and suddenly my burger had disappeared!
The rest of the night was very relaxed. As leader of the day I suggested we play some card games. I wanted to have a big card game with everyone in one circle but unfortunately there wasn’t enough space at the tables. Being the problem solvers that we are, two tables were chosen and each one had a different game going on. Then we went into our mentor groups, which are like sub groups that are a bit more personal, and shared meaningful songs to us.
Sitting in the dark, looking up at the sky, and listening to all the songs people suggested allowed for a peaceful end to an amazing day. I am so grateful to be on such a wonderful island with such great people that all have a mindset similar to mine. I have now kept everyone up with this mini-essay I have written so I am going to have mercy and end it now.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 14
Written by Sierra
Hello GLA families,
Today we had a slow start to our morning. We had a later wake up call and laid by the pool for a while before going to another NGO called Peduli Alam Amed. Peduli Alam Amed is an organization that encourages locals to reduce, reuse and recycle. As well as to have sustainable options for waste. While visiting the NGO we participated in glass sanding and painting. Midway through, children from a local school came to play games and later helped us in a beach clean up. We ended the day by enjoying a nice evening swim and playing volleyball.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 15
Written by Geneba
Day 10! Today was scuba day, one of the most looked forward parts of our trip. We started our day with breakfast and headed straight to the dive center. Before we got in the water we had to do some training. We learned the equipment, and got to practice in the pool before we hit the real stuff. We went in groups of three and dove in 2 different coral reefs (Lipah Beach and The Pyramids). For me personally my favorite was The Pyramids because our group saw FOUR TURTLES! But I did hear from the others that they saw other wildlife like stingrays, seahorses and octopus. The most difficult part of diving was making sure your ears popped with all the pressure of going that far down in the ocean, which I know a lot of others struggled with too. But by our second dive everyone seemed to enjoy the experience and the equalizing of the ears came with ease.
After diving we came back to home base and had a good chunk of free time to rejuvenate! I chose a shower and a nap. But after free time we had a yummy dinner and a surprise waiting for us at the end. A BONFIRE! We all stood on the beach in the dark and had smores on the bonfire which was super fun and a good way to kinda wrap up for the 2 weekers. We had a moment of group reflection at the bonfire as well and were able to show our appreciation for our peers. Overall today was a good day to close out our trip at Amed and I know the group is looking forward to swimming tomorrow morning during the sunrise!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 16
Written by Louise
We had an early bird start in order to enjoy our last moments in paradise. While the sun was rising we went for an amazing ocean swim. After our breakfast we packed our bags for our way back to Ubud. We are all going to miss Ahmed’s good vibes a lot! On our way back we made three shopping stops. Our first stop was at the shop of yesterday’s NGO named Peduli Alam Ahmed. We could buy their sustainable designs such as wallets and bags made out of non organic materials. Then we went to an indigenous village named Tenganan where about only 600 people live and no cars are allowed. We also saw traditional weaving which included tie-dye. We were lucky to make our way through the village’s unique places with a local guide. Afterwards, we were welcomed in the middle of a forest for our lunch spot where we got to try their self made honey and tea. Our last stop of the bus ride was at a huge souvenir shop where most of us got presents for our beloved ones back at home. Half an hour later we got back to Ubud where we got free time to unpack our bags and get ready for another delicious dinner at home base. They served us spring rolls, tuna, corn fritters, rice and vegetables. Lastly we ended our day by service prep for tomorrow’s last service for the 14 day people. Followed by a never have I ever game with loads of laughter and fun.
Personal message to mom and dad:
Quelle coïncidence que c’est moi qui puisse écrire à propos de la première/ dernière journée de shopping de ce séjour. (: Maman tu aurais trop adoré haha bisous vous me manquez!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 17
Written by Olivia
Today we ventured to PKP community centre, amongst lush forest and jungle. We we’re all welcomed by the familiar friendly smiling faces of children eager to meet our gang. We sat down to tea and various Balinese goodies while the founder of the community centre took us on an emotional roller coaster explaining the curves in her journey of life. While many of us were emotional, she reminded us that the universe works in mysterious ways, and that by truely believing in an outcome will work in our favour. We took a small tour through the land surrounding, but quickly turned back because of the rain. We channelled our zen for a session of yoga and meditation, which recharged our batteries for more education service!
After a delicious meal served in a hollowed out banana tree, we welcomed students from 5-14 years old for a miniature English camp, with the topic of family and emotions. The bright eyed kids cycled through 3 stations with our GLA peers. At the end, each student received an official completion certificate and a writing activity book!
For dinner, we headed to a modern style restaurant for chicken parm! After full bellies were achieved, we drove to our highly anticipated surprise evening activities, which was a karaoke booth! We all sung our hearts out for an hour, ending with raspy voices and red faces. It was a rewarding, accomplished day with a perfect special farewell activity for our 2 week friends.
See you soon mom!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 18
Written by Amalia
Hi Guys, today we woke up extra early (5:15am) to go surfing in Legian. We had a one and a half hour drive, where we slept the entire way. Once we got to the beach, everyone was excited and wide awake (not common for us around 7 am). We surfed in groups and most of us got it pretty fast. The waves were not that big, but for beginners they were HUGE. We spent most of the morning surfing, tanning, and just hanging out at the beach. We began heading back to homebase around noon. When we got here, we all went straight to the beds and showers for an extra long free time. Once all recovered from the activities from the morning, we began to have our farewell activities for the two weeks group. The group reflected on the time spent here for the past two weeks. We set goals to continue through the remainder of the program for three weekers or to take home for two weekers. I’m sad saying goodbye to all the friends I have made throughout this program.
Personal Note: Holaaaa mami y papi, como están? FELIZ CUMPLE GREGO!!!! Te quiero muchísimo. Ojala pasastes tu cumple super bien. Los quiero mucho y los extraño demasiado. Que la pasen bien en estos días. Ya casi llego!!! <33
BLOG POST FOR JULY 19
It’s day 14, meaning we had to sad goodbye to all the two weekers 🙁 Everyone was up by 7 to wish the first group a farewell. We said a reluctant goodbye to Geneba, Lauryn, Sierra and Ava. Then it was back to bed for most of us.
We woke up for the second time at 10 to get the day started. The last two leaders of the day and I had the chance to lead the group in our activities of the day. Amalia led us in a wonderful game of “Down by the Banks”. Olivia led us in a game where we all say one word going around in a circle that ends up making a story. And then a memorization game which made my brain hurt. I finished it off with everyone playing their favorite songs on the speaker. Then I took another nap.
After lunch, we got the opportunity to do some much needed self care!!! There were 4 stations everyone could chose from. “Rest time” included napping, reading and journaling. “Spa time” included face masks and a guided meditation. “Move your body” included yoga. And “Exercise your brain” included trivia and music. Ray was gone before the rest of the options were presented to take a nap. Everyone felt relaxed and rejuvenated afterwards.
We then had to say another sad goodbye to Louise and Anton. You both will be missed!
Later in the day, we had a Non Profit Organization come to us and teach us how to make iniTempe from scratch. We all tried our best but I will admit mine came out the best. Just a side note, Erik made the biggest mess and spilled all of his soy beans, but we all had a great time!
We all had one final dinner together before saying goodbye to the last 3, Ray, Raj, and lastly Bea, whose accent I already miss. You all will never be forgotten.
Today was a long, relaxing, sad, but much needed day. I’m excited to see what this week brings with just the remaining 9, but as long as we have Erik, all shall be well.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 20
Dear GLA families,
It is I, Joaquin Sanchez, day 15 of my 21 day long journey in Bali. Today we worked with an NGO to make meals for people living in a low income area. I of course did very well in this, running the egg operation like a well oiled machine and only managing to staple my hand once in the entirety of the packing process. After this we had to give out the meals. With the help of some local children we made our way to a couple houses giving out the meals, leaving the extras in a community center were they could get it at their own leisure. We played a yoga video back at home base, and planned on decompressing with some guided meditation after. What actually happened was that we learned how to control water with the help of a man named Walker on a beach in our mind. The final activity was drawing whatever we wanted on one big piece of paper, which turned out very well I think. Anyway, I miss too many people to say in this blog, but special shoutout to my parents and my sister! See you in 6 to 7 days!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 21
Written by Maddy
Today we had the pleasure of sleeping in. We all met in the common area and enjoyed some pancakes and fresh fruit. After that we hopped in the bus and headed to Jiwa Community Garden. We learned the importance of composting and biodiversity. We had the awesome opportunity to see the garden in all its glory and plant chile as well as a few other plants. After that we headed to Tanah Lot Temple that overlooked the beautiful ocean. We split up into pairs and went shopping for souvenirs and other miscellaneous things. Enjoyed some dinner and watched the sun go down. A perfect way to end the day. Once back at homebase we gathered and played Just Dance.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 22
Hello everyone, it’s the one and only Erik Lazarre.
Today I started everyones day delightfully by banging down everyone’s doors at 7:15. From there we took a bus and a boat to a shore site near mangrove trees. There we worked with another branch of SOS (Scholars of Sustenance) to clean up a part of the beach with a guy from New Zealand with a groovy accent instructing us. Then we went on a quick paddle boarding tour where we all learned more about mangrove trees and planted some of our own. On our way back I got Lily to paddle/sword fight me. As expected I won (because I’m Erik. Must I further this explanation?) and proved myself invincible under the sun (This is a reference to a book. This is impressive because I don’t read much lol. So If you’re reading this Mom just know I did read on this trip ). After a bit of a bus ride we were greeted by an awesome surprise, a giant beach resort (thanks to Ian and others who planned it out). Here I swam at the beach, found a lot of sand dollars, ate lunch and practiced synchronized swimming with Amalia (which is weirdly hilarious and difficult). After returning to home base we ate a scrumptious dinner and finished the day playing twister.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 23
Written by Jordyn
Today was a very adventurous day that started with tea and coffee tasting. I even tried a coffee bean that was digested from a Lewak! How delish!! After we didn’t take the bait to pay 150,000 rupiah to pose on a swing at the coffee plantation, we headed over to white water rafting. Not only was it one of my favorite experiences of the trip but it was also a great time to share all of our feelings with girl talk on the white water rafts (during the rafting of course). We ate an average lunch at the lunch’s buffet and headed home. Everyone in the villa then proceeded to read their Colleen Hoover romance books during down time and marvel over her writing style.
Our last debate took place and I had the best argument like always. Then we ate a dinner of classic corn patties, tuna in a leaf, veggies and snake fruit. After dinner we had an intense game of Family Feud. Someone once mentioned that we should start a show called Keeping Up with GLA and that game definitely would’ve been the trailer to it. Imagine a room full of GLA kids screaming at each other over what places we went to, which coffees and teas we tasted, and who had Bali Belly as the Family Feud questions entailed. Anyways that is what we did today I hope you enjoyed my blog but I’m very tired and it’s bedtime at Madra Homestay.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 24
Written by Lilly
Today was Olivia’s Birthday and I was lucky enough to be the one to wake her up with a “HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Time to wake up,” at 7:45 when I’m positive all she wanted to do was sleep into the afternoon as a 16 year old. Luckily for her though today was pretty slow and relaxed. Breakfast was the same as usual; fresh watermelon and pineapple with papaya that most of us don’t touch, along with banana crepes that I’m never hungry enough to finish completely. We had our scheduled tech time and met back up at 8:50am to leave but Joaquin couldn’t find his belt so, as one does in a situation like this, we grabbed him a string and some safety pins and began walking to the van, Joaquin with a bright and shiny red piece of yarn tied very unsecurely around his waist.
We headed off to our first stop, a batik workshop. Batik is “a method (originally used in Java) of producing colored designs on textiles by dyeing them, having first applied wax to the parts to be left undyed” as google explains much better than I ever could. They gave us all kinds of designs to choose from; monkeys, elephants, flowers, and sea creatures. We spent a good 2hrs there trying to perfect the linework in hopes to give them away to the people we love, which might include some of the people reading this right now! We ate lunch and put our art pieces into a cute little gift bag and headed to our second stop, a waterfall.
The waterfall was absolutely stunning. The hike down to it was only about 10 min and it was all downhill. The waterfall escaped from a cliff about 50ft above us in a perfect rectangular formation that I could have sworn was man made. A few of us went swimming including myself, in fear that we would regret it later if we didn’t, but ended up regretting it anyway because the water was glacial. Normally you get into cold water and just “get used to it”, yeah not this water. Even after “just going for it” and dunking our whole bodies into the sub-zero water our legs still stung with goosebumps. That lasted about 5 minutes, most of which was dedicated to taking flexing pictures with Eric and making fun of a couple who did not like us getting in the way of their 800 pictures. The rest of the time we all just hung out around the water reading our books and making jokes. We were supposed to relax by the waterfall from 1-4 but realized at 2 that that was a bit too long so we began to make the hike up. I think we had all forgotten that when you hike 10min straight down that means you have to hike 10 (more like a humbling 20) minutes back straight up.
We finally got back to home base with an extra 2 hours of free time to read and shower and it wasn’t until around 4:50 pm when we gathered together to do “Yoga with Adrienne” courtesy of the leader of the day yesterday, Jordyn. After yoga we went on a boba run (my leader of the day activity) and to the convenience store to grab snacks for the movie night later on. Boba was delicious, though it did make us late to dinner that we didn’t get back to until a little after 6pm. Dinner was delicious. We had fried chicken, corn fritters, spring rolls, vegetables (that I didn’t touch because I’m still a 4 year old) and fresh fruit. After dinner we got to sing happy birthday to Olivia and she got to blow out the candles on 3 different cakes that were incredible despite most of us not knowing what they were. And of course “it wouldn’t be a birthday without a party” as Lauren put it so we played pin the tail on the monkey (the tRoPiCaL version of pin the tail on the donkey if you didn’t get it) and another game were we had to eat a rice cracker that was dangling above us without our hands. Not to brag or anything but I scored 2nd to Eric in the dangling food one and was part of a three way tie between Amalia and Claudia in pin the monkey.
The last thing we did today was watch “Insidious” which they are actually doing as I write this. It’s a VERY cheesy, but very good horror movie that I’ve seen a million times and yet these people have managed to make it even more enjoyable than its ever been for me just from their screams and stupid jokes alone. After the movie we will have tech time and you will have probably have heard about Oliva, Ian and Jordyn screaming when there’s a jump scare in the movie even before this blog even comes out. Nevertheless, I think I am finally done writing it which means I will go back to watching the movie and then have my tech time and then I’ll go to sleep. So as a conclusion I have a message to all the two weekers who are missing out; I hope you are doing well, especially Ray who’s sick, and we all miss you here, it feels so quiet without you all. And to my own family who doesn’t even read this, except my mom, so to my mom; I finally wrote the blog! I can’t wait to hug you when I get home, only two more days. Hope what I wrote doesn’t embarrass you too much, I love you.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 25
Written by Claudia
Today was the last full day of this program. As the two weekers did 7 days ago, we have set and recorded our OMG (One Meaningful Goal) that we want to accomplish when we get back home. Then we went to the center of Ubud where we could look around the city one last time, eat ice cream or buy the last souvenirs. Later, we did a cooking class (with Yudha’s mom) where we prepared our last dinner together. Last but not least, we came back at homebase where we did the Panca sembah, a-five-time Balinese way of asking for blessing and showing gratitude in hope that our goal can be achieved without any obstacle when we get home (Gita’s explanation), and we received the sign with our names that we did on the workshop 2 weeks ago and the Indonesian flag.
Last week we said goodbye to half of our group and tomorrow we will have to say it to the others, to this amazing place and to all the staff that made this experience unforgettable.