GLA Bali Session 2 has officially begun, and we could not be more excited!! Last night 22 out of our 28 students had arrived and together we had a buffet dinner of Indonesian food while waiting for the rest of our group to arrive! Friday morning we woke up for a day of learning; first orientation to Bali, the Balinese culture, GLA, and an intro to the Indonesian language, followed by a scavenger hunt around the village of Ubud! We are currently staying in Ubud and will be here for the next 3 days before heading north to Singaraja. There are so many exciting things planned for the next three weeks, and all of us staff here at GLA Bali cannot wait to share all that is to come with our students 🙂
This afternoon we had the opportunity to go to a place called the banjar, a community center, where we were taught some of the basics of Balinese culture. We were taught to play gamelan music from professionals and we managed to play a whole song somewhat decently. After that we attempted Legong dancing , although the teacher kept having to correct us on our form. We were also taught to wood carve and carved part of our name out on a sign. We were also taught to make traditional Balinese offerings, which are made to honor the spirits in all living things. During freetime we interacted with the locals at our homestay and were chased around by a boy with a chicken. Later in the evening we had the pleasure of dinning with one of Bali’s 72 princes. The prince taught us about some of the kingdom’s history and current issues Bali is facing. We then watched a Legong dance performance group who began performing in the early 1900’s and performed on broadway during the 1950’s. We had a great day and look forward to another day in Bali.
Anna and Makena
Video by Roshini and Ava:
Today we woke up early
We left our lovely home
Astana and Madra will miss us
But off to Singaraja we come
We stopped at a lovely temple
And saw some owls and snakes
We ate lots of fried food
And banana pudding with rice cakes
We lied about the rice cakes
We didn’t know what else rhymed
We’re enjoying Singaraja’s humidity
And can’t wait to have a great time
Our car ride was bump(in) and long
But our dorm rooms are very clean
So far there are no bugs or lizards
We are definitely living the dream
We ended the night with a walk
To the lovely Indomarket
We bought a ton of junk food
Oreos for 50 cents – what a bargain!
As you can tell we’re a little tired
Or maybe just on a sugar high
We can’t wait for Galungan activities tomorrow
But for now we must say goodbye!
Attached below is a link to a cremation ceremony we happened to come across at the Baratan Temple and a video of us playing with the chickens at Astana:
-Rebecca and Zoe
Today we are all excited for the day so we got up very early, at about 7 o’clock. After having breakfast, we went to a Banjar. Ketut, a leader at the Banjar told us about the ceremonies and customs in Bali. He and his friends taught us how to make the Penjors, which are for a ceremony that is happening tomorrow. Then we went to the beach after resting at our hotel. After the beach, we came back to the hotel to celebrate Cecilia’s birthday. We then finished the day with some evening games.
-Penny and Rita
Today was Galungan Day, a holiday celebrated once every Balinese year (once every 210 days). It celebrates the victory of good over evil, and it is believed ancestral spirits visit the earth on this day. We then had a session about Collaborative leadership, followed by a sunset boat ride and dinner on the beach!
As part of our Banjar “YOBO” (You Only Bali Once), today we traveled to Pemuteran and visited a local resort to discuss the impact that negative fishing has on the coral reefs of Bali’s coast. Starting in 2000, a large movement began to protect and build coral reefs around Bali’s coast, specifically at the resort we visited. We had the chance to Snorkel and visit the project that began in 2000, which has been thriving as a success.
Overall, we had an amazing time at the resort with many fun activities to participate in. There was a clear blue-ocean, a pool, and an amazing space to play field games like soccer. However, like any fun experience, there will always be some downfalls. For example, some of us students lost some items, myself included (my glasses to be specific!). Also, when snorkeling, because of a recent storm we could not clearly see under the water.
Now, as I type this late into the evening reflecting back on our fun day, I can conclude I am very exhausted. Myself along with the rest of the entire GLA Bali program are now currently preparing for our first volunteer day tomorrow at a local school here in Bali, but that doesn’t mean the fun is over!
P.S. We hope you loved the video we prepared for you!
Written By: Brenden (Putnam, Connecticut)
Video By: François (Paris, France)
Today we had our first volunteering experience! We went to the SD3 school in Lovina! We split into three groups that each used a different method to teach the children about animals, which was the first topic of the day. Although it was hot, the kids were energetic and kewl. The first group taught the kids through outdoor activities. The second group taught the kids through arts and crafts and the final group taught the kids in the classroom. After our teaching, we headed back to the hotel and had a nice rest. We ate supper then drove to the indoor soccer gym for some futsal! The blue team ended up rising to victory through violent and sometimes questionable methods. There were a few minor injuries but that merely motivated the players more. At the end of the night we were dripping in sweat but our spirits were soaring!
-Kahvi & Laeo
Today as part of GLA Bali, we participated in our second day of volunteering. The topic of the day was body parts! Stomach! Leg! Arms! Tooth! Ears! You name it, we taught it. After a fun day of service, we enjoyed a Western meal on the beach. We didn’t have rice for lunch or dinner; do you know how exciting that was?!???! Very exciting. Thank you all for reading. Catch ya on the flip side!
-Raphes & Sydney
7/18/2015 & 7//19/2015
Today we blogged for two days, so this video covers a lot! On the 19th we went to volunteering and then we visited some natural hot springs! Not many people went in but it was nice to see. On the 20th after volunteering we went on a village walk to pick up trash with some of the kids we teach, and then we did yoga. We then went to dinner, after which we played futsal again!
-Lyvanna & Haley
We woke up to a sunny day in Bali. We eagerly rushed down to our cars to get to the school where we taught kids our own original lesson plans. After a great day with the kids, we returned to do volunteer prep. To our surprise, we were told that we were going to a Balinese Boarding School to meet with other High School students. They gave us a tour around their school and we learned about how their school there works. Besides all of our differences, we realized that we have a lot in common. We watched their talented Legong dances and learned how to do it with them. We played some games for fun. To wrap up our stay in Singaraja, we had a Bonfire at the beach and we had dinner there too. Which, by the way, was delicious. (There were French fries!!!) We can’t wait till we see what Amed has waiting for us!! I LOVE BALI!!! Brendan ate noodles! YAY J
-Liz & Cecilia
Today we had our last day of volunteering, and then travelled to Amed where we will be for the next 2 days!
-Haley & Daisy
Today we all went scuba diving in Amed! Here is a video made from some of our underwater films!
Just an update that we have successfully said goodbye to 24 out of 27 students today and yesterday. We still have Ariana, Kate and Sydney who will be leaving tomorrow night.
All students have now safely departed!