Time Capsule Letter – October 2016
Wow! Can you believe it has already been a few months since we were all together in Bali? I feel like it was just yesterday that we were eagerly awaiting your arrivals at the airport and see your jetlagged faces ready to embark on an adventure of a lifetime ☺
Recently I have been back to Lovina to visit our friends from the summer. We reminisced about all the fun we had with Domingo, Anik and the singing boys at the beach. Saw the dorm staff and they say its already lonely and feeling vacant without you there. And of course I visited the schools that you made such an impact on. The children were so excited to see me because they thought I had brought all of you back! Unfortunately not, but I can tell from talking to the teachers that they have a new enthusiasm for learning that directly stems from your incredible teaching ☺☺
I hope that you have had an amazing start to your new school year. I have no doubt that you have stayed true to your commitments that you left with at the end of the program and that you have a new understanding of your role in the world. Keep traveling and keep taking risks, I know that each of you is going to make such a difference in the world!
Miss you all and stay in touch!
-Ryan and the rest of GLA Bali Staff
Here are just some of the things I remember from our summer together:
- A special birthday surprise for Jessica
- Afternoon “yoga” with Tami, which was more like military exercises!
- Everyone running out of the water and freaking out because of the small jellyfish in Pemuteran ☺
- Fireworks and burgers on the beach on the 4th of July
- The Bali belly that basically got all of you at one time during the trip
- Zach doing his crazy exercise regiment at like 4:00am every day
- Sophie deGuzman’s crazy dance moves
- Tayla looking like she could be in Anik’s family
- Early morning runs that basically killed me
- Kiera and her ability to be creepy basically doing anything
- And so much more!
Summer Blog Posts
June 22, 2016
After many, many hours traveling around the world, our GLA Bali students have arrived! We are so excited to start this 21-day journey with such amazing young people!
Check in to this blog throughout the program to witness all the fun we are going to have ?
We have one student, Brooke Yacavone, who arrived a bit later and did not make it in time for the picture. But we will make sure to have everyone in our next group photo!
– GLA Bali Staff
Friday June 24, 2016
Second day in the land of Ubud and discovery, we woke up before the sun rose for the early morning market. We experienced the extremely crowded walkways, raw fish, foreign fruits, and spongy baked goods. All were delicious (to some) and a new experience for us all.
Back to the buses we went where we bounced around in an air-conditioned van. After many twists and turns and steep roads, we saw the beautiful rice paddies of Bali. We learned about the problems that face the modern day rice farmers, being that the new generation does not want to take over the roles, and hard labor.
We got in the air conditioned van once again (it was really nice) and made our way to the Tirta Empul Temple, where we got to put on our Sarongs, the traditional Balinese skirt wrap thingy… We entered the temple and saw the cultural architecture and the natives in their prayer. We got to dip our feet into the natural springs, believed to be pure and give blessings. We participated in Balinese prayer, and gave our offerings to the spirits and ancestors, then were splashed with holy water.
Next came the view of a lifetime, the gorgeous Batur Volcano, where we had the pleasure of sitting down and looking at the sight, while also enjoying an ALL you can eat buffet. 🙂
After what seemed like a very long morning, we headed back to our homestays and got ready to meet the Prince of Peliatan. We got a tour of the amazing palace of the royal family and learned about the history and meaning of each building, tower, and especially the royal family. While the Prince cracked Chuck Norris jokes, some were laughing at the weird cat noises surrounding us… Lastly we were served a meal consisting of rice, the main ingredient of most meals, Lawar, papaya, spicy green beans, ayam suwir, shredded chicken, jukut nangka, and watermelon and cantaloupe. The prince had us all introduce ourselves, and was very interested and impressed by us all. We then said our Balinese goodbye, and made our way back to our homestays, took much needed showers, and went to sleep. Except for us, Makenna and Alayna, who had to stay up and write this beautiful blog for you all. 🙂 Hope you enjoyed it! hehe.
Brought to you by: Makenna Bortells and Alayna Espeseth
June 27, 2016
Today was our first day teaching the Balinese kids at their school. We taught at two different schools, working in groups of four or five. Our first day we taught them numbers and colors through games, classroom activities, and arts/crafts. The kids were very enthusiastic and ready to participate in all of our activities. Tomorrow we are teaching them animals and have many more subjects for the remaining days! To end the evening, we went to a local restaurant where we swam in the ocean, took spider boats out to watch the sunset, and sung around a campfire with Balinese friends. We all enjoyed our first day in Singaraja and can’t wait to see what the remaining days bring!
– Brooke Yacavone
We woke up early again to teach the students at the English camp. Today the kids were taught the names and sounds of animals. Even though it was rainy during our day at school, we still had fun inside making masks and playing Pictionary. After we returned to our home base, we split up into groups and learned Cultural compromising. This is where we were assigned different personalities and beliefs for one group, and had to agree with another group with opposite personalities and beliefs to create a project. After completing, we drove out to Lovina, where we enjoyed a perfect day at the beach. We swam and shopped until it was time to go back to home base to eat dinner. After dinner we shared our opinions in groups about what we learned after living in Bali for a week. We then enjoyed a late night walk to the market to stock up and came back to go to sleep.
– Zachary Wargos
June 29, 2016
Today was a holiday that translates into “metal gate” in Balinese which symbolizes protection and security. We were invited to a local village in Lovina to pray with the locals. Participating in this ceremony allowed us to truly absorb the culture of the Balinese, making this experience memorable!
We spent some time during the afternoon collecting plastic. Plastic is a huge issue in Bali and we learned about how dangerous it can be to the environment.
After picking up trash around the village, we did some yoga!
– Shannon Ahern & Lillian Fanali
[VIDEO] Click here to watch it
– Sofie Kamangar and Brian Butler
With each day the kids learn something new, expanding their horizon on knowledge. Today the children learned about transpiration- from acting like buses to drawing cities.
Once the day ended we settled with an exciting game of Mafia, one by one every fell and the intensity rose with each round. With rivals of cops and mafias, and cops and angels. Once the game ended everyone settles in bed and prepares for the next day ahead.
Kalah Brown and Julia Boney
[VIDEO] Click here to watch it
Today we were lucky to get a late start and started breakfast at 7:30. We left the home base at 9 and drove for about an hour to Pemuteran beach and had a presentation on the Biorock Coral Restoration Project. This presentation consisted of a film on the effects of global warming and its destruction on the coral reef. Dynamite fishing destroys the coral which is home to about 30% of fish. This causes a loss of jobs in not only the fishing industry but also the ecotourism industry. After that we had the chance to snorkel in the reef with a guide. We spent the remainder of the day at the beach and by the pool; many of us enjoyed the resort foods and beverages. We then headed back to home base for dinner, and we ended the night by celebrating Jess’s 18th birthday with cake and festivities.
– Sydney Johnson and Greta Van Herpe
Today we volunteered at our schools after a relaxing day at the beach yesterday, and we had a fun and successful day with the kids. We taught them about food and drink, and they enjoyed learning a song about some new fruits (watch them dance in the video!). The kids seem very excited about the new language that they are learning, and today we saw that they were more eager to help each other understand the material.
After we got back from school, we did lesson prep for the next day, and tomorrow, groups will be teaching different things such as sports, weather, and body parts. This is the first day that GLA students have chosen their own topics to teach, so we look forward to seeing all of the different activities that our peers create.
We also participated in a GLA session today, where we talked about Social Entrepreneurship. It was a very eye opening conversation about the way to enact long lasting change. GLA is a unique program because, in addition to valuing service, we also value learning about the culture that we are experiencing. In a TED talk that we watched to begin our discussion of Social Entrepreneurship, a woman highlighted the importance of cultural learning. This also sparked a desire to think of long term solutions for the environmental and educational problems we have observed in Bali.
We are so excited to see what the next eight days have in store for us! Happy Independence Day to those at home- looking forward to celebrating with a bonfire tomorrow.
Written by Ingrid Iverson and sophia Deguzeman.
[VIDEO] Click here to watch video
Happy 4th of July! We started the day off with our typical breakfast of cereal and headed off to school. Our teaching plan was different today in that each group got to pick their own subject. Highlights of our school day included arts and crafts of the season, an obstacle course, and teaching the kids songs. We headed back to our dorms in Singaraja and prepped for our second to last day of teaching. Afterwards we continued our GLA session from the previous day by pitching our social entrepreneurship business idea. After 4 hours of hard work, we were rewarded with a fun evening at the beach. We swam at a beautiful back sand beach and watched he sun set over the water. We ate delicious American food that consisted of burgers, french fries, and spaghetti! After that we sat around a bonfire singing and dancing to the music played by Domingo (the owner of the restaurant) and his friends. We concluded the night by watching fireworks over the ocean and threw the papers that we wrote our insecurities on into the fire.
Sophie Van Riet and Marta Stevenson
July 5, 2016
Today we all woke up after the fourth of July festivities the night before. We started off the day with getting on the bus and heading to the schools for our normal teaching schedule. It was a little different as each group taught different subjects rather than all three groups having the same subject. The children seemed to really grasp the material and it was satisfying to watch them love learning English. We then came back to the school to make the most awesome lesson plan invented for the following day as it is our last day at the school 🙁 Later, we left to go hiking to this breathtaking waterfall. The waterfall was called Aling Aling and was well worth all the hundreds of stairs. It was a good workout 😉 The waterfall was huge and immaculate with the sound of the rushing water and various birds. It was surrounded by miles and miles of rice patties and cattle farms. We then came back to the home base and were stoked because we knew there was a surprise coming because it was our last night in Singaraja. IT WAS KARAOKE!! We rented out a VIP room and were as boisterous as we can. Everyone had a blast and it was very loud and exciting. It was a very late night as we ended singing our lungs off at 10:30. Goodnight sleep tight 😉
July 6, 2016
Today was our last day volunteering at our schools. There were some tears shed, although they will say that they just “sweat out of their eyes.” We will miss the kids here greatly. They had and equal, if not greater, impact on us as we did on them. We had a last day celebration where we just reviewed and had a little bit of fun at school. In Games they did some fun wheel barrow games and piggy back races. In Art we taught them all about the Underwater World and had them draw some beautiful mermaids, dolphins, and turtles. Along with that we got some cute little “I love you” letters, as our goodbye gifts. Finally, in Classroom they were taught about action verbs! Running, Jumping, Crawling, was only the beginning of their last exciting lesson. After our final volunteer day, it was a long sad goodbye. Some of the kids brought us gifts like a stuffed pig and chipmunk. And of course selfies were a must. After that all thirty of us piled into two hot cars and drove three hours all the way to Amed to get to our bungalow homes, where we are now. I can say for all of us that they are the most coziest, adorable, nice homes for 5, we have ever stayed at. Some of us have to share beds but, “hey were all friends here.” The beaches are amazing and we cannot wait for our scuba adventure tomorrow. For now we are all exhausted at 8:45 and all plan on going to bed.
The Bali Bunch – Madeleine Campbell & Talya Laver
July 7, 2016
Hailey Moore & Inaara Lalji
We started off the day by going to a coffee plantation where we sampled a variety of coffees and teas that they grew there. While we were there we got to try the rarest coffee which is made from Luwak poop. The Luwak eat the coffee beans then they collect the beans from their waste. Then we went up to the gift shop and everybody ended up buying many different flavors and coffee and chocolate.
After the coffee plantation we headed to Telaga Waja River and geared up for white water rafting. We split into groups and headed to the rafts. We were lucky because the rain had made the river deeper which resulted in a faster, more exciting ride. The river went right through the jungle and it was incredibly stunning, and the water was cool and refreshing. The rapids varied between class two and four. Towards the end of the journey we rode down a 4 meter waterfall, which was the perfect ending to the experience. Right after the ride we climbed up a bunch of stairs on the side of a mountain to a delicious buffet lunch with great scenery. After the exciting day we drove back to Ubud and had a relaxing evening.
Jessica Smith and Bailey Schaeffer
[VIDEO – WATER RAFTING] Click here to watch
On our last night, all the students shared their “offerings” for the world. This is what they had to say.
There is no “goodbye” in Bali, only see you later!
Sampai Jumpa Lagi!
We had such a fun time with all of you! Come back and visit us soon 🙂
– your GLA Bali staff