Today, the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil kicked off in spectacular fashion with a home team win over Croatia (3-1). Wondering what the next few days have in store for teams hailing from countries where Global Leadership Adventures operates programs? Check out our First Game Schedule and make time to cheer on your favorite team throughout the tournament– whether you’re abroad this summer or will be watching from home. [Read more…]
In a recent piece called “How Our Digital Devices Are Affecting Our Personal Relationships” on Boston’s WBUR-Boston’s radio series, Digital Lives, Iris Adler reports on one family’s weekly “Sabbath” from the digital world. The Powers family allows no smartphones, video games or computers from Friday night through Sunday night. That’s right. Nothing. Digital. Whatsoever. Could you attempt a Digital Sabbath in your family? Why would you even want to?
Beyond creating more “quality” family time, the challenge no doubt has broader benefits for the Powers’ 15-year-old son, William. Teens, as you’re probably well aware, log about 7.5 hours per day using some form of media outside of school, and every human interaction they have is shaped by this digitization. However, life still calls upon us in key moments to communicate the old fashioned way, with eye contact and verbal exchanges in complete sentences. It may seem like a lost art, or one that’s getting lost, but it’s an art that brings families closer together and separates leaders from the rest of the pack.
If a weekly break from the online world sounds a bit extreme, look for periodic, significant opportunities to unplug. It could allow your son or daughter to see the world in a way that we adults did for much of our lives pre-iPhone, and maybe sometimes take for granted now.
At the end of the day, parents have more influence than they may think when it comes to sparking leadership in their kids. Whether it’s volunteering at a local shelter to set an example, structuring your home life in unconventional ways, or sending your teenager to a new corner of the globe to broaden their worldview, much begins with you.
Mud splatters with each step down the slippery path. I cling to the closest wooden posts, avoiding the barbed wire at my sides. My heavy breathing does not allow me to hear the surroundings. The sign, LA ESPERANZA HACIENDA, grows larger as I approach on the winding path. At the end of an exhausting trek, I finally catch my breath.
My sigh of relief is only short-lived as I am fully aware of the daunting tasks that lie ahead. On the Galapagos Islands, the high school volunteer work tends to be lengthy and physical. Of course, I am not used to the hard labor, but I journeyed here to help the environment, so, I overcome my reluctance and power through the work. My group’s job is to construct a greenhouse from the native bamboo. Wielding a sharp machete, I head toward the bamboo trees, managing to topple a tree after multiple failed attempts. Though my hands ache, I am persistent. Everything here is different. This is a job to help the native ecosystem and also an immersion into a new culture. I am exhausted, yet confident with my decision to travel out of my comfort zone, to work in primitive conditions.
Jose’s uplifting smile, the one he sustains through the toughest work, encourages me to persevere through the pain. The owner of La Esperanza, Jose reconditions the land constantly, hoping to one day create a turtle rehabilitation center. He named the ranch Esperanza, which means hope in Spanish, to express his feelings for the project. Knowing his goal will take years to achieve only drives him to accomplish more every day. I have worked hard, though never as hard as Jose does.
On a particularly sultry day, Jose leads us to the fruit farm he maintains. “Take a bite,” he tells me as he hands me a slice of cantaloupe. Cantaloupe has never been my favorite, but this bite is succulent perfection. I feel a profound joy as I devour the rest of the piece. A piece of fruit, something I consider trivial, has brought me an unusual satisfaction. I feel as though I had been lifted off the Earth and given a taste of divine food. I hug Jose and thank him for his generosity. He doesn’t understand my happiness, so I explain that back home I live a fast-paced lifestyle, not stopping to enjoy the sweetest moments of life.
As the final hour of my volunteer work wanes into the fading sunset, I feel sad. Even though the work is physically demanding, I enjoy it. Before I met Jose, I complained about the slow service in a restaurant, while he unremittingly labored, even for the smallest fruit. Now, I relish my time to relax and reflect. I emerge with an open mind, pausing to take in every moment life gives me
To learn more about how you can make a difference in The Galapagos, click on the link.