“Filmmaking is all about appreciating the talents of the people you surround yourself with, and knowing you could never have made any of these films by yourself.”
“Filmmaking is all about appreciating the talents of the people you surround yourself with, and knowing you could never have made any of these films by yourself.”
Monday August 6, 2018
Today we went to a nature conservation area in the city of Cabarete. It was in Cabarete where we plated different types of trees that are native to the area. Afterwards, we went swimming in the underground caves. We’re in love with The DR! We love the beautiful landscapes, the kind people, and the adventures we’ve experienced so far. We’re having an amazing time!
Tuesday August 7, 2018
Today was a very productive day and we got a lot of work done. It was very hard work building the community center and mixing cement. The local children helped out which was a great opportunity to meet members of the community. Overall, the group had an amazing time in NY Chiquito!
Thursday August 9, 2018
Today was Day 7 and we went to Dudu Lagoon! We explored caves, zip lined 50 feet down into a beautiful blue lagoon, played volleyball, and took naps in hammocks. After Dudu Lagoon we went to Playa Preciosa and drank virgin pina coladas while relaxing on the beach!
Friday August 10, 2018
Today was our last day at La Grua and we were able to finish bottling the recycling center. It was a hot and long day, but everyone was in great spirits.
The kids of La Grua wanted to be very involved in helping with the project and were very friendly despite the language barrier. As the service day came to an end, we played music and danced with all of the kids before we left!
Tired from the hard work, we stopped at a supermarket for snacks. The air conditioning felt amazing and all of us stocked up on cakes, soda, and many well deserved treats.
Saturday August 11, 2018
Today was one of our most relaxing days. Although we had a slow morning, a good portion of the group went on a run and worked out. We got to take a scenic walk to the local school in the community of Las Cañas, which was really cool! After eating lunch at the lodge, we headed to Cabarete beach where we were able to swim, shop, and tan. We ended the night with a documentary, stargazing by the pool, and embracing the lizards in our cabanas.
Sunday August 12, 2018
Today we went to work at the community of Caño Dulce to plant and water banana trees. These trees will provide food security and a stronger sense of community as the community is responsible for taking care of the trees after we plant them. We ended our day in the community by playing basketball with our new local friends!
Monday August 13, 2018
Today we worked on cementing the community center at NY Chiquito. It rained on us a couple of times at the construction site, but it was nothing we couldn’t handle! After a few hours of work we headed to Playa Preciosa for the final time, where it also rained, but was still beautiful! We finished the day discussing the 7 Elements of human security.
Tuesday August 14, 2018
Today was our last day in NY Chiquito. We made a lot of progress and worked hard on the community center. After work, we took a tour of the community. It was beautiful and full of music and lively people as well as murals of the town and it’s history! The group has gotten so close in these past two weeks. We’ve been here and have started to dread our last day. Everyday in the DR has been so beautiful and amazing. We never want it to end!
Tuesday July 10, 2018
After being woken up for our first day of service by a rooster alarm clock, we were all very excited to get out into the community! We had breakfast and a quick orientation meeting then we headed out to the town of Caño Dulce to our first worksite. Our group continued the project of constructing a house with water bottle instillation and chicken wire covering.
Crystal, our GLA mentor, told us that we finished more than she expected so by the time we go back we hope to be very close to finishing the house all together. For lunch we went to Mateo’s, the night guard’s, home that he graciously welcomed us into and had a good time chatting with his family.
We returned to the Lodge around 3pm and had a tour of the rest of the home base before going to see the beautiful beach just down the street. Although we almost lost our shoes to the tide, we loved the scenery. Came back, chilled, showered, and laughed until dinner. After dinner, we went to a 7 Elements meeting where we discussed Cholera in Haiti and diabetes in the Dominican Republic and how it affects the community. And now, we are ready to go to sleep after a long day of cultural experience.
-by Julia and Kyra
Wednesday July 11, 2018
What an eye opening third day! We woke up at 7am and had a very delicious breakfast thanks to the nice cooks. We left to start our day at Cano Dulce by 9am and arrived in the community to assist in the reforestation project, in which we planted plantain seeds to socioeconomically benefit the local community.
After spending a few hours here, we enjoyed a nourishing lunch at Johnny’s (a local Dominican GLA worker) house and hung out with young doggiesssss and ate lots of watermelon. After this, we headed over to a beach in order to partake in a clean-up effort. We were given 20 bags to fill, all of which returned to the lodge completely loaded.
We enjoyed a refreshing “pit stop” in a fresh water river only a few yards away from the ocean after our hard work was completed. When we were finished loading up the garbage and ourselves, we headed back to the lodge and enjoyed an exquisite taco dinner featuring pineapple, of course. Later on, we attended a lecture featuring two men with Haitian heritage and learned about the ongoing pretentious conflict between the Dominicans and the Haitians.
We got to talk a lot about global issues that have been affecting people for centuries, even though we are not always conscious of them. One important thing that we learned was that although we have problems in the USA, other people from all over the world experience the same sort of problems. We’re from different places, but in the end, we are all the same.
Thursday July 12, 2018
Today was our first adventure day. First, we visited Las Cuevas de Cabarete, where this guy named Phil talked about the ecosytem and how it relates to the community. The water there was about 98% pure as it goes through the cave systems. The guard (whose name was Victor) gave us a tour of the beautiful park and we were able to see peoples homes and how they lived in the mountains. Crystal our leader asked us to keep in mind the 7 Elements of Human Security.
We think Victor seemed more at ease when he found out that the majority of our group could speak or at least understand Spanish. He told us about his family and some monkeys that had apparently escaped from their owner, who actually had to buy the monkeys back. So yes, we saw 2 monkeys! Victor also showed us the various fruit trees, such as papaya and pineapple. He picked a passion fruit for us, and we were able to try it. It was good.
The seeds were floating in the flesh, and it kind of tasted like cacao. Then we went to Cabarete, a tourist beach to relax and swim. As soon as we got to the beach the vendors wanted us to buy so many things. Some of us spend money for gifts for people at home. So our whole group had to bargain but we felt bad because we have seen first-hand what they have to go though and it was a little stressful to say no to them. Then we had pizza for lunch. It was so good.
A funny thing: As we were going to bed, there was a centipede in one of the cabins. As a group we had to try and get it out of the cabin, but it was so funny because everyone was so scared. Finally, Rebecca put on gloves and threw it out of the cabin. This caused us to laugh so much. We are having a great time.
-written by Rebecca and Maddy
Today, was by far one of the hardest days we faced working. To start our day, while some of the ladies were enjoying their slumber, a few of us got up early and went on a 3-mile run by the ocean shore; it was a beautiful sight and it was something that everyone should experience.
After breakfast we went to Caño Dulce to finish building the bottle house we helped build on Tuesday. We also hand-made and mixed the cement that we used to plaster on the walls of the house. At around noon, we ate lunch at Mateo’s (night guards) house and bonded with a few kids from the community and Gina (friendly neighborhood dog). After lunch we continued the plastering for another 3 hours and were worn out by the end of the workday.
We came back to the lodge and Crystal showed us a TedTalk. She then gave us the task of finding a “problem” in the community and finding a solution to that “problem” in which we also must apply the 7 elements of Human Security to. We then went to the beach to do a team bonding activity (which we excelled at) and hung out at the beach until dinner-time with the WEGO girls.
After dinner, we had our daily Charla (our group discussions), in which Sarah (a 7 Elements mentor) lead a presentation about Social Justice. Her presentation was filled with topics that made us all question human behavior, also including; race, sexual orientation, and social class. It was a very emotional presentation which filled our heads with many questions on how to furthermore improve the world.
It is now bedtime as we are speaking, and we are hoping to get to a good sleep for our second adventure day tomorrow! Charla quote of the day: “There is more work to be done” -Sarah
-Jhoana & Vanessa
Sunday July 15, 2018
Today was day 7 and we kicked it off early with breakfast at 7am and left for the worksite at 8am. Our worksite today was in La Grua and we worked to mix cement for a local who had no cement floor. To the local masons surprise we finished an our earlier than expected to cement the floor. We then had the opportunity to walk through the betay which was where Haitians employed by the government to work in the sugarcane plantations lived, until the plantations were discontinued in favour of high fructose corn syrup. We also got to hang out with the children who lived in the betay and they were super cute and friendly. Soon after, we left the community to go back to the Lodge and on the way back we stopped at an air conditioned super market to get some snackies. We got back to the Lodge, had dinner, chilled in the pool, and ended our eventful day with a leadership based discussion.
-Amber and Kyra
June 22, 2017
Today the GLA Bali team eagerly awaited the blue “Be the Change” shirts that were due to arrive in the Denpasar airport.
In blue waves from 11 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. the students of GLA’s Bali: Land of Discovery trip arrived for their exciting, enriching 21 days to come! We were driven to our lovely home base in Ubud, ate some local Indonesian cuisine together, and quickly saw how special and incredible this group of teens is.
It is seen as a blessing in Bali when the rains come at certain timing, and today the skies only opened up as the last students walked in to the home base, giving us auspicious beginnings as the weather waited to commence until we were all together.
We are so excited to continue discovering with our group in the days to come!
Below are photos of our team, and we excitedly await the arrival of Gabriella in two days to complete the team.
Om shanti shanti shanti om from Bali,
The GLA Bali Team
Written by Eva Bednar
Today GLA dove headfirst into the Balinese culture exploring the aspects of entertainment, history, royalty, and everyday activities. As our first cultural immersion, we split off into groups into the bale banjar and were overwhelmed by new experiences. At one station we made our own individual offerings for the gods. With leaves and bamboo sewn together, it took a couple of tries before successfully making an offering that didn’t fall apart or one that looked like it was already run over. It was fascinating to see how fast and effortlessly the Balinese could make their offerings in a matter of minutes without actually thinking about it. The next activity was learning to play traditional Balinese music. With instruments that looked like drums and xylophones together we learned simple tunes that once put altogether sounded beautiful, even with the slight ringing left in our ears. Moving on we had the challenging woodcarving station where each person had a stunningly crafted wooden plate with their name engraved on it. It was our mission to finish carving our name with the given tools and shave off the excess wood. Needless to say, for the most part, the part of our names that was carved by the instructors was much, much better than ours. Lastly, we were all able to strut and bust a move in our intricate sarongs on the dance floor as we were taught moves from the traditional legong dance of Bali. This part may have been the hardest of all as the dance is no simple Macarena. With its precise hand poses and exact eye movements, it was fun to learn and a memory none of us will forget. From the banjar we walked to the Peliatan Palace and were in awe of the architecture and history of the palace and its royal family. Speaking of royal family we all had the utmost pleasure of meeting the prince. He was the epitome of kind and friendly, and not exactly what we had expected. He was more than willing to take countless selfies, learn all of our names, and answer any of the questions we had. Following our introduction, we were able to feast like royalty, quite literally. We had a little appetizer, main course, dessert and a hot drink to wash it all down. Without a doubt, it was a meal for the books. To finish the day we had the honor to watch the pro legong dancers of Bali hit the stage and amaze us. Their dance showed us numerous stories of war and love with music constructed throughout the piece. It was breathtaking. As one can see, today was filled with cultural shocks and immersion. It was a wonderful day for learning and new experiences.
June 25, 2017
Today was a packed filled adventure. Our day started with an early rise and we headed off to the Ubud Market to go sample some foods for breakfast. We tried many foods, ranging from fried bananas to snake fruits. After our festive breakfast, we made our way to little shops where we bargained for goods. Once we stocked up on baggy elephant pants and bracelets, we had a chance to visit the Laplapan Rice Paddies farm and enjoy a small snack before moving up the mountain to visit the Tirta Empul Temple. The Temple was beautiful and we were able to participate in a prayer service and learn a formal Balinese prayer. Afterwards, we were starting to get hungry, so we continued up the mountain to Kintamani, a place to have lunch and view the Batur Mountain and Lake Batur, the largest lake in Bali. Lunch was an enormous and delicious buffet — everyone went back for seconds. We were so exhausted after visiting such amazing places, we made our way back to our homestay for some free time and community activities. Some of our community activities included setting our expectations for our group for the rest of the trip and finishing off the day with fun games that made us all laugh. Overall, today was fun filled and we were able to all connect more as a diverse group.
By Mia Davila, Megan Deschapelles, Hattie Ferridge
Today we got a late start at 10am as we headed out on our 3-hour drive from Ubud to our second home base in Singaraja (North Bali). On the way, we stopped at a buffet style restaurant near the banks of Lake Beratan. Lots of us were excited because we had western-style pasta for the first time since we left the States. We then drove a few minutes down the road in order to reach the Ulun Danu Temple, one of the considerably better known sights to see in Bali. Unfortunately, about 10 minutes into our visit, it began pouring down with rain and every single one of us ended up soaked!
Today marked our first day of working with the Balinese children. We taught them the colors and numbers through fun games and activities. The kids were thrilled to see us and super excited to learn! The school day was separated through three fifty minute periods in which the kids went from outdoor games, arts and crafts, to classroom learning. By the end of the school day everyone felt exhausted and accomplished! As the children left they all shook our hands and placed them to their forehead, which in Bali represents wisdom being passed down from the elders to the children.
After an exciting day of working with the kids we then headed back to our homestay and prepped another lesson for tomorrow. We then all got some time to relax and hangout before heading to Lovina beach. There we all got on “spider boats,” which are similar to a long canoe, to watch the sunset. We went out into the Indian Ocean and swam in the perfectly clear water. We saw beautiful coral, tiny fish, and starfish. Then we all got back into the boats and sailed into the sunset. Coming back to the shore we had a delicious dinner made by close friends of our local staff. Everyones favorite part was the french fries. After the wonderful dinner we had a bonfire on the beach with fireworks. We ended our day with songs around the fire and Ryan’s wonderful dance moves.
Written by: Meaghan Brown( I love you mom and dad), Nicole Kaiser (Hi mom and dad 🙂 <3), Isabelle “Izzie” Lifton ( What up Jim and Michelle I miss you )
June 28, 2017
Todays GLA session was about learning more of our leadership characteristics. We had three different rotations in which we had different roles. One activity we did was the leadership compass that talks about our personality and different types of leadership. The second activity was more of a teamwork activity. There was an obstacle course with one person being blindfolded while the other was watching the obstacle course. The person watching the course couldn’t speak, they could only give directions to the blindfolded person. There was then another team member that could speak, but couldn’t see the course. The whole team had to work together, each with their own restriction, to get the blindfolded person dressed up in funny outfits and acting out silly charades. All while not being able to see! The last activity was a competition of making the tallest pyramid, but each member of the group had a role. One member of the team could only use their left hand and others couldn’t speak but could use both hands. These activities were fun, but frustrating at times. It helped us develop leadership skills and better understand our strengths and weaknesses. We also learned that in a team it is very important to communicate.
By: Maria Garcia
June 29, 2017
Very special video vlog update for you all!!!
June 30, 2017
After our usual day of volunteering at the english camp, we had two hours to relax. When those hours were up, we headed to Narayan Seva Children’s Home. Upon our arrival we were given a detailed story about the founding of the home and the values that the children live by. Here we also learned all about the orphans and their daily schedule in Bali. We broke off into groups and were given tours by the eldest kids that live there. We then watched the kids perform acro-yoga that they practice everyday. After, we went into their meditation room and experienced their pre-dinner meditation routine. We then gathered for dinner and the kids were welcoming as they shared their space with us. Our dinner consisted of vegetarian foods that the children eat everyday. Overall, today was an eye-opening day that makes us even more grateful for the lives we live at home.
Created by Maddy K, Chloe W and Ellie!
July 1, 2017
Today we spent the day at the beach resort in Pemuteran in Northwest Bali and went snorkeling! We got the opportunity to learn about the coral restoration project. After a mass amount of bad fishing practices, careless acts of divers and global warming, the coral is unable to survive and the large reef was destroyed. Structures are now being built with an electrical charge running throughout to allow the coral to remain strong and grow faster. We were able to snorkel over these structures and witness the restoration process.
We also made a video!
Made and edited by Stella, Mia R. and Anna. Hi Mom and Dad!
July 2, 2017
We went and played indoor soccer this evening, highlights in the video below 🙂
Created by Meredith Power, Maggie Sebastian, Madeline Coats
July 4, 2017
Today was our last day volunteering at the schools. There were many smiles, hugs, and tears. After we said our goodbyes we drove to Bali Mandara Boarding School. We watched a choir performance, toured the school, and played games with students. Then, we went to Lovina beach for a celebratory Fourth of July dinner- a bonfire, a firework show, and live music. We then headed back to Edutel Resident Halls to celebrate Hattie’s 16th birthday! #happybirthdayhattie #balibirthdaysforthewin
LOVE CELESTE, MADISON C, AND SPENCER K
July 5, 2017
We are headed to East Bali Immersion EcoCamp for an overnight!
Video by Meaghan B., Kate
July 6, 2017
Sunrise hike and East Bali Cashews!
Video by Gabby, Celeste, Spencer D.
July 7, 2017
After waking up to the delightful sunrise and the sound of the waves crashing on the sand, we gathered in our beachfront bungalows. We enjoyed a delicious breakfast then left in groups to travel to a dive resort. Here, we learned the basics of scuba diving in the resort’s 12 foot deep pool and relaxed for the rest of the afternoon. We then put our learning to the test and completed our first dive into the ocean. We were all shocked and excited to see the ocean from a new perspective. We saw schools of fish, an underwater temple, coral, and more.
While most of us were new to diving, 5 of us had some previous experience. These certified divers travelled 40 minutes away to a shipwreck 70 feet below the surface. They also completed a second dive where they experienced the vibrant fish and coral reefs that the other 34 students witnessed in their introductory dive. We were all in awe of the charm of the town of Amed, especially when we received friendly smiles from the locals.
After our dive, we returned back to our bungalows and were treated to a delicious western dinner– pizza! Many of us also enjoyed ordering our own food from the restaurant adjacent to our bungalows, from tropical fruit plates to whole coconuts to fried pineapple. We ended the night with a group game (where we learned just how bad we are at counting), and some relaxing in our hammocks.
While we were all excited to enjoy another scuba adventure tomorrow, it is undeniable that all of us are sad to end our short stay here in Amed– it has truly felt like paradise! Off to Ubud tomorrow!
– Spencer Knutson, Zoe Peach-Riley, Madison Cook
Today we left around 8am and took a 45 minute drive to an elephant sanctuary. 27 of the elephants were saved from Sumatra and 4 were born naturally in the sanctuary. While there we got to wash the elephants using a hose and a brush to scrub their skin. Then we were able to feed them bamboo and corn and take our pictures with them; one really likes to hug you with its trunk. We also saw a talent show, one could kick a soccer ball, another could spin a hoola-hoop on its trunk, and one could walk across a log beam. Many students did not watch the talent show because of their opinion on the training of the animals and weather or not it was ethically right. We chose to wash them instead of ride them because of many opinions that the training is cruel and that riding the elephant is painful to the elephant. We had a lot of fun with the one on one time we were able to spend with the creatures. We later took an hour drive from the home base and made our way to Tanah Lot Temple. It had a very large shopping area where we were all able to go and get the majority of gifts for family and friends along with things for themselves. After a full afternoon at the temple and watching the sunset we ended our long day with a car ride back to our homestay in Peliatan.
Hannah Dillon and Josh Ferris
Last morning to see the students off at the airport. We had such an amazing time with all of you and hope you have safe travels home!