Thanks for the checking out the blog for this Global Leadership Adventures program!
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.
Thank you for your patience and understanding, and we hope you enjoy following along on these unforgettable adventures.
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 after activities are completed to have with them through the night. Actual tech times and regularity will vary greatly by program location and time zones. 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.
For frequently asked questions about the blogs, please visit our Program Blog FAQ page.
-The Global Leadership Adventures HQ Team
BLOG POST FOR JULY 1
Hello GLA family!
Greetings from the program Spanish in the Land of Don Quixote in Toledo. As staff, we are so excited to welcome our first group of the season. After long travels, few sleep and much anticipation, we have the whole group here in our home base in Toledo.
On their first day, they already have shown how eager they are to experience Spanish culture and improve their Spanish language skills, we are happy to be the facilitators of this experience. We are certain that the people they will meet, the places they will visit and the experiences they will have, will help them develop their very own leadership style.
After some group activities and orientation topics, we got to sing Happy Birthday to Jaq and had some delicious traditional Spanish cake.
We are looking forward to what is coming in the following days.
More blogs coming soon.
Leader of the day! – Mentor Ronald
BLOG POST FOR JULY 2
Written by Leader of the Day – Mentor Cody
Our first full day in Spain is complete!
Today was spent learning much about our new home, what we will be doing here, and of course, each other. We awoke refreshed, finally shaking off our jet lag. Throughout the day, we got to know each other better, as well as the GLA staff. We discussed policies and expectations of our participation in this program. Perhaps the highlight of the afternoon though was our Spanish assessments, where we took a brief Spanish test and had a conversation in Spanish, in order to determine which Spanish course we will be taking. Between sessions, we also began tackling a massive Pokemon puzzle. We’ll have it finished before the end of the week.
We’re very excited for tomorrow! We have our first Spanish courses, we will be meeting the children that we will be helping, and we will finally get to explore the city of Toledo! Hasta luego!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 3
Written by Jaq H. – Leader of the Day
Today we had a full day of activities, we had our first day of community service and met all of our students. We will be supporting the summer camp of a local school. We played sports and helped with arts and crafts and learned Spanish. We also did gym class. Some students are much better at English than the others. In Spanish, the different groups studied different words and questions.
We also went to Toledo for a walk around the town and found lots of swords and interesting shops. This was one of the favorite part of the day for most of the students who got to take lots of picture of the beautiful streets and interesting landmarks of Toledo. Finally, we are almost complete with our puzzle and will have it finished by tomorrow.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 4
Written by Miguel Mendez – Leader of the Day
Today was a balanced day between service and fun, spending the morning until lunch on studying spanish and assisting the teachers and students. Dancing, sports, and fun games were part of the many activities that filled our service hours, complete with a celebration of the 4th of July with the students, dancing to American music. During our time in the classroom we practiced new vocabulary, grammar, and listening activities to improve our understanding and speech.
After our service, we had our siesta and went straight to the pool to enjoy the cold water and take a break from the heat. While walking we made a quick stop at a shop to buy snacks and drinks which made for a great two hours relaxing at the poolside.
Finally at the end of the day we had a fun celebration of the 4th of July with music in the background and a beautiful sunset as our backdrop. Today was one of the many wonderful days to come as we continue our stay in the beautiful country of Spain!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 5
Written by Sydney and Alma – Leaders of the day
Today was a day packed with many activities and fun. The morning began with Spanish classes and service work. Today, the students in the summer camp had a pool day, and we all enjoyed helping and playing with the kids during this time: throwing water balloons and splashing in the water. The Spanish classes helped us to improve our language knowledge and participated to our immersion in Don Quijotes country.
Following this, we helped the kids with their lunch, and then took our siesta.
Following the siesta, restful and necessary for everyone, we met for a departure scheduled for 4 p.m. Taken by bus, we arrived safe at the Gothic cathedral of Toledo. Thanks to our famous local guide, we visited the Cathedral of Saint Mary of Toledo, symbol of the all-powerful Christian era in Spain in the 13th century. Amazed by the sculptures, the spectacular architecture and the Custos (fruit of the first gold brought back by Christopher Columbus from America and treasure acquired under Isabella of Castile), we were also able to discover the fresco of Theotocópuli, son of El Greco, who’s paintings featured to. Caravaggio, Titians, Velasquez and Rubens were also present at tea.
After this cultural activity, we had shopping time and some were able to enjoy an ice cream in these hot weather.
Araft, we walked to the Zip-line place, which made all the adrenaline enthusiasts very happy. The beautiful sight was enjoyed by everyone.
After this short but extreme activity we returned exhausted. Indeed, this very intense day had tired more than one and will make it easier to go to bed tonight. Back at Mayol College, we had dinner, then shared our take aways from the day spent together.
We will remember from today that spending time with the lovely little ones was a big highlight, and this long journey rich in novelty has made it possible to strengthen our ties.
Come on, enough said for today,
Let’s go to bed !
Buenas Noches Chicos y chicas !!!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 6
Written by Lili and Cathy – Leaders of the Day
After a busy weekend in Madrid we come back with all our blog updates you are missing very much. The past few days we’ve been busy, busy, busy!!!
Thursday started off by waking up in the morning and going to get breakfast. After breakfast half of us went to Spanish class while the others had service work. In Spanish class we learnt about some basic knowledge to help us communicate more conveniently with the kids both in present and past tense. Following on we played with the kids using the jump rope and helped feed them their lunches. After feeding them, we got food ourselves. The food was amazing. During siesta it was our time to take a rest in which we chose to play cards. It was really funWe then headed off to the pool.
After about a twenty minute walk we arrived at the pool, anxiously awaiting to buy goodies from the shop nearby. Part of the group spent the time by relaxing in the shade playing cards or talking. The other half hung out by the pool, (personally, the cool water felt even nicer after the walk in the heat). Later that evening we went over the schedule for Madrid! We were excited to travel there and the many different activities we were to partake in that weekend. The day ended with us packing up our bags and a nights rest before our trip to Madrid.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 7
Written by Dylan and Liam – Leaders of the Day
Today we had to wake up extra early to start our trip to Madrid. Before getting to Madrid, we made a first stop to go kayaking. Kayaking was amazing, great views, fast rapids, and lots of fun. After the kayaking, some of us went to have a picnic in the field early while the others went on a rope course that was full of obstacles and a couple of fun zip-lines. After reconvening at the picnic spot and finishing lunch, we played cards in the shade with Tom’s music in the background during our siesta time. After that we took the bus to the hostel in Madrid and got settled in. Once everyone unpacked their things, we had our first dinner at the hostel. Then we finished off the day by getting some taiyaki ice cream.
Here’s a picture of me eating the ice cream, among other things.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 8
Written by Christian and Jett – Leaders of the Day
Hola todos! Today was day 8 on our Spain excursion. After our first full night in Madrid, we woke up and had a filling breakfast at the hostel. After breakfast we grabbed our bags and went out to theSpanish kitchen. After a small metro trip we arrived at the kitchen, Cocinea, ready to make our food. The menu was Paella Valenciana and tapas, which included: melon and ham as well as Russian salad and cheese board. We also made (non-alcoholic) sangria. We listened to music, ate food, and had a relaxing time. Leaving the kitchen full and energized we headed to the park for siesta time. This included, walking around the park and visiting Palacio de Cristal, eating ice cream, and group bonding — duck duck goose.
After the riveting game of duck duck goose, we proceeded to have mentor meetings. Where the group is split into half, one group with mentor Cody and one with mentor Ronald. During mentor group time, we speak about what we are learning, what we like, what is challenging, and how to grow from our experiences. The discussion was led by the students, which helps us talk about topics which are most vital to our experience. After, we had our daily meeting, consisting of: rose and thorns, shoutouts, new leader presenting a talent, schedule for the following day, and final announcements.
After the meeting we made our way back to the hostel. For dinner, we had pasta and shrimp as an appetizer, and as the main course we had chicken and fries. Some of us were still hungry for another desert, so the mentors took those who wanted out to get ice cream. Following the ice cream trip, everybody was tired after a long day of activities, so we went to bed ready for the next day of touring and shopping.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 10
Written by Jack H. – Leader of the Day
I came on this trip because I wanted to experience Spain. I had fun hanging out with the local kids and going kayaking. I enjoyed exploring Madrid and Toledo. I truly appreciate this opportunity and I’ll never forget it.
Here are some pictures from our final day in Madrid. Exploring the landmarks and visiting the Prado Museo and Real Madrid Stadium (by groups).
BLOG POST FOR JULY 13
Written by Tom – Leader of the Day
After a tired start to the morning, we closed out our service project with the colegio students, and had our final Spanish lessons in Spain. The colegio threw us a small celebration to let us spend some extra time with the kids before having to leave. Saying goodbye to the kids, staff, and friends made in Spain was an emotional moment. After a lunch break to recharge, we had a quick siesta, before reflecting on our experiences as a group. We headed out for one last group activity, where we had an excursion to the don Quixote windmills made famous in Cervantes’ world-famous novel. We toured the incredible, breathtaking sites and learned a lot of the history of the region. After an excellent tour of the windmills and the nearby castle, we stopped for a snack before heading back to home base to wrap up with some final bonding activities with the group. We shared one last dinner as a team, and then gathered together to show our appreciation for each other, which was an emotional and eye-opening interaction among the group. Overall, on this trip, our group has accomplished so much together, learning more about ourselves and our friends, about our culture and about others’, and unanimously agree that this experience will be a very cherished memory in the future. On behalf of the GLA students and staff, thank you to everyone who was here to make this experience possible, from our peers, to our mentors, to our Spanish teacher/tour guide/flamenco instructor, we appreciate everything you all have done.
Enjoy some pictures form the last days.
Adiós a todos!!!