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.
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 throughout the program during designated spaces of time we call ‘tech time’. Actual tech times and regularity will vary greatly by program location. 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.
Thank you for your patience and understanding, and we hope you enjoy following along on these unforgettable adventures.
For frequently asked questions about the blogs, please visit our Program Blog FAQ page.
-The Global Leadership Adventures HQ Team
Click here to jump down to the most recent posts!
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 28
Hola! Today was arrival day – It was a typical Costa Rican day with the morning bringing sunshine and the afternoon bringing showers. Students were greeted by international Director, Ferney, and mentors Lundon and DJ at the airport and bused to our first meeting point at Hotel Robledal where they were welcomed with lunch, water, and new friends!
Lunch comprised of pasta and the first of many Casado platters, a traditional Costa Rican meal that usually includes rice and beans, a salad, fried sweet plantains, and a protein – either fish, chicken, pork, or beef with a mango refresca drink to top it off. After lunch students were briefed on code of conduct, safety protocols, and assigned to their rooms to shower and decompress from their long day of travel; student’s settled in with games of UNO, trivia, reading a book, and of course, much needed naps.
By dinner time 13 of our 18 students had officially arrived and met for dinner in the dining area as a group. The staff introduced themselves to the students with some fun facts and then after dinner the students gathered for an icebreaker game and some more orientation!
At 9PM students reported to their rooms for curfew and lights out at 10PM. We are still awaiting 5 leaders (Matea, Aiyanna, Braiden, Nicolas, Zoe) to join us before we make the 4hr trek to our first official home base – we can’t wait!
Signing off of a much needed R&R arrival day – Mentor Lundon
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 29
Written by Janavi R. (Leader of the Day)
Hi! We woke up early today at 6:45 AM grabbing our swimsuits and walking down for breakfast at 7:30. We had a variety of pancakes, hash browns, fruits, and eggs. After that we were split into groups for orientation. We had swim tests, reviewed the schedule, and had health checks. Then we packed our bags and headed on a 5 hour drive to homebase. Along the way, we played games like hangman and trivia. Some of us also slept. Finally, we arrived at home base and were greeted by kittens. We unloaded our bags, ate dinner, and were finally able to meet the doctors. tomorrow is our first service day. Gracias!
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 30
Written by Ashley S.
This is day three in Costa Rica and we started The day today waking up to the sound of the cats outside our room. After we had gotten ready we enjoyed a nice breakfast and soon left for our first day on the job at the Vida pet clinic. We were split into groups. Soon the animal started coming in. We had four total animals a few dogs and a cat needing spays and neuters. My group had a smaller dog and we took care of her vitals, prepping for surgery, and did the overall caring for each dog or cat. We worked for a while and then came back and had lunch. After lunch we look forward to an afternoon of fun of games in the pool. After chilling at our homebase, we went to Walmart where we got tons of goodies and treats. We came back for a nice dinner and watch the game with Costa Rica soccer teams. We met up with Our mentor groups where we talked and introduced ourselves and our interests. A few of us spent our evening in and out of the pool Before we went to bed. That concluded our day in Costa Rica!
Pura Vida 🙂
BLOG POST FOR JULY 1
Day four, it’s Matea and Emma J. here, we started off this morning bright and early at 5:45 am exactly. We ate some scrumptious homemade breakfast, and by 7:15 we were on our way to the clinic.
Today we performed surgery on 6 animals! 3 dogs and 3 cats. After 6 hours of helping the animals, we headed back to homebase for some more delicious lunch. After lunch we had some time to play cards, and going swimming in the pool.
Then, we jumped into a heated but fun debate set up by our wonderful mentors. This debate was focused on the animal rights issues going on right now in Costa Rica. We were split into 4 groups representing the different sides of the issue. The groups being, VIDA (our main service at the animal clinic), the government, a low income family and a middle class family. Once we were assigned to these groups we had to debate from their perspective. Our goal of this debate was to understand and learn the different perspectives of this issue.
Then, after an hour of free time we headed into dinner, and enjoyed another meal. Once dinner was over we suddenly heard a gasp at the other end of the hall, we rushed over and saw Hayden and Janavi slamming their door shut and shouting about a lizard. We slowly opened the door, one by one peeking in, and the lizard was GONE! We eventually spotted the lizard, but no one could catch it. As soon as we spotted a second one we all knew we had to take a break for a little.
So we all grouped together to do our final activity of the night! We gave shout outs, positive feedback, and compliments. We then, dove deeper and covered our “whys” and our journey so far. Some of us took one last swim before the storm comes. Then, headed back to our rooms and went ZZZ…
BTW, they eventually got the lizards out!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 2
Written by Hazel and Tessa
Hey! A big blog for a big day!
Today started off with a later start at 7:00. So we were able to enjoy an extra hour of sleep. Unfortunately, we woke up with grey skies and rain. Our plan was to have a beach day, but the gloomy weather stopped us from following through with this plan completely. During breakfast we all discussed our options for the day. Although rain isn’t the best weather to have while on the beach, we still considered it, as it wasn’t actively preventing us from getting to there. We also discussed the possibility of going to Walmart again or checking out the shopping center that is in town. In the end, we decided to form a consensus that included both of these ideas. We landed on driving to the beach,. Having lunch at the restaurant we had planned to eat at, explore the area, and swimming if the weather permitted it. When we got there, we were glad to see that the skies had cleared up a bit, and the rain had decreased to a slight drizzle every now and then. Some people played soccer on the beach while others looked around the nearby shops and jumped in the water. The water was a nice warm temperature, and the small waves provided entertainment fore the people that body surfed and dove into them. We were only supposed to have thirty minutes to swim before lunch, but too many peoples delight, our lunch was delayed and we were able to spend more time in the water. At around 12:30, everyone got out of the water and made their way to beach restaurant. The food was ordered beforehand and everybody was able to start eating very quickly. Everyone got an amazing meal accompanied with a refreshing fruit juice or smoothie. Satisfied, we loaded on the bus to use the remainder of our time to go on a sari instead of going to shops.
-Tessa, Leader of the day
Once we got to the safari we hopped onto the cart and went on our way, first we saw a bunch of deer, followed by zebras and giraffes. Galway through the safari we stopped on a break for twenty minutes. Our group decided to follow Camila, our tour guide, to see the crocodiles. Thy were very large, but very calm. In the same area resided some goats and sheep who were very eager for some of our carrots. Once the break was over we hopped back on the cart and went on our merry way, next we saw a variety of cattle with long horns that never stop growing. Apparently if you touch the horns you get good luck. We tried to move don form the cattle to see the ostriches, but the cattle continued to follow behind awaiting more test seats. The driver eventually shooed the cattle follow the ostriches a turn. Unlike all the rest of the animals who could eat a whole carrot sticks for the ostriches the carrots had to be broken into many smaller pieces and fed to the ostriches on a flat open palm. Eventually the safari was over and we hopped back onto the bus and listened to tunes all the way back to home-base. Back at home base everyone took some time to shower and calm down before dinner. Dinner was at 6:30 and the juice for the evening was tamarin (yay?). Then after dinner we had tech time. The rest of the evening was just winding down and then going to bed. Overall, it was a fun, adventurous, and a bit tiring day.
-Hazel, Leader of the day
BLOG POST FOR JULY 3
Written by Molly, Leader of the day
Today we hit the ground running at the clinic. It was a day full of drama queens. No dogs like shots or to be poked and prodded, but these dogs were sure to make their displeasure known. Estelia, a chihuahua, took the crown for most dramatic; she yelped practically every time someone touched her. But man was she cute cradled in Emma’s arms. We finished off the morning with Benji – he wins for causing the most drama. A team of eight of us worked methodically to pull upwards of 100 ticks off of him. Even with all the drama, we were able to help eight animals and record time!
After a busy morning in the clinic, we enjoyed some lunch and some showers. After some tech time, we played cards before heading out for a fast food dinner and some shopping. We ended the evening with some more card playing.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 5
Written by Elah
Sadly today was our last day at Hotel Wilson. We woke up at 6:45, finished packing our suitcases, then said goodbye to our amazing hosts Sharron and José. We also said bye to the Hotel’s cats and neighboring dog Luna. To get ready for our four hour bus ride to lands in love, we made a quick stop at Walmart to get a ton of snacks and other necessities. During the bus ride we occupied ourselves by listening to music, reading, and playing games. However, once we traveled farther into the jungle, everyone became captivated by the beautiful views. Although we experienced a few delays, such as a couple broken roads, we arrived safely at lands in love. Following this we had some amazing vegan food, found out our new roommates, and settled in. We then learned about our new service schedules and had a delicious dinner. We finally were able to end the day with some tech time, and a couple of dramatic bug situations.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 6
Written by Emma K.
First full day at lands in love we were awakened by a change of schedule. Half of our group was put to walk dogs and half were put to agriculture. The agriculture group picked up leaves and went to a waterfall. The dog group everyone got a pop and spent 10 minutes walking the dog. We had to pick up after them, wash the dirty dishes, and clean the kennels. Next we had breakfast then more service. We chilled for an hour then had lunch. We had soccer teams (Kevin, beta boys and alpha dogs.) we went swimming then dinner and went dancing. BED!