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
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 24-26
We first landed in Santo Domingo where we stayed at a hotel, then we migrated to Samaná where we’re staying in local housing for the remainder of the trip. Today we went to the whale museum and learned all about the humpback whales in the Dominican Republic. As our new arrivals came, we had lunch at a local restaurant with an amazing view of the Samaná Bay. Then we went back to the museum to help identify the different patterns of whale flukes. We then came back to base where we had some free time and hung out on the terrace and enjoyed music while socializing with the group. We had a great dinner (those mashed potatoes smacked) which led into mentor groups where we talked about leadership skills and as our final duty as Leaders of the Day, we came back and wrote this for you, our devoted readers.
Morgan and Liam signing off
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 27
We started the day off with some delicious breakfasts from the lovely cooks; we had oatmeal, fresh mango and bananas, bread, and your beverage of choice. After breakfast, we headed out on the busses split into our new mentor groups, one bus with the whales and crabs, the other with the starfish and octopi. The busses took us to Sanchez to learn about the historic railroad which was used for imports and exports via boat. We hopped back on the busses to go to a mangrove restoration greenhouse which was part of a community service project called Bajo Yuna Area In Los Haitises National Park. After exploring the mangroves and participating in greenhouse responsibilities we finished it off by planting red mangroves in hopes of restoring them. On the busses back to las galaleras we enjoyed some tunes and lively conversation about today’s activities and what is to come. We returned to base and cleaned up for an exquisite meal consisting of sausage, rice, pasta, and fried plantains. Post dinner, we all had a
Fun time on the terrace, with all the best people, and the best music. To wrap the night up we joined together for a discussion of today’s events and an activity where we write inside of a circle what we desire for the trip, and wrote outside the circle for what we don’t want for the trip. We had a lovely day with amazing team members and mentors. We hope everything is well at home.
¡Hasta mañana y Buenas Noches!
Love, Mckenzie, Peter, and the rest of the team
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 28
Hi Family and Friends,
Today for breakfast we had the privilege of eating homegrown fruit fresh from the garden. After breakfast, we took the bus down to el Valle (Samana) for a ziplining adventure. It consisted of 12 lines and over 7000 feet of cable. As we spiraled down towards the bottom of the rainforest we headed back to the bus to explore a local marketplace.
Many of us purchased local cookies and chips, we headed back on the bus to the beach to eat an extravagant meal of rice, beans, and fried fish (Head & eyes still attached!).
Once we had finished the meal we were able to enjoy the beauty and warm waters of Playa de Rincon. Many of us played frisbee, purchased jewelry from the local vendor, spent time in the water with friends, and tanned in the bright Dominican sun. After a long hot day at the beach, we headed back to the Homebase where we enjoyed a meal of pork chops, eggs, rice, and beans. We spent tech time together enjoying music and each other’s company, and we finished off the day with highs and lows from everybody. We`re all having a fantastic trip and we can`t wait to tell you all about it!
Today we were able to learn to appreciate each other’s company and we feel as if we are growing into one family.
Love to our loved ones,
Olivia, Roarke, and the rest of the group
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 29
Hello Family and Friends,
This morning for breakfast we had some delicious empanadas, bread, and fruit. After breakfast, we took the bus to Santa Barbara de Samana for our adventure across the ocean to a small island called Farola, where we hiked and snorkeled.
For lunch, we had authentic rice, chicken, fish, fruit, and salad. Many of us bought some ice cream from the local store in the restaurant.
After lunch, we grabbed our gloves and trash bags and headed to the beach for a clean-up. After filling up almost all of our trash bags we headed back to home base for dinner. For dinner, we enjoyed a classic meal of rice and chicken tenders.
Post tech time our groups got together and discussed the core elements of a leader. Overall everyone was tired but had a great time and is excited for what awaits us tomorrow.
Love to our loved ones,
Olivia, Elizabeth, and the rest of the group
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 30
What’s up Family and Friends,
Today for breakfast we had a local classic of Mango, Mangú, and fried Salami. Then we received a message from the Dominican Navy that stated that all open water activities had to be canceled, including our Kayaking excursion, instead, we went out to a mangrove, to collect their seeds for the CEBSE Mangrove restoration project. o get to the mangrove we had to cross a deep river.
After our muddy adventure, we headed for lunch, on the way we got to see some incredible views of Samaná Bay from the top of a mountain. For lunch, we had a plate of steamed vegetables, rice, and chicken.
In the afternoon we went to CEBSE headquarters for a variety of activities, including building part of coral nurseries, such as concrete discs to attract corals and devices designed to catch coral-eating worms and planting the seeds collected in the morning.
For dinner, we had white rice, fried cheese, beans, and pasta. Overall we had a fantastic day, and even though it didn’t go as originally planned we had a great time.
Love to our loved ones, peace out
Lander, Finn, and the rest of the group.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 1
Written by Brynn and Reid
Hola familia y amigos!
Today we began the day with the dogs barking and a hearty breakfast with pancakes ham, and some cereal. We began our adventure with a short stroll to the beach, we then continued our journey to our destination of three boats waiting for us. We enjoyed a boat ride to Playa el Fronton. Once we arrived, taking in the breathtaking views, we put on snorkel gear while the crystal blue water awaited us. The group witnessed sea urchins, coral, and many species of fish. we headed back to the buses with another eventful boat ride.
we began our next journey to a beautiful restaurant with an amazing buffet waiting for us. We served ourseñves with plates full of beans, rice, chicken, beef, yuca, and vegetables.
As we loaded the buses, we then arrived shortly at our waterfall hike, through mud and stairs we arrived at our final destination el Limon Waterfall. The water was beautiful and refreshing and the view was breathtaking as well.
Once we got back to our Homebase, we enjoyed taco night and played frisbee. During our tech time, we reached out to loved ones and socialized with each other too. Later that night we had our group activity including the intro to tomorrow’s debate, we will fill you in tomorrow on how that played out ;). Lights turned off at ten and we dreamed of our next big adventure tomorrow.
Love, the leaders of the day: Brynn and Reid, and the rest of the GLA team.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 2
Written by Jamie and Joel
Hola familias y amigos!!!!
It all started bright and early when we had a delicious breakfast consisting of scrambled eggs, pan de coco (bread), corn paste (harina de maiz), pineapple, cheese cubes, and watermelon. We grabbed our backpacks, hopped on the bus, and made our way down a bumpy dirt road to the hiking trail. Once there we started our service by snapping pics of shrubs and lizards. Then, the true adventure began. We trekked deep into the mighty jungle on a two-and-a-half (ish) mile hike to the beach! On the way, we enjoyed some nice rain because it was raining. Then we had a wonderful time hanging out on the beach.
While we enjoyed our time in the crystal blue water, a hearty lunch of rice, rice and bean combo, chicken, fish, miscellaneous veggies, and cabbage was prepared for us to eat at 1:30.
Next, we waded out to the boats awaiting us in the vast, turquoise sea, where we braved the huge waves and bumpy waters and boated to the safety of the mainland.
The next leg of our journey began with us walking through the local roads to an ice cream shop. We devoured our fantastic frozen treats in a mere matter of seconds, and it was only $2. (Omg!)
After, we got on the busses for a speedy lil ride and made it back to base camp. Everyone was pretty tired so we all hung out and chatted with friends and showered and packed a tad and prepared for the debate a bit, and called friends and family from home. We gobbled up our dinner of french fries, rice, stew (veggie or pork chop), and steamed veggies. And as a special treat the chefs made us not one, but TWO cakes (one for gluten free, one for not gluten free). They were super good and one had blue frosting, and one was a super cool corn banana and coconut milk cake.
As for the part you´ve all been waiting for: The much-hyped debate! Everyone poured their love and passion into their arguments leading to an enthralling and engaging whirlwind of a conversation. It was an exciting way to get to hear everyone speak in a manner that we hadn´t before.
After the debate, we headed back to our rooms to pack up before spending our last night in the place we´ve called home for the past seven days. We were all sad to leave behind the resident dogs we`ve befriended and our amazing hosts, but we’re super stoked as to what tomorrow will bring.
Thanks lol, lots of love, the leaders of the day, Jamie and Joel, and also everyone else on the gla squad. 🙂
BLOG POST FOR JULY 3
Written by Sam and Declan
To everyone back home,
We woke up for our last morning spent in the Samaná home base with our things packed and ready to go. The breakfast area was soon filled with everyone eager for our meal consisting of pancakes, fresh fruit, cheese, bread with jam, and iced tea. After our bus ride into the town of Samaná we loaded our luggage onto the ferry where we boated to Sábana de la Mar (our mentor Jackson`s home town!). From there, we had a short bus ride to our hotel Caño Hondo; where we had lunch. Once we ate, we went on a five minute walk to a kayak/boat tour through the mangroves to the Los Haitises National Park. Along the way we stopped to plant some mangrove seedlings, thus assisting the longterm mangrove restoration project. In doing so, we had to trudge through the sulfuric smelling and mud-filled forest. Everyone then loaded onto the boat to travel to the national park cave system. On the way, we were caught in a thunderstom in which the tarp covering the boat could not even protect us. Departing the boat soaking wet, we wandered through the caves admiring the history and markings of the Taino people living there once before. Heading back, we were lucky to not be caught in another storm. Eventually, we made it back to the hotel; we unpacked our things and got settled into our rooms. All tired, we meandered down to the lobby. Our dinner of cheeseburgers, pizza, french fries, chicken kebabs, and fried broccoli awaited us. Wrapping things up, we had a group reflection and a circle of appreciation, thus concluding our days of service in the Dominican Republic.
Your leaders of the day: Sam and Declan
BLOG POST FOR JULY 4
Written by Kieran and Noa
We started off the day by waking up in a castle-like hotel where some of us took a dip in the turquoise pools below. After walking down what seemed like an endless amount of stairs we all gathered for a breakfast on the outdoor patio and prepared to head out for Santo Domingo. The bus ride was a long three hours but to pass the time we played music and shared snacks after stopping at a local shop.
When we finally reached Santo Domingo we stopped for lunch at a local pizza place before returning back to the hotel that we had originally stayed in. Once we had settled our stuff in the rooms and checked in for the flights home, we headed out for one last adventure as a team. While we walked around the city learning about its colonial history and some of the oldest buildings in the Americas, we also had time to stop and buy some award-winning popsicles and grab a few souvenirs.
Once we had wrapped that up we embarked on our final dinner together at a fun and lively restaurant in the city. At the restaurant, we had the privilege of not only watching but joining professional dancers for a high-energy evening including sparklers and a special patriotic cake to honor the 4th of July. We then returned to the hotel to say some final goodbyes and reminisce on our once-in-a-lifetime experience.
See you soon,
Your leaders of the day: Kieran and Noa