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.
For frequently asked questions about the blogs, please visit our Program Blog FAQ page.
-The Global Leadership Adventures HQ Team
BLOG POST FOR AUGUST 5
Hola a todos (hello, everyone)!
Most Caribbean Service Adventure students have safely arrived at our Home Base, Indalo Lodge, here in the Dominican Republic!
Today, we arrived at the Home Base and got to meet our roommates and settle in.
After a delicious local dinner including beans and rice, we had orientation and learned about the rules and regulations of the program as well as the itinerary for the next 10 days! We are so excited to dive into service learning tomorrow in La Colonia community.
BLOG POST FOR AUGUST 6
We woke up this morning and had lots of fruit, oatmeal, eggs, fried cheese, and toast for breakfast. We then left for La Colonia where we spent the day mixing cement and sifting sand for the walls and floors of the house that we were helping to build.
We worked until about 2:30 in a campo at the top of a large slope. We all bonded through the heat and hard work of physical labor and very much enjoyed the hike down at the end of the day.
When we returned to home base, we all took our swim tests. Everyone passed! The cool water was very nice after a long day of work. For a while we hung around the pool, some people tanned while others swam.
At 5:30 we had our “Leader of the Day” activity which was a name game called “Drop the Sheet”. It was a very heated game but team two triumphed. After that we had dinner and a very interesting lecture about the Seven Elements of Human Security from Junior.
We ended the night by splitting up into mentor groups to talk about our days and anything else on our mind. We are all very much looking forward to another day of service on this beautiful island tomorrow!
-Bre and Molly
P.S. Here are some AMAZING photos from today’s adventures:
BLOG POST FOR AUGUST 7
We are enjoying the Dominican Republic sunshine and learning about Haitian communities in the country by making two clement floors in La Grúa.
Here we are able to practice our Spanish and also learn about the language Creole!
By now in the program we’ve bonded a lot more as a group. We know how to work together, even if we were arguing during our debate last night as we took sides of different stakeholders and modeled real world complex global issues.
Can’t wait to write more details soon! Here are some snaps of our service work now!
BLOG POST FOR AUGUST 7
Today we went back to La Colonia and worked more on the cement floors, and we covered the outside walls in cement. We got to ask questions to locals in the community which was very interesting.
We learned that it’s a very tight knit community and even people who are not related are very close even if they are not related because of living so close together.
When we got back, we went to get ice cream. There was Caramel cake chocolate and strawberry ice cream flavors, and they were all really good. For breakfast we had pancakes with honey, for lunch we had pork and salad and for dinner we had pasta.
We also got to speak Spanish to locals we met in the community, which was very engaging and interesting. We are finally settling into life with GLA in the Dominican Republic!
BLOG POST FOR AUGUST 8
Today we visited the La Grua community and helped them with their cement. We also got to meet more kids!
We finished early so on the way home we stopped near the water to eat lunch. When we got home, we had extra time, so we all swam and got ice-cream.
After that, we had leader activity, dinner, and a lecture from Junior.
Today we also celebrated Ella’s 17th birthday! What a great way to enjoy more of island life here in the DR.
BLOG POST FOR AUGUST 9
After an incredibly rainy morning, the group boarded the bus for Dudu Lagoon.
We arrived and dropped off our bags. The first part of the day was spent jumping into the blue-green water underneath a large cavern and climbing out to do it again and again. We then moved onto a larger part of the lagoon where we swam some more. Afterwards, a riveting volleyball game was played. If you missed the Olympics volleyball, this would have been a great substitute. The game ended our time at the lagoon; we piled onto the bus to get lunch. Upon our arrival we grabbed tables and sidled up to the buffet where there was an amazing selection which included rice, salad, fruit, chicken, and pasta.
After lunch, we went to Playa Preciosa and had fun swimming in the ocean. The waves were intense and many of us tried to ride them. The group also enjoyed virgin Pina Coladas in a pineapple! These drinks were a little chunky but so refreshing. Furthermore, there were also some small souvenirs stands and many of us bought beautiful rings and necklaces made of a special stone, only found in the DR, called Larimar.
Many of us enjoyed the experience of getting their hair braided by two Dominican women. Sadly, our time at the beach ended and it was time to head back to the lodge. But the fun did not stop there. Most of the group enjoyed swimming in the pool and many of us made an ice cream trip. This was followed by Circlo de Cena and an amazing dinner of beef and potato stew.
After dinner, the group participated in an insightful lecture about Economic Security and Poverty.
The day ended with a fun game about our similarities and differences which allowed the group to learn more about what makes unique and what we have in common.
-Seth and Sam
BLOG POST FOR AUGUST 10
Today, we went up to La Colonia and we worked on the houses as part of our ongoing community service project. We threw the concrete we mixed onto the walls of the house and shifted the sand as part of our efforts. We had lunch, then we worked for about an hour or two more, before returning to Home Base.
Once we got back, we had ice cream, swam in the pool, and hung out together before having mentor group discussions.
After mentor groups we had the leader of the day activity, which was a game called Queen Bee. Then we had dinner, and a lecture by Junior learning all about the Haitian and Dominican sides of the island of Hispanola.
Then we talked and laughed until going to bed after another long but fun workday!
-Kate and Ellen
BLOG POST FOR AUGUST 11
In the morning, we took a trip to an ATM and supermarket to exchange cash and buy some snacks. We had to change our hiking plans a bit due to inclement weather, but we still had quite an adventurous day!
After lunch back at Home Base, we journeyed to Choco-Jobo, a chocolate factory completely run by women. We toured the factory, learned how the chocolate was made, and had a chance to purchase some chocolate products at the gift shop if we liked. Can’t beat a chance to be around chocolate!
The group then returned to the lodge for dinner and Junior’s thoughtful lecture about colonialism and its many impact.
We finished the night with a karaoke sing-off and some serious Marco Polo games in the pool to kick back after an exciting day!
-Chase, Sean and the GLA Team
BLOG POST FOR AUGUST 12
We started the day like usual, breakfast and getting ready for the day. Then we left for the Cabaret Caves. There we went to three different caves!
The first cave we went underground to a small swimming hole. We all jumped in and turned off the lights, so it was pitch black for a little bit. The second cave had stalagmites that we got to see, and the third one had about a ten meter distance off into a swimming hole. The caves were super cool to see and an amazing thing to experience!!
After the caves we went to a new community called Maranata. We had lunch and mixed and carried cement for two floors in a house. It was our last service project and by this time we were pros at mixing cement.
After we finished up the floors, we headed back to Home Base and changed and had an ice cream run. Afterwards we had appreciation circle.
Appreciation circle was where people went into the middle of a circle and anonymously appreciate each other. It was a feel-good activity we all loved.
We then had circle de cena and dinner. Afterwards we had a movie Junior showed us and we all gathered around to watch it. Then it was lights out after a fun and exciting day.
BLOG POST FOR AUGUST 13
Today was snorkeling day! We had such a great last day, from swimming with fishies, eating pizza on the beach, getting our souvenir shopping and learning how to bargain, and more.
When we arrived back home to the lodge, we did a GLA leadership activity and all set goals for how we will use the knowledge we learned in our lives when we leave here. Then we had culture night and danced the night away followed by a last nighttime swim in the pool.
We’re excited to come home tomorrow but also sad to say goodbye to the friends we made and grateful for our life-changing experiences here in the Dominican Republic!