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 JULY 24
Hola a todos (hello everyone)!
All Caribbean Service Adventure students have all safely arrived at our Homebase, Indalo Lodge, 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 JULY 25
Written by Reed and Nick
Today was a ton of fun except for the 8,000 bugs constantly attacking you. The bug net helps when you fall asleep but anytime before that is really bad. I feel like it is also worth mentioning that the mosquitos don’t care whether or not you are wearing any bug spray. After I put hydroquinone cream on in the morning the day was great. After a short hike we made it to the building we worked on and got to use some new tools for the first time. It was very hot out however there was a slight breeze which did a lot to cool us all (Nick).
The project of today was building a house out of recycled water bottles, chicken wire and cement. This task was made harder by the heat along with the constant buzz of mosquitos and baby chicken peeps every five seconds. Somehow through the heat and exhaustion we were able to still have fun and even crack a few jokes here and there (Reed).
(Hi mom and Dad, my phone is being weird -Reed)
We also took the swim test and had to tread water for two minutes, swim 4 laps, and back float for thirty seconds. We then had a delicious dinner of fried fish and then had our first lecture and mentor groups so we could get to know each other more. Overall, I think today was great and we are excited for tomorrow.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 26
Written by Lucas
The second day of work was a lot more tiring than the day before, especially the heat. The early morning was interesting and similar to yesterday, but everybody was a lot more friendly to each other. When we started working, we separated into the same groups as the day before, in addition to some new GLA participants. Compared to the day before our work was much more efficient than the previous day both in making the cement and placing it in the walls. Along with that work group working much better together we were able to practically finish two of the three houses, and with enough effort we might finish the last house in the next workday. Several of us were very proud, but mostly sweaty and tired.
After we got back to home base, several of us went to go get ice cream. They had 4 different flavors chocolate, caramel, cake, and strawberry and they were all delicious. After, a large group of us went to the pool, where we had fun, played games, and talked. We decided to have the leader of the day game in the pool, and we played drop the sheets, which was fun for the most part but towards the end got a little chaotic. Dinner was good as usual lots of good food and interesting choices to pick from. Afterwards came the debate, which we had to split into 4 groups and discussed the advantages and disadvantages to building a baseball stadium from 4 points of view. We all had fun but with so many people trying to prove their points and talking really loudly it got out of hand, but in the end it was a really great day and hope there are many more to come.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 27
Written by Devin and Jess
Morning yoga was beautiful and very relaxing, a good start to our day. Then we had a delicious pancake breakfast before getting on the bus to head to Dudu Lagoon. The lagoon was very pretty, though the water was super cold. We got to jump off a platform into the water and swim in another part where we could relax on a floating platform. Some of us played beach volleyball while others relaxed and bought snacks. We had a good lunch at a restaurant and then took the buses to the beach. The beach was so much fun. We were able to accomplish stacking three people on shoulders, even though our goal was a five-stack. We bought souvenirs and had pina coladas.
Then it was time to head back to home base, and lots of us jumped in the pool as soon as we arrived. We jammed to music on the bus. We stayed in the pool for all our free time and did our leader of the day activity in the pool. For dinner, we had fries, chicken, and fish, and it was delicious. We had a video lecture from Junior about planetary health that was very informative. Then we spent time in mentor groups, and now we’re finally heading to bed after a day of fun, since we have an early start tomorrow.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 28
Written by Ally and Jack
Hello all, this is Ally and Jack. Today, the 28th, the group took a tour hour trip out to la Grua. We spent several hours mixing cement and transporting buckets of it over to construction volunteers who were laying the groundwork for the houses of low-income families. The experience provided great exposure for us as we had opportunities to play and interact with the both kind and fun loving local children. Shortly after the work was completed, we were given a quick lunch along with a history of the community in which we were working.
After arriving home, we were afforded some downtime to go to the pool, grab ice-cream, and partake in a sunset walk on the beach. As night fell, we gathered as a group for a special activity in which we learned more about our own individual similarities and differences. Overall, the day was a great success and definitely a highlight of the trip so far for several people. Also–hey mom, it’s Ally-you told me not to contact you because you wanted me to “fully experience it all,” I am btws, also, love ya and my phone is really not working 🙂
BLOG POST FOR JULY 29
Written by Zoe and Rylee
Today we had a half day of service at La Colonia and explored the Caves of Cabarete. We were able to complete a lot of our empty walls and cover them with cement. After we enjoyed lunch, we headed over to see the caves. We were able to go into three different ones and jump into crystal clear water in two. It was very refreshing to cool down in the water after sweating a lot at service. We were able to fill up on snacks and treats at the store and come home to a yummy dinner. I am enjoying this trip so much and learning a lot about the culture and the different communities.
-Rylee Means 🙂
For our half day of service today in La Colonia, we needed to mix a lot of cement and place it on the walls of the house. We spent a lot of the day on the ground and the ladders to place cement near the top of the house. We all enjoyed walking in the caves and jumping into the water. One of the jumps was pretty high, and many of us had fun jumping off of it- including Lauren!- who is a little afraid of heights. We returned for an activity and a delicious dinner of chicken and noodles. We had a lecture tonight from Junior, where we learned about the economy and the division between Haiti and the Dominican Republic. I am very grateful for this experience and am happy to be making a difference in the communities here and experiencing their culture.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 30
Written by Elyssa and Kayla
Today we woke up to a beautiful morning and a baby blue sky with fluffy clouds. Elyssa and I banged on doors with our water bottles to wake up our fellow guppies. After that we all went to breakfast and ate cantaloupe, eggs and avocados with a scrumptious juice. We demanded everyone to wear bathing suits, bring towels, and money to go to the beach and get ready for an amazing day of snorkeling on a boat on some blue ass water. A lot of us got sunburnt and a few chosen ones got tan. At the area where we snorkeled our day away, there were multiple shops that we all bought souvenirs at and many other things. (you guys will see.) The bus ride back wasn’t too bad because Elyssa played some head bangers on the way back.
After, we obviously didn’t get enough water in our system, so we plopped in the pool and swam like guppies. Once we were done, we proceeded to go into mentor groups and play some games with our peers. Finally, we led a spontaneous game of eye contact and screaming, and everyone really enjoyed that. Right away after, we had a delicious meal of tacos and fruit. We concluded our day with a beautiful lecture from King Junior, talking about colonialism. WE had the best day ever tbh 🙂
BLOG POST FOR JULY 31
Today was our final day of service at La Colonia where we have been building bottle houses for the people in the community. We focused mainly on mixing concrete for the workers to use on the flooring inside the house. We were able to tackle multiple milestones in relation to the construction of the houses that we have been working on. We finished the flooring in the main room, most of the walls, etc.
Although, since it was our last day of service everyone was tired, but we managed to finish strong and conquer our goals for the day. After dinner, we watched an interesting documentary about poverty in lesser developed countries that Junior presented to us.
-Sawyer and Noah
BLOG POST FOR AUGUST 01
The day began with COVID tests for each student (we all tested negative). Since our snorkeling and hiking days were switched, the group spent today hiking through the community of Brison. We took an hour and a half bus ride to the beginning of the trail and began the climb. Along the way, we met local families and they shared their stories with us.
After an arduous two hours uphill, the group reached the summit of the mountain and enjoyed a meal prepared by a local woman. The way down was much easier, aside from the slippery gravel beneath our feet.
We returned to home base, with many sleepy souls drifting away on the bus. At home base, lots of us hopped into the pool, while others stayed in their rooms to rest. In the evening, we had our OMG (One Meaningful Goal) activity, where the students agreed on a goal for the group going forward. Then each student had to create their own personal goal. Following this activity, each student had to complete a survey about our experience.
The day ended with culture night and a dance party. Some students had to wake up bright and early for their flights, so they packed and went to sleep. What a wonderful day!
-Michael and Aiden