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 JUNE 30
Hello! First post here 🙂
Today almost all the students arrived at the Home Base. Four students arrived at 10:30 am, so they were able to relax at home base for a couple of hours before the majority arrived. During this time, they went to the local ice cream store, some did swim tests, took the health check, and hung out. At around 5:00 pm 12 more students arrived. Many of these students were very tired after a long day of travel. By 6:00 pm, everyone arriving today was at home base, so they ate a delicious dinner of rice, beans, chicken, salad, and potatoes.
After dinner, the evening activity was orientation. During orientation, the students heard from Junior, a local working with GLA from 7 elements, and taught the history of 7 elements and the Dominican Republic’s traditions. Then they learned about GLA’s code of conduct and what to expect on the trip. Overall, the students were cooperative and were able to get a good sense about the adventures of the next 9 days spent with us. We can’t wait for Brooke, Charlie, Anna D.P., Ignacio and Caroline to join us soon!
Written by Laila and Annesley
BLOG POST FOR JULY 2
This morning we woke up and some of us did a morning yoga class led by one of our leaders, Lauren. Afterwards we had a lovely breakfast of eggs, toast, potatoes, and fruit. The fruit here is SO amazing. After breakfast we all got covid tested. We are all negative!! And are so happy to finally hang out with one another mask free. Then we headed on the bus over to La Colonia. And worked on building Jacklyn’s house. We stacked plastic bottles along the walls and used chicken wire to secure them. Later a group will come in with cement to finish off the walls. Our group unanimously decided the second day of service work was a lot better than the first, because we knew what to expect. It is quite hard, but we are very excited to watch it all come together!
At about three o’clock we returned to home base. Most of us immediately jumped in the pool to cool off! In the pool we played Marco Polo and The Categories Game. Afterwards we went to get a scoop of ice cream at the local shop. We came back and played real life among us. We then had dinner that definitely catered towards those of us from the U.S. Fried chicken, French fries, salad and of course fruit! After dinner we had a heated debate on real estate development in the D.R. And it helped us see how our world leaders often are so divided. It is hard to make a compromise when things do not align with your own opinions. Now as we write this it is the end of the night, and we are all getting tired. But we are playing card games and getting excited for our adventure day tomorrow.
Written by Anna D and Caroline
BLOG POST FOR JULY 3
On this day, 19 years ago, Maxwell Lourie was born. To commemorate this historic day, Max’s roommates, and coincidentally, Leaders of the Day’s Chandler and Sebastian, decorated his room while he and many others attended a beach sunrise viewing at 5:45am. Hurricane Elsa, as it turns out, popped in to also celebrate as she party-crashed the entire day. After a lovely brekky, the gang embarked on a perilous and wet bus drive to Dudu Lagoon!
Despite Dudu’s tragic title, the lagoon was quite stunning, and the group enjoyed swimming and sports. After crushing a delicious lunch, the lads and ladies of GLA enjoyed a swim-less and virgin pina colada filled day at Playa Grande beach. Thanks, Elsa!
After our beach excursion was over, we enjoyed a very musical bus ride home as all the members of our GLA trip sang in harmony to the best songs of the recent decade. But unfortunately, a routine stop to the grocery store turned into a 25 minute wait because the power in the store and nearby areas went out.
Once back on the road again, we continued our musical enlightenment until back at home base. After getting back most of the gang showered, before commencing on the greatest leader of the day activity in the history of GLA. It was a game of Ninja.
After the game, in which Chandler was the winner, we watched a very eye-opening video on the challenges of Planetary Health. Overall, we could not have asked for a better day thanks to the amazing staff that taught us lessons that will last a lifetime.
Written by Chandler and Sebastian
BLOG POST FOR JULY 4
Today was pancake day! We started the day with a delicious breakfast at 6:30 to fuel us throughout our work filled day. We were loaded on the bus by 7:15 and began our trip to a local batey called La Grua. Once we arrived, we immediately got to work. We helped complete the cement floor inside of one of the local’s houses. We had to carry buckets and buckets of rocks and sand to create the base for mixing the cement. Once mixing the dry ingredients we added water and mixed even more. Then, we hauled the cement in buckets to the inside of the house and the owner began dumping and smoothing it out. We were able to work side by side with the locals which made this project even more meaningful.
After hours of hard work, it was time for lunch. We had rice, chicken, salad, and fresh fruit. We took a well needed break while we ate and took in the community. After our descansito, we got to meet the people we came to help. Junior gave us a brief lesson on the history and problems that Haitians face in the Dominican Republic, and then we played soccer, baseball, and sung songs with the kids we met before embarking on our two-hour bus ride back to home base. There, many of us leapt into the pool to cool off from our hard work. Once we dried off and enjoyed our remaining free time, we transitioned into the amazing Leader of the Day activity that was our game of broken telephone. Many laughs later, people were ready to eat, and everyone lined up for another amazing dinner of fish and pasta. Finally, our long, fun-filled day ended with a lecture from Junior on economic systems and poverty followed by our mentor groups before heading to bed to begin the second half of our trip.
By Brooke and Mustafa
BLOG POST FOR JULY 5
Today some students started off the day with an optional soccer on the beach activity at 5:45 am, just in time for the sunrise! Everyone was up and awake by 7:00 for a nutritious tasty breakfast of baguette slices, fried eggs, cereal and more. We were all loaded on the bus just before 8:00 because everyone was excited to make some good progress during our half day at La Colonia. After about a 45 minute to an hour bus ride to the community we unloaded with all our gear and headed up to the same house we had been working on during the previous service days. Students immediately split off into different groups to tackle the different aspect of the house. Some people collected the last of the small bottles and filled some of few remaining walls with the bottles. Others hammered sheets of chicken wire onto finished portions of the wall.
Another group of students organized themselves and made cement and used their hands to lay it on some sides of the wall. Lots of students mentioned how they thought the house is coming together and looking more and more like a house with each day we spend there. Everyone worked diligently throughout the morning and at noon we all had lunch at La Colonia. It was taco day and we all got very excited to make our own tacos. One of the families that is right next to where we work gave us the gift of a huge avocado, the biggest one any of us had ever seen. After that we cleaned our tools, packed up, and headed to the bus to drive to the Cabarete Caves.
Everyone was very excited to visit the caves and even get to jump in the water to cool off while in there. Students changed into bathing suits at a bathroom and after a tour guide led us down a path where we saw quicksand and the remains of an old entertaining house with a bar, dance floor and more. The first cave we went to had a small and narrow entrance that led to a small pool of water about 82 feet down. We went down in three different groups of 6-10 people. For the most part, students jumped into the water to cool off then navigated the slippery steps to the top. After everyone had their turn, we all walked over to the second pool which had no swimming. It was a crystal cave with a variety of rocks, stalagmites, and stalactites.
We also go to see a sectioned off hole of water that is connected to another hole in the ground through a 2-kilometer tunnel. The final cave had a platform at the top where you could jump down to the water and climb up the stairs. Everyone was tired out on the bus ride back to home base. We had a regular afternoon of free time, a super delicious dinner with the main course being a local stew, a lecture on political security specifically in the Dominican Republic by Junior and a group activity. Everyone got in their rooms at 9:30 and had their lights out by 10:00.
Waleed and Carter
BLOG POST FOR JULY 6
This morning a few people joined Lauren in morning yoga. Afterwards, we had a delicious breakfast, and many people were very enthusiastic about the avocado toast. We set out for a Mount Brison community “walk” starting with a long bus ride to the base of the mountain.
A couple minutes into the walk we made our first stop at one of the community member’s houses. We asked many questions to learn about her life and how it differed from our own. Next we visited La Escuela La Batata “Emi.” We talked to a teacher and learned about careers and the school. Then we started our steep uphill trek while our trusty L.O.D.s and the staff cured bad blisters and minor tweaked ankles. About halfway uphill we made another stop at Dona Juanita’s and had the opportunity to purchase passion fruit juice, bracelets, and cake.
Finally, when we reached the top where we had a delicious lunch ready for us at Dona Maxima’s house. She told us about her lifestyle living at the mountain top and many students were impressed to hear that she completes that hike about four times a week! Most students purchased cold ice cream and we took a group picture before heading back down. Even though we endured scorching heat we kept complaints to a minimum which achieved the goal of the day. Furthermore, once we returned we had our circle discussion and almost every student rated their day 5 out of 5.
Written by Dylan and Riley
BLOG POST FOR JULY 7
It all began with sunrise soccer. Despite being planned for 5:45, everyone arrived at 6. Unbeknownst to Brooke, her friends snuck off to set up her room with posters, streamers and silly strong. Oh, did we forget to mention, it was Brooke’s birthday! After an intense celebration of life, we had a hardy breakfast of oatmeal and eggs and headed off to our last day of community service at La Colonia. After 6 hours of work and a fun game of poison dart from “leaders of the day” we had finished an entire cement wall plus more. We headed home to an exhilarating game of pool volleyball before Oscar the dog popped the ball.
After we headed off for ice cream. Right before dinner, Sonne lead us in a happy and carefree appreciation game sure to put a smile on anyone’s face. We had all worked up quiet an appetite and were happy to dive into a taco night dinner. After Dinner Junior presenting an eye-opening documentary on the negative effects of NGO’s accompanied by popcorn. And unless Brooke’s first party wasn’t fun enough, we ended the night by raging out to everything from Nacho’s Spanish music to wKaty Perry. We also feasted on cake while listening to “go Shawty, it’s ya birthday.” It was surely one of the highlights of the trip and we can’t wait for snorkeling tomorrow!
By Charlie and Nicole