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 JULY 15
Hello from the DR!
We are excited to welcome students to begin their adventure engaging in service, discovery, and connection. We had a very smooth airport day picking up all 23 students from the Puerto Plata airport. After arriving to home base in the early evening, we spent some time getting settled before eating a classic Dominican meal, the “Bandera Dominicana” (or “Dominican Flag”). We just got back from a quick walk to the beach and are doing a quick orientation before heading to bed for the night. We cannot wait to share the next two weeks with your students.
Julianne, Kate, Nilsa, and Alejandro
GLA Program Staff
BLOG POST FOR JULY 16
Written by Kylie and Caitlyn
Hey GLA families!!! We had a full packed first official day with tons of fun, hard work, and friendships emerging. We started out with a hearty breakfast. After breakfast, we had a detailed orientation of what we would be getting into for the day which led into an early lunch. We then headed our way to our first service trip at La Colenia where we helped build sustainable bathrooms for the community with recycled water bottles as instillation! In addition, we added cement onto the structure to make it stronger and more long lasting. After some good couple of service, we headed to a local supermarket, where everyone bought cool drinks and some snacks for the next couple days! Once we got back with some yummy snacks we had our chow circle, which led to a fueling dinner. Then we prepared for our service tomorrow with a Medical Brigade lecture by Doctor Caho, who will be joining us tomorrow to help us with clinic we will be doing. We can´t wait for tomorrow, and the opportunities it holds!!!!
-Signing off (we´re going to go eat our snacks now)
BLOG POST FOR JULY 17
Written by Madeleine and Brea
Waking up at the break of dawn (7:45 a.m.), everyone prepared to begin their day. With a full schedule ahead, we ate a fulfilling breakfast and quickly changed for a day at the pop-up clinic. Arriving at the clinic, we divided into five groups, each of which had individual tasks including: registration, vitals, clinical history, shadowing, and pharmacy. While serving, many of us overcame numerous barriers such as language barriers and learning the various tasks of each position. After completing our time at the clinic, we returned to the lodge and enjoyed a period of relaxation in the pool while also completing our swim tests (everyone passed by the way).
In the later afternoon, we engaged in an entertaining game of mafia and were introduced to mentor groups. During these groups, we were able to reflect on our past journeys while also looking forward to future endeavors. Afterwards, we engaged in our daily tech time and dinner, followed by a lecture led by Junior who discussed environmental topics and conservation. As a part two, Ben returned to the medical spectrum and led a discussion overviewing the primary differences between the leading causes of death in developed and developing countries. Of course, lights out was at 9:30 for students to prepare for the full schedule the following day. ¨Rule of thumb, don’t be dumb, when having fun.¨
BLOG POST FOR JULY 18
Written by Abby & Marisa
Today was our first free day it was full of adventures. First, we started our day with breakfast and then made our journey to Laguna DuDu. At the Laguna we swam in the beautiful crystal clear water and walked through the caves. We then ate lunch at the local restaurant and then traveled to Playa Preciosa. The beach was warm and sunny and we all enjoyed playing in the waves. After being in the sun for a while, we had virgin pina coladas and shopped through the local jewlery vendors. Then we came back to the lodge and played volleyball and ate yummy tacos. After all this we listened to a presentation on malnutrion and were very tired and ready for bed.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 19
Written by Gus and Theo
Once upon a time, the night became day. GLA kids were awoken and the day began. Breakfast was cracking. Due to unforeseen circumstances at la Colonia, we embarked on a beach exploration. The main goal was to collect as much trash as humanly possible, ranging all the way from bottle caps to full on tires. Winner not only got to choose their laundry day, but were also able to carry home their pride knowing they had helped the community to the maximum extent. This was followed by a world class sand sculpture competition where these revolutionary engineers constructed one of the finest sand sculptures known to man, nothing short of a miracle. For those who are biting their nails to know more, it was a GLA concert with the coconut twins performing, featuring flower bro’s.
After an eventful morning the kids headed back for lunch. Now on full belly’s, the campers were taught by the majestic Nielsa the art of Dominican dancing. This consisted of Merengue and machata, which heavily rely body movements (aka hips). The kids enjoyed their time on the dance floor as they boogied on down. The next chapter of the day was unforeseen!
As leaders of the day, Gus and Lorena were tasked with finding a game for the campers, they settled on blind maze a game that sends shivers down unsuspecting spines. Quick run down for the readers at home: A rope is set around objects, making a circular maze, one that is impossible to get out of. All the kids are blindfolded and taken to the arena, as stated in the rules you can´t take off your blindfold and you can’t go under the rope, But… If you need help, you can always ask for it. For those that can swallow their pride, the reward is a route out of the maze, some struggled more than others.
This activity was concluded with dinner. They enjoyed fish, rice and fruit and ventured out for a creamy dessert… Local ice cream! This was followed up with a Riveting Global Health talk. Delving into the health struggles of the modern world. After a short break mentor groups were continued, with conversations about Global, community and family leaders. The night was then ended by a calming meditation session by meditation prodigy Kate Berman.
P.S. We have also added in a blog post for July 17th – scroll up to read that one!
After a long and hard day, the Kids were snuggled in bed by 9:30, it was another successful eventful and educational day in the GLA community. God Bless America and God Save the Queen.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 20
Written by Ellie
Hello GLA families! Today was our fifth full day of activities. A few of us started out the morning with a refreshing walk on the beach where we collected many interesting rocks and shells. We then returned and joined our fellow campers at breakfast where we ate fresh fruit and delicious pancakes, oatmeal, and eggs. We then got ready to embark on the journey to a local chocolate factory owned and run solely by women. At the factory we were given a presentation on the factory’s method of producing several cacao products like wine, oil, powder and of course chocolate! We then got to taste several types of chocolate, tour the factory, and purchase merchandise.
After eating a quick lunch, we set off for the village of Cano Dulce where we met a man named Johnny. Johnny is a local beekeeper who makes his own bee boxes for honey collection and harvesting. We were then put to work making more slats to put in the bee boxes to aid in honey production. On the bus ride back to base camp we jammed out to Gus’s playlist. Back at camp several campers went for a swim in the pool before reconvening at the beach for the leaders of the day activity. The game was called Circle of Saturn and the campers had a variety opinions on it. Then we had our nightly routine of tech time, Chow Circle, and dinner.Following our meal we all played a game of Hot Seat where each person was faced with 2 minutes worth of question ranging from mundane to super personal. We all learned a lot about each other today and hope to continue bonding in the week to come!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 21
Written by Riya
Wednesday July 21st was a busy and EARLY day for us GLA students. We started the day with a delicious 6 am breakfast before a long bus ride to La Grua, a Haitian community, called a “Batey” for our Medical Brigade. We worked hard using our Spanish skills providing registration, taking vitals, clinical histories, shadowing Dr. Caho, and learning about the pharmacy. Nilsa also gave us a very informative tour about the poverty and social issues within the community. We also met many little children who gave us some cool hairstyles! After learning about La Grua, we stopped at Jumbo supermarket to grab some snacks and goodies. We came back to our wonderful lodge and met with our mentor groups where we did an activity based on our values. We enjoyed a yummy dinner of chicken sandwiches and a bean salad before The LODs, Riya and Reese, led everyone in playing charades. The night ended with a lovely meditation with Kate, as we prepared for an exciting upcoming day on this beautiful island!
We can’t wait for the rest of our GLA journey, thanks for following along!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 23
Today we woke up and set off on a short walk down Las Cañas to a site where we mixed cement using sand, powder and water. We worked super hard and got the floor of the bathroom finished! We walked back in time for a delicious lunch at the lodge and some free time to shower.
In the afternoon, we received a lecture from our counsellor Kate and El Ministerio de la Mujer about domestic violence, which was both informative and engaging.
Tired out from our day of cement mixing and walking we enjoyed some free time and finished the day with a visualisation activity, dinner and an ice cream.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 24
Written by Lainey & Lydia
The campers started off their day with some tragic weather as well as some tragic news. Due to slippery conditions, the students would not be cliff jumping that morning. However, they would not let this ruin their fun. Instead of cliff jumping they did something arguable more fun, a game of mystery questions about each other. After the game, things started looking up, the campers loaded onto the bus and headed to Jamao to go on their cliff jumping adventure. But alas the storm started once again. They decided to go on a surprise jungle safari where they loaded into an open-air jungle truck and then climbed the mountainous roads of the Dominican Republic. As a reward for their travels, they were gifted a delicious lunch from a local rooftop catering and some breath-taking views. On their way down the mountain, they stopped at a river bend where they swam in the down pouring rain and enjoyed some smaller jumps from the river bed.
After a long day of travel, they ended their adventure at Bons ice cream and then returned to the lodge. They enjoyed volleyball, swimming and much needed showers until the daily dose of tech time. For dinner we feasted on pasta, chicken, fruit and roasted vegetables. After feeding our stomachs we then feed our minds with an educational charla from Nilsa about the health systems in the Dominican Republic. By 9:30 the campers were all tucked in and ready for tomorrow’s adventures.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 25
Written by Theo and Angela
Today, students had an early morning as we had a difficult day ahead of us. We started the morning at 6am with a filling breakfast and began our hour and a half bus ride to the trail of Mt Brison. Walking up 3 miles on an incline which attributed to the skills of various students. It was a breeze for some but quite a challenge for others. Upon arrival at the top of the mountain we were served lunch to replenish energy, as well as a variety of ice cream flavours. We then headed back down the mountain in what was an easier walk, and were back to the bus in no time. Upon arrival at the Homebase, we swam to cool off while others slept off the days work. Then we did a group activity and wrote letters to each other to read when the trip came to an end. To end the night, we went down to the beach and enjoyed a bonfire with s’mores and photos. Finally, we sat in the pavilion and played card games before heading off to bed.