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.
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 after activities are completed to have with them through the night. Actual tech times and regularity will vary greatly by program location and time zones. 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.
For frequently asked questions about the blogs, please visit our Program Blog FAQ page.
-The Global Leadership Adventures HQ Team
BLOG POST FOR JULY 16
We have made it to the DR! We can’t wait to meet the final student of our program who will arrive tomorrow. After arriving at our Home Base, we made a quick stop at the beach before having a traditional and delicious dinner. We’re excited to start our first full day tomorrow!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 17
Written By Sienna Verma
Today was a super fun and productive day. After an early start at 7:30 am for breakfast, we were ready to start the day. Junior gave us a tour of Las Canas (the community we are staying in). He showed us all the different lifestyles presented here. After that, we played some fun games on the beach that helped us get to know each other more. After that, we headed back to home base for a delicious lunch then left for our service site, Las Martinez. When we got there we immediately got to work by building a latrine. We were mixing cement, cutting chicken wire, and building walls out of plastic bottles! ( a sustainable way 7 elements is helping the community and the environment). Finally we got back to home base and had some free time to swim (after our swim test EVERYONE PASSED!). We learned about Global health and ate an equally as delicious dinner and promptly went to bed (exhausted from a fun day of hard work). So excited to see what tomorrow brings!
And shout out to our GLA pets : Lilly and Smudge !
BLOG POST FOR JULY 18
Today was a full day of service! We woke up for breakfast at 7 am today. Then at 8 am we headed to the work site in Boca de Yasica to work on a water bottle house. The structure of the house had already been constructed including the addition of the plastic water bottles leaving us with the task of cementing the floors. While some of us worked on leveling the floor for cement application, the rest of us started with the difficult task of mixing cement. With additional help from some local kids who were very excited to assist us in any way, we were able to finish work pretty quickly today.
In total, we mixed around six separate batches of cement leaving us super sweaty and hungry. We ate lunch near the site before getting back to work. On our way back to home base, we stopped at a nearby supermarket to exchange currency and buy some Dominican snacks. Finally, we headed back to the lodge to relax before dinner. Tonight we will prepare for the medical brigade tomorrow!!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 19
Written by Mathis
This morning some of the girls started the day with a trip to the beach to catch the Dominican Republics beautiful sunrise, however were unfortunately encountered with clouds and just a side of sunshine. Once the whole group was up, we began the day with a nutritional breakfast of eggs, potatoes and french toast, all prepared by the lovely ladies in the kitchen. Next on the schedule was setting up for the medical brigade and waiting for the patients to start coming in. Stations consisted of a registration table, vitals station, clinical history station, a meet and prescription with the doctor and finally the pharmacy.
When things got slow, we decided to play a fun game of Heads up 7 up, as well as various card games to pass the time. Once the medical brigade was successfully wrapped up, we decided to reward ourselves by going out for ice cream, followed by a very informational video on the differences and inequalities separating the countries of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. We finished the day with a dip in the pool to cool off and after a fun chow circle participated in an activity of responsible photography, emphasizing the importance of consent and digital footprint. We worked hard but played harder and after this jam packed day are ready for a good nights rest.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 20
Written by Maya and Malia
Today we started the day by eating breakfast at our usual time of 7:00 a.m. After we finished breakfast we took the bus to Dudu Lagoon, which was an hour and a half away, as our first excursion of the trip. We all had a super fun time in the lagoon although sadly someone lost their phone. We decided to lift the mood and head to the cave. After we finished swimming, we headed to a delicious restaurant near by for lunch and had lots of tasty Dominican food, like beans and rice, plantains and mangoes.
We even saw a kitten that was a crowd favorite! Once we finished eating we took the bus to Playa Preciosa and got to swim in the clear water, get piña coladas, and got a chance to get some souvenirs. After that, we headed back to the lodge and had free time as a few people went for a swim in the pool. We then talked about the highlights of the day in chow circle. At 6 p.m. we had dinner and today was taco night! Then we had a presentation on malnutrition at 7, then headed to bed!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 21
Written by Olivia
This morning we got to sleep in and extra hour and have breakfast at 8:00 AM! We had delicious pancakes, toast, eggs, and fruit. At 9:00 we hopped on the bus and headed to our first stop, Chojoba. We got an explanation of the chocolate business and were able to taste the delicious products! Then we went inside and had a very interesting tour of the factory. We got to learn about the machines, where the chocolate is processed and created from the cacao fruit grown on the island. After the tour was done, we had a chance to purchase some of the products (which almost all of us did). Then we got on the bus and drove back to the lodge for lunch! At 12:00 PM we all enjoyed the rice, beans, chicken, and salad prepared for us.
We hopped back on the bus and had a quick drive to our next stop, bee boxing. This was in La Caño Dulce, a neighborhood that 7 elements has worked with. We spent a few hours there putting in a lot of work to build and paint the boxes. We then took a quick hike up a hill to see where the bees were kept. We all got a taste of the delicious honeycomb and a few students purchased it! After a few hours of hard work we came back to the lodge to rest. A few students went for a refreshing dip in the pool before joining back together for the chow circle and dinner at 6:00 PM. We ended the evening with a dance class from Junior, learning basic steps of the traditional bachata. After a hot but fun day, we went to bed and rested for a new day to come!
Shoutout to the scuba divers at Dudu Lagoon who found the phone that was lost yesterday!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 22
Written by Shane
Today we had breakfast at 7:00. We had mash potatoes, eggs, and all the normal fruit. We also got to get our dirty clothes clean. After that we headed out to Puerto Plata. It was around an hour drive. We first went on the cable car up to a mountain where we got to take lots of photos of a nice view and we got to buy souvenirs. We then got some popsicles/icies. After we got down we went to this restaurant were we had to wait in line for a bit. The food that was there were variations of rice and chicken. There was also lasagna and salad. Then we went to this cool museum about amber where the guide talked about the differences of fake and real amber. Then people wanted to exchange money and get some stuff in the area featuring ice cream, clothes store , and souvenirs.
After we went to a supermarket where we got drinks, food, and candy. There was also a mcdonald’s next to it so some people went to get mcdonald’s. We then took an hour drive back. When we got back it was free time where most people went into the pool. We had dinner shortly after and we kinda had burgers. There was also fries and fruit punch. People then went back into the pool playing a throwing game with a volleyball. Then Junior gave a lecture about the Dominican Republic health care system.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 23
Today we started our day with some fresh fruit, cereal, french toast and homemade fruit punch. We then got ready and packed up the bus and headed to a full day of service. Today we were finishing the bottle house by adding a floor and finishing the outside walls. We then headed to lunch that was prepared some of the 7elements employees. We had chicken, rice, black beans, salad, plantains and fruit. We then got back to work until 3. We packed the bus up and headed back to the lodge for some pool time and chow circle before dinner. For dinner we had fried fish with potatoes and french fries, broccoli, fruit, coleslaw and some sweet lemonade. We then all came into the privaline for a human rights & economy debate before heading to bed at nine.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 24
Today we visited the community of El Mango to do a medical brigade. We worked from 8 – 2 and we ate lunch in a local resident’s house. Our goal was to see 30 patients and we got around 36 patients that we were able to help and we were still able to end a bit early. Once we got back to the lodge we hung out around the pool as a group. Some people were playing games in the pool and others were reading on the sides. For dinner we had chicken, French fries, potato’s and fruits. Later in the evening we are going to have a beach bonfire with s’mores!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 26
Hello everyone!!! Today we were graced with an extra 30 minutes of sleep. We had breakfast at 7:30am and enjoyed the lovely breakfast provided. We then started the day with some exercise and walked to our worksite in Las Canas and got to see a new part of the neighborhood. Everyone worked very hard for 3 hours including a short dance party with local kids. As we were packing up our tools it started to rain! We walked back to the lodge in the rain enjoying the cool weather. We then ate a delicious lunch at the lodge and dried off. Then we had a talk about domestic violence given by a women from the women’s ministry organization. Everyone took advantage of the rainy day by playing card games and reading under the pavilion during our free time. For dinner we had taco night which was delicious! We then ended the night by walking to get ice cream and watching a movie!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 27
Written by Carson and Brodie:
Today we woke up early at 6am so that we could make the bus ride to Puerto Plata. Everyone was tired so the bus ride was reasonably quiet. After two hours we arrived in a community so that we could begin our final medical brigade, after we walked through the streets and walked up some stairs we arrived in a community center/church. Standing in a circle, the community leader/pastor had us pray and we began. The medical brigade wasn’t unlike the other two we did, with the normal stations and tasks. Lunch was rice, chicken, beans, lettuce, and fruit. Finishing the brigade with a total of 42 people, we rested and sat in the chairs, card games and guitar. Afterwards we collected our things and the pastor gave them a thoughtful final word, as well as hugs. We got out picture taken for the community center wall (it had pictures of other people that had helped them in the past). We stopped by the supermarket on the way back to the lodge, and after a long bus ride we walked back to our cabins. The pool had been being used by the new group that arrived a couple days ago and we talked to them until they left. Dinner consisted of chicken, potatoes, broccoli/cauliflower, bean/corn, plantains, fruit, and lemonade. Now i’m writing the blog post, there’s going to be a group activity later as well as a possible movie, looking forward to tomorrow!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 28
Written by Eva
Last day best day! Today we got to sleep in until 8:30. Some people got up for the sunrise, and then went swimming before breakfast. For breakfast we had French toast, oatmeal, fruit, and cereal. After we had breakfast we had two hours to get ready/chill before we had to get on the bus. It was a forty minute drive to the snorkeling place. Once we got there we set up all our stuff and got our snorkels. We stopped at two places, both for 35 minutes. We saw lots of fish and got to swim in between reefs. Then it was time for lunch. We got pizza! After lunch some people got massages and their hair done. Once we got back to the base, we went swimming for a few minutes, then started our last activity together. We decided our group goal was to adopt small habits to conserve energy. Then we had dinner and ended the night with the sunset on the beach and (free) ice cream!