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 5
Written by: Lauren, International Director
Bula! Hello from Fiji! Today started with an early morning arrival at Nadi International Airport. After about a 40 minute ride, we arrived at our Home Base overlooking the hills of the Momi Bay area…featuring ocean views! Wasting no time and in need of some relaxation after the long flight, we completed orientation and swim tests, then headed to nearby Natadola Beach.
Students spent the afternoon enjoying the bright blue water, sunshine, and games in the sand. When we got back to Home Base, students were able to unpack and unwind for a bit before some get-to-know-you activities and dinner. Dinner was followed by our Welcome Ceremony where students learned about the traditional Fijian practice of serving kava. Singing and dancing together with the local Home Base staff was a great way to close the evening! We’re off on our first day of service tomorrow in the Highlands. Everyone is looking forward to the busy days of service and adventure ahead! Sending a big ‘thank you’ to the students for an excited and positive start. Vinaka!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 6
Written by Phoebe
We started our morning off bright and early with breakfast at 7. There was a delicious meal prepared for us. After we stuffed ourselves we got ready packing our backpacks for our day in the highlands. We all got into the van and traveled into town. Once we were in town we broke up upon three 4 by 4 trucks. There we made our way up into the highlands while seeing the beautiful views. We arrived at the Nausori Highlands where we were greeted with big smiles and lots of “bula.” We enjoyed kava and then Jerry gave us a tour of the village. We had a delightful lunch prepared by the women in the village. After lunch, we made our way up to the farm. We talked with the farmer, Kolaia, for a while, sharing stories. We then started to cut the casava with a machete and turned the soil. We planted the casava and then saw the rest of the gorgeous farm. We then said goodbye and went back to the village for afternoon tea with our friends. The sun was setting as we rolled down the Highlands and headed back to home base. We ate a scrumptious meal and then got a Fiji 101 lesson from Jerry. Everyone is excited to head back to the highlands tomorrow and see everyone again.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 7
Written by Kiera
After breakfast, we started our trek back up to the Nausori Highlands, where we planted cucumber and french beans on Kolai’s farm. A couple hours of hard work later, we took a break and were greeted with sticks of sugar cane and papaya as a thank you. We headed back to the highland village base for lunch consisting of chicken curry, veggie curry, lentil soup, and rice. After lunch, we headed back to the farm and were tasked with uprooting and replanting the traditional kava plant. On the way back to town we stopped for a quick swim in a water hole that has a waterfall. Back at the village, we had evening tea and the village elders gave us a kava goodbye ceremony followed by a goodbye song called Isa Lei.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 8
Written by Leo C.
Hey y’all! We had a fantastic day today that started off with an early morning due to a mistakenly-set alarm clock. A full breakfast prepped us for a long day of hard work. We left Home Base at 8:00am sharp and headed to Bavu Village where we met with the chief to present sevusevu (offering) and were granted permission to do our scheduled activities within the village for the day. Next, we took a tour of the gorgeous village led by Johnny, a carpenter and the builder who would be leading us in our main service project of the day: building a compost toilet! Along our tour, we gathered an entourage of some of the children from the village who we had lots of fun talking to and, for the girls in our group, getting their hair braided.
Immediately afterwards we got to work digging a pit for the base of the toilet (with the help of our new friends). All of us did a great job taking turns with different jobs on-site between digging, ferrying buckets, and mixing cement throughout the day in Bavu. A delicious lunch, some more work, and then an impressive Meke dance performance by the villagers accompanied by tea rounded out our first day in Bavu Village. Back to Home Base we went, and a chill dip in the pool before dinner helped us cool down nicely. Putting a stamp on the day with a small debate tired us out (finally). Excited for another full day tomorrow!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 9 & 10
Written by: Surya
Hey folks, we have been having a great couple of days in Fiji! Yesterday we started the morning taking a walk across the countryside towards a pineapple farm helping clear weeds for an hour. On this day we worked towards learning about Indo-Fijeans who make up about 30% of Fiji’s population. Toward this we worked with a Indo-Fijian lady named Shalini who helps women who have been widowed, divorced, or left by their husbands. With the help of Shalini we were able to learn more about Indo-Fijian culture along with what goes into running meal programs.
Today we continued our work in Bavu Village. We started the day off with a quick drive to the village. After we had reached the village we went straight to work laying bricks at the work site and making paste out of concrete sand. After three hours of hard work we headed back to the homebase for a quick lunch followed by some relaxation by the pool. After the enjoyable break we continued our work pouring in concrete for the foundation and finishing out time in the village with some tea and snacks! After back at base we enjoyed a delicious dinner and learned a traditional Fijian dance after. We look forward to island hopping tomorrow!!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 11
Written by: Leo R.
Hello! Today we had our long awaited island hopping day. We started out the day by driving to the coast and hopping on a boat. The first place we stopped at was Cloud Break, which is the third greatest surfing location in the world. After passing by a couple beautiful places we arrived at a partially submerged sandbar where we played duck duck goose and relaxed in the warm water. After drying off and hopping back in the boat, we went to “honeymoon island” and began snorkeling. There were so many fish and the coral was super vibrant and colorful. Tired and hungry, we went to our final destination, which was lunch at a beachside resort. This was a very stark difference from what we have been doing on the rest of the trip, and it was an eye opening experience. After eating some food and buying some drinks, we played at the beach for the rest of the day. The boat ride back was incredibly bumpy, but also incredibly fun. We showered, ate dinner, and proceeded with our evening activities. This was an amazing day, packed with fun at every second, and I’m looking forward to the second half of our trip.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 13
Written by: Ava
Today was another wonderful day in Fiji! We started the day with a delicious breakfast and then headed to our final day of service in Bavu Village. Since we finished work on the bathroom project yesterday, today we focused on building a concrete pathway running through the village. As usual, we were accompanied by little helpers from the village. The children who have been visiting us for the past week returned to play, style our hair, and help us work. We’d been bonding with the kids over the past week, and even hosted a “Kids Corner” where we organized and played games with them for an hour. We worked through the morning with their help, and then we returned to home base for lunch. Some of us drank milkshakes by the poolside while others swam to cool down. We returned to Bavu Village feeling refreshed and ready to complete our projects. We made our final touches to the service projects. Then the community served us tea, crackers, and bread. We then had to say goodbye to our village friends which was sad and sweet at the same time. Once we got home, we relaxed, played some volleyball, and napped. Then we ate another scrumptious meal and started our evening activity of making coconut oil from scratch. First we gathered coconuts that had fallen around basecamp. Then Jerry assisted us in husking them and scraping the insides into bowls to mush up. It was a very satisfying process that left our hands feeling soft and silky. Overall, it was a day balanced perfectly between accomplishment and fun.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 14
Written by Audrey
Bula from Fiji! We started today with an early breakfast featuring pancakes. Then at 8, we departed for Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park; the only national park in Fiji. This was about an hour drive in light rain. Then we began our hike where we saw beautiful jungle scenery. We eventually made it to the top of the sand dunes and had an amazing 360 view. Then we jumped down the sand dunes to the beach. For a little over an hour we walked along the beach and picked up lots of trash along our way. After our beach cleanup we departed and went to town for lunch. We went to a local Indian restaurant and ate buffet style. After our lunch we headed to the Tappoos for some souvenir shopping.
After the shopping we returned to the national park and made a variety of clay pieces. We were instructed by local Fijian women, who taught us how to sculpt turtles, beads, vases, and more. After we returned to our home base. From there we took a short walk to Momi gun site. We watched the sun set from there and also debriefed our service while at the site. We walked back to our base, and then Shalini gave us the coconut oil we assisted her in making the previous night. After this long day we were happy to have dinner where we were surprised with ice cream for dessert. After this scrumptious meal we had our final goodbye Kava ceremony with the home base staff who had been with us for our whole journey so far. We’re off to Beqa Island for the rest of the program tomorrow!