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 13
Young leaders assemble! 23 GLA students from all over the world, a group of dedicated young individuals with the goal of making a difference and bringing home an experience of a lifetime!
We are all excited to welcome them here in Anloga, Volta Region of Ghana, where they will spend most of their 3 incredible weeks of community projects, fun adventure, and cultural immersion. 13 of the students arrived by noon, and 4 of them quickly followed. We went for a quick lunch and snack run at Accra Mall before heading to the home base.
4 more students arrived in Kotoka International Airport later today, they will be staying over in Accra for a night, and join the group tomorrow! We’re also expecting 2 more students to arrive by tomorrow and then our GLA Ghana group will be complete!
Dear parents, families and relatives, plus friends of our amazing students here in Ghana, please continue supporting them by following our daily blogs and putting your shoutouts through the comment section below. We would love to hear from you too!
– RJ, Mentor
BLOG POST FOR JULY 14
Written by Sam Hecker / Yawavi
Today was our first full day in Ghana. It was an amazing day. A day we became one with the locals and their traditions. We started off today with pancakes, but these weren’t like the flap jacks we are used to back home. They looked similar to a French crepe but less cooked and wetter. We than moved outdoors for orientation. We became closer as peers and the ice was finally broken. We became a single unit.
We went off to lunch as companions and peers. After our lunch we went off to learn the native language as well as dances with local children. We played with the children. They were in love with our cameras and constantly wanted to take photos. We walked down to the beach with them and had an amazing time bonding with them.
We came back for dinner which was nice filling meal of noodles with egg and chicken mixed in. We then went off to become officially welcomed into the Ghanaian community. We were given our names by an “elder” who was really man named Stephen, one of our Local Coordintors. The name given to me was Yawavi! All in all, it was a good first full day in Ghana.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 15
Written by Caroline and Eleanor
We started our third day with a game called the “Moo Game”. We imitated cows and mooed at each other until one of us laughed. After that we went to breakfast where we had fried eggs on toast and papaya. We then watched a Ted Talk which led to a debate. One side was for voluntourism and the other was against.
Then we split up into two groups and went on separate school locations. It was very exciting to see the kids for the first time, we did some introductions and played games with them. For lunch, our host families came to homebase and played a game with us. We ate at 6 different tables and each group has a host family to talk to, we had Red Red which is a traditional Ghanian dish.
Then we split into two groups again to go to the Island tour and the Father’s House Int. Both Eleanor and I (Caroline) were in the island tour group. We took a boat to the island where we met the pastor and basket weavers, we got hands on and tried weaving. Then we went to a shrine where we met their traditional priest. We took the boat back and had dinner which consisted of Jollof Rice and chicken wings. We watched the Single of Single Story Ted Talk, which led to sharing our single stories we have experienced in our own lives.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 16
Written by Eden and Maria
Today was an amazing day. We woke up early and played a traditional game called “Ampe,” which the Ghanaian children taught us yesterday. After breakfast we did some lesson planning and then headed to the different schools in order to do service work. The first group started teaching curriculums and meeting their new students while the other group played a lot of fun games with the kids. We both had so much fun and then tried Acheke for lunch, a cassava based dish we really enjoyed eating.
After lunch, we had a lot of free time to play with the kids and lesson plan for upcoming teaching days. Then he headed out for our adventure. Half of us went to the Fathers House, which serves as a safe haven for escaped child trafficking boys from Ghana. It was a really unique and moving experience to hear from the boys in the house. The other half took boats to a lagoon island that preserves the traditional Ghanian culture. We saw how they weave using the reeds from the water. We also visited the shrine of a Traditional Ghanian religion and were able to ask questions. After a dinner of chicken and rice, we had a GLA Olympic game!!! It got pretty intense and we learned how competitive we truly were!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 17
Written by Maddie and Cate
This morning we all woke up at 7:40 and had toast, watermelon, and scrambled eggs for breakfast. After breakfast we loaded up in a van and went to a local church. At the church we participated in a lot of singing and dancing and they sing happy birthday to Maddie. Once church was over we came back to home base and had some free time before lunch. We then played a game called ninja and then had lunch. For lunch we had Peleve Sauce and Potatoes.
After lunch we played games with local children and got our hair braided. In the afternoon, we went to the market to pick out fabrics for the seamstress to make us clothes tomorrow. From there we went to our host families’ houses and spent time with them. We played games and danced with them. We came back and before dinner a Ghanaian birthday tradition was followed and buckets of water were dumped on Maddie’s head. For dinner we had pasta and salad and then we had ice cream and birthday cake. After dinner we met with our mentor groups to plan our lessons for teaching tomorrow.
It was a great day! Can’t wait for tomorrow!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 18
Written by Saleena and Grace G.
Today, Monday July 18th, we started the morning off with a fun game of musical chairs. After that, we ate some delicious breakfast which contained of toast, hard boiled eggs, and fresh fruit! After that we took a hot walk to school to teach for 3 hours. School ended around 11:30 and we took our perilous walk back to the home-base. After we arrived, we relaxed a bit before we transitioned into lunch.
For our lunch, our amazing cook made us tuna stew, beans and rice, and fresh watermelon. Furthermore, after lunch we continued hair braiding and still didn’t finish everyone’s hair. Then, the bus arrived to take us to the seamstress who made our specific orders and measured our sizes. We quickly arrived home, where we were greeted with the awesome kids who soon joined us with the beach clean up! In total we had 38 bags full of trash which the staff, the children, and the GLA students all acquired. We washed up and then played our last game of the day with the leaders which was “pass the parcel.” We then made our way into the Chow Circle with our today’s highlights, shoutouts, and the next group leaders were chosen.
After, we had our scrumpdiddilydumptious dinner which was mashed potatoes with chicken stroganoff and topped off with oranges and star fruit. Subsequently, we played a quick game with Liz which got us to know more about each other’s perspectives on certain topics. We then went into a further discussion with our mentor groups and wrote a journal entry. Lastly, I am here writing this blog for you, goodnight!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 19
Written by Greta and Evangelina
This morning we had amazing omelettes, toast and mangos for breakfast. After breakfast we went to service which was teaching at primary school. The kids were eager to learn, full of energy and passionate. We taught for 3 hours total with a break in between. We walked back to home base and had a quick break before lunch. Lunch was delicious as always followed by a long, much needed break. Some of us walked to the local shops and bought candy, others talked and the hair braiders came again.
After a reset we took a trip to the nearest high school. We sat in groups of 4 or 5 with the local students and got to know them. We played a game called “Bobsled” and attempted to name as many countries in Africa and South America as possible in our groups. We got ice cream and crackers as a treat at the end and overall had an incredible time getting to know each other. Upon returning to home base we played a game called human knot which was very fun before a filling dinner.
After dinner we watched a very eye opening movie called Amistad based on a true story of slavery from the 1830s. It was very emotionally challenging to watch so we met with our mentor groups afterwards to debrief. It was helpful to discuss what we had just witnessed and we went to bed with closure, excited for the next days events.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 20
Written by Roshan and Nora
The first thing that our group did this morning was play a calm game of Red Light, Green Light to casually start of the day. Then we had some fantastic crepes before we left for our teaching service at the local schools. We taught a variety of subjects ranging from mathematics to english and many different sciences. After teaching the hard-working children for three hours, we walked back to home base and rested for a little while.
Subsequently, we had a delicious local dish called “Redred”. We all felt well rested and prepared for the next emotionally challenging section of our day: Visiting the Keta Slave Fort. We travelled there by bus and upon arrival met a wonderful tour guide who taught about the horrific events that occurred inside the evil walls of the walls. He told us of the rape of innocent women, the capture of thousands of Ghanaians from their homes, the unjust torture and imprisonment of the enslaved people and he showed us the baths the people used for bathing and drinking water, cells and dungeons. After that eye-opening and life changing experience, we went to the beach for a bit and got cold drinks.
We came back to home base and played a quick game and had traditional pasta for dinner. After we finished eating, Dodzi told us about slavery, education in Ghana and his own educational experiences. We are all very exited for whatever adventure awaits us tomorrow!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 21
Written by Neela and Summer
This morning, we decided to wake everyone up at 6:40 with music, more specifically I Gotta Feeling by the Black Eyed Peas. When everyone was up we had a morning stretch instead of a game, to wake everyone up! For breakfast we had Tom brown, toast, watermelon and sausage. After, we prepared to go to our second to last day to teach the students 🙁 It was a fun day, and a heavy day with many cultural shocks to many students.
Around noon we all came back to home base for lunch, but before that we did a healing circle. We sat inside and held hands as we went around the room and shared heavy and happy feelings. For lunch we had fried chicken, the most amazing delicious pineapple that has ever existed, spicy rice, and water hopefully. We all enjoyed a whopping 3 hour free time period to nap, lesson plan, and go to the beach. At 4pm we had a speaker come to home base from the local high school to tell us all about the culture that we have emerged ourselves in, as well as the history of Ghana. We then played with the kids, and then played our game before dinner, and headed to go eat. On the menu we had chicken, fries, mango, and salad. It was very good.
For our last activity, we had Makafui Awuku, a world renowned sustainability activist and entrepreneur come to take to us. He transforms plastic waste to create art work and functional objects and structures. It was an amazing day!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 22
Hey families and friends, it’s Kenya and Lime here bringing you another update on your loved ones. Today we started our day early at 5:45 for a sunrise walk on the beach. Then, we had a delicious breakfast and we headed out for our last day of teaching. Although it was hard to say goodbye we had a great last day filled with laughter, dancing, singing, pictures and lots and lots of hugs. After we said our goodbyes we headed back to the home base for a hearty lunch. We had a short break and then we started our afternoon activities.
First, we started off with some Ghanian cultural skills, including traditional baby wrapping which allows women to hold their kids while still being able to have free hands, we first practiced with our pillow baby’s but then we moved on to real children. Then, we learned “hawking” which is where you are able to carry (and balance) things on your head. These cultural skills are seen all over Ghana and are used often while working and just walking around. Next, we had a cooking lesson led by our amazing GLA cooking staff. We got to prep, cut and cook a traditional Ghanian dish called Red Red and Fried Plantains. After we finished we were able to enjoy our delicious cooking. We then enjoyed a long break, where a group of students took a walk to the beach and even took a little dip in the ocean. Then, we had a minute of meditation and reflection before dinner.
After dinner we had a speaker named Jeremiah, country director of A Fathers House International, who talked to us about leadership and child slavery. We then met up with our mentor groups and it was time for bed. We said our goodnight and headed off to bed because we needed a good nights sleep for our travel day to Ho the next day.
Stay tuned for more updates, have a great day!
– Kennedy (Kenya) and Lime
BLOG POST FOR JULY 23
Hello friends and family. Today, Saturday July 23, led by Sam-Hecker and Arjun Soman, began with a quick wake up and packing in preparation for a two day trip to Ho, a city about two hours outside of Anloga. After a speedy breakfast the group set off in the van. We arrived at Ho around 11 am, ahead of schedule, so there was some time to spend shopping at a local market and for a short tour of the city.
At half past noon the group was checked into the hotel and set for lunch. The hotel is set on a mountain overlooking the city, resulting in an astounding view. The group had a nice lunch in a high room facing outwards towards the city. Afterwords, the group went “Batiking”, and then rushed back to swim in the hotel pool. In the evening, around 7 pm, we had a fine dinner in a similar situation as we had lunch. The day ended with two hours of relaxing free-time.
-Arjun and Sam
BLOG POST FOR JULY 24
Written by Ava and Vicente
Hi friends and family! Today we started off with a delicious breakfast before we packed our bags to head out for our 2 hour bus ride to Wli waterfall. Upon arrival we learned a bit about the history of the falls and surrounding community. After around 45 minutes of walking in the dense forest we reached the waterfall and swimming area. We explored the nearby vegetation and swam in/under the falls until we were ready to pack up, change, and head back out to the nearby market. At the market we shopped around an array of wooden sculptures, jewelry, art, and clothes.
The very long return from the restaurant to the hotel was far from similar to the departure. Almost every single one of us was sleeping with the help of some sleepy songs until the speed bumps located in every road of Ghana woke us up; nevertheless, it was very recomendable to make photos due to the landscape. When we finally arrived we had some free time. You could either spend some time in the pool, playing golf in a place for minigolf with a very nice staff of the hotel or even just chat or sleep even more. Diner time was supposed to be at 6:30 pm and so it was. Many options were included in the buffet including fish, pizza, chicken or rice. Having finished dinner, we all played a truly funny game related to music in which we got divided into three teams. RJ, the member of staff who proposed the game mentioned words and we then had to think of songs whose title or lyrics contained that specific word and then obviously sing it; all types of songs were selected including Spanish and French songs. Once finished we were exhausted from shouting and laughing; we got some free time from 8:30 at least which we could also be se to sleep. Lights out were at 9:30 to get some sleep so as to be prepared for a new week.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 25
Written by Izzy
Today marked the last day of our vacation in Ho. After breakfast, we packed and went to talk to Paul, a kente weaver of over 60 years. Kente weaving is an important aspect of Ghanian culture and one of the many exports this country has to offer. We all learned a little history on weaving, and began creating our own designs. We had the option to purchase some Kente weave pouches and bags too. We said goodbye to Ho and journeyed back to Anloga.
The bus ride back gave many people the opportunity to take beautiful pictures of the mountains and villages we passed by. Once we got to the home base, we were greeted by our seamstresses and tailors who so kindly brought us the many things they had created. They worked hard all week to make us custom-made clothing and accessories out of fabrics we handpicked previously. We then ate dinner soon after, and wrapped up the night with a pulse check to ensure we were all doing well. Truly, we will never forget our time in Ho.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 26
Written by Grace T. and Destiny
Today was our first day of our second service project – brick making! We started the morning with the usual breakfast foods before heading over to Father’s House. Father’s House is currently building a clinic so our goal at the moment is to make as many bricks as possible for them. After a couple hours of backbreaking work, we head back to home base for some lunch. Lunch was a fully vegan meal consisting of Red Red, rice, and fresh pineapple.
After lunch we had about two hours of free time which were pretty much used for naps and showers after a day of brick making. around 02:30 we learned Ghanaian contemporary dances led by two of our mentors Jerry and Seyram. At the end of the lessons we decided to include the local kids in the fun and alternated popular songs both in Ghana and in the Stares. everyone was worn out after dancing for hours so we opted to eat dinner a little early. dinner was fried rice with chicken spicy sauce and salad. After dinner our Mentor Fafa spoke about a nonprofit she started, which is called Mother’s Heritage, to help the girls on the lake and struggling mothers.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 27
Written by Greta and Maria
Hi! After an early breakfast and a fun stretching session we headed to Father’s House Int. in order to continue our service of the week: brick making. Although it definitely was a tiring and stressful morning our hard work really payed off. In fact, we managed to use 7 bags of cement and therefore end up our service having made way more bricks than we expected. We are very proud of ourselves!
After lunch we had a few hours of free time during which some of us decided to gather and do our laundry together. Our activity of the day was a Photo Scavenger Hunt, consisting of a series of challenges that each o group needed to complete and photograph in just 2 hours. The above mentioned challenges ranged from finding cassava trees to taking q picture with a shopkeeper or even record ourselves dancing “Buga” (a traditional Ghanaian dance). The main objective of the game was to meet and interact with people of our village always being courteous and respecting their local customs. It was a great experience and we all had a lot of fun!
After dinner we had the opportunity to talk about the different ways we could keep helping the community once we go back home. We were all very glad we got the chance to see the projects previous GLA students have already (or still are) carrying out, as it inspired and motivated many of us to start thinking about how we would like to keep in touch and help the amazing new people we’ve gotten to know throughout our journey.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 28
Written by Cate and Roshan
Today we woke up to some scrambled eggs and toast before we headed to Father’s House, the place where we make the bricks, for our 3 hours of service. It was challenging but we made the most of it: playing music and having fun.
We came back to homebase at noon for some lunch and had 2 whole hours of free time where most people worked on their acts for the talent show. At 3 PM we headed to the local high school to play soccer with the local high schoolers. We lost terribly but had lots of fun playing. We had some incredible ice cream and returned to homebase for dinner.
After dinner we watched Río as a group and our amazing chefs made us some pop corn. We’re all very excited for the visit to the market tomorrow and whatever other adventure it’s holds!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 29
Written by Arjun and Maddie
Today we woke up everyone up at 6:45 with positive affirmations to get ready for a big day of brick making. After a breakfast of eggs and toast, the group made their way to Father’s House to do our service work. Following a phenomenal brick making sesh, we came home to a delicious lunch of chicken curry.
The mentors came up with a scavenger hunt to make us more familiar with the market. Arjun and I’s team totally won!!! Riding the high of this victory and the amazing purchase of some designer glasses, we returned to base to play games with the kids. The seamstresses brought the rest of our completed fits to try on and pack away for home.
All that was left was a fantastic dinner and talent filled hour of karaoke. Bed was at 9:30, and lights out at 10.
Lots of love 🤎🤎
BLOG POST FOR JULY 30
Written by Summer and Grace G.
This beautiful morning we had amazing crepes with top choco, the most glorious chocolate spread ever created, along with porridge and apples. After breakfast we headed to Father’s House to make bricks for the last day, it was definitely an experience. We were expecting sand to be ready for us to mix in with the concrete but the sand guy did not deliver. We were set back on time by having to get sand from the beach. After 2 hours of hard work we finished our final brick making around 800 bricks in total. We then went back to home base to eat lunch which was rice with beef stew and pineapples.
We then went to go meet the chief and elders of Anloga. We listened to their stories of how they came to be part of the council. We thanked them with a little donation, then headed off to visit our host families for the last time. After our little visit we went back to home base to have a delicious dinner which was Chinese noodles with rice and veggie stew.
After dinner we got ready for our talent show which was totally off the hizzy. The crowd favorite was the GLA rap performed by Roshan, Kennedy and Saleena. Overall our day was amazing and packed full of fun.
Summer and Grace out (mic drop)