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 JUNE 24
Written by ID Margarida Marques
Hello Families and Friends,
Today our students finally arrived in Ghana, and we couldn’t be more excited to meet them!
After landing we had a few hours on the road ahead of us, but it was great to see how the group started to connect right away.
We made it to Anloga around dinner time, when the students got to see for the first time their home for the next 21 days. The staff showed them around the house and we had dinner together.
We decided to call it an early night to allow everyone to charge their batteries for the amazing days ahead of us. This is going to be a busy but very exciting program, where the students will experience the Ghanaian culture in a unique way and hopefully make a positive impact in the local communities.
We’ll keep on sharing our days here in the blog, so stay tuned to follow our adventures!
The GLA Ghana Team,
Dodzi, Maggie, Stephen, Seyram and Eugene
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 25
Hello Families and Friends,
Today was our first day waking up at our beautiful homebase.
The day started with a presentation about the program and what our itinerary will look like. Before lunch we still had time to go to the beach nearby, dip our feet in the ocean and meet some of the children from the local community.
In the afternoon, a teacher came to give us a lesson on the local language, Ewe. We learned the phonetics of Ewe – with sounds that are new to all of us – useful words for our day-to-day here, and even a song to help us memorize the months of the year (check the video below to listen to these students’ amazing voices!).
Afterwards, it was time to get our bodies moving, so the musical group “Emancipation Culture” came from Keta to teach us the misago dance and how to play their music instruments. Definitely one of the highlights of the day, where everyone got a taste of the Ghanaian music! Before dinner some of the children from the local community came to visit us at the homebase, and we played football.
To end the day, we had a welcoming ceremony where the grandfather of this community came and told us our Ewe name based on the day we were born. Here are the names:
Alex – Kofiga
Allison – Awo
Ana – Awusi
Charlotte – Ama
Ava – Afi
Chloe – Afiwor
Jackson – Kofitse
Katherine – Awoyo
Leonardo – Kofi
Lindsey – Ablavi
Payton – Abla
Sophia – Awotor
Sophie – Adzo
Maggie – Ami
Eugene – Kodzo
From now on our students will be writing this blog, so keep on reading to learn about their exciting days!
The GLA Ghana Team,
Dodzi, Maggie, Stephen, Seyram and Eugene
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 26
Written by Alex and Sophia
Good evening from Ghana!
We are your leaders of the day Alex and Sophia, and this was our second official day in Ghana. We started off our day with breakfast including oatmeal and an assortment of fruits. We followed breakfast with a group contract produced by all the students on the program and a community service overview. Around lunch time our host family joined us for lunch in home base where we got to learn more about Ghana’s people and their culture.
Around 2pm we travelled to an island called Genui where we immersed ourselves in traditional Ghanian religion, played with kids and visited a church service. After connections made despite language barriers, we had to say goodbye to the children of Genui and head back to home base. As we got home the locals were wating for us with big smiles and ambition for soccer. After getting absolutely destroyed by little kids we started wrapping up our night with a delicious dinner and a shoutout circle. Our night ended early with an exercise on African stereotypes teaching us not to rely on a single story fallacy.
Hede nyuie (Goodnight)!
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 27
Written by Sophie and Ava
Hello Family and Friends,
Today was the students third day in Ghana and their first day at the school. We observed each classroom in pairs from kindergarten through sixth grade.
At 8:00 in the morning we headed for school. Starting off we began to build a wall to protect the school from trespassers. When we arrived, the students were so excited to play with GLA students.
The GLA students observed different teachers to learn the curriculum they will be teaching. They took part in teaching the class in subjects such as Math, English, and Science.
After, we came back to our homebase for lunch. The GLA group paired up and planned future lessons for the Ghanaian students.
Later in the day, the students took a trip to the beach. We visited a support system for the Ghanaian children – Father’s House International. We spoke with the founder, and he gave the GLA students ways to prevent child labour and starvation in communities.
Students came home to a lovely dinner. We then went into mental groups to discuss the relationships between groups and what we can do to feel more positive.
Have a good night!
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 28
Written by Leo and Jackson
Today, the GLA students started the day by going to one of the local schools of Ghana, specifically named the “Avete School”. While the students were there, they helped by moving cement bricks to the area where they are starting to build a wall or fence to further develop the school’s security and privacy. They also learned how to mix dirt, rocks, and water to make concrete cement for more bricks. The students helped by shovelling the rocks and dirt, and also by carrying these materials from one place to another using pans. Then the girls got their hair braided by the local hair braider before leaving to spend the afternoon with their host families.
After dinner we had a guest speaker named Dr Jerimiah Banini who is the chief operating officer from the Fathers House International, who spoke about his experiences with helping Ghanian kids who need education and support. He then also inspired the GLA kids to become leaders by thinking of ways to help their own community for the people in need. Overall, today was a very productive day for the students, where we hope that they learned essential stuff that will stick to them for the future.
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 29
Written by Payton and Chloe
Hello friends and family!
Today in Ghana, during service we worked our second day of construction, building the wall at the local school, we also started our first day of teaching the children at the school. This was a new intimidating experience for all of us at first but we feel as though we are already developing strong leadership skills and close relationships with the children. After service we came back to homebase where we had a delicious lunch, and shortly after that we had a guest speaker, Mr. Etorko Dupeh, come to teach us about the history of Ghana and more about the district of Anloga.
After this we had 2 hours of free time where some decided to rest and others were outside playing with the local neighbourhood children, playing soccer, jump roping, or just socializing. We then had yet another delicious meal for dinner and after we followed with a discussion where students were put into groups all representing different characters offering different point of views regarding a situation about oil drilling and its social, economic and political impacts in Ghana. Tomorrow, we look forward to another morning of service and then a trip to the market where we will look around and get to participate in more Ghanaian culture.
Goodnight from Ghana!
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 30
Written by Lindsey and Catherine
Ndo from Ghana!
Today, the GLA students started off their morning with a delicious breakfast to power them through their third day of service. Today’s service included mixing concrete, digging a trench for the wall, laying brick and teaching.
After a well earned lunch, the GLA students visited a local market where they purchased their choice of fabrics. Before heading back to homebase, the GLA students were introduced to seamstresses who individually fitted each student’s fabric to their choice of clothing or accessory.
After the visit to the seamstresses, the GLA students came back to homebase and hung out with the local kids. After a long evening of soccer and socializing with the locals, the GLA students enjoyed a delicious dinner followed by a movie night and popcorn.
Good night from Ghana!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 1
Written by Allie and Charlotte
Good evening from Ghana!
This morning we got to sleep in an extra hour! We did our first load of laundry which is currently being air dried. After breakfast we headed out the door to the school to do service. We mixed more cement and added layers of bricks to the wall we are making around the local school. After lunch we visited the former slave fort in Keta. We toured the fort and learned a lot about the history of the transatlantic slave trade.
Once we arrived at home base we were greeted with hugs and smiles by the local kids. Some students participated in a soccer game while others played other games and read stories with the kids. Following dinner we were greeted by our guest speaker, Makafui, who talked to use about the importance of recycling, what we can do to help our environment, and how he began his business! We are so excited for what tomorrow holds!
Nunya- knowledge (Ewe word of the day)
BLOG POST FOR JULY 2
Good evening families and friends! Blogging to you today is Ana and Sophia N!
We started off today with a late breakfast which followed up with a visit to the local church. We experienced the Ghanian culture and got to participate in the typical church activities. An enjoyable heavy rainfall joined us after the church service leaving many happy face and wet clothes. After lunch, we got into some handy work with Mr. Makafui Awuku, creating some upcycled pieces out of plastic bottles and flip flops.
Following the activity the local kids joined us for a game of soccer, which we lost yet again. After many failed attempts at convincing Dodzi to let home base try some ice cream we were surprised with an ice cream pop up. Around six, we enjoyed a delicious dinner with fresh pineapple and chicken. Wrapping up for the night, we had an inspiring talk from our Host speaker Dodzi about his journey accessing education in Ghana. We hope u enjoyed our blog, stay tuned for tomorrows!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 3
Written by Alex and Ava
Today we started our day with a hardboiled egg breakfast and watermelon. We then headed to the Anloga Elementary School where we continued our building of the wall for the school’s security. After working for 2 hours on the wall, we shifted our focuses onto teaching. We had different sets of kids today which yielded new challenges, but none we couldn’t overcome.
After our service, we treated ourselves to a delicious lunch followed by some free time. We then met us with our local chef and participated in a group bonding cooking class where we made the local Ghanian dish, “Red Red”. This dish consisted of bases including plantains, beans, tomatoes, and an assortment of other vegetables. We followed our lesson with more free time which we used to eat our creation. We started to wrap up our day spending time with the local children, a shout out circle, and dinner.
Our Night ended with an activity where we split into teams and used coordination and planning to win. Good night from Ghana, Half way there!!!!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 4
Written Sophie and Jackson
This morning we got up at 7 in the morning sharp for breakfast. We then prepared for our day leaving homebase at 8. The students did service for a few hours and then played with the children. We then all headed to our separate classrooms to teach our Ghanaian students. After school we returned to homebase and ate lunch. At 1:30 in the afternoon the students went to the market to compete in a scavenger hunt and went shopping. Once they returned to homebase they had free time until 6. For the nighttime activity the students discussed Ghanaian funerals.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 5
Written by Allie and Lindsey
Good evening from Ghana!
This morning the GLA students enjoyed a delicious breakfast of crepes and a selection of fresh fruits. After breakfast the students left for school to start their day of service. The GLA students made excellent progress on the wall that they are building around the school. After a long morning of service the students went to teach their classes and play with the kids. After school the GLA students came back to homebase and enjoyed lunch, and then an afternoon activity.
Today our activity was a scavenger hunt throughout the local village. The GLA students were asked to find certain things and people and take photos with them. The students met more of the locals and learned about the surrounding community. After the afternoon activity the GLA students came back to homebase and had a few hours of free time before dinner. After dinner the GLA students watched a very inspiring documentary called Girls Rising. After watching the documentary, the GLA students started packing for our trip tomorrow.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 6
Written by Katherine and Leo
Good Evening, all!
This morning was spent completing the lengthy drive from Anloga to Ho. Once the GLA students arrived they enjoyed lunch. After lunch, the students got their rooms, where some chose to rest. Some students enjoyed their time at the pool of the hotel. Then, they had dinner at the hotel. Overall, the day was spent idly after many days jam packed with service and exciting activities.
Goodnight from Ho!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 7
Written by Payton and Charlotte
Gooooooood evening from our weekend trip in Ho.
Today was a very busy day but one of the our personal favorites. We started the morning waking up and going down to the hotel restaurant for breakfast. After that we drove 2 hours up more inland in ghana where we went to a local designers studio and got to learn and practice batik. Each student got to pick a special design wood print that they dipped in hot wax and then press on to a 1 yard sheet. The designer is going to dye these wax fabric designs and we get to bring them home. After that we drove to another hotel where we were served lunch (and got to meet other fellow American travelers).
We then headed over to our next destination and began hiking 40 minutes to a magnificent waterfall. We got to swim and play in the water for a while before hiking back and looking in the craft shops where we had the opportunity to buy gifts and souvenirs for us and our families. This was such a cool experience and one many students would describe as the highlight of the trip. Finally we returned to our hotel for a nice warm shower and PIZZA! Tomorrow we look forward to another fun day of activities in Ho and then heading back to home base where we get to have our products from the seamstress delivered!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 8
Written by Chloe and Ana
Good evening, friends and families,
Today we spent our last day in Ho which started off with a delicious breakfast at the hotel, followed by a short drive to an amazing activity with the Kente Weavers. We learned how to weave in a typical Ghanian way and put together traditional patterns. After the activity we were able to get souvenirs, such as wallets, bow ties, and bags, traditionally made by the weavers. We then headed back to the hotel, checked out, had lunch, and we were on our way back to home base.
After a beautiful drive, we arrived to an impressive set up of various seamstresses work for sale. Their products included the custom items that we had requested and chosen fabric for. There were additional pieces for us to buy such as various styles of bags, pants, shorts, headbands, etc. Afterwards we ate dinner and relaxed with the night off for the remaining of the evening.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 9
Written by Sophia N and Alex
T-5 days until this amazing experience is over.
As we realize our time here is coming to an end, we start trying to pack our day with as many activities as possible. We started our day with eggs and pineapple for breakfast after a late wake up. We then followed breakfast with a beach trip where we participated in team games and a couple hours of beach clean-up. Although we got hit with some rain, we persevered with our service and picked up more than 10 trash bags of waste.
After service, we ate a lunch of mangos, potatoes, and chicken to fuel up for our upcoming competition. Tensions were rising for the highly anticipated soccer game between GLA students and the Anloga secondary school soccer team. GLA started off strong on and off the field with scoring two goals and leading the game by one point, our cheerleading squad also did a great job uplifting the players and supporting the team. Unfortunately for the second half things took a turn for the worse, where the secondary school scored three goals leaving a final score 4-2. Saddened by our losses, our GLA staff brought us ice cream which lightened the mood.
We then returned to home base where one of the kids brought three adorable puppies resulting in everyone forgetting about the lost game and discussions about adopting the puppies. We finished our day with dinner and a night activity about values and what we hold true to ourselves.
After an action packed day, we had to hit the hay,
BLOG POST FOR JULY 10
Written by Ava and Jackson
Hello family and friends,
Today we started off our day with an omelette, mangos, and toast. Then we left at 8 am for school. Where GLA students continued to build the wall around the school, and they made great progress. After that GLA students went into their classrooms and started with teaching.
After the morning service we came back to homebase and had a very healthy lunch that contained waakye, beef stew, pineapple, and garden salad. Students had some free time then got ready to go visit the high school. At the high school we paired up with the students to learn more about each other’s culture, and a map game. The map game was when students paired up to recall the different countries in Africa and South America. T
hen we went home and the students had free time before dinner. Dinner tonight was Alfredo spaghetti with chicken and pineapple. For our night activity we did talent show prep and then students got ready for bed.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 11
Written by Sophie and Katherine
Today we enjoyed our 18th day in Ghana. For breakfast, we had crepes and other side dishes. We then headed for service knowing it was our second to last day to teach and do construction work. The Ghanaian students greeted us at the school sprinting towards us to hold our hands. Once we got back to homebase we had lunch. At 1pm the students visited the chiefs of Anloga to understand their purpose for the community. At 3pm we all went to our host families to talk about our experience in Ghana. Once we returned, we played with the children for a bit and then ate dinner. For our nighttime activity, we all hauled wood to the beach and had a bonfire.
See you all soon!
Sophie and Katherine
BLOG POST FOR JULY 12
Written by Leo and Charlotte
Good evening GLA families,
We woke up to a little bit of rain this morning which cancelled our construction service, so we got to rest a little longer. We got to go back to the school to teach our classes after the rain settled down. For lunch we had Bolognese pasta, salad and mangoes! Then we went on a river expedition where we toured around the lagoon and stopped at an island for about an hour and a half to play volleyball, buy some souvenirs and relax at the beach. Then we returned home for dinner and started prepping for our talent show tomorrow but overall, it was a relaxing evening!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 13
Hello GLA families and friends,
Today was the last day at the school. We said goodbye to the local students, or in Ewe, the local language, “Mia dogo” (see you later). It was an emotional departure with a lot of tears, smiles and promises to never forget each other. The genuineness of these children will stick with us!
After returning home, we reflected on the new knowledge we got from this experience and put our minds together to set our goal as a group. This was an impactful trip and the GLA students want to go back to their home countries and keep on making a difference.
In the afternoon, the GLA students tried to carry water on their heads and children on their back, just like we see so many women do in Anloga, and we can say it is not easy! We also had a dancing group from Keta coming to visit us for a show at the homebase, it was amazing! Afterwards it was our chance to say goodbye to the children from the local community, who played with us every single day. To end the day we had a beautiful celebration dinner!
The GLA Ghana Team
BLOG POST FOR JULY 14
Hello Families and Friends,
The day started off well, being the last day at home base, and all was set for final goodbyes. Having packed our bags the previous night, the unexpected happened. Flights got canceled and suddenly there was a cloud of confusion. This called for prompt decision making to avert the situation. The students were eager to reunite with their families but seemingly that was about to change.
By 11.00 am, 7 out of 13 students had confirmed their flight rebooking for tonight the remaining had booked for Saturday or Sunday.That meant the team will leave in two batches to Accra, Friday and Saturday. The remaining team saw off their colleagues as they departed for Accra today. The remaining team departs tomorrow for Accra.
The afternoon was rather quiet with little activities on site. A few kids showed up and kept us company for the better part of the afternoon until dinner time. Afterwards, we watched a movie and called it a day.
We wish those flying out tonight a safe journey back to the US,
The GLA Ghana Team
BLOG POST FOR JULY 15
After some hours of uncertainty, finally everyone got their flights confirmed. Out of 7 students, 6 were flying out at 2330hrs Saturday with the remaining student flying out on Sunday 5.30 pm. Breakfast was at 9.00am. Being a weekend, a few kids were on site. GLA students had their last moments with them before breaking for lunch at 12.00 noon. At exactly 1.00 pm we set off for Accra. All was smooth. We had a detour at the craft market before heading to Accra mall for dinner. We arrived at kotoka international airport at 7pm and GLA students checked in except for one student, Sophie, who’s flight is scheduled for Sunday 5.30pm. It was great seeing them excited as they prepared to reunite with their families back in the US.
Safe travels and wishing them all the best in their future endeavors,
Your GLA Ghana Team