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 23
Kalimera everyone! (That’s Good Morning in Greek 😃)
It’s Beth writing, the International Director of GLA’s Greece Mythical Cities and Islands Expedition, here to kick off our first blog post. Yesterday was arrival day, we were so thrilled to meet our brilliant students at the airport. Through our first dinner and GLA activities they have all jumped into this experience with enthusiasm and teamwork!
We are off to the Acropolis this morning to learn about the ancient city, before heading to a traditional Greek lunch, with some souvenir shopping and a bike tour later!
Efcharisto & yasas! (Thank you and goodbye)
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 30
Hello families! Here is what we’ve been up to the last few days!
🏛️ Acropolis and Bike Tour – Written by Scarlett and Luka Z
Hey everyone! It’s Scarlett Walker and this morning we woke up bright and early for breakfast at the hotel. After breakfast we rode to Acropolis and the Parthenon. After a very informative tour, we had time to look around and take pictures at the top. After that, we had a very lovely lunch at Arcadia restaurant with authentic Greek food (very yummy!) Later, we had 2 hours to walk around the street we ate on for shopping and exploring!
Hi! It’s Luka Zivkovic, Today we took a bike tour around Athens. In our mentor groups we cycled around the perimeter of The Acropolis, we learned about new history and saw different parts of the city. Peace, Love, Greece!
🎨 Schedia Workshop – Written by Sophia and Hope
Hey it’s Sophia! This morning we went for tour of the ‘invisible’ Athens. Our tour guide Mixalis was really interesting and told us all about the support systems for people experiencing homelessness and poverty in Athens, and showed me a new perspective on social systems to support people experiencing homelessness and poverty. The tour ended at Schedia cafe and arts workshop where we made paper magnets out of magazines. Katrin, the woman who runs the arts and crafts in the cafe, uses leftover magazines and upcycles them into art or useful items.
Hey it’s Hope! Our tour guide told us that most of the people that live in the new Athens have not seen the older side of Athens. The food was amazing and we were able to see all the little shops that they had. Our tour guid also walked us around and showed us the different shelters. he also told us the rules, the difference between them, why people are or are not in them, and he even shows us the one he is in. He told us is story and what he went through and it was so heart felt. It was amazing to see how he has bounced back and it helping others do the same. He also help the tourists understand Athens and the difference but also how people can either stay where they are or bounce back like him.
🏺Pottery and Dancing – Written by Emma and Lily
Hi, it’s Lily! On this amazing day in Crete, our group took a bus ride to a beautiful town where we met a pottery maker who brought us to craft our own pitchers. We first saw some freshly harvested clay from the mountains on Crete, and our guide told us about the ancient process of making clay and the different types. We saw some traditional wood fire kilns and very old workshops before taking our seats to make our pitchers. We used our hands to mild the clay, and the potter guided us through the process of making the body of the pitcher, the neck, the handles, spout, and designs. Once we were all satisfied with our creations, we drove into town to admire the potter’s own works and see the old Minoan pots he had there. He showed us many ways to paint the pots and how to make a certain pot that the Minoans invented. We made the connection between ancient pottery making and the modern way. Finally, our guide showed us the special pots of the Minoans, which were very interesting.
Hi, it’s Emma! After spending time learning about pottery, we had a delicious lunch and tasted many traditional Cretan dishes. After lunch we went back to our hotel for some rest before heading to dinner and dancing. For dinner, we went to a family-owned farm in the mountains of Rethymno. At dinner we ate more Cretan food and saw traditional Cretan dancing and clothing. We then learned a few dance steps and were able to test out our moves on the dance floor. At the farm we had a chance to see chickens, ducks, pigs, goats, and ponies, and had an opportunity to pet the ponies. Then, we were able to play songs that we enjoy and sing and dance around with friends. The night ended with a quick drive back to the hotel and the daily shoutouts and reflections on the day.
🏖️ Beach and Animal Shelter – Written by Ryan and Samuel
Hey, it’s Ryan and Sam. Today we went to the beach in Heraklion, Crete, and spent time volunteering at an animal shelter nearby. At the beach we got a chance to relax and play games in the sun with our peers. The water felt great and it was nice to have a relaxing beach day. After the beach, we all went to a nearby shop and got refreshing drinks to cool off. The animal shelter was home for hundreds of animals. We hung out with and walked lots of dogs, cats, puppies and kittens. It was really interesting to see how these animals are supported before finding their forever homes. People from all around Europe come to this shelter to volunteer during the summer. In the evening, we went to a traditional taverna in Heraklion to taste Cretan cuisine.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 3
Hi everyone! Beth and María here, your International Director and Mentor, to summarize the final few days on this wonderful Greek adventure.
After our brilliant time in Crete, exploring Greece’s largest island and all the mountains, farms, micro-cultures and cities it had to offer, we took a quick ferry to the gorgeous island of Santorini (Greek name Thira). Now based in the windy Cyclades, we enjoyed the black sand beaches and toured the iconic white and blue houses in the towns of Oia and Pyrgos. The views across the Aegean were beyond spectacular, and we learned about the various exports that the island offers, including native vegetables, vines and materials. Our second day, we explored the iconic postcard-town of Fira and climbed aboard a traditional wooden boat, which took us on a tour of the Caldera, a hike up the volcano, and a dip in the hot springs. Singing Mamma Mia and dancing to Shakira as the sun was setting was a real highlight that none of us will forget!
After a day’s ferry back to Piraeus, we enjoyed some closing GLA activities together before our final day volunteering in Athens at The Other Person community centre and soup kitchen. We are so proud of you all for socializing with local displaced peoples, working as a team to prepare and provide them with hot food, and leaving a positive impact on your last day in Greece. We finished our adventure together with a traditional dance and dinner in a family restaurant nestled in the hills of Athens, with more beautiful views of this ancient city. A few Greek surprised were in store, with smashing plates and dressup in traditional costume!
We are so sad to see you go, but we know that you have made this experience amazing, and you will all take the lessons you’ve learned into your journeys beyond GLA.
Efcharisto and Yasas! ❤️