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.
For frequently asked questions about the blogs, please visit our Program Blog FAQ page.
-The Global Leadership Adventures HQ Team
BLOG POST FOR JULY 24
All of our students have arrived and are excited to start their Hawaiian adventure! We will be hiking Haleakala before beginning our service work with the Maui Ocean Center tomorrow.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 25
This morning everyone woke up early, and excited, for our first full day together! We got ready and started our journey to Haleakala, The House of the Sun, to go hiking. We spent the entire day hiking into the crater, enjoying the beautiful scenery. After our hike, we made our way to the small country town of Paia for some afternoon shopping. Upon our return to camp, we met our mentor groups and began to learn more about each other and our mentors. We are all very excited for our first service day tomorrow with the Maui Ocean Center Marine Institute!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 26
We started our third day together by going to Kanaha Beach Park with the Maui Ocean Center Marine Institute for a beach cleanup. We collected trash until the bags were full before cooling off in the ocean. After lunch we collected data, which consisted of sorting through the trash and listing everything to find out if the sea turtles in the area were in danger. As a group we counted over 3,000 pieces of plastic! Back at camp we completed our COVID tests and our orientation stations. Following dinner we met with our mentor groups to share our personal stories and experiences to further our bonds with one another. It was a very fulfilling day of service and we are looking forward to another day with the Marine Institute tomorrow!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 27
We started our day with sunrise yoga on the beach and an amazing breakfast. We then drove along the coast to Kealia Coastal Boardwalk for some snorkeling in the coral reef. We collected DATA on the reefs and saw a sea turtle in distress. We were able to get the turtle out of the water and safely to the Maui Ocean Center. We also helped picked up trash from the beach for more data collection. After lunch at a beach park and a stop at the farmers market, we made our way to the Ocean Center for a presentation on coral reefs. We also went to the beach and enjoyed gorgeous views. We split into our mentor groups and finished our River presentations. Everyone is excited for surfing tomorrow!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 28
Everyone woke up bright and early today and headed to Opelu Surf School where we began a wonderful day of surfing. At the beach we divided into two groups and cheered each other on as we rode the waves. It was a classic Maui day with beautiful views and clear waters, and although everyone started with different amounts of surfing experience, we all showed progression throughout the session. After washing off we headed to Maui Mike’s beach house, a local shave ice store, and enjoyed a treat after eating lunch. Then, we headed back to camp for some free time where people took part in swimming, snorkeling, and leisure sports.
After washing off a couple of us headed to the general store nearby to pick up some snacks and delicious poke. Then, we played a large game of soccer after eating a tasty dinner. We concluded the night with a passionate debate on the differing perspectives of turtle conservation which all campers agreed was an educational experience. We learned how to respect others perspectives and communicate with a respectful and calm demeanor. Everyone is looking forward to our service day tomorrow where we’ll gather statistical data on sea turtles and see them up close while snorkeling.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 29
After a delicious breakfast of fluffy pancakes, we got ready to snorkel with turtles. Interns at the Maui Ocean Center gave us valuable information on turtles through models of the different species. After splitting into groups, students snorkeled through a reef full of beautiful coral, fish, green sea turtles, and many other plants and animals. Some even say they saw eels and manta rays.
When students dried off and finished their lunches, a game of turtle trivia occurred. Competition was fierce, but everyone enjoyed it in the end. To cool off, students were given the option to get drinks at a juice store or to grab some shaved ice. Following some free time and dinner, mentor groups debated different situations and shared values that were important to each person, and connected them to leadership skills they could use in the future. Everyone is looking forward to another day of service tomorrow!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 30
To start our day of service, we walked the beach of Waihe’e collecting trash and micro plastics in glass containers. We filled all of the jars with hundreds of pieces of plastic. After lunch we collected data on the micro plastics and heard a presentation about sustainability and alternatives to single use plastics. After some much needed free time, we headed to the mess hall for pizza night. To kick off mentor groups, we created our own interpretive movements describing our experience at GLA, and ended our evening learning about leadership and discussing the importance of followers to a social movement. Tomorrow we are sailing with Sail Maui out to Lana’i for a fun day of sunshine and hopefully more snorkeling with turtles!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 31
This morning, we made our way to Lahaina forour sailing adventure aboard a 60-foot catamaran! We had a second breakfast of banana bread, croissants, and fresh fruit on the boat as we laid out on the deck and listened to music. We stopped three times during the trip to snorkel and swim, and took in the beautiful coastline views of The island of Lana’i. We saw turtles and sharks while snorkeling, swam in 150-foot deep blue water, and took turns diving and jumping off the boat.
After returning to the port and leaving the boat, we shopped in downtown Lahaina. We bought souvenirs, ate poke and gelato, and got henna tattoos. After meeting back up and returning to Camp Olowalu for dinner, we had a bonfire (aka “bondfire”) where we roasted marshmallows, sang karaoke, and shared a great experience as a group. Overall, today was an exciting, fun-filled day, and everyone is looking forward to our final service day with MOCMI tomorrow!
BLOG POST FOR AUGUST 1
To begin our long day, we woke up expecting to work for MOCMI (Maui Ocean Center Marine Institute), however, due to an abnormally high number of sick turtles needing to be urgently taken care of, our service at the center was rescheduled for Tuesday. A new plan was formed so that all of us interns could enjoy an adventure day around the island.
Our first destination was a small farmers market and many of us were able to purchase cute crystal bracelets, necklaces, and anklets. Some refreshed themselves with some freshly squeezed fruit juice from the market while others chose to order waste-free juices from a vegan restaurant near by. After the refreshments, us interns split into three vans—one which went to Whaler’s Village for hours of shopping and gelato, and two others who explored a beautiful local lavender farm.
After buying loads of lavender-infused goodies: scones, juices, skin-care lotions, etc. the group of interns split off into a group who went to the Kula Lodge to get more refreshments, and a group who went to Makawao, a town full of shops and hand-made art.
All the groups met back at the cabins for some free time and games until dinner, which consisted of delicious Japanese food. After enjoying dinner, we gathered in the Mess Hall and watched Netflix’s “Chasing Coral” documentary and discussed our thoughts together in our mentor groups.
Although we ended the day pretty late, it came to a satisfying end when we settled into our cabins and excitedly prepared for another eventful day. Tomorrow we will be traveling down the road to Hana and we can’t wait to take in all of the beauty!
BLOG POST FOR AUGUST 2
Today we got up early and left for a 12 hour trip on the world-famous Road to Hana!
We made lots of fun stops along the way like fruit, banana bread, and coconut stands. We also took a tour of Kahanu National Tropical Botanical Garden and saw the largest man-made archaeological structure in Polynesia.
After that we went to a small black sand beach in Waianapanapa State Park, where we explored the park and got into the water. Then we visited a waterfall and swam.
We made the long drive home to have dinner and participate in our final mentor group meeting! During the meeting we made One Meaningful Goal (OMG) to take home with us. Everyone is excited for the Maui Ocean Center and Luau tomorrow night!
BLOG POST FOR AUGUST 3
We started our last day together bright and early to begin to prepare for departure day then proceeded to prepare for the day at hand. Once ready, we headed off to the Maui Ocean Center Marine Institute (MOCMI) for a beach cleanup where we also learned about what they feed their turtles and other animals that are in rehabilitation. We then had a lunch break near the aquarium where we also got ice cream before heading back to the center for the afternoon.
At the aquarium, we all took a tour and then watched a 3D humpback whale documentary in MOCMI’s “sphere.” Then we all enjoyed a talk from the Maui Ocean Center’s general manager, Tapani Vuori, before exploring more of the ocean center.
Once back at the campground, we had time to play games, finish our packing, and prepare for the Luau. Once ready to go, we went to enjoy a five-course Hawaiian meal at the Old Lahaina Luau then watched a beautiful Hula performance that also included some of the cultural history of Hawaii.
To finish off the night we did an anonymous gratitude activity and talked about everything that we learned while here. Then we started to say some of our goodbyes and thanked each other for making all of our time in Hawaii the best that it could’ve been!