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
Click here to jump down to the most recent posts!
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 24, 2021
Students arrived after a long traveling day and were welcomed with big energetic smiles, which most said really helped get them in the Hawaii mood and spirit.
All three vans were utilized to efficiently get students from the airport to the Home Base with their bags. We entertained the students with Hawaii fun facts and introduced them to Hawaiian island song favorites.
Once at the Home Base, each student was shown their rooms, facilities, beds, and they were able to meet their roommates.
After dinner, each student attended an orientation that included all of the pertinent information for the first night in Hawaii and on-program.
Most students were exhausted from the full day of travel and had no problems going to bed early. Tomorrow is our first day at our service site and we can’t wait to share how it goes!
-The GLA Team
Student Late Arrivals to Be Pictured in Future Photos:
- Fabian Ransom
- Liana Valle
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 25, 2021
On our very first full day in Hawaii, we began with a wonderful breakfast. Props to our caterers for serving the best cinnamon buns ever!
After breakfast, we then started our journey to our service project with Maui Ocean Center Marine Institute (MOCMI). When we got off of the vans, we made our way to Kanaha Beach Park where we did our swim test (YAY, we all passed!) picked up trash and cleaned up the shore.
The interns from MOCMI were extremely helpful and informative on the importance of keeping beaches clean and reducing waste.
Before our lunch break, we got to take a swim in the ocean and take in Hawaii’s beautiful views! For lunch, we got to hang around in the shade and get to know each other.
During our afternoon session of service, we got to record the amount of trash we picked up during the morning. We cleaned up a ton of waste and learned about ways we can all reduce the amount of plastic we use.
When we returned back to Home Base, we got to group together and go through stations where each mentor did an activity to learn more about our peers. We had dinner and then we proceeded to meet in our mentor groups. Overall, we had an amazing day!
-The GLA Team
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 26, 2021
We started our 3rd day in Hawaii with a trip to the beach. We learned a lot from the experts of the Maui Oceanic Conservation Marine Institute (MOCMI).
We snorkeled and got to observe many turtles in their marine habitat. We then got to enjoy the beautiful beach view while the MOCMI staff members educated us more on turtles and the effects of pollution on their species.
We ended our time at the beach with a fun and engaging game of turtle trivia!
After that we departed to a local art fair followed with a delicious stop for shaved ice, a very popular local dessert similar to a snow cone. With happy bellies, we loaded back into the trucks and headed to camp.
We took some COVID tests and thankfully, they all came back negative! We finished the day with an amazing dinner and concluded the night with mentor group bonding.
-The GLA Team
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 27, 2021
Today started out with a traditional Hawaiian breakfast… SPAM and eggs! It’s a very popular dish on the islands and has been for decades.
After our hearty breakfast we drove 3 hours to Haleakalā National Park. We split up into four groups, each of differing intensity. While everyone took the path that was right for them, we all experienced amazing views! Sharing our photos and experiences with each other made it feel like we went on all of the possible trails!
When the groups can back together we made our way down to the town of Makawao. We learned that this area is famous for the Hawaiian cowboys also called Paniolos. Most shops closed early on Sunday’s but luckily, we made it to the cookie shop just in time! We went home and had fried rice, pineapple chicken, salad, and more for dinner! After dinner we made s’mores on the campfire and looked at the stars on the beach front.
-Andrew and the GLA Team
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 28, 2021
Today was an eventful day to say the least! We started our day with an amazing breakfast (the kitchen staff continues to outdo themselves day after day), and our incredible leader of the day, Wilson, lead us through the day with a smile on his face from beginning to end.
Post breakfast, we headed to a sacred Hawaiian lava rock field next to the ocean with MOC-MI to see some ocean tide pools. On this sacred land we got to do a group hike, where we passed by many stunning beaches. Our hike was also filled with passing butterflies, black goats that matched the lava rock, and more insightful information from MOC-MI staff about the landscape, marine life, and Hawaiian culture.
One group of us split off to hike a ways further to see alkaline tide pools and other cool marine life. The rest of us headed back to take an adventurous swim at a cove type beach. These activities alone made for some pretty great stories to tell.
We headed back to base for some free time, some of us swimming in the ocean to pass the time, others of us taking a trip to the local general store and fruit juice stand. After an amazing dinner, we split into groups to discuss how Hawaiian culture and sea turtle conservation tie together, but also come to a divide. We discussed what this means for the future of native Hawaiians, Hawaii as a whole, and of course, for the turtles. We are excited to learn even more, heal the sunburns that some of us have, and go on our next adventure!
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 29
Today we started the day with some sunrise yoga. Then ate a good breakfast of blueberry pancakes! We got ready for the day and headed off to one of the beaches for service. Sadly the first beach was closed but we settled on one called Baldwin beach. It had beautiful sand, nice clear blue water, and very cool rock formations that were at the edge of the island.
For the MOCMI service trip our goal was to make sand sifters and with these we were trying to catch micro plastics. The plastics can range from varying colors from neons to basic colors. Unfortunately there was no success at Baldwin beach. So we ate lunch and sought out for another beach that needed cleaning.
After lunch our mentors and MOCMI people found one of Maui’s most polluted beaches. So we took the bus towards our destinations and found that it truly was polluted with all of the trash. Some things we found were micro plastics,
cigarette butts, flammable items, glass bottles, fishing line, and hooks. Shout out to all of the students who were bag carriers. The trash got pretty heavy.
After beach cleanup we had free time with half of us going to the general store and half of us socializing with the others. Dinner was fantastic and the kitchen staff went above and beyond by making hand rolled sushi. We had a mentor group that talked about out deeper set of values. I think it made us all a little bit closer as the amazing community that we are.
Overall 10/10 day!
BLOG POST FOR JUNE 30
We are halfway through our program and today was boat day! We started our morning with a amazing breakfast as usual and Luke (our leader he day) was an incredible leader throughout the day and everyday since day 1. We then headed out and went to a port to set sails on a sailboat “Alihilani”. We had fruits, sandwiches, and pastries. We then snorkeled in 2 designated areas and then headed back to the port. The first spot was perfect for coral and was located on the island of Lanai. We then spent 2-3 hours shopping in the town of Lahaina. We got Dole whips, Henna tattoos, and of course, more shaved ice!
After the eventful day, we headed back to base camp for some free time, mainly for some of us to shower and have a quick dinner. The kitchen even let us have ice cream for dessert! After a great dinner, we split into groups to discuss how we and others feel when dealing with assumptions.
BLOG FOR JULY 1
Today we spent the day at the MOCMI Research Center. We split into 5 groups and were able to learn about what they do with 5 different stations. First, we toured the aquarium and were able to touch starfish and sea cucumbers in outdoor tide pools. Then we learned lots about whales through a presentation and a 3D movie. After that, we went behind the scenes to trim and clean coral restoration tanks. After lunch we learned about how MOCMI began and all the ways they continue to benefit the environment around us. When it was time to get back to work we finished our day by helping them measure and record the polluted fishing gear.
After a very productive day, we returned home. We ate and watched a documentary on coral bleaching. Then debriefed in mentor groups and discussed ways to bring awareness to climate change in the oceans.
BLOG FOR JULY 2
Today was our journey to Hana. On the Road to Hana, our tour guides told us how the Maui valley used to be covered in sugar cane as the island’s main export and a bunch of other fun facts about Maui. As we got closer to Hana, the climate became much more tropical. Tall rainbow eucalyptus and thick clouds along with bamboo forests and multicolored ginger obscured much of the winding road. Our first stop was at the Kahanu botanical gardens where we learned about canoe plants, which are the various plants that islanders brought with them to new lands.
We then went to a small black sands beach with a sea cave. The waves were pretty big but the water was so blue and felt great. After that, we continued all the way into Hana Town.
On the way back we visited a waterfall in the middle of the rainforest where many people jumped in. For dinner, we had pizza and trivia night where we answered questions about the road to Hana.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 3
Today we woke up early for breakfast so that we could catch the best waves for surfing. After a brief lesson with an instructor and some encouragement from our friends, everyone was able to surpass their surfing expectations! Many people who were scared to even get in the water ended up cruising with the flow of the waves. Almost every person stood up on their surfboard (which was a first for many of us).
After a tiring day of surfing, cheering, falling, getting back up, and taking lots of pictures, we refueled with some shaved ice. A local style shaved ice is basically a slushy with an ice cream center and sweet cream on top, and it has become a favorite snack for many of us! Kaia was our Road to Hana trivia winner and got a free one! After that we went back to our Hawaiian home and sadly had to pack up most of our belongings. We sang, talked, swam some more, ate an amazing pasta dinner, watched the stars, and exchanged numbers/social medias so we can stay in touch with our newfound family.
As a whole, we decided that our “OMG” (One Meaningful Goal) was to build a network with the main purpose of reducing our use of plastic. Since learning about how strongly our plastic use impacts the oceans and wildlife around us, we determined that we wanted to have a monthly check in with each other where we could share how we have spread awareness and reduced the use of plastic in our communities; the main goal of this would be to start a chain reaction of policies and habits we have influenced and to spread them all around the US, starting with each other.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 4
Today GLA students said their final goodbyes, not only to each other but to this beautiful island we called home for 12 days. We spent the morning at the beach, enjoying each others company and taking in the breath taking views (and waves). Next, we got home, finished packing and began to get ready for our luau. Everyone got into dressy attire and looked great!
When we entered the luau we got leis and it made everyone excited for what was next. We were sat at a traditional table, sitting on the ground on cushions in the front row! The show was full of cultural Hawaiian dances, steps, and songs. This day was one of the best days here. We ended the night with a friendship circle, sharing memories and hugs, with plans to see each other again in the future.