Thanks for the checking out the blog for this Global Leadership Adventures program!
This blog is for the India split session starting July 1, 2023, which includes both the 14-day and the 21-day student groups.
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 JULY 1
Hello from New Delhi, the capital of India!
We are so excited to welcome everyone to begin a wonderful and meaningful journey together. All 13 students arrived safe and sound. The day was filled with several airport pickups and fun discussions of what brought us to India. Many students had a chance to meet a math teacher from Los Angeles to learn why they started a nonprofit to support primary/secondary education in India.
We’re looking forward to another warm but exciting day tomorrow!
Here are a few pics of the groups as they arrived to home base.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 2
It was our first full day together and despite jet lag and a very warm 98°F / 36°C, the students are in good spirits.
After breakfast, we started the day with a brief discussion about our “community of care” and code of conduct. Soon after, we boarded our air conditioned mini-bus to enjoy a guided tour of Qutub Minar. Then, at the Baha’i Lotus Temple we received a special tour and inside shared a moment of quiet reflection. We enjoyed a North Indian style curry lunch (with Naan and mango lassi!) and had dinner at Sheroes Hangout Cafe.
We hope to have a blog every day to keep you updated about all the great things we’ve been up to. Remember that students will not have their phones during the day, but they will have access to their phones during the evening/night. Please feel free to remind them about the importance of sleep.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 3 and 4
Hello from Jaipur!
Monday was another great day at GLA in India! We started off the day by visiting a world famous UNESCO site – The Taj Mahal! It felt like a movie and we were all awe-struck by its white marble splendor. Afterwards, we enjoyed a delicious and nutritious brunch-style buffet at the famous Taj Hotel. We visited a local market and another famous UNESCO site, the Red Fort made from red sandstone. Monday afternoon greeted us with a long bus ride to our homebase in Jaipur, also known as the pink city! We were tired but happy to settle into our new home for the next week.
After a good night’s rest and a delicious breakfast we spent Tuesday playing some games, engaging in community building, and centering discussions around our goals for service learning. We also visited a local market to restock and check out local snacks (many amazing chocolates, candy, and chips)
We are ready for day 1 of service starting tomorrow!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 5
Happy first day of service!! We started our morning with tasty omelets, french toast, and other local breakfast items. The fresh watermelon and guava juice was a hit!!
Today was our first day of service to the Mahatma Gandhi primary school. The principal, Mrs. Sangeeta, the teachers, and especially the students were so excited to meet the GLA students (the feeling was mutual!). After a conversation establishing how we can best support the school, we started a restoration project that involved cleaning the floors, sanding the walls to prepare for paint, and then painting the walls. It was hard work but worth it! Rahul, our local director, explained there are many government schools in India. The Indian government is trying to set up one school per kilometer. However, with so many schools, the funding to each school is low and the principal must ask the parents and local community to help with resources. This is a challenge in the low income and slum areas where families live hand-to-mouth and have nothing extra to give. So, that’s why this service is extra special. All students deserve to receive an education at a school that feels welcoming and inclusive. Stay tuned for the before and after photos!
We enjoyed lunch at homebase and some rest (and a power nap!). After dinner, we visited the Shiv Kripa Blue Art Pottery studio. Blue pottery, known for its vibrant cobalt blue color, has a long history in Jaipur, Rajasthan. It is a time intensive process with many steps and the artists are proud to carry on this tradition.
We ended the night with mentor groups.
We are so excited for July 6 – our next day of service!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 6
It was another early wake up call for Day 2 of service at the Mahatma Gandhi primary school. Students are starting to see the efforts of their hard work! After lunch, they participated in a Hindi language class. Did you know there are 52 letters in the Hindi alphabet? and 13 vowels? We practiced writing our name and exchanging greetings. The group finished the day by eating at McDonalds! The menu was filled with exciting new options. For example, the McSpicy Paneer sandwich with a cold Masala Coke and fries of course. It was a fun time. Today, a few students expressed an interest in writing a blog. It will be coming your way soon!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 7 & 8
It was another terrific two days in Jaipur. The students finished their first community service project. It was four days of work but the results speak volumes!
The children, teachers, and principal were amazing. The GLA students made friendship bracelets to give to students, played soccer, and shared many smiles.
Plus, GLA students visited the world-renowned Jaipur foot organization that distributes artificial limbs.
Also participating in an Indian dress activity was a fun cultural experience.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 9
Written by Leaders of the Day: Emma and Adriana
Hello again from Jaipur, after four long but rewarding days of service it was finally time to explore the marvels of the Pink City and the student leaders to take charge of the blog!
The group started their day with a visit to the Birla Hindu Temple which was magnificent both inside and outside. This followed by a visit to the Albert Hall Museum where our local tour guide showed them some of the most culturally significant fixtures of Rajasthan.
After a morning full of sightseeing, they all enjoyed a hearty lunch at a famous Indo-Western food joint chain where they got a chance to indulge in a lot of delicious options.
However the highlight of the day undoubtedly was their visit to the Jaipur City Palace, house of the royal family where they enjoyed some monsoon magic along with!!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 10
Written by Leaders of the Day Arsh and Eshan
BLOG POST FOR JULY 11
Written by Leaders of the Day: Lily and Nora
Hello from Pushkar! We have finally arrived at the Elephant Hostel. After breakfast in Jaipur we thanked all the hotel staff for their massive help during our stay there. We of course forgot a few things and had to search for them before leaving! The journey went by fast with some singing and dancing on the bus. We eventually stopped for some well needed totally healthy lunch (at Burger King!) By this point we were already two hours into the drive and needed to take the last stretch to our destination. Once we all got there we took a tour of the hostel, unpacked and got some rest. Some deserved activities were chatting, playing games and napping. Post dinner, we did a reflective activity and the biggest surprise came to us, henna art!!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 12
Written by our student Leaders of the Day: Maria Gago and Maria Garcia
Good morning from Pushkar! We woke up to a lovely breakfast and got ready for our first service day in Fior di loto foundation school. We met the founder and the girl students. We got divided in to two groups: one teaching and one painting, we had tons of fun in both groups!
After service we had a quick lunch break and braced ourselves for some sightseeing in town where we walked through the streets and climbed up to a really high temple with wild monkeys and goats as our hiking companions. We enjoyed some shopping in the local streets and had a special dinner as a goodbye for our 14-day program peeps who leave tomorrow after service. Stay tuned!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 13
Written by Leaders of the Day: Talin and Luke
Today was an emotional day for us. It started out as a cloudy day with a nice breeze. After a filling breakfast, we went off to the service site. At the school we broke off into groups, some painting, some teaching, and some building. By the end of the service, the school had a fresh coat of paint, a brand new badminton court, and the students got an introductory lesson in Spanish and English. After our hard work we played games with the younger kids on the court.
However, during our work at the school, our friends in the 14 day program left early to finish packing for their departure. The rest of the group met them back at the hostel and we had a final lunch together before saying goodbye. After the 14 day program kids left, we had a few hours of downtime. Majority of us used the downtime for some well-needed rest before meeting together to work on some cool projects to do with the students tomorrow. After we ate dinner, we ventured out for some dessert, followed with a meditation sesh led by Greta at the lakeside and finished the day with some community games.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 14
Written by Leader of the Day: Greta
Today was an eventful but balanced day!
Paula and I woke up early to meditate and practice yoga. We met everyone else for breakfast and enjoyed fruit platters and honey crepes before heading off to the school.
At service, Luke and Talin organized science experiments for their class such as dropping a water balloon off the side of the wall with a makeshift parachute which everyone found highly amusing. Lucia and Nora taught one class an introductory lesson of Spanish while both Maria and Maria taught another. Paula focused on painting the remainder of the wall while I worked on drawing a mural with animals. We all danced to “Macarena” multiple times with the students after their many requests.
Post lunch we had some downtime before an Indian cooking class. The chef taught us the exact ratio of milk, water, chai, cardamom, ginger, masala and sugar. We watched as the tea became a golden brown color in the pot before it was poured into small cups for us to try. Then we learned how to make Chapati, tortillas made of water and flour. When placed over the flame, the Chapati became a puffed up ball before we let it cool down and flatten again. It was an entertaining experience to learn about some of the most prevalent food and drink in India.
We then had some time to prepare for our classes before dinner.
We are all looking forward to our last day of service at the Pushkar school!!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 15
Written by Leader of the Day: Lucia
Today has been a very emotional day for us. It was the last day at the Lotus Foundation and we were not been able to contain our tears as we say goodbye to the girls, teachers and directors. In the afternoon we went to a Sikh Guruduwara and it was different because we had to cover our heads. We had a very relaxing yoga session after and as soon as we finished we went straight to dinner at the farm house of the school founder. What we did not expect was the spectacle that awaited us with so much dancing and a lot of tricks with fire. After the show we had dinner all together. It has been a precious gesture from Mara and Deepu. And we can’t be more grateful for it.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 15
Written by Leader of the Day: Paula
Today we started the day divided in three different groups. Greta, Nora and Talin went back to the school to finish the amazing mural they had been working on for the last few days. Lucia, Luke and I stayed at the hostel for a more relaxed morning and started with a yoga session while the rest of the group stayed behind to rest and pack.
We all joined for an amazing breakfast and then divided into groups again for a walk through the market next to our stay and the much awaited extra shopping time. We then met all together for our last lunch at the hotel and a warm goodbye to all the staff.
After a little of rest time post lunch we went by bus to our desert glamping site, a beautiful sleepover in Pushkar dessert which was an amazing experience for all of us including dinner and tribal dances.
Today was the most amazing day!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 17
Written by Leader of the Day: Talin
Today was a relatively peaceful day! We woke up to a delicious breakfast of omelette and aloo paratha, it was so good that all the bugs wanted to eat it too!! We then packed up and hit the road to head back to Jaipur and after stopping for lunch, we arrived at our old hotel. The rest of the day was spent relaxing and preparing for teaching at our service site tomorrow.
BLOG POST FOR JULY 18
Written by Leader of the Day: Maria Gago
Good morning from Jaipur! We are ready for our first day of service, on our way to the last school. Today was full of energy with a desire to teach them English and games, while others painted the school.
Back at the hotel, we had some Hindi classes to communicate better with the children. Later on we had a debrief about the education system and culture here, for which we are working on gathering resources to have better infrastructure in the school. We wrapped up with dinner and prepping for tomorrow!!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 19
Written by Leader of the Day: Paula
Today Nora, Greta and I woke up an hour ahead from the rest the of the group so we could enjoy a morning yoga session.
After breakfast we headed to service, where we divided in groups of threes so we could teach different classes, while Talin and Maria helped with painting the school walls and some required gardening. Thanks to the hindi lesson we had yesterday, we had better communication with the students, hence had better results!
After service we had time for lunch, shower and a little rest before we went to Jaipur’s biggest mall next to our hotel, where we spent couple hours walking though and after the shopping time finished we headed for our last big dinner with all of our friends and mentors. The best part of the day was the late night debrief, where we all wrote letters to each others. Today was a day full of different activities with such a beautiful ending!!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 20
Written by Leader of the Day: Nora
Today was our last morning in Jaipur!
Our day started earlier than usual. Last night we had our final big dinner together, so today is an emotional day because it’s our second to last in this amazing country.
After having breakfast at 8 o’clock we went to say goodbye to our classes and to thank the staff from the school for letting us have the opportunity to teach. After a lot of tears, laughs, and hugs we went to the bus to get back to the hotel and finish packing our stuff and prepare for the trip to Delhi.
When we were ready to leave we were very sad because we had to say goodbye to one of our local Mentors (Monty) who lives in Jaipur. We put all of our luggage in the bus and even though Maria thought she lost her wallet we finally found it!! After a couple hours on the bus we stopped to have lunch.
On the bus we all mostly listened to music or slept. Later once in Delhi we stopped in a mall to have dinner and do some last minute shopping.
Finally after a lot of traffic we arrived to our hotel (red fox) and we are ready to go to sleep and rest.
Goodnight from Delhi!
BLOG POST FOR JULY 21
We finally woke up to our last morning in India, everyone felt sad about leaving. Nonetheless everyone had breakfast and then we did some closing activities with the group until lunchtime. We had a relaxed time in our cosy hotel rooms after lunch and then did get some henna done. Soon the time came to board the bus for the airport – everyone left with a heavy heart, tears of mixed feelings, amazing experiences and inspiring journeys.