Day 1: July 16, 2017
We started our day with airport pick ups and a tasty breakfast of fruit, eggs and bread. Once all 29 of the students arrived we were able to do introductions and learn about home base. Orientation began after lunch, a healthy chicken soup homemade with love. We began with introductions of all international and local staff, history of GLA and an overview of the schedule. With many questions, a few name games and posters, all students went back to their rooms to rest until dinner. At dinner they were able to see an example of Leader of the Day and were also able to try the Peruvian Asian fusion of Quinoa Chaufa. We closed the day with a round robin of more orientation. They were able to exchange dollars for soles and play cards until quiet time. Students were in their beds by 9:30, exhausted but happy after their long day of travel and adjusting to a new place.
Haiku of the Day:
Traveling to Peru
Excited for adventures
Making fresh new friends
Written By: Raquel and Sierra
Day 2: July 17, 2017
This morning began with an 8am breakfast, giving us a bit of time to sleep in and further acclimate to the altitude. We then walked over to a nearby field to continue with some orientation games. We had to spread ourselves out on the court according to where we were from. We were just told what side of the court was north, south, east, and west and we had place ourselves silently on the court. Then afterward we had to line ourselves up by birth month and day. We were just told one end of the line was January and the other end was December. We got it 100% right! After we talked defined a full value contract, where we talked about the values we wanted to have as a community. Then we were able to use the court to play some sports and board games.
Right before lunch we learned a bit of Peruvian history and we’re super excited for all the cultural visits we have coming up. After lunch, we walked over to the service site to meet the Local Director, Mario. He shared with us how he came to open a school with quality education. It all began with his desire to provide some after school tutoring to local students. It has now blossomed into a school with 3 different preschool classrooms. He has the hope that within 2 years he will be able to add 5 more grade levels to his school. We can’t wait to work with Mario, the students, and the greenhouse in the coming weeks!
Day 3: July 18, 2017
Today we woke up at 6:30 to meet at the top balcony for a yoga session with Raquel, one of our mentors. After that we all ate a quick breakfast consisting of eggs, fruit, yogurt, cereal, and some amazing bread. After breakfast we started our 40 minute walk to our worksite. It was the first day we were started service at the school. We were split into multiple groups that consisted of painting, breaking up concrete, transporting supplies up the steps and working more on the greenhouse. We used axes to break up the topsoil and began to mix it with more fertile soil. We turned and mixed these two a couple times before it was time to head back to the home base for lunch. Lunch consisted of beef and rice; we were all pretty tired so we had a small break before heading back to the worksite. Most people went back to their morning job and furthered their progress. We came back to base for dinner which was chicken salad with rice and juice. After dinner, we all gathered outside to bus into Cusco Plaza to get wifi and desserts. Most wifi time was spent following each other on instagram and Snapchat and speaking to family and friends. We all came back after an hour and hung out and took well needed showers.
Written By: Eve M and Adele B
July 19, 2017
Day 4: Today we woke up at 7:00 AM to head down to breakfast at 7:15 AM for some delicious boiled eggs with a side of yogurt and cereal. After breakfast we headed down stairs and had a 30 min drive to Saqsayhuaman — an incan archeological site. The tour of the site led us into Cuzco where we stopped for lunch at an amazing Indian buffet. After finishing our delicious spicy chicken, our guide, John, led us deeper into the city and took us to a local supermarket where we bought traditional Peruvian snacks. The supermarket was located right next to a plaza with several cathedrals built by the Spanish. Following our raid of the supermarket, we headed down to the Mercado San Pedro where we purchased many, hand-made souvenirs and clothing. We all hopped on the bus back to home base where we all collapsed into our beds. Rice and chicken stew was on the menu so we all woke up to eat dinner at 6:00. During which, we were introduced to our guide for the upcoming Lares Trek who would scare us after we finished our meals. He warned of problems far worse we might experience if we weren’t adequately prepared, including pneumonia. Exhausted from our seemingly endless walking, we all fell into our beds and fell asleep.
Day 5: July 20, 2017
Excited to work with the kids, we walked to the school at 8:00am and split up into our two groups- one that teaches the 4 year olds and one that teaches the 5 year olds. Using our lessons plans from the night before, each group had three classes with the children: English, art, and sports. The older kids got to dream about what they wanted to be when they grew up by drawing pictures and learning the English words for different professions. The 4 year olds learned the words for articles of clothing in English and during art, drew pictures of themselves and the things that make them happy. During sports class, the kids enjoyed hot potato, playing with the parachute, and freeze dance. We returned to home base to have lunch, took a break from all the walking, and enjoyed a nice bus ride back to the school for music class! Professional musicians taught us to play the flute and the drums for different Peruvian occasions, and then we brought it all together and sang along which created an amazing song. We bussed back to home base for dinner and birthday cake (Happy Birthday, Matt!!). Then went into our mentor groups to discuss the trip so far as well as our feelings regarding the Lares trek that we were going to begin the next morning. We went to bed a bit earlier than usual, so we could get some sleep before our very, very long day of hiking.
Written By: Juliana
The third day of the Lares Trek, we woke up refreshed and ready for the day. Some of the students chose to enjoy an optional hike that morning, while the others opted for a dip in the hot springs. Later that morning the students got ready to board the bus for a four hour ride back to Home Base. At Home Base the students took turns going to the grocery store to purchase some well deserved treats, while others just showered and enjoyed free time (we were very appreciative of our showers and toilets). Our mentor, Raquel, held an optional restorative yoga session on the rooftop terrace right before dinner, after which we had journaling time and a game night where spirits were high (team 3 for the WIN). The rest of the evening was time for the students to relax, and gather their laundry to be done the following morning.
Written By: Feline, Fiona, Ross, Ellie, Tamar, and Lily S.
Day 9: July 24, 2016
The GLA team woke up to an easy morning with a late breakfast at 8:45am. At 9:00am, we got on the bus to depart to a local park to play with the kids from Mario’s school. We did not have a set schedule and were able to play on the seesaws, jungle gym and soccer field The kids had a lot of fun! After the park, we all hopped on the bus and went to a local pizza joint. The kids LOVED the pizza and we had a fantastic time having lunch with them. After lunch, we headed to a movie theatre nearby and watched the new Transformers movie. It was entirely in Spanish, so many of us did not understand, but the kids seemed to have a blast! Once the movie ended, we said our goodbyes to the children for the day and went back to home base for some much needed rest before working on our capstone projects. Proceeding our capstone projects we had a group discussion about privilege and watched a TED talk called “A Single Story”. Finally, we had some free time and quietly went to bed at 9:30, exhausted from the long day and the early morning ahead of us.
Written By: Matt C. and Gabby
Written By: Izzy P and Ellie H
On the first day, we woke up early, ready to head out on our three day trip to Machu Picchu! After breakfast, we got on the bus and headed to an alpaca farm. Everyone had fun feeding the alpacas (luckily no one got spit on by the llamas). After that, we boarded the bus and headed to a ceramic workshop in Urubamba, where we learned the process behind traditional pottery techniques. Shortly later, we went to a delicious buffet for lunch! Next, we went to the town of Ollantaytambo to get a tour of sacred archaeological sites. Finally, we embarked on a 4 hour bus ride to the next town on our trip: Santa Teresa!
On our second day, the group woke up and ate breakfast at the hotel. The eggs were really great. After breakfast, we set out for the hot springs. The water was refreshing, and we all had a lot of fun. Soon after, we left for lunch back in Santa Teresa. Following lunch, we took the bus to the starting point of our four hour hike, the hydroelectric plant, alongside train tracks in the woods. The final destination was Aguas Calientes, the town adjacent to Machu Picchu. After enjoying dinner across the street from our hotel, the group enjoyed an ice cream (mint chocolate chip!!) and snack run in the city before going to sleep.
On our third day, breakfast was at 8:30, but most people woke up before then. After breakfast we walked from our hotel to a market. We shopped around the market for about 45 minutes and then began our hike to Machu Picchu. The hike was short but difficult (1000 stairs to the top) and had beautiful views of the mountains. Once at the top, we ate lunch before entering the ruins. We then split into two groups and walked around Machu Picchu with tour guides. The site and the views were breathtaking with alpacas accenting the archaeological site. Afterwards, the group broke up into two again, with half walking back down the stairs we came up and the other taking a bus to Aguas Calientes, where we ate dinner. After dinner, we waited for our delayed train. (Which pushed our arrival to home base back an hour.) After the train, we took buses back and arrived to home base at 2am.
Written By: Lily H., Sandra R, Claudia G, Adam F, Sophia C, Lily M
D16: July 31, 2017
This morning we were able to sleep in after arriving at back home base at 2 am from Machu Picchu. Breakfast was at 10 and consisted of cereal, eggs, cheese, bread, fresh fruit, and jam. Around noon GLA students had the option of going to a nearby basketball court or just hanging out at home base. At 1:30 we ate lunch and prepared to go to a nearby soccer field. At the soccer field we proceeded to play a series of soccer matches against the locals and we lost miserably (MISERABLY). At 4:30 we got on buses and went back to home base. We had an hour and a half of free time to shower and rest. Dinner was at 6 o’clock and we had BBQ wings, fried potatoes, salad, avocado and lemonade. After dinner we had a rafting charla that informed us about our rafting trip tomorrow. The leaders are especially excited for tomorrow’s activities. Tonight concluded with mentor groups and we talked about cultural norms and how our cultures and sub-cultures differ from others.
Written By: Julia D and Morgan S
Day 17: August 1st, 2017
Today began with an early (but delicious) breakfast consisting of cereal, bread, eggs, fruit, and cheese to get us ready for a day full of activities. After a slightly bumpy start on the road, we arrived at the site eager to start whitewater rafting, ziplining, and to check out the sauna. We put on our fashionable rafting gear and spent the early afternoon on the water. Many of the students had never experienced rafting before and really enjoyed the rapids! For lunch, we tried quinoa soup with veggies, followed by chicken and rice, finished with a great slice of banana cake. On a full stomach, the group successfully navigated the zipline, and boarded the bus back to home base. After an hour of free time, we sat down for a delicious pasta and veggie dinner. On tonight’s schedule was an interesting discussion based on an informative video, summarizing the linear cycle of consumerism in today’s world. We touched on many important points regarding our values as human beings and how they affect the world around us – specifically the interplay between the economy and the environment. With an hour left before bedtime, students had some time to socialize before getting a good night’s rest in preparation for a morning of service at the school. All in all, we had an adventurous day of outdoor and meaningful activities.
Written By: Olivia HG and Sophia C
Day 18: August 2nd
We started off the day with an early, 7:15 am breakfast. Afterward, we headed to service where we proceeded to plant the garden, put up the walls of the greenhouse, paint walls and tediously sweep around the school. After the morning service, we bused back to home base to eat lunch. We had lamb stew, bread, avocados, hard boiled eggs, and lemonade. We then bused back to the school where we attended music/dance lessons. The GLA students had the opportunity to go to pan flute or drum lessons followed by instruction in salsa or traditional Peruvian dances. After the lessons, we walked back to home base and had an hour of free time. Dinner was at 6:00 and we ate rice with a chicken sauce as well as bread, eggs, and potatoes; dessert consisted of a sweet empanada with sprinkles. At 7:00 pm we assembled into mentor groups and talked about volunteer work and how it can be either helpful or harmful, we also discussed our capstone projects. Leaders of the day, Julia Dixon, and Ellie Hyde were very frustrated and frazzled during service today as they were instructed in the beginning of morning service to sweep the many stairs in front of the school. They did so for two and a half hours. Julia and Hyde were then informed that bags of dirt would be carried up and down the newly cleaned stairs. They were not bitter…
Written By: Ellie H and Julia D