A trek in the hills of northern Thailand. What a wild five days it’s been! Leaving our home in Ban Apa, we started our four day trek on October 6th. Our first destination was Ya Fu village. On our first day, we had a one and a half hour trek to the first stop at a waterfall where we got a delicious lunch wrapped in bamboo leaves. Paulina was a… Read More
Your semester is finally here! You’re leaving for your gap program in a few weeks and it’s time to start packing….but you don’t know where to start. You’re not alone – don’t worry!
I find packing to be a pretty fun process but I know a lot of people would disagree with me. I can’t promise that packing for your gap year semester or year is going to be fun… Read More
The past few days, we’ve been treated to a lavish smorgasbord of religion. On Tuesday, we began the day by attending a lengthy meditation service with an English-born Tibetan Buddhist monk. Rather than talk about religion, he spoke to us about the environment, saying that everyone needs to learn to “settle for less” – a very Buddhist statement, even though his speech could equally have come from the mouth of… Read More
Hello from the Highlands of Ecuador!
This past week we took an 8 hour bus ride from Tabuga to Baños in the mountain region of Ecuador. We had our first hot showers since arriving, as well as access to restaurants, nightlife, and as we are sure most of you know, the internet and telephones.
Baños is named after it’s thermal baths, natural hot springs that flow from the volcano at… Read More
Kia Ora loved ones! This past week we have all taken a step into the indigenous culture of New Zealand to learn the history of the people, the language they speak and most importantly, what it means to be Maori. Throughout the week, we were led on a journey of cultural immersion by a Maori native named Tiaki. Tiaki speaks with a gentle eagerness to share his knowledge and… Read More
After an exciting yet exhausting week at our first homestays in Thailand, it was time to say la gon (goodbye in Thai.) We packed our bags, bought some snacks, and our families sent us off to our next adventures.
The leadership team, which consisted of Joe, Bryley, and Claire G., coordinated transportation and bought bus tickets to Chiang Rai. The four-hour long journey, although boring at times, was breathtaking the… Read More
Hayden here, writing about our time in Quetzaltenango! (If you can’t quite say that you can call it Xela instead) We’ve spent the last week there, in the second-largest city in Guatemala and the home of the biggest parades and parties in the whole country (according to the locals). The focus of the week was practicing Spanish one-on-one with the great teachers at PLQ, but we also had… Read More
Bula and Hello!
My name is Jackson Tahmoush, and my name is Trish Pizzica. Today we are sitting in an amazing hostel in Nelson, New Zealand but this is the recap of our past weeks with Hongi Fall 2019. After a beautiful and sunny orientation in the Tubakula Beachside Bungalows right outside Sigatoka, we made our way to Suva for a day and eventually all the way up to a… Read More
Bienvenidos a nuestro blog de Finca Mono Verde! Welcome to our blog from Finca Mono Verde! This week we lived together in a bamboo castle surrounded by coffee crops, chickens and three adorable dogs. While we continued to practice our newly learned Ecuadorian slang, we learned about environmental conservation, effectively utilizing natural resources, permaculture, coffee production, local businesses, indigenous culture, and remembering to close the lid when using compost toilets.… Read More
Picture this: Granada, Spain, September 2019. We walked the long, arduous path up to the historic Alhambra Castle. Shan shrieked with excitement; he was overjoyed, for this was his childhood dream. The architecture was miles beyond our comprehension, but we admired the intricacy of design as our guide explained the cultural and power shifts that lead to such a diverse range of décor. We walked across the grounds listening to… Read More
Greetings from New Zealand,
So far our trip has been amazing! We have all been having a great time exploring the country, getting to know each other, and learning the ins and outs of the Kiwis.
Orientation was jam-packed and we were able to learn a lot about each other and establish a baseline for the coming trip. Being based in Raglan gave us a lot of opportunities to explore… Read More
After one week of Thai lessons, we can hold a simple conversation, but everything starts with this greeting. Combined with a “wai,” a short bow with your hands in a prayer position, when you are greeting someone older than yourself, “sawatdii kha” (or “sawatdii khrop,” if you identify as male) is the proper “hello” here in Thailand!
What a week we have had! It started last Tuesday, when… Read More
Hola from Las Delicias, Ecuador!
We’ve had an amazing jam packed week down here in Ecuador! Leaving Quito, we took our first long haul bus toward the small town of Santo Domingo, watching Spanish-dubbed Hollywood movies played on the bus and ogling at all the snacks offered by the local vendors each time we stopped.
We ended our journey in the small town of Las Delicias where we met up… Read More
Greetings from the Shanti Group!
We are pleased to report that we have had a great first week in India, full of new sights, sounds and warm connections with our local hosts.
After nearly 48 hours of airplane and airport time, we hit the ground running with two full days of orientation in Delhi. Highlights included: exploring the beautiful Lodhi gardens with tombs from the 14th and 15th century, tasting… Read More
Hi everyone! This is Molly and Rachel signing in.
We spent this past week at La Escuela de la Montana, a spanish immersion school in a rural village in the mountains of Guatemala. The group was split into two groups, one with classes from 8am to 12pm and the other with classes from 1pm to 5pm. The classes were one on one and we ate our meals with host families,… Read More
My time in Quito so far has been very interesting thus far. I love observing the architecture and the local’s behavior. I think we’ve all learned a lot everyday we’ve been here. This includes a lot about ourselves, the members of our group, and the city and culture here in Quito. My habits have really changed since we’ve been here. This includes what I do in the morning, what I’ve… Read More
Hello from Thailand,
Audrey, Joe, and Paulina here, It has been an amazing four days or orientation, eating some amazing food, learning everything we will need to know for how to be travelers instead of tourists. Tomorrow we head out to our homestays, and we are really looking forward to that. Thailand is full of good vibes, and even better food!!
These past few days have been a blast! Besides… Read More
We arrived in Malaga on the 12th and spent the first few days doing orientation. After wrapping up orientation today we’ve had a chance to explore the city a little bit on our own and will have even more freedom to do that in the coming week. Tomorrow we leave our airbnb bright and early and will start Spanish classes at the language school and will spend the night with… Read More
We started our journey in the market, the first thing we found was food for the other group members for the long train ride. Once we gathered snacks and fed ourselves with some Gongala. We found a convenience store across the street food place that sold toilet paper for 15 rupees. When interacting with the store clerk we noticed he spoke decent English and with the addition of his age… Read More