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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Highlights from GYLI Year 2, New Mexico

Today our GYLI Year 2 travelers are headed home after a wonderful adventure in New Mexico. It seems that all survived not only the rustic natural environment but also a big storm where one tent was destroyed by hail (no injuries to report thank goodness!). All are happy to return to the comforts of home but are grateful for the experience, the lessons and the friendships shared this past week.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Highlights from Costa Rica

As our group prepares to leave Costa Rica tomorrow, we have received a few photos highlighting their time in beautiful, tropical, Central America.

One activity that was special was making chocolate during the homestay - Ms. Clark described it below:

Our neighbors (other GYLI students) joined us at Finca La Virgen to make chocolate.  Dona Chepita taught us the history of chocolate making and showed us the entire process from cacoa pod to hot chocolate.  We even learned a new song! "Batte, Batte, Chocolate!"

All of our GYLI students will wrap up tonight with a meeting and reflection called a "Closing Circle" before heading home to Dallas tomorrow. We are excited to hear more from each group and to hear how they want to incorporate their GYLI experiences into life back at UA.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

GYLI Updates

We have heard a bit from all of our traveling GYLI groups. The internet access has been limited but our chaperones have checked in with bits of news when they have had wifi. Here are some highlights:

GYLI Year 3, Costa Rica: All have returned to EARTH University from their short homestays and all had a thrilling time white water rafting today. The students are safe, in great spirits and still hoping to see a sloth in addition to the giant iguanas. We are waiting for those photos!  In the meantime, here are some photos from Mrs. Clark's homestay:

GYLI Year 2, New Mexico: Our students have had some very active and rewarding days in a beautiful mountain environment. They had a day of orientation and ice-breakers upon arrival followed by a day of gardening and community service near Tao. Today they hiked and have sent us a photo of the whole group near the Rio Grande river.

GYLI Year 1, Connecticut: Our Year 1 students had some challenging moments at first as their luggage did not arrive with them in Providence. They were, however, very cheerful and upbeat until it arrived the following day. As luck would have it, their on-land accommodations were lovely and typical of New England. Yesterday, they set sail with their group and they are "at sea" today, making friends and learning all about collaborative team work.


We can't wait to hear more from all of our Global Youth Leadership groups!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Agricultural Day in Costa Rica

Today was a VERY full day in Costa Rica! Split into two groups, we rotated between the livestock production farm and the Nature Preserve.  The farm has swine, dairy cows, sheep, and buffalo.  The students were treated to a tour with all the sights, sounds and smells you might expect! We even had the chance to help make silage- the chopped sugar cane and corn stalks stored for feeding the animals. 


The best treat of the day was finding coconuts! We cracked them open, drank the water, and snacked on the coconut meat. Very refreshing on such a hot and humid day.


In the afternoon we visited the EARTH University banana plantation and packing facility.  It was extremely interesting to learn all about the sustainability of the farm and the natural methods used to grow the bananas. We are all planning to look for EARTH bananas at Whole Foods when we return to Dallas.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Arrival at Earth University!

This morning we traveled about 2 hours by bus to Earth University. The school has around 400 students from all over the world.  The four year program offered by the school focuses on agronomy, environmental sustainability and entrepreneurship.  We were treated to a tour of the campus (complete with an iguana sighting!) and a visit with several current Earth University students. Everyone was extremely impressed with both the beautiful campus and the hard work of its pupils.
Tomorrow we will visit the banana plantation and the nature reserve! We might even get lucky enough to see a sloth... Stay tuned!