It's a wrap! Written by Program Leaders Amy and Gabby, SEA

We’ve now shared our final laughs, eaten our last local meals, and said our final goodbyes. As Amy and I watch the final taxi take our students to the airport, we can’t help but breathe a small sigh of relief. We’ve kept them safe, we’ve kept them happy, and ultimately, we are ready to let them go off on their own and experience the world with a brand new perspective. It truly is a bittersweet goodbye. I can tell you now; this part is never easy for us instructors. Our... Read more

Our experiences of Kahurangi National Park. By Sam and Zephyr, NZA3.

This past week, the group embarked on a backpacking trip through the Tableland Circuit in Kahurangi National Park. Armed with not enough toilet paper and too much peanut butter (among other things), the team walked about 25-30 miles during these four days, many of which were at a steep incline. For meals, the group split up into 3 cook crews; my group consisted of me (Sam), Jaipal, Zephyr, and Harm. For breakfast, we had oatmeal and granola; for lunch, I had peanut butte... Read more

Kahurangi hike. By Foster and Stephen, NZA2.

On Monday Alex and Chloe told us how to pack our bags so it was easy accessible throughout the hike. We packed our sleeping bags on the bottom, then our spare clothes (underwear, socks, spare thermals) in between. Then on top we put in all the camping necessities like our trangias, our tents supplies and all of our food for the next 4 days. On Monday night we were all very nervous but very excited because we didn’t know what was going to come. On Tuesday morning we head... Read more

Falling in love with NZ. By Jane Loy, NZA3

NZA group C has fallen in love with New Zealand and we’re only a little over a week in. At the beginning of the week, we got our nerd on in Hobbiton where The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings were filmed. From there, we made our way down to Rotorua, where we would be staying in the Rangitihi memorial meeting house. We got to experience a traditional welcoming ceremony with the Chief and his daughter. We touched noses and foreheads with the Chief in traditional Maori greetin... Read more

The Crossing. By JQ Norris and Harm de B, NZA3

Our time at The Crossing was so special. Annette and Dean along with Penny and Chelsea welcomed us with open arms and hearts as we rolled up to the entrance of The Crossing, all of us eager to see our new home for the week. Dean, Penny, and Chelsea guided us on a hike/tour of the property right of the bat. Explaining the native flora, the tidal rivers and the indigenous history of the land. As we arrived to the main building of The Crossing, Annette greeted us with deli... Read more

The River Life. By Olivia, Nepal and Tibet

The River Life Life on the river is quiet a unique lifestyle. In the past 6 days we’ve been experiencing it for ourself. We floated down the Kali Gandaki river and camped on beaches along the way. We’d wake up every morning for a leisurely 8am breakfast and pack up to get on the river. Everyday we’d float down the river in the morning for about 2 hours and then stop at a small little beach for lunch. We’d all hang out, eat some lunch, and then continue on going down the ... Read more

Lake Rotoiti. By Harm and Cole, NZA 3

Hey there everybody, this Cole and Harm checking in with our weekly blog! We started off this week in Wellington, where we took a bumpy, but fun, ferry ride over to New Zealand's south island. Man, it was beautiful! We had a picnic lunch overlooking the bay, before cramming into the van for a two hour drive through vineyards to the Lake Rotoiti park. At the visitor center, we learned a little a bit about the park where we'd be camping for the next few days. We also met o... Read more

SONAS; A Social Enterprise in Cambodia. A blog by Linden - SEA

Update from Linden on the South East Asia Program In 2010, after the devastating earthquake hit Haiti, The Red Cross vowed to help Haitians rebuild their lives. But after 5 years, and almost $500 million dollars spent, only 6 permanent homes were built. Despite mismanagement and lack of transparency in the charity sector, for a long time it seemed like that was the only model to provide aid to disadvantaged communities. Paul Gill, co-founder of SONAS, is trying to show ... Read more

Trekking the Annapurna Track part 2. by Steven, Nepal and Tibet

Hello. My name is Stevens Gustafson and this blog post will be a review of the second half of our Annapurna circuit trek from October 20th to October 27th.On the first day we hiked from Yak Kharka to Throng Pedi. We hiked for about 3 hours and climbed roughly 400 meters to an elevation of about 4400 meters in Throng Pedi. The hike was pretty mild but the elevation made it much harder. When we arrived we ate lunch and hung out in the tea house for a couple hours. In the a... Read more

Welcome to NZ, settling in at Tāwharanui, NZA3

Sam Lipin from our New Zealand Australia Group 3 Semester Program updates us on their first service learning project in Tawharanui, NZ. We have arrived in New Zealand! Wahoo! Our first stop was the Tawharanui park and campground. Riddled with sheep, cows and plenty of birds, including the endangered Takahe, we awoke each morning to a symphony of moos, baas and indescribable birds tweets.  Throughout the week, directed by park rangers Morris and Amy, we “tickled” trails... Read more