An Independent School • Grades 5-12

by Grace C. '19 and Julia R. '20

This month, Lakeside Upper School students are at six locations around the world, developing their understanding of and respect for different countries and cultures, as well as the common issues that face us globally. Read their blogs for their thoughts, and learn more about our Global Service Learning program.

‘Ia ora na (we just greeted you in Tahitian)! This popular phrase directly translates to “may you live,” and it’s something we are going to be hearing a lot of this month. Since this is the first blog post of our month on GSL, we thought it would be fun to give you an idea of our first week together as a group. For four days, we have engaged in cultural explorations and bonding activities in preparation for the trip, including language lessons, competitive games, and dance lessons. We learned about Tahitian history and language from a Tahitian woman named Manio, and spent an hour learning a Tahitian dance from her granddaughter Tiare (which is a type of French Polynesian flower). Our group is unusual because it didn’t take long for us to create a comfortable, trusting dynamic between the students and the leaders.

Each morning we come together as a group to discuss ANCHOR--an acronym for our Appreciations, News, Concerns, Hopes, Observations, and Reflections. Even though we have different ideas and points to bring up every day, the one thing we have been able to agree upon this week is how grateful we are for the people who made this trip possible for us. All of us kids were especially thankful for how supportive and patient our parents/guardians have been, and we know this month might be stressful for them.

One of our primary goals as a group is to branch out of our comfort zones while in French Polynesia. We want to make the most of our time, and I know all of us are excited to meet our host families on the island of Raiatea (an island near Tahiti).

Nana (until next time)!