Bali - Island of Gods
When finally the time arrived, I did not really feel as well prepared for this adventure as I wished I would be. After a long but relaxing flight I was there – I set my foot on Balinese ground. The hot and humid air felt like a wall, but I can add that you will adapt to the climate very fast and towards the end of my trip long trousers and a pullover were a must when being outside at night times (despite of 26 degrees). I immediately felt comfortable when my housemates welcomed me in the students’ house, even though I was a bit overwhelmed by the impressions of the first day. Everything was completely different from what you are used to in Europe. But eventually you even get accustomed to the piles of garbage and dirty and noisy traffic very fast so it becomes part of Bali’s charm.
The first days
After a few days of acclimatization (which I definitely recommend) and an introduction at the orphanage in Jimbaran, I started my daily work routine. I and the other volunteers were able to coordinate our presence at the orphanage on our own. You either work in the morning or in the afternoon and your main tasks are hanging out and folding the laundry, giving the children a bath, picking them up from school (despite the chaotic traffic you cannot go without a scooter), helping the children during the meals and of course playing with them and teaching them in a playful manner. Simply, a pretty typical life in an extended family. All in all there are nine children between the age of a few months and 11 years. Everyone is unbelievably nice and helpful. Of course, it is a big challenge at the beginning to cope with so many children who all have their own characters but the longer I took care of them the funnier it became. In the end I took them all into my heart and leaving them was really hard. Whenever there were questions or I needed some help, I was always able to ask the other volunteers. Everyone has to be aware of the huge responsibility you will have when working with children and you should be able to get along with difficult situations confidently and independently. The experiences you make when being around children are unique and precious.
During my free time
During my free time I made several trips around Bali where you discover and do so many awesome things: climbing a 3100m volcano in the middle of the night to see the sun rise, taking a shower in a waterfall, watching dolphins and turtles while snorkeling and diving or eating fresh sea food on the beach while watching the sunset…
Bali is an extraordinary and diverse island which is definitely worth a visit, not least because of its people and their unique culture. Working in the orphanage allowed me to outgrow myself and accepting challenges. During the three months here in Bali I definitely felt like “home”. What do you want more?