My Bali Adventure

"How on earth I shall find my way back to civilization again?" Mascha decided to do an internship in the north-east of bali, where tourism is rare. She tells us about her work in an orphanage, her daily tasks and the experiences she made during her time in Bali.

On the way to the orphanage I got more and more nervous thinking how on earth I shall find my way back to civilization again. But looking at the endless rice fields, I started to feel more positive about my decision to volunteer in the North of Bali off the usual tourist tracks in South Bali. I was sure, that I will have the chance to discover the real Bali. Eventually, my project was as authentic as I hoped it to be. I immediately enjoyed my new responsibilities at the orphanage and take the kids into my heart. The orphanage mom Ibu Tina and the other staff have also been really kind to me. In the beginning it was quite challenging to communicate with the children as especially the younger children don’t speak any English word at all and it took a while until my English was Indonesian language skills were good enough to communicate necessities. But it was even more fun to use hand and feet for that.

My daily routine started with going to the orphanage a quarter past 6 in the morning, which was just beside of the volunteer accommodation. After breakfast we dropped the older children to school and to the kindergarten. I spend the next hours doing the laundry, sweeping the yard, helping in the kitchen or just playing, learning or drawing with the younger kids who still stay at home. Before having lunch I picked up the children from the Kindergarten and after lunch the children from the school. I usually had a rest early afternoon in the volunteer house before I went back to the orphanage again to help with the farm or with preparing pig food. About 8.30 pm I went back to the volunteer house and immediately felt asleep as I grew incredibly tired.

This volunteer project is a full-time job and nothing compared to other project where you just spend a few hours. But it didn’t take me long to feel comfortable in the project and as a respected part of the family that it was just natural to be at the orphanage the whole day.

I actually was happy to go back to the Ibu Tina and the children after my weekends that I usually spent with other volunteers traveling around Bali.

I suppose I experience the whole adventure package during my 2-month stay that Bali has to offer: my wallet got stolen, I got into scooter accidents (without any English speaking police officer), a sore throat despite of outside temperatures of 30 degrees in the shade, celebrating Easter with the children, butchering a pig, visiting a Balinese wedding ceremony, a weekend trip to Gili Island, experience “Nyepi Day”, Bali’s silent day, and so on. I don’t want to miss any of these experiences and I would always recommend this project to anybody who likes to take care of children, loves nature and would like to experience a traditional Bali.

Important advice for future volunteers: you will definitely have to learn how to ride a scooter in Bali, as dropping and picking up the kids from school belongs to your main responsibilities.