Volunteering in an orphanage in Jimbaran

I am grateful that i had the chance to be part of this wonderful family for 10 weeks. It has been for sure the most exciting, instructive and best weeks i had so far.

I arrived in Denpasar, Bali, in the beginning of August, together with a friend of mine. After our driver had picked us up from the airport we enjoyed an exciting weekend experiencing the island. One of our To-do’s was practising how to drive a scooter (it’s not that easy concerning the style of driving and the traffic rules of the Balinese people ;) )

The following Monday we met our contact person Laura to go to the orphanage and talk about our work and the whole organisation. There are eight children living there as well as the “mother” of the orphanage and two other staff members.

After everyone got to know each other on the first day the 10 most exciting, eventful and instructive weeks of my life were about to come.

We always worked from Monday until Friday in which the schedule always changed: we worked either from 07:30-14:00h or from 14:45-19:30h and sometimes also in between (for example when Ibu Ine didn’t have the time to pick up the kids from school.

MONDAY morning: bringing the smaller kids to the church, picking up the elder ones from school, helping to prepare the lunch, doing homework with the kids

MONDAY afternoon: singing, playing or reading with the kids (just any useful activity) and taking care of baby Anne, doing the laundry, helping to prepare diner, bathing the kids

TUESDAY morning: doing the laundry, tidying up, bringing the kids to school or kindergarten, picking them up again, taking care of baby Anne and Marvel (as they are still too little to go to kindergarten.

TUESDAY afternoon: doing handicraft, helping with the preparation of diner, singing, playing, bathing the kids and putting them to bed.

WEDNESDAY morning: pretty much the same as Tuesday: you just help with the housekeeping and take care of different tasks – just as a part of the family. 

WEDNESDAY afternoon: bring the boys to the football training, practising German with the kids (you teach them the most important words in German), preparing diner, bathing the kids

THURSDAY beach day – preparing everything for the beach & spending the day there (mostly until 19h); afterwards: doing the laundry, tidying up, put the little ones to bed; control the homework of the elder ones.

FRIDAY afternoon: bring the boys to the football training, German class (always 1h), preparing food, maybe doing some organization for the weekend with Ibu Ine, bathing the kids, doing the laundry.

Unfortunately I’ve seen the dark side of the island – the poverty. Ibu Ine is dependent on donations and most of the time the money doesn’t even last for new napkins. Generally hygienic doesn’t have such a high standard as in Austria back home; moreover there are several education methods which really shocked me to see sometimes.

But nevertheless: the most important thing is the emotional support – and there’s no lack of love here in the orphanage: Ibu Ine gives her whole love and energy to the children; actually she’s sacrificing her own life as the job in the orphanage is a fulltime job – I really admired that. She’s also a very religious woman soaking energy and strength out of her belief. So we prayed before every single meal or every single drive with the scooter.

I’m really grateful for the opportunity that was given to me – being part of this wonderful family for 10 weeks. I can tell that these were the most important, instructive and exciting 10 weeks I’ve ever had.

I’m also proud of myself having decided to dedicate my strength, time and energy to this lovely family. I won’t forget this time in Jimbaran.

During my stay there was one sentence accompanying me (and that I’ll never forget for sure)

Yayasan Hati Mama“, which means „The basic is the mother’s heart“. This sentence is based on the following story:

The teacher Debbie and her little pupils are discussing a picture which shows a family. One little boy in the picture has another skin colour as the rest of the family. One pupil says that the boy on the picture has to be adopted. With regard to this a girl of the class says: „I know everything about adoption as I was adopted, too.” “What means adopted?” another pupil is asking. “It means”, so the girl, „that you are growing up in your mother’s heart but not in her belly. “