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Volunteering in Bali – My First Experience as a Volunteer

After an exhausting 17-hour flight I finally arrived on the exotic island. With the recommendation to “pack limited,” I had brought the necessary camera, sleeping bag, and clothes I wouldn’t mind getting dirty. I was ready to get down on my hands and knees cleaning tanks and doing construction for a major part of my time volunteering in at the Bali Sea Turtle Rescue project. Thus, I was surprised to discover that the entire first week, the new volunteers would be taken sightseeing and exploring the culture in and around Ubud.

I learnt some basic Bahasa (the language spoken in Indonesia) skills, created my own batik painting, strolled in the rice fields, made an offering to the Hindu Gods, attended a cooking class where I learnt the art of Indonesian cuisine, and visited a holy water temple. Yet this discovering of Ubud could unfortunately not last forever and a week later I packed my bags again to move on to the remote island of Nusa Penida for the real volunteering.

I had a wonderful time volunteering in Nusa Penida and the locals were all very kind and welcoming, thus I felt safe at all times. The living conditions were simple and the rooms small, but the bathroom facilities were good and the living area kept clean.

Volunteer in Indonesia - Holding A Sea Turtle

The beach that was five minutes walking distance from where we stayed was breathtaking and the perfect place to relax between the morning and afternoon working hours at the turtle sanctuary. The work was neither too demanding nor time consuming and allowed for free time around lunch and in the evening when the volunteers could socialize.

Despite the workload not being overwhelming, I saw that what we did was essential for the turtles as well as the community. I am proud to say that I have made a difference in the world by having volunteered to help against the extinction of turtles and thankful to the staff and other volunteers who have helped make this experience memorable for life.

Volunteer in Indonesia - Crystal Bay