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Volunteering in Indonesia – Colorful Rituals

“Where are you from and are you married?” is the most common question you will be asked as a woman, no matter your age shortly after your arrival.

Within one hour of volunteering in Indonesia at the Bali Sea Turtle Rescue project and interacting with the locals I was blown away by what immediately appeared to me a life style different from anywhere else I visited before. The unique profile of every house with the different quarters for the various generations in the family but also for their animals, its temples, daily multiple rituals and flowers offerings speak volume about a culture that cannot but captures your imagination.

Volunteer in Indonesia - Sea Turtle Blessing Before Release

In Ubud, where I spent my first introductory week, I was mesmerised by their simple way of life, their family values and traditions and their ability to live in the respect and indeed fully immersed in stunning natural surroundings while taking on also a few modern commodities.

A few other places in the world, I felt such at ease and in peace. Such impression was reinforced the following week in the island of Nusa Penida, where while helping to conserve the sea turtles and keep the magnificent beaches clean, you also have the chance to explore spots of untapped natural beauty and engage in happy if humorous conversations with the locals, genuinely curious about your home as much as your life story.

Volunteer in Indonesia - Bali Temples

So coming to that first question, “Are you married?” always answer “Not yet” if you are not or they will deeply worry for you as much for that universal balance they all strive for and make so many daily beautifully arranged food and flower offerings, in their homes, the streets, on the boats and last but not least when releasing recovered turtles into the sea where they belong!