This summer I was able to mark the biggest check on my bucketlist: visit the beautiful land of Bali, Indonesia. After seeing my favorite movie Eat Pray Love a few years ago, I fell in love with the rolling rice fields and white-washed waves that were featured and I knew that this was a place I wanted to go…so I did it! I discovered this lovely organization called GoEco that sent volunteers to any end of the world to complete projects in education, humanitarianism, and animal conservation. As an elementary teacher in Texas, I found the Education and Community Work in Bali project for two weeks.
Upon arrival at the school headquarters, the school had arranged wonderful rooms at homestays for all of the volunteers. The room was spacious, Westernized, with a fantastic view of Mt. Batur. Upon the first day, I was able to meet many beautiful people from all parts of Europe and US, so I never felt alone. The land itself was just amazing, from the lively town of Kuta, the plethora of beaches in Uluwatu and Canggu, the peaceful and refreshing town of Ubud, and the perfect getaway in the Gili Islands and Seminyak. I was in heaven.
The culture week was an excellent idea for those of us who want to be able to explore while volunteering! For one week, the Greenlion leaders went above and beyond to guide us through the city of Ubud. We visited the Monkey Forest and Water Temple, made our own batik paintings and flower offerings, and even took language and cooking classes! I felt like I accomplished so much in that one week.
The final week consisted of teaching. We volunteers were paired up and sent to classes from various schools around Ubud. The teaching days were fun, exciting, tough, confusing at times, but incredibly rewarding for me. As an ESL teacher, I was able to try different approaches of teaching towards non-English speakers. The children love you from the minute they see you, and they are always trying to show it! I will say that teaching was my favorite part of the whole trip.
My summer adventure volunteering in Indonesia has definitely marked the beginning of GoEco projects in the future. Next year, I’m thinking South America.