Volunteering in Indonesia – The Most Amazing Experience

Posted by: Bridgette

My experience as volunteering in Indonesia began with a 29-hour flight from San Francisco, California. I arrived to a humid airport with beautiful rooftops decorated with elaborate designs. Every person I walked by, whether it was a tourist, a volunteer, or a native, was excited to be there. As my 4-week program progressed, I met people from all around the world and explored the Balinese lifestyle. The Balinese people were always welcoming and accommodating. They always said hello and asked where you were going. If you stayed long enough, they would ask your name and tried to get to know you in a friendly way. I felt so safe there and so appreciated doing the Education and Community Work in Bali project.

The community is united and so grateful for us “Westerners” to be there and teach them. I lived in one of about 10 volunteer houses with 40 other people and shared a room equipped with 3 bunk beds and one bathroom. We ate every meal from lunch boxes that the program coordinators provided and took taxis everywhere that we didn’t walk to.

Prior to arrival we had chosen between 4 different projects that the organization offered (teaching healthcare, teaching English, turtle conservation, or construction). Each person was assigned a time slot and a location according their project and every person was to meet their coordinator at the office down the street from our house at their designated time (Mon-Fri). We then took taxis provided by the organization to our locations. I taught healthcare at a school approximately 40 minutes away. The schools were small and minimal and ran by the coordinators and the volunteers. The students were always there and ready to learn before the volunteers arrived. Their English was bad so we had to translate almost everything that we taught but the students remembered the material very well.

We taught Monday through Friday and had the weekends off to do what we please. I spent every weekend in a different location and travelled almost the entire island of Bali; learning how to surf, visiting temples, chocolate factories, waterfalls and many more of the amazing things that Bali has to offer. I also took a weekend on the island of Gili Trawangan.

This was the most amazing experience I have ever had and would go back to Indonesia in a heartbeat. This has opened up my mind to travelling more and motivated me even more to want to give back to the beautiful world we live in.