Click on the projects below for full details! read more close
This summer I spent six weeks volunteering in Fiji teaching the students of Dawasamu Primary School. My responsibilities included improving literacy and numeracy comprehension as well as providing lessons in P.E., music, and art. I’ve never had any experience teaching, but my time spent in Dawasamu Primary School made me open my eyes to the importance of education-- and how taken for granted it is back in my own country.
I am so glad that I went on this trip, and I highly recommend a volunteer trip of some sort to everyone. I also highly recommend doing it alone. Even though I had wished I had someone with me during the first few days, I’m glad I didn’t now because I got to meet so many amazing people and I got to make new friends that I probably wouldn’t have made if I had gone with a friend or family member.
Volunteering in Indonesia was more than a simple experience, it was an opportunity I had to challenge myself as I have never done before. I have met some of the most interesting and passionate people on the planet and shared with them my life, my interests, my pictures and my dreams. Together we had the unique opportunity to discover the country, its people and its amazing environment from the privileged viewpoint of a volunteer.
This first week was an introduction week which was a great way to meet new people and familiarize oneself with the surroundings that I would be living in for a month. During this week we visited the Monkey forest, had a tour around Ubud, went to some rice fields, learnt some Balinese language and cooking and went to the Holy Water temple. It was a jam packed first week but a great way to really embrace the Balinese lifestyle. We also went and watched a Balinese dance show and had a Balinese offering and painting class. All of which contributed to a great first week.
Another trek we did was for two days in Batu Kapal. In this area we were very lucky because we got rewarded with wild orangutans. It was so impressive and beautiful to observe them and to see how they were acting and communicating with each other. It was definitely a memory that I will never forget.
When I arrived on the Casamiccciola’s harbor I was anxious. I had many questions on my mind: am I ready to leave my comfort zone and to adapt myself to a life on a boat? Will I be useful on the searches and in the sailing? Will the other crew members be welcoming and sympathetic? I was optimistic on this point and I was entirely right.
Some nights we would go to restaurants and pizzerias in Casamicciola, Ischia Porto and on Mt. Epomeo. It was a great way to see the island. There was alwayszuch an energetic and happy atmosphere on board and everyone was just so fascinating and lovely to talk to; you really make amazing connections. Don’t even worry about learning Italian, ba bene (a phrase you’ll most definitely learn that means “it’s alright”), you can easily learn a bit on board!
The first day of the plain count I remember looking over the list of the 30 or so wild animals. I thought, “Yea right, like we are really going to see all these? I doubt it!” Then I thought, “How am I supposed to count something I have never heard of before in my entire life?” Each creature was pointed out and explained in vivid detail to us. I had seen more beautiful creatures on that day than I had ever seen in any zoo anywhere. And I have been to quite a lot of zoos in my life. I was shocked, excited and ready for more.
A truly memorable experience was refereeing two days of soccer. The monks truly love the sport and had a 2 day schoolhouse tournament, which I was requested to referee. The youngest monks were the spectators and cheerleaders, beating plastic bottles and plastic drums, cheering their houses on. They played on a small pitch dug out of the side of (literally) a mountain, the ground was dirt and the goals made out of metal poles. In two hours of soccer, I think I only had to give a single foul, which to me exemplifies the spirit of comradeship and gregarious nature of these incredible people.
In addition to the teaching, I got to work at an orphanage in Kathmandu. I cannot explain the affect of those astoundingly beautiful children. Just to hold a child in need of a hug. To feel a hand slip so readily into yours simply to feel love and affection freely given. To feel special to someone. It bursts your heart. Their delight in each other and what little they have is truly inspiring and I will never forget them.