I was the first intern to work at this placement as a Medical Social Worker, so it took some time to feel out what my role would be. As I mentioned, my supervisor gave me space to work independently often, but was also available to check on the progress of my work, as everything was conducted in Spanish.
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 volunteered with ‘street children’ at a local school. The volunteers and I were welcomed with lays, blessed with bracelets, and milk tea. I spent my time teaching English, mathematics, playing, singing, dancing, and learning from the children themselves, as they taught me even more than I could ever teach them. After volunteering, we would head off to some more tourist activities such as, visiting the Akshardham Temple and watching their magnificent water show.
Our way of living in the West differs drastically from the way people live in India. As volunteers we saw incredible things we would have never imagined during our stay, such as how people really live in the slums. This was thanks to coming as a volunteer rather than as a tourist, which allowed us to immerse ourselves into the culture in a special way. We were able to see this unbelievably chaotic borough from the inside (even the inside of the houses!) thanks to the children (students from the school) who guided us through.
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.