A Senior Volunteer Story: an interview with Teresa
My Volunteer Teaching Experience at Bali's NGO Pre School and Children Center
"As my nine-week volunteer teaching comes to an end, I reflect on the impact of my time during my program. The experience has been nothing but rewarding, enlightening, and, above all, too short. " Teresa, Paediatric nurse in the Childrens Ward at Geelong University Hospital, Australia.
Imagine stepping out of a lifelong career in nursing, embarking on a new adventure, not to a beach resort, but to a preschool in Bali, Indonesia. Meet Teresa, a 60-year-old Australian nurse who recently took a leap of faith, trading her scrubs for a whiteboard and stethoscope for English textbooks. Teresa's journey with Bali Internships at a local children education center has been nothing short of extraordinary. Here's her story..
A Nurse's Heart for Education
My journey into education stems from a deep-seated passion cultivated during my years in nursing. I found joy in mentoring and sharing knowledge, which naturally led me to explore opportunities beyond the hospital walls. Teaching English seemed like the perfect fit, offering me a chance to contribute to the education sector in a meaningful way.
From Scrubs to Classroom: Embracing the Transition
While I lacked formal teaching qualifications, my decades-long nursing background provided a unique set of skills to connect with students. Armed with a degree in nursing science and a diploma in rural critical care, I embraced the challenge of transitioning from scrubs to the classroom. Bali, with its rich culture and warm people, became the ideal destination to share my skills and embark on this educational journey.
A Typical Day in Bali: Teaching and Beyond
Choosing the Bali Internships’ program was an easy decision, thanks to the warm welcome I received from the coordinator, Rima. The program offered me the opportunity to teach English to five and six-year-olds at a local preschool in Kerobokan. The schedule included morning and afternoon English classes, as well as a playgroup on Wednesdays.
My days were filled with alphabet lessons, number games, and teaching the days of the week. Beyond the structured classes, I played a crucial role in supervising other educational activities and guiding struggling students. The children's friendliness, happiness, cheekiness, and the richness of Balinese culture made every moment worthwhile.
Despite the commitment to teaching, I managed to make the most of my time in Bali. Fridays became my days off, and I used them to explore the island, from the vibrant streets of Ubud to the sandy shores of Nusa Dua. Adventures included snorkeling with Manta Rays, releasing baby turtles in Kuta, and sharing breakfast with Orangutans at Bali Zoo.
As my nine-week volunteer term comes to an end, I reflect on the impact of my internship time. The experience has been nothing short of rewarding, enlightening, and, above all, too short. The children have left an indelible mark on me, and I find myself wishing for more time to continue making a difference in their lives.
Bali in My Words: Amazing, Welcoming, Interesting...and Fun!
I express my deep appreciation for the Bali Internship program and wholeheartedly recommend the experience to everyone. Looking ahead, I plan to return next year, eager to participate in more volunteering programs. My Bali adventure wasn't just a holiday; it was a purposeful journey that enriched my life and left me with cherished memories.
As I sum up my Bali experience in three words, I can't help but add a fourth: fun. Bali, for me, was not just a destination; it was a canvas of warmth, culture, and joy. Through my journey, I not only brought my nursing expertise but also left a piece of my heart with the children I taught in the heart of Indonesia.
By Billy Bagus