Volunteering at Turtle Center in Bali, 4 Weeks of Cultural Immersion
"I had never had a ‘cultural immersion’ experience before until now, and I love the experience I had." Kyle, Mortgage Loan Officer, Texas, US
My 4 weeks in Bali were really some of the best of my life
I had never had a “cultural immersion” experience before until now, and I love the experience I had. Really, I guess I need to start with the people. The staffs are some of the most friendly I’ve ever met. Made has done an amazing job building that center up and really loves what he does. Dodi was such a great resource to learn more about Balinese culture and the issues facing turtles on the island. Wayan and Yoga were also wonderful to work with and their positivity was contagious. The turtles themselves are such wonderful and beautiful creatures. Getting to see these animals up close and work with them was so eye-opening. I kind of had an idea of the man-made created problems facing sea turtles, but seeing the impact up close and personal really made me re-evaluate my plastic usage and carbon footprint back home.
Nightly Turtle Monitoring
I think my favorite moment was hands down the night-time turtle monitoring. Watching a sea turtle come ashore and lay its eggs, in person, was undoubtedly one of the greatest experienced I’ve had. The whole process, from start to finish, was mesmerizing and it was pretty indescribable, and the people I was with helped add to the amazing moment.
If I had to give any feedback it would be to provide the incoming volunteers some information regarding the turtles at the center, specifically for giving tours. You kind of learn on the fly, which is fine! But it would be helpful to have the tour information available prior to arrival. Other than though, the experience was seamless. I recommend Bali Internships and the Center for having such a well-done volunteer program.
Bali is really one of the most colorful places I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting. The individuality within the culture is something so endearing and I cannot wait to come back. The people were friendly, the colors are vibrant, the devotion to religion is so admirable, and the food is out of this world. I can talk on and on about how great the food is in Bali. Nasi Goreng, Babi Guling, Bakso, Gado-Gado, Sate, etc. the food in Bali is delicious.
Talking to the workers at the center was also a great resource for exploring and finding activities to do around the island. I also enjoyed going to see the islands of Java and Nusa Penida and seeing how different their respective cultures were from Bali as well. I’m going to certainly miss my scooter - what a fun thing to do!
More Environmental Awareness
One thing I won’t miss about Bali is pollution. My hope for both Bali and Indonesia as a whole is that they can get that part under control. The litter on the beaches was sad to see, but it was good seeing people working to help clean up their own beaches.
I hope to continue to raise awareness on human environmental impact as well. Since I’ve left Bali, I’ve found myself picking up trash along beaches and although it’s a small gesture, my hope is people see what I’m doing and start doing the same.
I travel because I’m someone who needs to push out of his comfort zone, and Bali certainly helped do that. Thank you again for the wonderful opportunity!