Warm Welcome and Meaningful Discovery: Juliette’s Bali Volunteer Story
"I really feel like this whole experience was such an enrichment, socially and culturally. First, it allowed me to bond with my culture again, as I am half French and half Indonesian. I only knew Indonesia and its culture through my mother and during my time in Bali I could immerse myself completely to discover this culture again by myself, and myself only" Juliette, Engineering student at Ecole Centrale de Lille
Voluntary work moments could unlock a new skill set for individuals. Our current former volunteer for NGO pre-school in Denpasar, Juliette, a young French-Indonesian lady, discovered her passion and talent in teaching through her time volunteer teaching in the NGO school, with Bali Internships, she shares her inspiring story.
My first weeks of adaptation
The first couple of days living abroad is said to be the hardest, I have to begin adapting to a new environment and culture. But thankfully, I did not have a difficult experience. The Bali Internships' team really ensured my comfort from the first time I arrived at the island. On the first day of her volunteer introduction I already made several friends in Bali. On my first day, I was with another volunteer in my homestay who was doing the same mission. We met Rima from Bali Internships before going to school and she was such a nice person. She explained to us everything about safety and the organization in Bali Internships. The warm feeling continued after I arrived at the NGO pre-school, where I was greeted by the teachers and children altogether.
They were really smiling, enthusiastically. I could feel they were happy to have someone to help them. They took me in their arms to say hi, which is very strange to me because it is not common in France to hug someone you do not know yet. But I was not uncomfortable, I could feel that they were just nice people who were grateful for me to come here. I felt very welcomed and found that it was really easy to feel integrated. I felt really belonged with the community of my internship place after one month of mission. In the first few weeks, I was busy adapting with the system of the school and finding the rhythm to work together with other volunteers.
My volunteer teaching experience in the school
After a month volunteering at the Kerobokkan's NGO pre-school, I was already entrusted to run my own program conducting the English class. It was very interesting, even with no experience in teaching, the pre-schools' teachers really trusted me for English classes, of course I work hard to pay that trust back. At first, the teachers would recommend to me about the exercises to be given to the children, what song to sing, and what vocabulary to teach. But after a month, I began proposing new types of fun exercises, and songs to teach the students.
My life in Bali during my weekends and free time
Beside my engaging voluntary work experience, of course it was also about my life entirely being in Bali, during my free time and how I spent my weekend and holiday as well. Bali Internships understands and gives ample space for us volunteers to have a true work-life balance! One of my best memories is my trip to Nusa Penida. I was with a friend from France who was visiting me and we went to Nusa Penida for a few days that were quite intense. We saw wonderful beautiful beaches and landscapes (Kelingking beach, broken beach, diamond beach. I also took my time to go on a week-long road trip with my friend. We took our backpacks and our scooters and we traveled like that for 10 days. We went to Ubud, Tegalalang, the lakes, Lovina, Jatiluwih... We stayed at different locations almost each night. I find it really nice to also see this part of Bali, which is mostly seen as beautiful beaches and surf spots.
In the end, I have learnt so much during this experience volunteering at the preschool, I really feel like this whole experience was such an enrichment, socially and culturally. First, it allowed me to bond with my culture again, as I am half French and half Indonesian. I only knew Indonesia and its culture through my mother, and during my time in Bali I could immerse myself completely to discover this culture again by myself, and myself only. So will I come back for another round of internship / holiday in Bali? Of course! There are still so many things I have not seen in Bali. I want to know more about the culture and religion of the locals, surf again, dive again, see more of the landscapes and so much more!
By Billy Bagus