Volunteer's Blog

… and suddenly, I am in Bali!

Volunteer's Blog

Bali, November 2018 (By Pagona)

Hello to the Act Global community!

Firstly, I would like to introduce myself.

I am Pagona and I am a 23 years old greek girl who just finished my bachelor in finance. The truth is that I don’t enjoy my studies and I had a promise, “when I’ll finally finish it I will travel somewhere far from Europe and Greece, to see the world and to try to find a path for my life”. I think nobody really believed me then… I am even surprised that I did it.

So here I am, in wonderful Bali, challenging myself, facing my fears, being ‘’alone” far from my beloved ones and my familiar environment, setting new goals…

I haven’t realized it yet that I am going to stay here for 7 months. To be honest, it’s a bit scary for now and at the same time fascinating. I want to see and experience everything of this culture and this amazing place but all is new to me and the feelings are mixed.

The first days of our schedule was full and we learned many things. Τhe impressions and the atmosphere in the house with the other European volunteers are great. Ι already have my Balinese family! Sebastian, Aini, Abi, and the local volunteers are taking care of us and they try to introduce us to the local way of living in Denpasar. This is so interesting!

So, except for the meetings talking about the project, the first days we met and spend a lot of time with all the volunteers and they welcomed us with open arms. They introduced us to the local cuisine and the neighborhoods in Denpasar. They also gave us our first lessons in Bahasa Indonesian in which I am really into and I will try to learn as much as I can. We shared our stories, our dreams for the future and we felt for the first moment that we have friends here who we can count on.

We managed to steal one day from our busy programme to have our first Jalan – Jalan (travel around). Well.. that was incredible! Denpasar has its own beauty, full of crowded streets with scary motorbikes and cars, traditional Asian houses, strong smells and noises, but you can not realize that you are in an island with such a unique nature. With Annisa as our guide, we visited the Pura Ulu Danu and we felt the peaceful vibes of the Hindu culture. We enjoyed the amazing view of the lake and we took plenty of crazy photos. I saw monkeys for the first time in my life and I couldn’t take my eyes from the outstanding green picture of the rice fields.

As I already said, one of the first goals was to explore the city and see how the local life works. In order to experience it, we had an activity to follow for one day a local volunteer. My beloved Annisa was my mentor for that day and I couldn’t be more grateful because it was a great opportunity to get to know more this amazing and busy woman.

The day started with some practical things to do and Annisa was really helpful, explaining to me all these things that I have to arrange for my settling down. I saw that you can spend hours waiting in the Balinese offices in order to be served and well this is not new to me as it reminds me of my country. Lunchtime came with a plate of noodles which is always a safe choice for a European belly. Spices are everywhere and you have to take it slowly if you don’t want the WC to be your best friend. Our day continued with some shopping for Annisa’s business. She has a corner with traditional food from Java and she loves taking care of it. So, we avoid the traffic, always by riding the magic motorbike and we visited a few small shops where I tried to speak Indonesian and, of course, to bargain. It was interesting spending time at her home, watching her preparations and helping her with the packing process. She was so kind to me and she showed me her real Indonesian everyday life which can be really tiring, I guess. That day was so fun and to the point educative about the way of living here and for sure, I am going to do it again.

My video dedicated to that day.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpXW98yqP7w&t=13s

Pagona