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Act Global Family in Denpasar

Volonteer Blog

Denpasar, Bali, October 2014 (Stefania Sechi)

My name is Stefania. I am 26 years old, I am from Italy and I live in Denpasar.

I came here for a 10 month EVS project together with others 6 volunteer from Italy, Poland and France.

We all are part of the Act Global team, an NGO that work on non-formal education focused on climate changes, poverty reduction and social cohesion. Act Global family is international, young -they set up here in Denpasar 2 years ago- but is rapidly growing. Mum and dad are Aini and Sebastian, she is from Java and he is from UK; then we have Diana and Leni working with us and for us, they are both from Java with experiences abroad. Ruth is our mentor, she is from Netherland but her roots are in Maluku Island. Chachang is in charge of our security, especially on the road, since he drives the Act Global Mobile. A lot of a local volunteers come to the office whenever they can helping with the projects. Our placement here is multitasking mode: during the month we have to carry out our personal project, one or more, designed and managed individually by each volunteer; research and mapping about NGOs in Bali and South East Asia; office related tasks; visibility and reporting. I like to have different tasks to achieve.

The office is called Global House, is located in Jalan Raya Pomogan, in the south-west of Denpasar. We are in the middle of the town, but from our window you can see amazing rice fields, palms and hear the sound of the scarecrows turning with the wind. We EVS live in two different houses close to each other and to the office. The city’s urban plan in Bali is organized in a lot of straight roads, jalan, parallels to each other; all long the jalan there are all the gang, closed street (cul de sac) that sometimes have a lot of branches. The gang are like small neighborhoods, with houses and shops. The warung (local cheap restaurants), big shops and pasar (market) are all along the main road.

Denpasar is a big city located in a small Island, Bali, of a huge Country: Indonesia. The Indonesian archipelago can count more than 17.000 islands (but no-one knows the exact number of them), over 300 ethnic groups and 700 different dialects. The national language is Bahasa (language) Indonesian, we had a one week intensive language course and now we are able to count, order food, ask for indications and chatting a little little bit with locals. Bahasa it’s complete different from my language. The grammar is quite simple, except for the pronouns. There are no conjugation, but there are 10 different way to say I, some of them polite, others really rude. If you talk to someone you have to say his name first, or you can call him “Sir” or “Miss”… there are different pronouns, the right one – and it’s really important to choose the right one- depends on the age of the person and if he or she is younger or older then you are. It is a way to show respect to people, and I think it’s an anthropological tip to understand the culture here.

Bali is a gorgeous island. The motorbike rental upgraded our chance to explore around and be “independent”. We are a quite big group, 7 volunteers, so it’s easy to find someone else up to organize a week-end trip for example. We already had the opportunity to explore around Hindu temples, amazing beaches, and traditional ceremonies. Luckily we have 9 more months to discover more and more!

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