Volunteer's Blog

Step out of your comfort zone and you’ll find the world!

Volunteer's Blog

Bali, November 2018 (By Adriano)

Translating emotions into words has never been a strong quality in me, but I love to get out of my comfort zone, so, here it goes. More than twenty-four hours after I left my hometown in Portugal (Barcelos), I finally arrived in Denpasar. The other three participants, and Sebastian were already outside waiting for me.

Sebastian was wearing a Portugal National Team T-Shirt, and to me it was a nice icebreaker. He then introduced us to our driver and we were on our way to the house. The first week was crazy, I was feeling like a child, so much inputs, the colours, the smells, the streets, the warungs, the dogs, and the people …. oh the people. But at the same time I realized that jet-lag was real, I was all over the place . The on-arrival training was really good to get a more detailed notion about the gymics of this big project.

The first day of  “Jalan-Jalan” (traveling arround) was really awesome. We got the chance to visit a really amazing Hindu temple, got the chance to take pictures on the top of a mountain, on top of a gigantic bamboo structure, it was special. Then the days started to pass faster and faster, and we started to know more about our housemates, how to get arround by ourselves, where to go to buy food, starting to feel more autonomous again. On the second week, the project development started to take form, and the main focus is the Entrepreneur scene in Bali. As a group, we decided to create a web series about Sustainable, Social and Artistic Entreperneurship in Bali, that will conclude on a-two days festival.

Now a little bit about the things that I love most about Bali. Firstly, the bike culture. For me it’s amazing seeing everybody driving a motorbike everywhere, from the older ladies, to the children and even dogs as passengers. The bikes are a multi purpose object. For some, it is just to get from place A to B, for others, it’s to carry all sorts of material, and for some, even their business—they build metal and wood structutures arround the back of the bike and they cook and sell food. I call it the “snail culture” because of how amazing they are. Secondly, the food culture. On the first day, our driver told me that you spend the same money cooking and eating out. For me as a European, that drove my mind in a lot of confusion. How’s that even possible? But in reality, there are so many “Warungs” in every corner, so I think that’s the answer for the cheap prices. But don’t get me wrong. If you go to the tourist areas, the prices go really up. The weather … oh the weather is strange, it’s hot, but not like in Portugal. It’s humid and you are always sweating. Two showers a day is a must.

Now let’s talk about our house. The houses are not that different on the outside, of course they have beautiful wooden doors with engravings, and also entrances for air in every room. But the the biggest differences from Europe houses are on the inside, as always. First the bathroom, you go to the bath room, you look for the toilet paper, and you find a hooze. Yes, a hooze to clean yourself. And also the toilets are not always like the ones in Europe. Here is the land of “Squat Toilets” and according to science, it’s actually better for the body posture. Then we go to the kitchen. The stove is not a massive thing, and is not attatched to the counter like the one in Europe. It is simple. We don’t have dinner table either, so we eat on the floor. Personally, I like it, I feel more grounded. And finally the people. The people of Act Global are amazing and ready to help us in everything, even if it is to get a mirror or to help us to buy a cellphone sim, they are there for sure. They are kind, and they wake up early (arround 6-7), and they eat a lot of rice and noodles.

To finish this blog, I am for sure very grateful to meet Henrique. You don’t know Henrique, but he was the one who invited me to do my first Erasmus + Programme in April this year. After that, I really gained the courage to take a step foward, and put my energy in volunteering. Thank you, Bro. And I am loving this experience! I even started to meditate on a daily basis. I am not becoming a better person, but becoming the real me. The truth is, society often puts labels on you that you embrace as yours, but they are not. I stepped out of my confort zone. I traveled to a different continent, living with people from four different countries, sharing ideas, philosophies, love, sadness, crying, and smiling. And this is the power of NOW.