The EVS volunteers have spent 4 months in Bali and it was time to evaluate their stay and how they adjust their lives to the local life. Adriano, Kristina, Pagona, and Sofia came to Bali without knowing much about Indonesia, especially Bali. It was also their first time in Asia. Having a different culture and then came to a country which can’t be defined with only one culture, they had to adapt to Indonesia and Balinese way of living.
Since their arrival, they have learned so much—including riding a motorbike—not only about the culture of Bali but also learned about themselves. A different culture can be exciting and exhausting at the same time, and for the past 4 months, they have been challenged, both individually and as a group, to compromise their point of views and to understand the difference between European and Asian mindset. The mid-term training was aimed to know in depth how they deal with being away from their comfort zone and adapt to the humidity, spicy foods, and the art of scoot with the motorbike in the Bali traffic. Simply put, it was to reflect on their 4-months soul-searching journey.
Under a giant tree, just a few steps away from the sea, and the mild sunshine, Sebastian, the founder of Act Global, led the training. The first task he gave to four of the EVS volunteers was pairing them. He would then ask the two pairs to sit opposite each other before giving one blank paper and one paper with a picture on it to each of the pair. The assignment was that one person had to draw on the blank paper while the person sat behind them had to give a verbal instruction about the picture. After six minutes—and many of misunderstandings about the clue—they were asked to stand up and face the other before they raised both of the paper at the same time to see how correct—or wrong—their instructions were. There were laughs when the drawing wasn’t close to the original picture. But that wasn’t the point. This task was aimed to understand how different the perspectives were among the volunteers, even when they live under the same roof and knew each other well personally.
The next thing Sebastian asked was to give each volunteers time to reflect on their time in Bali by putting it on the paper and break it into achievements, changes, hopes, and next to be more specific. After they finished, the EVS volunteers had to present the result of their reflection in front of the group. The objectives of this task were to get a clear idea of what has changed in the past 4 months and what will change after spending 6 months in Bali.
After having a lunch break, the mid-term training continued with a 1-2-1 heart to heart session among the volunteers. Sebastian gave a chance for the EVS volunteers to talk deeply about their feelings, the insecurities, and maybe fear. And it turned out to be the last session of the mid-term training.
The mid-term training for the EVS volunteers was a way for the volunteers to acknowledge, not only the struggle of being away from friends and family but also a reminder as why they chose to be in Bali in the first place. Act Global as the host organization helped to accommodate and giving support—if needed—for the EVS volunteers as not to stray too far from their purpose of being in Bali.