All students have departed from Bali and are headed home!
Today was our last day in Bali, we spent the day at the beach and had surfing lessons. It was quite challenging but the instructors were very enthusiastic and were determined to make sure we all succeeded. After a long day of hard work we had our farewell dinner on the beach and then headed back to the home stay where we reflected on the trip and said our goodbyes. It was a great way to end the trip and we are all very thankful to have been apart of this experience.
This morning, we had a wonderful time visiting the Elephant Safari Park in Ubud! We got to pet and feed the beautiful elephants before taking them for a ride around the park. After that, we had lunch and a relaxing afternoon at Madra homestay and did a final GLA session. After dinner we headed into town for a little bit of live music for the last time here. Overall we had another amazing day!
Today we all woke up early to go white water river rafting. It was a fun experience for everyone and the river we rafted down was beautiful. When we came to a stop we hiked up approximately 300 stairs to eat lunch with a gorgeous view. Also, on the way to where we went rafting, we stopped at a coffee plantation and tried some coffee made from animal poop. It was quite the unique experience. This evening we all went shopping and watched the sun set over a temple. We came back to our home stay happy but ready to sleep.
Today we left our bungalows at Amed. While traveling to Ubud we stopped at a healer, witnessed one of our own being healed and each received a reading of our own. While leaving he handed us sacred pieces of wood that will bring us luck in the future. We then spent the rest of the day traveling back to ubud. Once we arrived to our last destination, we celebrated the 4th of july with cake and a movie!
(Here we are with the healer!)
-Laila, Kali and Hailey
A Day of Diving
We had our second day of scuba diving lessons today. It was incredible, although some of us struggled a little bit with the equipment and diving techniques. It will be well worth it when we become certified and can apply the skills this class has taught us to new diving locations filled with exciting experiences. After a whole day of diving, most of us were very tired and we all came back to the bungalows to have dinner together while discussing the day’s events. Those who did not participate in the scuba lessons spent the day immersed in the culture of Bali and witnessed an important ritual. We should all sleep pretty well tonight and will have our final day of scuba diving tomorrow.
Greetings from Ahmed! We have moved locations to Good Karma Bungalows. It is very beautiful and we are living on the beach. We have enjoyed many swims in the warm Balinese water, great food, and breathtaking sunrises. Today was our first day participating in the Padi scuba diving program, which was very exciting and exhausting. Super excited for our second day of scuba!
We started the day by visiting Ketut’s village and watched the girls from the village perform a welcoming dance. Afterwards we went on a hike through the village and picked up pieces of plastic along the way. Then we combined the plastic we found and used it to create different pieces of artwork that would raise awareness of the environmental crisis in Bali. It was an enlightening experience that we all learned from. After a long day, we were able to relax at a nice restaurant that overlooked the ocean.
Today we were up and ready to go by 8:00 a.m. We had breakfast and began the scenic drive to Pumatran beach. We then arrived and watched a documentary on the destruction of the beache’s once thriving coral reef due to fishermen in despair after the asian economy crisis. Scientists have developed a system of metal formations, connected to a negative source with a positive source nearby, which emits higher PH levels causing coral to grow, stronger and better than normal coral, due to energy leftover from the already built structure. We then snorkeled and observed the formations ourselves, they were beautiful and thriving with life. We had a great lunch, and spent the day relaxing on the beach.
Last Day Teaching
Today was our last day teaching at the local school in Singaraja. After many hugs and arm signatures, we said goodbye to the kids. Later, we made our way to the beach in Lovina, where we swam and relaxed as a nice reward to our volunteer week. We as well went on a spider boat ride to watch the beautiful sunset. We had dinner on the beach and enjoyed a bonfire and music performed by Domingo (the owner of the restaurant) and friends. It was another great day!
Vegetables & Fruits, Volunteering & Fun
Well, today was day 4 of working with the adorable children in Lovina! All of us cannot even believe that tomorrow is our final day to volunteer at the school.
This morning our theme for our lesson was teaching the kids about fruits and vegetables. We drew pictures of things like apples and carrots with the kids, and played lots of games that incorporated the subject. There were around 75 students today, and the number keeps growing! Although the aftermath of the classes was 9 exhausted volunteers, we all had a blast. Doing good is hard work but totally worth the effort!
Then we went to the supermarket and everyone got the opportunity to buy anything specific that they needed. We came back to the dorms to regain some energy, and sat down to study the scuba diving information that we will need for the next main part of our trip. We walked to some local food carts for a nice meal together and regrouped to reflect upon the day. Stay tuned for more of our exciting adventures!
– Elinor, Emma, and Courtney
A Successful Day
Today we taught the children the terms for different body parts through making crafts and playing games. Both the students and the volunteers had a lot of fun. All of the kids are very smart and catch on quickly to each activity. After a few hours of volunteering, we sat down to eat a well-deserved lunch and reflected on how the day’s teaching went. Then we hiked up to a gorgeous waterfall and spent the afternoon swimming and jumping off rocks into the ice-cold water. It was a successful and exciting day, and all of us will sleep very well tonight.
Today we were ready to head out by 8, class began at 9 sharp. Today was all about learning the numbers and colors. It was a blast and nothing but smooth sailing. We prepared many games for the children from candy bracelets to twister. By lunch time we were exhausted but came back to the dorms and rested up for a bit. After resting and collecting our thoughts we began GLA Session number 3; Intercultural Communication. It was a very enlightening and fun session. We were then surprised with a movie night and pizza!
Hello from Singaraja!
Today was another hot, action-packed day! It was our first day volunteering at the English camp. We were split into three groups, either classroom teaching, outside games, or art class. Last night we spent about two hours preparing lesson plans that were focused around the topic of animals. At the school we were greeted by 60 very cute, excited kids who were eager and ready to learn. After three hours of working with the kids, we had lunch at the school and reflected on what went well today and what could be changed. Then after a short break, where we mostly drank a lot of water, we headed for the beach in Lovina for dinner and swimming in the ocean. The water was very warm and everybody was quick to get in. After a swim break, we had a lovely evening on the beach. We had dinner while watching the sun set. Then, we watched Ketut, an activity leader within his community, and his friends play the guitar and drums. We had a great jam session and we were able to sing and dance along to the music. Best night ever!
Heading Toward Tomorrow
Today was our last day in Ubud (until the end of the trip), because tomorrow we are off to Singaraja!! After a somewhat late rise, we had our second GLA session. We discussed the very interesting topic of whether volunteering is truly a good thing. Basically questioning the truth behind “good intentions”. Like any other topic, there are pros and cons. We talked about learning through experience and not imposing ourselves on other cultures without considering their opinion. If you are further interested in the topic, here is the link to see what we read: http://www.swaraj.org/illich_
After our session and lunch, we went to a Banjar workshop. We learned more about balinese culture. We carved wood, made offerings, legong danced, and played traditional music. Although very challenging, we all had a lot of fun and were excited to head to the palace and see how legong dance is really supposed to look.
After the workshop, it was time to dine with royalty! Unfortunately the prince was not able to make it due to the fact his son was sick. But that didn’t stop us! We got to tour the palace which included learning the history of it and even getting to see the family temples. Then, we got to eat a delicious meal prepared by the staff there. We all had a great time! Our final activity of the day was the Legong dance performance at the palace. The music and dancing was like something we had never seen before. It was very beautiful, interesting, exciting, and even a little scary when the man masked as a monkey danced for us. Overall, it was a fun last day in Ubud.
Viewing the Volcano
Today was a fantastic day! The day began at 7am when we went to the market place in the center of Ubud. During the day this market is a big tourist attraction, but in the early morning the market is reserved for the locals to get their daily groceries. It is so great to be offered a glimpse into the real routines of the Balinese people!
After the market we took a leisurely stroll down a scenic path with beautiful rice paddies surrounding us in every direction! We were able to learn a little about the complex irrigation system in Bali as we took in the view.
After the rice paddies, we drove for about an hour towards a spectacular restaurant. This restaurant offers a delicious buffet of Balinese cuisine as well as a breath taking view of a volcano! (It is such a cool restaurant!)
It was a really nice day! Each day seems to be better than the last, and tomorrow will be no exception!
Students Have Arrived!
With the arrival of Kali this evening, its official, the gangs all here!
Today was an action packed day, beginning with a group orientation to Bali and then a full day adventure in Ubud as the group took part in a 4-hour scavenger hunt, a great way to learn more about Bali and each other! Tomorrow will be another great day, beginning with a morning market tour, followed by a rice paddy walk, and so much more!
Welcome to Bali
We have arrived and we’re all super excited! We’ll update the blog with a full group photo soon.