A week at our Bali center

Last week our Bali center was filled with a variety of events and activities and we’ll share some of them with you below!

It started on Monday, with the youngest children arriving full of energy, ready to sing, play and color their activities with Kak (a respectful word they use here, meaning something like “miss” or “mister”) Maria and Ainhoa.

Ainhoa and Maria with class 2 and 3

Ainhoa and Maria with classes 2 and 3

Tuesdays are a busy day at the center. First, we receive classes 4 and 5 (10 or 11 years old), for Math lessons with Eni (our Balinese teacher that also helps us with English and is our personal translator whenever we need her!) and then English with Maca. Right now they are learning the possessive pronouns, so they played a lot of games to learn them. At the end of the class, they had all learnt very well so they all won a prize! When they go, the senior students –who are reaching far more advanced levels of English than our younger children– come in. One group, aged 16-17 is taught by our volunteer Sunny and the other group, the Beginning English (aged 17-19) is taught by our director Katie. This group is fairly new and they are learning basic vocabulary words such as numbers, household items, body parts, etc. Much of Tuesday was spent laughing at Katie trying to pronounce Indonesian words while teaching new vocabulary. It’s great to see teenagers so eager to learn!

Sunny, Katie, Thomas, Ainhoa and Maria in Denpasar

Sunny, Katie, Thomas, Ainhoa and Maria in Denpasar

On Wednesdays, the children have a day off from our school, so all directors and volunteers went on a trip to Denpasar –the biggest city in Bali– to buy some things we needed for the school and the house. First on the list was a new printer, so we can print lessons and activities for the children (it is always more fun when you give them printed stuff instead of writing in their notebooks!) and also buy some supplies for the house, since there are going to be 10 guests in July (between volunteers and directors). We began our trip at 8 AM (it takes just over an hour to get there) and came back at about 3 PM, just in time to prepare a Skype session which Thomas had organized with an English school. We had a group of children come especially for it and prepared phrases about themselves and life in Bali, reading them to the children in England and listening to a presentation in return; it was a great success!

Thursday was also a very busy day, because after our afternoon classes (a lot of “Head, shoulder, knees and toes” and “Hokey Pokey”) we had to prepare for a meeting with the parents of the kids and a local doctor, Doctor Putu. He got the chance to explain to them about nutrition, the importance of basic hygiene such as washing your hands and provided further awareness about food types which are best for children’s development. The children’s parents also got the opportunity to ask him about their queries and doubts. It was nice to see all the kids with their mothers, fathers and younger sisters or brothers that haven’t started at our school yet. Most of all it was wonderful to see both Muslim and Hindu families sharing a small buffet and enjoying each other’s company.

Parents and children from Buitan community

On Friday our local teacher Eni couldn’t come because she had to complete her final examination at her university, so she left volunteer Maca a short Math test for the children. It seems it was very hard because they were completely silent during the test with some very concentrated faces! After they finished Maca decided to organize an enjoyable class involving lots of singing and dancing: one about the family, other about animals and others related to school. She then asked them which song they would like to learn and they all screamed at once: Justin Bieber!!! So “Baby” it was and they all sang with their full energy! Later in the afternoon, our older children came for the advanced English classes; four new students arrived for the Beginners English class, this is always a good sign that we are performing well! Due to the bigger class size Katie and Sunny combined their two classes into the big classroom. They learned about family members and played an interactive game to quiz their learning.

On Saturday our oldest students come to the center. They are currently preparing the play “The Wizard of Oz”, so Thomas and Sunny worked hard with them to develop their parts. They started out with vocal warm-ups then advanced to add more character and depth to each of their roles. They are beginning to understand their characters a lot more and will be able to work on movement in next week’s class.

Saturday also meant our little family got smaller this day: we said goodbye to our great Spanish volunteers, Maria and Ainhoa; we’re very grateful for your help!

And as Sunday is our day off, we decided to give ourselves a reward after a very busy week of work, so we rented scooters and all went to one of the most beautiful beaches in the island (and probably in the world!): White Sandy Beach (Pasir Putih). It was the perfect Sunday and the perfect closure for a great week!

White Sandy Beach

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