The Magic of Bali, by Voluntourist Davey

The world of a child is full of magic. A simple game or an exercise can create so much joy. The moment itself is all there is.

Today the children at the IHF house painted a board with their hands. The board is at the entrance of the centre. It’s going to be an artful information plaque. When the kids saw the buckets of paint before starting, they were already totally excited. That was a special moment. Seeing that joy in their eyes, made my day. It turned out to be a messy party. The white paint that we used was actually house-paint on oil base. So when the kids wanted to wash it of their hands, it only got worse. That moment was one big disaster for them. But after using some turpentine their skin was pretty clean again. The moment was happy again.

I stayed in the IHF house on Bali for one week as a Voluntourist. It was a wonderful experience. I arrived on Monday night in the dark. The next morning I woke up in paradise. That first afternoon I immediately assisted in a class. Me and Maria, from Ecuador, took over the oldest class (15 – 27) and tried to continue where the last teacher had stopped.  We didn’t exactly know what the level of the students would be, so we prepared a divers lesson. Most of the children want to work in the tourism industry, so we did exercises that related to that. But we also did some grammar, writing practices and we talked a lot. For homework we made them write a poem.  The kids are really eager to learn. So it’s quite a responsibility. But if you put some effort in it by preparing the lessons well, they really appreciate it.

The centre is in a small village. So when you go out for dinner or to buy some groceries, you always bump into one of the children. Either they are playing at the beach, cycling with friends, playing guitar on the street, working in one of the shops or maybe just eating in front of their houses with their families.

On Thursday I went out to pay some bills with Tom, the current director, and Beth the new director, when we bumped into a couple of the students. They were about to play a game of soccer and asked me to join them. Just the other day I fantasized that it would be great to do that and now it happened. One of those little magic Bali moments. It was a hectic and unordinary game. A cow walked into the field and I stepped into a big pile of cow poop. And the word tactic they hadn’t learned yet in class. But playing there in Bali on that pitch with those guys was just magical. It was just a simple game of soccer, but it gave me so much joy and it was a perfect way to bond with the children.

The moment itself was all there was.
In the end it was a magical week.


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