Less is more; Bali Center August 25th, 2011

    The first experience of volunteering abroad is unexpectedly different and fun. As a work study volunteer, I do online task and teaching as anyone else here. The amount of online work everyday is not that much to lock me up at the center, yet, not little enough either for me to lie down there enjoying the beautiful Balinese beach and sun all day long. Still, when I stare at my laptop screen for 4 hours or more, the smell of the ocean and the sound of the waves always ease me in a certain level. Also, I am both amazed and amused by the living creatures around me, literally around me! My morning call everyday is the conversation between the roosters in the fields next to our center; at noon, I have lunch as the fish in our pond coming out of water awkwardly sucking the moss on the rock and hens with the little chicks on our yard desparately looking for food; in the evening,hummm… everything else comes out.
    Beside the time I spend with my laptop alone, there are classes to teach as well. This is the third week teaching here, I feel not tired but more attached to the children. I used to work as an Englsh teacher before and I know kids nowadays are way hard to pleased. That is why I was worried that I didn’t bring enough presents to motivate their learning or the things I brought meant nothing to them at all but this problem went away after I observed the class on my first day at the center. Unlike most of the Taiwanese students who are pushed to learn few years before their ages and to get a great performance or grade for their parents’ wishes, the children at Bali center come to learn anything they want voluntarily. Not only they are attentive and absorptive in the class, also, they are easily satisfied with anything I give, even just a high-five.
Based on the original curricula, we make flash cards, posters and other fun things to help the children on their understanding. Games always stay as their favorite, and fortunately, the competitiveness brings only the positive side of them. Even when the losing children get only a few awards, they know that they can always try harder and get better next time, and leave with a satisfied smile on their face like the winning ones. Just like the fact that children are eager to come to class, we, as their teachers, are also strongly motivated by their enthusiasm for learning and the good manners.
     Just when you think the children are sweet enough, their parents jump in and top that. The local people here are surprisingly grateful for our efforts on their children’s study. Several times, we went out for a walk or grocery shopping, except for “hi” and “how are you,” we also got lots of “thank you.” Only till then, I realized the things we do here really mean something to them.
    One week to go, but I now don’t feel like going anywhere. The experience here shows me an alternative of lifestyle and the fact that happiness exists in the purest and simplest things around us.
 Chloe yi-chen Wang
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2 thoughts on “Less is more; Bali Center August 25th, 2011

  1. Wow, you wrote an amazing story and thank you! I’m schedule to be a volunteer next month for a week so, reading your story has me even more excited. I’m going to back my luggage full of stuff for the kids and I can’t wait. 🙂

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