By Chelsea, Voluntourist at IHF Bali center
I arrived at the Bali IHF Centre on Monday night and was quickly introduced to the other volunteers staying here. After getting to know everyone a bit better and learning more about the centre, I went to my private bedroom over looking a scenic rice field and quickly fell asleep.
The following day I was given a tour of the centre and shown around the small village. Adapting to the Balinese culture has been an interesting and worthwhile experience. It is difficult to describe in words and I think it is really best to experience it yourself.
I am a teacher in Canada and I have taught French as a second language, so I thought the teaching would be a breeze. However, I have found it very challenging not being able to speak Indonesian. Even the most amazing of activities can sometimes fall flat if the students cannot understand the instructions, so I have learned to adapt my lesson planning to make sure that the instructions will somehow be clear to the students and this has been no easy feat.
What else has surprised me is that no matter where you go in the world, children are essentially the same. Yes, it is true that the children here in Bali have lived very different lives than my students back in Canada, yet it seems they are so similar. They still love stickers, Spongebob Square Pants and laughing with their friends.
I look forward to my second week at the centre and getting to know myself, the children, my fellow volunteers and Bali better.