What does volunteering mean to me? One Bali Voluntourist’s Explanation…

by Liang S., Voluntourist, IHF Bali

One question that everyone has to answer when applying for a volunteer program with IHF is “what does volunteering mean to you?” The answer that I gave was, well, you could never figure out the meaning of it. It is a learning process in which every time you do it, you can get more clues. Now, the perfect two words to describe volunteering for me are learning and guiding.

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Volunteering is always about a learning process. In my two weeks here at the Bali Center, I got to know how the whole place operates and I always expected laughter and screaming starting to pour in around noon to cheer the place up. These amazing kids have taught me a lot. To be honest, I would have never imagined how I could handle a bunch of kids who speak a language I hardly know. I was caught in a surprise when they actually listened to me, the person that was definitely an alien to them.

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This trust developed between us has helped us through the learning journey, and, while the kids are the main reason why I am here, my fellow volunteers and the people around have played a big role during my time at the Bali Center. These people are those that handle the big project of making sure that the organization is running well. They are those that with their magic are able to catch the attention of the whole class. They are those that with their smile can cheer up children going through a rough day.

These are the people, without whose patience and guidance, I could not be as happy as I am now!

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Being a teacher, the ability to guide the students is very essential. I was assigned to teach Grade 1 students a simple lesson about the alphabet. I taught them how to pronounce the “ABC”, which was not entirely easy for the sound could be confused with the local language. When they made a mistake, I corrected them, and I managed to guide them by giving examples and singing the alphabet song.

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With this journey reaching to an end, I realize I was not only guiding the students, but also myself. This heavenly place has given me a different way to see the world. I will always remember the days when I fell asleep to the sound of the waves or when I walked on the little street where the end leads to the shiny blue sea.

The world is beautiful, but with a touch of human kindness, it could be wonderful!

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