Home Away from Home

by Patrycja, Voluntourist, IHF Bali

Excited and anxious – that was how I felt before my arrival in Bali. However, after only a few hours spent on the island I realized it would be magical. Two hours away from the airport, we turned down a small dirt road leading to the Bali Center. Hearing the sound of the ocean, I knew I was in the right place. I received an extremely warm welcome from Esther and Mariana – the current directors, as well as from the other lovely volunteers Sarah and Carlos. Their openness and friendliness made me feel so comfortable. From the very first moment, I felt part of the team and extremely at home.

On my second day in Bali, unlike other people who would spend time recovering from jetlag and take it easy, I climbed Mount Agung (the highest point of the island – 3142m). Oh, what a challenge it was. Initially I thought I would never make it to the top but eventually I did. The view from the top compensated for all the pain, scratches and muscles cramps.IMG_0307

On my first day of teaching, I met one little girl who really brightened my day. She brought little yellow flowers and offered them to each teacherwith a beautiful smile on her face. This small gesture proved how open and loving these children are and it made me open my heart even more for them. One day, during the class, I said to the children that it was my niece’s 7th birthday. They all got so excited about it and each of them prepared a Happy Birthday note for her. It was truly moving and it melted my heart.

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Each day brought new happenings. Throughout the week I had the chance to run several classes with children of a different age ranging from 8 to 18. Each class was very different and each child is so unique but there are some common traits that they all share. They are so joyful, playful and…as loud as any other child in any other part of the world.

As each day came to an end, I enjoyed going to the beach (just a few steps away from the Bali Center) to indulge myself in the peacefulness of the twilight and observe how people from the village enjoyed themselves playing and swimming in the sea. Again, the openness and friendliness of the local people made me feel right at home…

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