by Zoe, Voluntourist, IHF Bali
On the first day we spent at the IHF center in Bali, we took on the task of making a poster for Indonesian Independence Day. At that time, we didn’t realise the importance of the festival for Indonesian people. After one week of teaching and getting familiar with the local students, lots of my lovely little friends told me that they would march and have a competition on Independence Day. That impressed me and I made up my mind to watch them. In China, we also have a national celebration but the people who march are all adults. I could not imagine how the primary school students could be so in unison to march together. I tried searching online to find some pictures of this huge event (for the students) but nothing could be found.
On Wednesday morning, students started their proud march at 7am. The weather was not really good enough to carry on the celebrations. It was rainy for half an hour and the high humidity was terrible. At this time we were planning to give up watching this event. One childlike loud shout came to our ears from the main road far away. We ran as fast as we could to get to where the sound came
from, and the scene was very surprising. Lovely school girls, united in colourful clothes, and vivid make-up, stood straight together. Around 20 girls composed one team and when the judge blew the whistle, they yelled out a slogan simultaneously from 20 mouths. The average age of the girls was only about 11 years, so the unity which they displayed was big shock for us, and we are from a very ordered country. That morning will be my best memory from Bali and I got know a lot about the culture of Indonesia.
by Mayu, Voluntourist, IHF Bali
August 17 was my second day in Buitan and I was fortunate enough to take part in the center’s Indonesian Independence Day celebrations. This was an opportunity for me to grow close with my fellow volunteers, director and children of the centre. Our volunteer group of seven members brainstormed various games and a
ctivities to run during the day and split the large group of 40 children into three smaller groups. In the beginning, I was unaware of the group’s English speaking abilities, but as I spoke to more children, I was astonished at how well I could connect with them. I took part in a similar volunteer initiative two years ago in South America and these experiences are always enlightening for me.
It continues to amaze me at how interested the kids are in learning and playing outside as opposed to being glued on television screens and phones. Looking forward to teaching English and growing closer to the community over the next two weeks.