Selamat pagi/siang/sore/malam everyone! (depends on time zone which one to use)
I can’t believe I’m already (almost) one week in Bali, Indonesia. 😮 I’VE DONE SO MUCH IN THIS WEEK!! I’m sorry if my blog is long, I just have too much to say!
So last Sunday was my last day at home. That day some family and friends came over to say goodbye. I also had to finish packing. I did that in the evening. It took a little longer than expected, but after packing and unpacking my bags for like 3 times I finally finished.
Monday morning my dad woke me up when he had to leave to work. So I already had to say goodbye to him then. Later when I just came downstairs I had to say goodbye to Sophia who had to go to school.. (my parents wouldn’t get her out of school… 🙁 ). Around 9.30 am (NL time) I left with my mom to the station in Meppel where we would leave with the train to the airport. Parking is really expensive there and because I travelled for free and my mom had a good deal we decided to take the train. Yerke, our puppy, didn’t come with. So I had to say goodbye to him (and to my goldfish, Dip) just before we left to the train.
Arrived at the airport I had to stop my student OV (train deal). Jannie, the teacher from Windesheim and our ‘coach’, was also with the train and we found her pretty quickly at the airport. From there we walked to departures to wait for the other students. When everyone was there we checked in our bags and after that we had some time to say goodbye again before we left to the gates around 13.30.
After security we went to the gate where our plane was waiting for us. Around 15.20 we left with our first flight to Dubai. We landed around midnight (Dubai time). At Dubai we had a 1,5 hour layover. We had to go to a different part of the airport. This took a while, so when we got to the next gate we could start boarding right away.
When we arrived in Bali, 18 hours after departure, we had to go through customs. This went pretty smooth. We still had to wait a while until all the luggage of our group was there. When we went out of the secured zone of the airport there were many people waiting. Most of them were taxi drivers, during the time we walked out I got asked like 20 times if I needed a taxi. It was already a long trip but we had to wait for a couple more hours at the airport because 2 students were on other flights. While we waited we sat at the Burger King, we ate something, we got some cash from the ATM and we got many water bottles. When the last two students arrived we just had to wait for a little longer till the busses from the university in Singaraja came to pick us up.
On the way to Singaraja we stopped at a small store. Here we also got our first culture shock. The toilets here aren’t like the toilets in Europe or America. It is more like a toilet that is almost like a hole in the ground. And they don’t have toilet paper. So the first thing we did was buying toilet paper at the store. After a short stop with some small groceries shopping we continued to Singaraja. First we dropped off some other students at their house. From there we left to our house, the green house. Our home is pretty big! We have 2 balconies, 3 bathrooms, a big kitchen and a bedroom for everyone. I live here with 4 other students: Sanne, Mylène, Sjoerd en Joost. Dividing the rooms went pretty easy, I didn’t really mind which room I would get so everybody chose and I took the room that was left. It is upstairs on the right side (in picture windows upstairs left). I was planning on going to sleep quickly and put my mosquito net up the next day. But the moment I wanted to go to sleep I saw a dead mosquito in my bed. So that’s when I got up, got my mosquito net from the bottom of my suitcase and put it up in my room with some rope that I found in the house. After that I went to sleep.
Woah, this blog is getting so long already. And I’ve only talked about the trip there and our house…… But let’s continue with all stuff I did this first week.
The first night on Bali I slept really bad. In our house you hear everything, and we live on a pretty busy road. We knew that before. But I didn’t expect trucks to be driving there at 2 and 3 am… Then at 4.45 I woke up because of the mosque. I can enjoy the very lovely sound of the mosque every morning, and during the day (if we’re at home), and in the evening. But I might hopefully get used to it in the coming 4 months. I already slept through it a couple of times in the morning. 🙂
When I got out of bed I started unpacking my stuff and got some breakfast. Later I walked around in the neighborhood with my house mates. We also did some shopping by then. First we got a phone number, so we have internet here. Then we also got a blender (for smoothies), another fan for the kitchen and some other stuff we still wanted. We also went to the harbor of Singaraja and got some lunch there. I thought I ordered white fish, but it ended up being a squid. Whoops, next time I’ll pay a little more attention.
When we came back home we got picked up by a super cute truck. We drove to Lovina. Here we picked up our scooters. I am getting pretty good driving this one. After picking up the scooters I went with my roommates to Lovina Beach. It is really pretty here, but they see that you’re not from there and will ask you every time to buy stuff. In the evening we went out to eat with everyone (21 students, Jannie, Enik and Sari). This was at a place where we sat down on the floor to eat. There was a lot of different food that we could try.
Thursday morning I found out we didn’t have that much food anymore. So I went with Sjoerd and Mylène to the supermarket here to get some more food. After that we went again to Lovina Beach. Here I bought a Sarong at Enik and Sari’s store. Enik and Sari are our buddies here. If there is something going on we can always call them and they will stop by the house so now and then to check if everything is still alright. After choosing a sarong I wanted to try the whole Indonesian / Balinese look. So then I asked and Enik gave me this shirt to try on. It was pretty hot. But I could take pictures on the beach with it, it was really pretty. So I was happy. 🙂
After Sanne, Mylène and I bought the sarong we went back to the group who just got ready to get some lunch. One of them stepped in a sea urchin, so first we checked with the locals what to do. One of them (family of Enik and Sari), helped us and dispoissoned the sea urchin thingies which were still in the foot. After that we went to a really nice place for lunch. They had live music there, lots of Ed Sheeran songs and the musicians even tried a Dutch song. But they didn’t know the lyrics and stopped pretty quickly with that. When we finished lunch we went to swim at a hotel for a while. Then we wanted to check the sunset which was disappointing because it was cloudy. It was still very pretty though. At the sunset place there was also a local who wanted to take a selfie with me. It was very funny. It already happened more often that people want to take pictures with us and we already made it to some Instagram stories. At night we went out to eat again with a whole group. Here it takes a long time till you get your food. But it is very good. And everywhere in Indonesia (at Bali?) we’ll need patience, so it is a good practice.
On Friday we visited the first project of our group. So here we will look at different projects, at these places we will ‘work’ the coming months. This means that we’ll learn from there and they can learn from us. We will work together with the locals. The first project we visited was the preschool. First they had a small ceremony. It was really interesting to see the difference with there and with NL. After the ceremony we could join the kids in their classes and see how everything works there.
That same day we also visited another project place in a small fisherman village next to Lovina. From here we walked a little further through a really nice place. It was only very hot, because it was the middle of the day. After we ate lunch at a little fancier restaurant we went to the beach again. From there I went back home with Sanne and went to the brown house (somewhere else in Singaraja). From here we went to the store, and later we met up with the group again to buy some helmets for the scooters. Don’t worry, we did have one. But they were rentals. Because a helmet is not that expensive here and I’m not sure what happened to the one I got, I bought a new one. In this way I’m sure it is a good and save helmet. In the evening we ate with the whole group at the white house. It was very spicy though. So I only ate my rice.. When we got home that evening we found lots of ants. We also found our first lizard in the house. He was very cute! 😉
On Saturday we went with one other house to the waterfalls. It was so pretty there. It was a beautiful hike where we could swim, jump and slide. First we went to a place called ‘blue lagon’. Here we could swim and do some small jumps. This summer I couldn’t make it to the blue lagoon in Iceland, so now I’ve still been there in Bali. After the short swim we walked further to the next waterfalls. It was so pretty. At the next waterfalls we could slide down a waterfall, which was pretty cool. We could also jump from the rocks from 5m, 10m and 15m. I did all of these jumps.
After the waterfalls we walked further to a place where we got fresh coconut. I really wanted to try to cut to coconut myself. It was so hard! So after I finally got the bottom straight the local person took over and cut the rest of the coconut in less than half the time I cut the bottom off. Later I also opened to coconut myself to eat the fresh coconut.
On the way back from the waterfalls we stopped at the most beautiful pool ever! Here we also had our dinner, where they took a picture that is posted on the Instagram account of the pool. Not gonna say too much about this. You should just see the pictures!!
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On Sunday we went to the rice fields. It was very beautiful. The rice was just harvested and the land was dry. It is very different from what you expect with rice fields then (I expected it to be very wet). After we got back from our walk we ate the local food that was made while we were making.
On the way back we went swimming by a pool in Lovina. If we bought a drink we could go in here, so that’s a very good deal I think.
When we came home we saw the neighbors were home. So we introduced ourselves there. They were very happy to meet us. But I think they didn’t understand everything that we were saying. Also when we came we could go straight in there house where we got something to drink and where were a lot of people. The whole room was full looking at us. The neighbors seem very nice!
This morning (Monday) we had to be at a middle school at 7am. Here they had this special ceremony that they do every Monday. I forgot to bring a bottle of water. So that’s kinda stupid. There were more people who needed something from the store, so we went there real quickly. After that we went to Putu Tastre, he is the head of the cultural things in the Buleleng area. He explained us some of the projects. Also was the location we were at the location of one of the projects. It was a museum and a palace. It was very pretty there.
After that we went to another project. Only the group broke up in 3 groups, I was in the second and we didn’t know where to go to. We did eventually find it by going up a pretty dangerous and steep hill. There was another way to get there, but we didn’t know. When we finally arrived we had to leave soon too again to go to the university.
Around noon we were at the university. Here we will get classes in Bahasa Indonesia and in the culture. We got to know some of the people there and payed our tuition for these months. After we filled everything out and payed we could go again. In two weeks our classes will start. So before that we will have 2 days off next week.
After this week I am already really tired. So I went home after visiting Undiskha, the university, while other students still went to a pool at a hotel in Singaraja. Here I just rest now and I am writing my blog because I have some free time.
I lived here for a week now and think that the people here are very sweet. Not everyone speaks English. But with my basic words, google translate, arms and legs people can understand me. I noticed that there are a lot of stray dogs around here. Also the traffic is crazy, people here drive left and just honk when they pass you. Then you have to make sure there is enough space next to you, because people are still passing you while there is traffic coming from the other side. Also stuff here is really cheap compared to the Netherlands. So as you might have noticed. We go out to eat very often. It costs only like 2 buck for some food, when you buy this and you have to cook it might be a little cheaper but not as good. And for those 2 bucks you get a good meal with enough food. In the Netherlands you might pay like 10 bucks for a small meal. So if you see that comparison it is better to buy food at restaurants here. We could also get food for 50 cents, but this is really from the streets which I don’t trust (yet). I do want to make sure my stomach gets used to the food here too. I try to avoid spicy food.
Well that’s about it I guess. Tomorrow and the coming week will be very busy for me with visiting more projects. I’ll try to write soon again if I have some time!
Terima kasih for reading!!! Sampai jumpa!!