Wait.. Someone. Please tell me where the time went.. According to my agenda I have been on Bali for one month tomorrow. I really can’t believe that… Time went by way to fast.
So I’ve been here for a month now and I’ve seen so much! I try to add as many pictures as possible to show everything. But my micro SD card broke so I lost many pictures.. But hopefully I’ll be able to fix that card to get my pictures back. Where to start about everything I’ve done these past weeks?!
In my previous blog you could already read that we visited all projects. One day we had to wake up early to get to the next projects which are east of Singaraja. Some of the group went there by bus because they were injured, there was still some place left in the bus. So I joined them because I was still very tired. First we went to a very pretty place where we had our breakfast, or for me who doesn’t leave the house without breakfast, my second breakfast.
From there we went to a town named Bengkale. In this town there are many deaf people and two students of our group work on a project at the school in Bengkale where they look at how the communication between the hearing and the deaf people/children at that schoool is. In Bengkale we could also visit the temple which was pretty cool to see. I’m also doing my project in Bengkale, but more about that later.
After we’ve been at the deafschool we went to Bali Mandara. This is a boarding school. Everyone had a buddy who showed them around at the campus. My buddy was Dina. She spoke good English! And making the big world small. She applied for the YES exchange program once, this is the scholarship AFS works with in the USA. Unfortunately there were many people who applied and she didn’t make it.
After visiting Bali Mandara we went to Air Sanih, this is a cold water spring. We stayed there for a couple of hours to ‘rest’. So all we did there was swimming and relaxing.
In the evening we went back to Bengkale. Here we watched the ‘deaf dance’. This means that the deaf people of the town were dancing. It was interesting to see. But also pretty short. We had to go over a pretty scary road to go to the place where the deaf people danced. Afterwards we had to go down that road before it got dark. Because of this we couldn’t go to the disabled people in the village who would give us a workshop of making traditional inke baskets.
When I got home at night I went together with Sanne to the hospital. She got sick that day and we wanted to make sure it wasn’t a scary infection. Luckily it wasn’t too bad. So after she got lots of unnecessary medications we went back home.
The next day we went to the local hospitals. People here loved to show to show you around. So they were very proud to show me the mortuary. The man also opened one of the ‘fridges’ where the bodies were in. I’m happy that person was covered in a blanket. The interesting part about the hospital is to see many people waiting outside rooms. This is family of the patients. The reason they are there is to care for their family. The hospital provides the healthcare / medicines that is needed. But does not bring food of drinks. So the family has to make sure the patient gets food and other stuff that’s needed.
After visiting the hospital I left the group for a small moment to check on Sanne who stayed home that day. I just had to make sure her fever wasn’t too high and that she was not feeling too bad. After that I joined the group again at the orphanage where some of us do a project.
Then there was a day more projects were visited. But I didn’t join the group that day because Sanne felt really bad that night. I stayed home with her because it was not good to leave her at home while the group was 1 hour away. We just slept in (which was very good for my tiredness) and did easy all day. Also we worked on our papers and started preparing for our ‘presentation’ the next day, Friday October 6th. The evening of the 6th of October we came together with almost everyone from all projects.
This evening we could meet some other students and talk to everyone. There wasn’t really time for all our presentations about stuff in The Netherlands. So we ended up doing some karaoke and the ‘kabouter plop dans’. I also called my American AFS sister who is staying with my parents that night. It was her birthday that day! Her Dutch is getting very good now, and I’m really proud of her!
Figuring out what my project would be was kinda hard. I stopped by a foundation, Stepping Stones, who helps children with clubfeet. They are mainly helping the kids to recover from this. My education is more about how to live with something by using technology / special devices. So it was hard to get a good project from here. And also, they already had two Dutch students working there. At Stepping Stones they told me about another foundation in Lovina, that foundation works a lot with wheelchairs and maybe they had a very interesting project for me. But unfortunately this didn’t work out. At the other foundation they’re not used to work with students and they had stuff going on. So I couldn’t go there.. So now I ended up in Bengkale. This is a small village east of Singaraja. At this village it is my task to get in touch with the disabled people and see what their needs are. Maybe I can adapt to that and help them to get special devices so they could live easier.
I’ve been at my project a couple of times now, but unfortunately I couldn’t get in touch with the disabled people yet. First I’ll have to learn how to make a inke basket myself according to the person who is showing me around. So up until now I’m making baskets during my project. Hopefully I’ll be able to get in touch with the people soon so I could really start my project. I do see stuff now, but not the stuff I need to see. I’ve already been to a ‘deaf’ meeting and today to another meeting about tourism in Bengkale. It surprised me I could understand what the meeting was about. But I really hope I will be able to get in touch with the physically disabled people soon.
Eerste projectdag, oftewel: proberen de doelgroep van mijn project te vinden. Helaas is dit nog niet gelukt. Maar wel een workshop mandjes vlechten gehad. Nu maar hopen dat ik volgende week in contact kan komen met de personen die ik vandaag zocht. First project day, aka: trying to find the target group of my project. Unfortunately I haven’t seen them yet. But I did have a fun workshop making a basket. Let’s hope I can get in touch with the people I was looking for next week. #balilife #minorISD #mandjesvlechten #locallife
So as you guys know. I’m here for school. This also means I have to go to the local university. I go here two days a week, on Monday and on Tuesday. During the classes at Undiskha we learn about the language, Bahasa Indonesia, and about the culture.
The days at school aren’t that long. We start at 9.30am. Then around 11am we have a 30 minute break and we are done around 1pm. Up until now I’ve had 4 days at school where we learned some of the basics of the language. Also, there is a holiday next week. So yesterday they taught us about that holiday, Galungan, and we made some typical Balinese decorations.
Some people are asking me if I’m really here for school or if I’m only doing fun stuff. So I decided to write the more serious stuff first. But of course I can’t forget to write about all the fun stuff I did in my free hours!
In weekends we usually try to do stuff here. There was one long weekend we had, the weekend after our ‘presentations’. Almost our whole group left that weekend to Kuta. But because Sanne was sick earlier that week and I was really tired, we stayed in Singaraja where we’ve still seen a lot. On Saturday we woke up very early to see the dolphins with Nicole and Inske. They are two other students who are for their study on Bali. They work at the foundation of Stepping Stones where I was earlier that week to see if there were any options to do my project there. Watching the dolphins was so pretty!! There were many many dolphins! You can see shots of it in my vlog that I made earlier this month.
On Sunday Sanne and I decided to see if there were any nice pools around. But at many hotels they ask an entrance fee. We ended up at one of the most beautiful pools ever where we only had to buy a drink. Later we found out that there was a miscommunication. So next time we will also have to pay an entrance fee here..
On Monday we were also off. That day we decided to go snorkeling at Menjangan Island. This is the island all the way in the north-west of Bali. I got a pretty bad sunburn, but it didn’t make my experience any less amazing. The snorkeling there made me decide to start diving lessons, I just wanted to go deeper all the time. But this is not possible with only snorkeling stuff.
So… Diving classes. Yeah that’s what you read. I started diving classes. The packet I got is for open water diving. In total for this I’ll have 3 days of lessons. I already finished the first two. I’m doing the diving lessons together with 3 other students of our group: Sanne, Maud and Puck. We started off in a very small pool where we had some basic exercises that we had to do. We did our second diving day on Monday after school. Then we went into the sea by Lovina. We did two dives here. I really like the feeling of almost no gravity and seeing the fish swimming around you. We went down to 12 meters deep this day.
Last weekend we decided to go to climb the Mount Batur. This is one of volcanoes on Bali. On Friday I left together with Sanne, Mylène, Lieke and Puck to a hotel close to the volcano. The view from our hotel was amazing. On the one side we had mount batur and on the other side lake batur and another mountain.
We stayed at the hotel so we didn’t have to wake up too early the next morning. It was still very early tho.. Because we had to be ready to leave for our hike at 3.30am. In the morning other students of our group joined us to go hiking up the mountain. They stayed in the weekend in Ubud and left from there. Around 4am everyone was ready to leave to hike up the Mount Batur. It was still dark outside, so everyone had a flashlight.
We walked quite fast up the volcano, we had to be on top before the sun rises. The views were very beautiful from the top. Up in the mountains it is a lot colder, so I was happy I brought my hoodie with me. There were also some places where steam came out of the volcano, so there I could also warm up.
On the way down we took another route. On this route we also passed wild monkeys. They kinda wanted to have everything you had. So one first sat down on my lap and then he went for my phone. He started chewing on it. Because of that I have 2 wonderful holes in my screen protector as souvenir.. Another monkey just sat down on my shoulder. I already made sure someone else held my stuff so they couldn’t steal anything.
When we came back from our hike around 9.30am we found a mini scorpion in our room. We first thought it was dead. But when we found out it was alive we asked the people of the hotel to get rid of it. After that we got our breakfast and we just chilled at the pool of the hotel which was really nice and warm.
On our way back to Singaraja we decided to stop by the temple on the way. They say this is the 2nd biggest and / or most important temple of Bali. I’m not entirely sure which one it was. At the temple there was also a group of people who made a group picture. They saw us and they insisted on making the group picture with us. This happens quite often here on Bali, that people want to take pictures with you.
On Sunday we had a surprise party for Sjoerd, one of my roommates. It was his birthday and he wasn’t home all day. We decided to surprise him with the whole group. The surprise worked! He didn’t see it coming! So everything was perfect!
I guess that was about everything. I’m so sorry that my blog is that long again. I have no idea how people could write short blogs. The coming weeks I’m already fully planned, so I keep busy. Right at this moment my parents are on Bali too. So I’ll meet with them tomorrow and then Sanne, Mylène and I will join them in the weekend in the South of Bali. Then next week it is Galungan here, which means there won’t be school on Tuesday and no project the rest of the week. So I’ll be going to the Rinjani volcano on Lombok for a 3 day hike. I’m very excited to do that! I’ll try to keep you up to date!