Thank you! It was a very fun and eye opening experience. I hope to do more volunteer work in the future.
Highlights of the trip:
- Meeting like minded people from all over the world and learning about their projects and their travel experiences.
- Seeing how happy the children were when we arrived each day at the school. They were so eager to learn which made the experience really rewarding.
Comments on the team, food and accommodation:
- The team were very welcoming and really did treat us like family since day one.
- They were very helpful, caring and supportive.
- The food tasted great, however there could have been more variety.
- There was a lot of fried food and the majority of lunch and dinner had contained chilli. This really upset my digestive system (nausea, headaches, tiredness, bloating and pain) and I needed to go to the medical clinic to help manage the symptoms. I talked to the kitchen staff and requested plain meals (steamed/boiled vegetables, no chilli) however I think there was a breakdown in communication as they offered me oatmeal for all subsequent meals.
- Staying in a private room within a traditional Balinese house was a very interesting and enjoyable experience. The family was so welcoming, friendly and it was a pleasure getting to see and experience their way of life.
Any improvements to help us be better:
- The project was not what I was expecting. How the project is presented on the IVI website did not match the project experience. The website presents the project as being an existing health project run by other health professionals and volunteers help deliver the project. I was not expecting to design and create a nutrition/health project or create all resources for each class.
- Since my partner and I have very limited teaching experience this was a daunting revelation. In addition to this we were given no notice that we had a meeting with a doctor. We literally received a knock on our door saying the doctor is here and has been waiting for us at the office. This made us feel unprofessional as had we know about the meeting we would not have been late and would have come prepared to discuss lessons. The meeting with the doctor was very helpful however it took two hours out of our preparation time. Our first day was a challenging and steep learning curve.
- If we knew that we had to create the lesson activities beforehand I feel as though we could’ve been more prepared and both the students and the volunteers could’ve gotten more out of our time together.
- When I booked I was told that I could do a three day Cultural Introduction instead of the one week Cultural Introduction. When I arrived I was told that I had to do the one week Cultural Introduction. While the activities were fun, I would not have chosen to spend my money on a number of the chosen activities. I would’ve preferred to spend my time and money doing the volunteer work rather than doing tourist activities as this was my main purpose for travelling to Bali.