Monday, 27 September 2010

First days in Bali

Salamat Malam!!! This means good evening, still really the only Bahasa I know but that will be changing in the coming days.
I arrived in Bali on Saturday evening. It was a lot to get my head around, the heat, the accents, the crazy bike drivers, the smells, the food but despite my general dazed persona I was given a very warm welcome, taken to dinner and having many things explained to get my by ‘til the next day.

After a long lie Sunday morning, I asked for breakfast at the hotel we are staying in during our first week, and was given a tray with pretty cut fruits, toast and tea – lovely! I ate with two other new volunteers on my room’s porch then we got ready to meet the group which included another 3 new volunteers, 4 current volunteers and some staff from the VSO office. Everyone is so cheery here, it was easy to feel relaxed.

We had a lovely lunch by the beach and then went to get out local sim cards so I am now contactable! Then, we went to the beach for games and fun. We played things such as throwing bags of water and seeing how many each team could catch without them bursting. Eating a sweet from a bowl of water and another from a bowl of flour in a race between two teams (very messy!) and filing a pipe with holes full of water in a race between two teams to see who could reach the top first, all a lot of fun.

Then, we have a day in the VSO office, where we met the staff formally and learned about their roles in supporting us as volunteers and relations with partner organisations and government. So it has been a nice start to ease us into life in Indonesia!

We start the language training next week, and the rest of this week is focused on practical matters such as how to ride a bike here rather than Europe, health, preparing to meet our partners and so on. We are already picking up words from the current volunteers which Ive found helpful because they make it seem normal to use the language and talk to people, so it feels less scary now!

Anyway, here are a few pictures of days one and two on beautiful Bali!
Arrival in Doha...I did get into trouble for taking this picture!

Paul on the porch outside my room

A hindu offering for blessing for the day

A ceremony on the beach to honour the God of Science - they wash in the sea the day following the day for the God

Offerings for the God of Science

The man in the middle is the holy man, who was leading the ceremony

Indonesians on the beach!

The instruments for the ceremony

My fellow volunteers

Our hotel

Our hotel again.

More to follow!