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One week until I leave

Bali here I come!

rain 40 °F
View Volunteering in Bali on adventuregirl88's travel map.

A week from tomorrow night I head out to the airport for my 22 hours of flying from here to Bali, Indonesia via Taiwan. I will be two days early for my volunteer program so I booked an Airbnb in Ubud for two nights. It's a beautiful little boutique hotel with pool and garden for $29 per night. It will give me a chance to get some sleep and get acclimated before I start. It is the rainy season so I expect it will be wet a lot but at least it will be in the 80's. I can't wait to get started!

Posted by adventuregirl88 00:13 Archived in USA Comments (0)

I’m here!!

Day one in Bali

overcast 85 °F

What a day! Almost 24 hours in transit, two hours getting out of the airport in Bali, and two hour drive to Ubud. But it was worth it! It’s warm here!! And rainy too. But beautiful and fascinating. I can’t wait to start exploring tomorrow.

my room is not exactly like it looked in the listing but it’s fine, especially for $29 per night! Too bad the neighbors are loud but I’m so tired that I don’t think I will have any trouble sleeping.

Posted by adventuregirl88 12:24 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

Exploring Ubud

semi-overcast 88 °F

It was a beautiful morning with birds singing and a rooster crowing. It is so warm that I came out on my porch to read my mail. I had breakfast in the little cafe at the hotel. I decided to jump in and ordered the Balinese breakfast. It included Balinese coffee, which was very good, fruit juice and a banana dish where they bread and lightly fry the bananas and serve with drizzled honey. It was nice but very sweet. After breakfast I walked to the Ubud art market where you can buy all kinds of stuff. I’m already picturing myself buying a bag to carry all the stuff I’m going to buy! This was just to see what is there. I did buy a pretty caftan that I will probably use as a swimsuit coverup. I had a lovely lunch near the art market and again I wanted to try a Balinese dish. It was rice and chicken and was quite good. I’m so proud of myself that I didn’t get lost! I came back to the hotel and took a swim in the pool. It’s pretty hot here so the pool was really refreshing.
In the afternoon I walked up the street and picked out a place to get a massage. After my long flight I needed one. I got a lovely massage! I always like to see how they do it in other countries. She didn’t use any draping except for my eyes when I turned over. Also she massaged EVERYTHING. She massaged my stomach and my breasts although the way she did it, it didn’t feel weird. The really amazing part was that she charged $5.76! On my way back to my hotel there were a group of boys playing instruments. Check out my pictures on this blog.
I have to talk a little about Balinese money. Their units are rupiahs. One US dollar is 15,632.55 rupiahs. So everything is in thousands! So 100,000 rupiahs is $6.40. Crazy! I had heard things were cheap here but I couldn’t believe the massage! I gave her a nice tip.
Another interesting thing. Every day people put out little bits of flowers and leaves and lighted incense as a gift to their deities. I will find out more details about it when I have my orientation. Starting Monday I will have a week of orientation so I’m really looking forward to that.
Tomorrow I check out and will be going to my new place for the next five weeks.

Posted by adventuregirl88 12:41 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

Starting my program

sunny 88 °F

This morning I tried a new breakfast. This time Indonesian. It was with noodles. Very good. After lunch I checked out and met the driver who took me to my new place to start my program. It was a half hour drive out of the city, away from the tourists, of which there are many. And the traffic!! I can see why many people ride motorcycles. They weave in between the cars that are bumper to bumper! And the British were here. They drive on the left side of the road.
I was pleasantly surprised by my new accommodations. I expected it to be pretty basic but they are nicer than I thought. There are three sets of bunk beds in the rooms but the bathroom looks nice. AND there is a big beautiful swimming pool right outside my door! I checked in at 2:00 and was shown my room and then was on my own until dinner. So of course I jumped in the pool! It is 88 degrees here so it was wonderful! I wasn’t alone for very long. Four new members came and then two more. One woman has been here 3 weeks and is leaving on Friday. The rest are all new like me. What an international group! There are people from Mexico, Australia, UK, Switzerland, Germany and I am the only American. They range in age from 18 to 30’s. I knew I would be the oldest. But a fun group of women and one man. There is another man who has been here since October who is from Mexico. We sat around the pool and got to know each other better. Dinner was served just below the dormitory. As I suspected, the food is more basic than what I have been eating. But not bad. The one woman filled us in on a lot of things and it all sounds good except the mattresses are terrible. After dinner we all went across the street to a “tavern”. We picked a beer out of a cooler and sat down. It’s great to get to know them better. I think we are going to have fun! D2DF17D2-136D-43D9-84C5-8EFCB46C2FC9.jpegB98E0798-FBA3-4752-86AB-DD74C535EB3B.jpeg0B3817B2-4E57-48B9-8AF4-D153416F55CD.jpeg
Tomorrow I start my introductory week. Can’t wait!

the pictures are kind of mixed up so you may have to scroll through to see them from today.

Posted by adventuregirl88 12:45 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

First day of my orientation week

sunny 88 °F

Meals here are always a new experience. At least so far. Breakfast had several items I had never seen before. One was been and rolled up. It was like a small pancake with sweet toasted coconut in it. Another was a small disk that was made of fish. I recognized the dragon fruit but the other one was new to me. It looked kind of like an egg with the skin of a platypus! When you peeled it, it looked like three large garlic cloves with pits. It was good but a different texture.
After breakfast we all went to the office where we had an orientation and signed some waivers. This lovely young woman told us about the culture which was really interesting. Bali is 79% Hindu and it is imbedded in their daily lives. Every home is a compound where all the family lives. Each home has a temple where they pray, do offerings and perform rituals. There are ceremonies all the time. The daily ceremony is putting out a bamboo plate with flowers and bits of things to appease the lower spirits so they will be nice. The evening ceremony is more flowers and incense. Every thirty days is the full moon ceremony and every 15 days is the scared day to ward off evil spirits. Then once a year there is the Silent Day where for 18 hours no flights come in, no cars or motorcycles, no machines. Everyone stays in their home quietly. The entire island goes quiet!
After the orientation Charlotte and I chose a design and traced it on a scarf that we will batik tomorrow. She and I are the only two that signed up for the orientation week. After lunch we went into town which is about a 25 minute drive. Our guide was from the program and we walked around town. We saw the Kings Palace, walked through a part of the art market, and finally walked through the Monkey Forest. You had to pay to go in and then walk around where all these monkeys are running around. The forest was a lush tropical forest, beautiful on its own. Charlotte paid to have her picture with a monkey. The guy has food to put in her hand and the monkey jumped on her shoulders and ate out of her hand. But the best part were the baby monkeys. They were so cute! It was really fun! From there we went back to our place and took a nice swim to cool off. Did I mention that it is hot here?E2E69B74-AE5A-486C-BB4D-9EA1F7C07507.jpeg8046C9D9-C362-424B-A4E6-748B742DB05B.jpeg
After dinner we were taken to an amazing Hindu Kecak Dance in a local village. At least one person from each house in the village participates in the production. But it is very professional. It told a story of a prince and his wife. It’s a Ramayana epic. It started with a lot of men in sarongs coming out and encircling the stage. Throughout the performance they were chanting and making a sound similar to the chatter of monkeys. The costumes were wonderful and to top it all off, there was flame throwing! So cool! It was a fabulous evening! Check out the pictures.A5925BAC-960D-4787-849A-D2D954C1EE26.jpeg

Posted by adventuregirl88 13:17 Archived in Indonesia Comments (0)

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