Hello there, I’ve decided to write about a volunteer placement I took part in 2016 with SLV Global. As I’ve said before I’m a recent graduate of BSc Psychology and during my course I wanted to look for ways to get experience in before I graduated! The last thing I wanted was to graduate and have nothing to help me get a job in the field I love! I was googling away looking at various options to try and gain experience. I came across SLV and I had a look at their website and some reviews from previous students/volunteers. It really caught my eye from the off and even more so when I saw they were introducing a placement in Bali, Indonesia. If you don’t know already Bali is such a beautiful island!
So off I went and did lots of research, I was umming and arring about whether I should do this. I would be going to a foreign country all by myself and I had no idea what to expect! I was asking friends at university if they wanted to come with me and all of them where busy or had a holiday booked for that time of year! So I pondered upon the idea of going to Bali for about 2 months! Then one day I just suddenly found the courage and I just applied for it. Baring in mind you apply and then you have to have a certain criteria to pass and get onto the interview stage. So to be honest I didn’t think anything would come from my application! Then about 2 weeks later I received an email saying “we would like to congratulate you on the success of your application, we would like to have a phone interview with you” and my goodness me I was over the moon! (although I had to wait for the interview and then id find out if I got a place). Especially because I had no idea I would get anywhere from that application. Then the nerves started to kick in, I had to make sure I had a list of answers by my side because of how nervous I was! I did the phone call, it took about half an hour and then they said we will have a word with our team and get back to you shortly! A day later I was in work and I had a voicemail on my phone and it was SLV saying I had a place and they would love to see what I can offer on this placement. I was buzzing but nervous at the same time haha!
I took the placement and SLV entered me onto a facebook page with all the other volunteers who would be attending the same placement as me. So we got to know one another and I actually found somebody on there who was flying from Manchester same as me! So we began talking and luckily we got on like a house on fire! We met up and did some shopping together we were both as nervous as one another. We literally met about 2 months ago on facebook and then we were going out into Manchester shopping! It worked out fab, we were like the same person! So from then everything to do with SLV we would always message each other and keep in touch. We were in the airport together and got on the same flight and stayed in the same hotel! I was really lucky to be honest to find someone so close who was in the same situation as me! going at it all alone!
People were saying to me your mad for doing that on your own, are you not scared.. and obviously I was scared but at the end of it, you have to remember this was a once in a life time opportunity. It wasn’t something you could do everyday!
What I Did:
During my placement me and the other volunteers ran therapeutic activity sessions in psychiatric facilities for individuals suffering from a range of mental health concerns. As well as working within the hospital we also working at various government ran schools and social initiatives for children with disabilities and we also taught English in the local community of Bali.
Not only have I acquired experience but I have an understanding of balinese and Indonesian culture which I gained by living within the Balinese culture.
For the first few days we stayed in a hotel as we did some welcome packs and getting to know one another and we were also given more information about what it was we were doing. Then we stayed within the psychiatric facility with the student nurses. Now that was an experience! Although I would go back and experience it all again haha!
We then moved on and moved into our home stay which was in a traditional balinese homestay, right in the heart of Bali. In my particular homestay there was me, my friend and another girl. Obviously me and my friend knew one another but we didn’t know the other girl. She was from the US and she was lovely! We all got along so well, it was amazing! We woke up every morning to a traditional balinese breakfast which consisted of rice and egg and fruits! They were really nice. I remember one night the family were celebrating and they offered us some of their home cooked food.
Heres a photo of me and my room mates towards the end of our 4 week placement.
It was lovely meeting everybody on my placement, we were all in the same boat and we all just got along really well. It wasn’t all work work work, at the weekends we got free time to explore the beautiful island.
What we did at the weekends:
Ubud:- We stayed in a beautiful hotel in Ubud and explored the centre eating the different foods. We also explored the Ubud markets which were incredible, I have never seen anything like it! It looks so small from the outside road and then when you get in it is absolutely huge! Me and my friends did some haggling which was a fun experience!
In Ubud we also visited the beautiful rice paddies in the centre of Ubud.
We also climbed Mt Batur, which was hard work but so worth it at the top! Also on the way down we got some beautiful views! It was amazing! We booked this with the locals, at the top of the Mt they provided us with some breakfast and a drink which was lovely.
We also visited the Gili Islands. We stayed at Gili T:-
Gili T was a lovely boat ride from Bali, it only took about 30 minutes and once we got there we were shell shocked it was just incredible. We decided as money was tight we can’t be staying in 5* hotels! So we stayed in a hostel and it was the best decision! The hostel was lovely, the owners were really nice and welcoming! We enjoyed every second there! They sold water and snacks which we took advantage of! Really lovely hostel! We were shocked!
Whilst in the Gili T island we wanted to explore the night life, so we decided to go for a little night out! We loved it that much we didn’t go back to the hostel till late! Then we woke up the next day bright and early to watch the sunrise! Was amazing!
We went snorkelling round the 3 islands! Which I’ve not got the pictures as my friend used her GoPro! But here are some pictures of the beautiful island.
Gili T is famous for its beautiful sunset on the other side of the island, which we walked to and it took us 30 minutes! The view was eye popping! We stayed and had tea on that side of the island too enjoying every last minute we could.
We also went to Seminyak in Bali:-
The beaches were just stunning! We went round the local markets which were very similar to Ubud we also went to the shopping centre which had shops like the UK which we couldn’t believe!
We also went to Uluwatu:-
We went here for the afternoon to look at the temple and its beauty!
As part of SLV we had an adventure weekend were did lots of crazy things, one fo my favourites was making peace offerings. Which in Bali is a everyday traditional activity, they make these and put things in that they have and offer it to god. I really enjoyed taking part in this, I think it such a wonderful thing to do!
We also took part in a mud pool activity which was lots of fun! We played various games in this mud which was highly entertaining! We also got to go White river rafting thanks to SLV. It was an experience we would never forget!
Thanks to SLV we also got to experience a Balinese tradition. We were able to buy some clothes from Bali which we wore to a special event. It was so nice to join in a celebration with the local community and obviously we had to look the part! We loved every second of this!
Amazing to be part of such a wonderful and loving culture.
So not only did we work our bums off in the placements we also got time to explore and do things we probably would never have done! I would 100% recommend going on an SLV Global trip and even just going to visit the beautiful island of Bali! It was a real eye opener working with service users and children with disabilities, it was a pleasure to support them for the time I was there!
Throughout this pilot placement we pushed ourselves and lived well out of our comfort zones, we did things we probably would have never thought we did! I will never forget such an amazing experience!
Hope you enjoy reading this! Any questions don’t hesitate to ask!
Until next time X