One last post before I wrap up the Bali blog. Although this is the end of my Bali volunteering experience, my connection to Bali and with the people I met there is far from over.
When I moved to Indonesia 18 months ago, I knew not one single person. In the 18 months gone by, I have been lucky enough to meet the most incredible, interesting, passionate, amazing people from many different places. During my last week in Bali, I spent time reflecting on the people that have really made my time in Bali so special.
Firstly, my crew, or Team A as we liked to call ourselves, of Erin, Ben and Jane were such a fabulous group of people to spend a month with in Yogyakarta at language school. They kept me grounded and sane. And they liked to drink Bintang and climb volcanos.
Secondly, on my arrival to Bali, fellow volunteers Di and Gary befriended me and took me under their wing. Their advice and friendship has been invaluable. Di also worked at the hospital and she was always there when I needed an ’emergency coffee break’ and a debrief. Not only were they my neighbours but they are good friends and we shared many dinners and laughs. Very special people.
After I moved in to my house, my landlords Brooks and Nelly, and their staff and family, and also the people living in my street also became like my own family. Their young daughter Esrell was such a joy and I will miss her two-year old voice yelling out “Aunty” from the balcony next door.
Along the way I also met other volunteers but three in particular (Liz, Sharon and Dane) have been fantastic friends. Many Friday nights were spent playing pool in our local bar. Sharon and I shared our love of politics every Monday night watching Q&A over a take-away meal. For the last 6 months, Dane was also my housemate and my regular tennis partner. Unfortunately, our last game ended 6-4 to Dane, so currently he is the reigning champion. All of these three have been so inspiring, but also so supportive and most importantly, a lot of fun.
And through mutual friends I had the pleasure of meeting Arum and Komang (Bobby). They are a beautiful couple. Very creative, intelligent and passionate about politics and the future of Indonesia. Their modern and progressive views on a democratic, non-corrupt Indonesia and the environment, child welfare and eduction were inspiring. They extended their hospitality to me on many occasions and have been great friends.
The day before I flew out, I arranged a lunch to farewell all the people (outside the hospital) who had made my time in Bali so special. It was a great afternoon by the pool. Beers, lunch, sun and good conversation. Indonesia has been the trip of a life time but it has been the people I have met along the way who have really made it memorable.
To all my friends in Indonesia, this is not goodbye, just see you later.
Thanks for the love and the memories.