First of all, I would like to apologize for not keeping all you dedicated readers in the loop over the last week. I know you must have been sitting at home biting your nails, anxiously checking my blog repeatedly wondering to yourselves what in the world are Alyssa and Mike up to?! Three words…THE BALINESE DREAM!
We arrived a week ago, and from the moment we stepped off Air Asia, I have felt like I was dreaming! Someone pinch me so I can wake up!! Just kidding, Im not ready! 😉 Bali is AMAZING! There must be something in the Air, because everyone is friendly, happy, helpful, generous, the list goes on. Hinduism is the main religion here, and even if you aren’t looking you see how their religion affects every aspect of their life, POSITIVLY! There are many Gods, within the Hindu religion, and Hindus believe in karma. Do good to others and they will be good to you. I must say whatever is going on in this island, is CONTAGIOUS.
Since our arrival we, spent our first 3 days with our dearest friends Justine and Brooke! They have a villa for the month in Seminyak, so we all enjoyed a relaxing time, playing in the pool, basking in the sun, and dining at trendy restaurants! We even went out salsa dancing one night! A word of advice, after drinking 3 very large Bintangs (Balinese Beer), it will be extra challenging to keep your head straight and your clothes on! Don’t worry guys, I am not referring to us, Im referring to the LadyBoy, who entertained us most of the night, from a distance!
After saying goodbye to our friends, we headed to Slukat Learning Center! It is located in a very small town called Keramass, tucked away in the rice fields and farming villages. We are getting a taste of what local life is all about here. Our accommodation is modest, but our surroundings are incredible! We have beautiful black sand beach 10 minutes from our place, which is full of surfers, perfect for our entertainment. The youth center is full of lively, laughing and curious children, all eager to learn English! Which makes the challenge of volunteering less stressful and more rewarding. At the beginning of the week, Mike and I were both wary about the duties that laid a head of us. It all seemed a bit overwhelming, especially when they tried to give Mike his own class on our first day! Our topic for the month is My Island, My world. Which can incorporate a whole bunch of stuff, but we decided to narrow it down to maps for the first week. I think we are getting the hang of it, and so it can only get easier from here!
Now it’s the weekend! We have Friday-Monday off this weekend! We started our exciting weekend off, by waking up at 1:30am on Friday to hike Bali’s 2nd largest active volcano, Mt. Batur! We started hiking at 4:00am, with only our headlamps to give light to our path. After hiking for 2 hours we reached the summit at 6:10 am to watch the sunrise rise over Balis largest Volcanoe, Mt. Agung. BEAUTIFUL! Pictures really never do it justice. As we ate fried banana sandwiches and hard boiled eggs looking out into the abyss I thought to myself, LIFE CAN NOT GET ANY BETTER!
But it does! Tonight, we have been invited to the beginning of a 4 day long festival/ceremony that only happens once a year, specifically in the village Keramass. Who knows what will be in store for us, but as a Hindu celebration, Im sure there will be many flowers, incense, offerings, food, music, dance, and loads of praying! We have bought ourselves our traditional garments to wear, so the rest is up to the the GODS!!
As for the rest of our weekend, we have rented a moped to take us to the Bukit, the little peninsula on the southern tip of the island, not sure what the agenda is, but sometimes that’s the most exciting part! All I know is that I will be on Balinese time, which is really no time at all! Have a great weekend, I know we will!