“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” – unknown
I had a bit of an uneasy night when I got home from the night market. My stomach DID NOT like the street food, even though it was “real” food of vegetables, beans and lentils with spices. Thankfully, I felt fine other than a rumbling tummy and although this morning was a little rocky, I am good as new! (TMI, just keepin’ it real.)
I spent the morning/afternoon working before fulfilling something on my MUST DO list while here in Bali… giving back!
I scootered into town where I met up with Louise and Ashlee for lunch at Art Kafe near Monkey Forest (still in Ubud). From there, we got a ride with our fun driver, Agung to Yayasan Widya Guna, a school outside of Ubud to bring rice and balloons to the kiddos.
The lady who started this school began 11 years ago in her home, where she had one small room. She started by teaching kids English but the school grew quickly and 6 years ago, an entire compound was built out of recycled wood and a real school was established.
This school is unique in that they accept handicapped students as well, which other surrounding schools do not. They have an organic garden, where the kids learn to grow and care for their own food. When we were there, we peaked in on a teacher giving a lesson on the importance of healthy food.
Side note: there are very few overweight people here in Ubud, or anywhere I have been thus far in Bali.
Fitness is part of their program and when we arrived, kids were playing “futbol” in the front. A group of about 12 students, ages 5-13 (totally guessing on that) were preparing for a Christmas musical they will be performing on Christmas Eve. They will sing 10 songs, which include some pretty sweet dance moves. 🙂 They were adorable and I absolutely LOVED listening to them. All of the songs are sung in English, which is a very important component to their studies.
The teachers are primarily volunteers from all over the world, which come for typically 3 months at a time. Many of which are regular volunteers, coming yearly to support the foundation and the children.
They were the most polite kids, coming up to us, “Hello, what is your name?” Once answered, they followed with, “My name is _______, where are you from?” Their English was incredible. Teach ’em young is right!
I loved seeing all the happy smiles on their faces. Such a cool experience and one that I feel so blessed to have been a part of.
The students are sponsored by people all over the world. All donations go 100% to the kids. Whatever money they are given by their sponsor is documented and and the students have to keep record of everything spent – books, supplies, etc. – for school. Each year, they present this to their sponsor so the sponsor knows where their money is going and so the kids learn how to balance money. I wish I learned that in school!
The foundation makes money from the volunteers, who pay to stay there while teaching. This helps to keep everything running.
Afterwards, we headed back to Ubud. I took a quick dip in the pool before indulging in a 90 minute massage (for roughly $14 US) and headed to my villa to pack because…
I have come to the conclusion, despite trying to fight it, that I NEED action around me. I thrive with some form of chaos and my villa, while cute, is entirely too far from ANYTHING in Ubud, making me feel isolated.
I came here to EXPERIENCE new things. And I have done my best to do so between working M-F while here. But being so far makes quick adventures in town difficult and I don’t feel safe to venture out from here at night alone.
Solution? Thursday I am moving into the center of town, to a new villa, until Saturday. NOW I will be right next to food, yoga, museums, shopping… everything I thought I was getting at the place I have been at the last week.
Everything for a reason though. And I a grateful.
Saturday I will head off to the beach for another weekend getaway, which I am stoked for!
Until then, I will enjoy Ubud to the fullest and see where my travels take me from here.