Since this week I don’t do volunteer work anymore at Sjaki. Already since November I was thinking about not working until the end like the original plan was. I decided to finish the things I had promised to do and what I had started and then stop. The 2 hours on the road 3 times a week to get there and back are very exhausting It’s always busy in traffic here on Bali and there is just unbelievably much pollution when you are on the road on a scooter. My skin is black when I arrive, I can only imagine what comes into the lungs, even though I wear a mask. My time on Bali is supposed to be fun and good and I am free to do what I want. To want to sit on the scooter in this traffic 2 hours on a regular basis it has to be for something that is really motivating and worth giving everything for.
I have had a good time with the other volunteers and I also have good contact with some of the Balinese employees. For the children and teenagers I could have given everything and I love to be around them. And I would love to help with more if the conditions were good and if I was asked by the Balinese for something specific. At this point I anyhow feel happy with what I have been able to do for them and I certain that my decision is right.
Besides the fact about driving a distance there has been a lot of internal problems and conflicts at Sjaki, between the board and the volunteers. For me it has been problems outside my business because of my different kind of role at the foundation. I was there for 10 months with no other conditions then that they paid me the petrol for driving and they fixed my visa. I was going to make the first aid conditions better and furthermore help where needed. The other volunteers had more specific tasks and also had other conditions. Angeline and Berry were only 4 months and did some very good and important things and left again in January, we all missed them very much! The conflicts have not become smaller during the last couple of months and for me this was also a big motivator to be sure of my decision that I wanted to stop. I finished my first aid tasks and other things and told everybody that I would stop. Meanwhile my friends, the other volunteers, also decided to stop for reasons of their own related to the conflicts the last couple of months. I hope Sjaki will stay and survive for the children and teenagers, they have such a good place with dedicated teachers. Without a place like Sjaki they have no place to go.
I am very happy I started these 10 months with doing volunteer work. It was a great opening to get to know locals and it was wonderful to get to see the children with special needs here in Bali and have a chance to do something for them. I have had some great moments with them, the teachers and other employees and volunteers. I have seen more of inside and real Bali and behind the tourism because of Sjaki.
So now by coincidence we all stop at Sjaki at the same time almost, so we decided to end it with the great valentines event, which was planned already a long time ago and the other volunteers had already done almost all preparations for it. It was a big event organized together with the CP lounge, Sjaki’s neighbor and with a local band. Lots of sponsors, food, drinks, raffle, performances of all kinds and sharing love for and together with disabled children of Bali. All money was going to Sjaki and two other foundations for disabled children. It was a great day and evening and I was personally really touched by all the performances by the children. Deaf children dancing different Balinese dances, with a wonderful woman who guides them with sign language and teach them to dance to the music. A big group with blind teenagers performing with their band and choir, which also touched me to tears, all the joy and talent they were able to show to us. One young lady with a physical handicap read two poems written by her, translated by someone after she said it. I cannot express it in words, everybody should have been there to see her perform it and hear how it is to have a handicap on Bali…
See the pictures of a great valentines day <3
One of the dance performances by deaf children and their teacher :-)