Maria Mereuță, Access Alumna 2014 about her volunteering experience in Indonesia, “the best paragraph from by book named life was Indonesia”
November, 13 2017
"We always dream to travel and discover new things, but when the time comes it is most commonly scary to go 10 000 km away from home on our own.
Last summer was a very nice one given that I had the chance to participate in the AIESEC UNDIP program, Global Volunteer. 4 projects, engaging 134 people coming from Lithuania, Germany, Canada, USA, Malaysia, Thailand, Egypt etc., were implemented. I was involved in one of the projects which supported the 8th Global Goal- Decent Work and Economic Growth. The goal of this project was to work with SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) and develop their financial and marketing segments because most SMEs have their offices inside their own homes and don't keep records of their incomes and costs. We worked with 5 companies and helped the entrepreneurs to deal with them.
The first two weeks I lived a cultural shock. Everything was different- temperature, humidity, smells and food, but afterwards, I began to discover the Indonesian culture and lifestyle. All volunteers lived with a host family and therefore, we could experience their traditions and daily life. I was impressed by the Indonesian people, as they are so different. Asians are kinder and calmer, if they don't know you, they will help you anyways. For example, they can give you rides to various places in Bali from one coast to another because they think that if they have a good attitude towards others they will get the same in return.
My house was up in mountains and I lived there with a Muslim family who had a food catering business. On one of my very first days in Indonesia I went to a Muslim wedding, which was a unique event. This volunteering experience was a big opportunity for me to live on an island for 7 weeks, swim in the Indian Ocean, visit Bali and practice snorkeling. I ate the best fish in my life there, on Karimunjawa Island. When you see places from movies you feel like a superstar.
In our free time we traveled, I got to see many awesome places which I'd first seen online when I'd googled Indonesia. I also visited some of the most recommended and famous islands like Jawa, Karimunjawa, and Bali. I saw elephants, orangutans, lions, alligator and other animals. This trip was a fantastic story.
By the end of the project, there was a close bond between all the volunteers and I was so impressed that some stereotypes I had were erased from my mind.
When today someone asks me, "Weren't you afraid to travel so far away all alone?" my answer always is "I didn't have time to think about this, because I was enjoying the adventure!"
PHOTO ALBUM HERE