It has been a week since I first touched down in Bali and already it feels like a home. A strange home, different to anything I’ve known before where walking is replaced with jumping on the back of a scooter and the loud noise of tropical birds and dogs fighting sings me to sleep every night. But I love it, the bizarre life affirming place.
My first day at my internship I was actually less nervous then I expected. I guess when you’re in such an unfamiliar situation as travelling alone in Indonesia your perception of what is and isn’t nerve-wracking shifts. I had already overcome the perils of trying to cross the street at rush hour (which is every hour in Bali) and ordering food in without the first clue what was going to arrive, now working seemed easy…
I was welcomed with open arms by Petr, Rima and fellow intern Estelle to the Green-Books team. Green-Books is an NGO working to educate children in Indonesia about the environment in hopes they will strive to protect it for the future. There is little or no environmental education in schools here and as a result few people value nature or find enjoyment in it leading to little empathy or understanding. Green-books sources to bridge this gap by creating fun, hands-on games to teach kids about issues such as plastic pollution or why keeping exotic birds as pets is wrong, a problem rife here were 70% of homes keeping endangered species in cages.
Petr, my boss showed me some of the games as well as the permaculture garden currently under construction in a bid to hold workshop for kids on gardening and compost. I will be helping the company by creating pieces for their new blog. writing about their progress as an NGO as well as interesting news about nature from around the world which will be translated into Indonesian, French and Czech to meet Green-books global following. I was nervous at first pitching idea, scared my suggestions would be not interesting or inventive enough but he and the team were very supportive. In my first week I wrote many blog posts ranging from the palm oil industry to coral reefs to eco-travel. I also managed to meet up with other environmental bloggers in the area through Green-books connections and work collaboratively with them to come up with new interesting concepts.
So far it has not been exactly how I expected it. I did not expect to be working with such a small team of 4 people, but actually this has been one of the best parts. We all go to lunch together at a local warung and eat Nasi Goreng, a traditional chicken and rice dish found here, and chat so much so that within a few days I feel I have new friends. The work is also enjoyable, I forgot how much I missed creative writing as opposed to the scientific stuff I’ve been doing as part of my course. Thus, in such a picturesque backdrop as the beaches and jungles of Bali it is hard not to be inspired and share the message of the beauty and importance of the natural world!
To learn more about the charity and get involved head over to www.green-books.org