Once you disembark from the plane, you’ll head into passport control. If you weren’t given a landing card on the plane, you can get one at this point, on one of the desks. Top tip: travel with a pen, there often aren’t any there for you to use. The form needs to be filled in and presented to the Immigration officer with your passport.
Immigration at Denpasar airport can be a little daunting, the easiest and speediest way through is to follow the rules. If immigration, ask you questions about the purpose of your visit just remember to explain you are there as a tourist.
Once through Immigration, you’ll need to fetch your bag and then head through to the Arrivals waiting hall (which is really small) and look for one of our team. We’re usually there waiting, but occasionally the Balinese traffic gets us. If we’re not there straight away, don’t panic, we haven’t forgotten you. You can take this opportunity to use the loo or grab some cash from the ATM. 1million Rph is about £50/€70/$74, and that’s a good start.
We’ll wait for everyone to arrive and then hit the road and head to the head to the hotel, where you’ll stay your first night. So make sure you use the toilet before you set off and get ready to take in your first glimpse of Indonesia.
The training center
Your first week in country will be spent at the psychiatric facilities training wing. This can house students from across Asia studying to become the future Doctors and Nurses of the region.
The center itself is a new facility only a few years old. You will be living in dormitory style accommodation with the other volunteers that are arriving on your team. Just remember that this is a government hospital, so it is incredibly important that we treat it, and the staff there with the utmost respect.
Once you arrive at the center you will move into a dormitory with the volunteers that you will be living with for the next 4 weeks. If you know anyone on placement and would like to request to live with them please indicate this on your portal, all other living arrangements and allocations are done at random. All you have to do at this stage is settle in, relax and get to know one another. You’ll have breakfast and dinner with the other new recruits and spend the week in training and visiting projects.
Upon arrival at the training center you will be supplied with your project pack. This contains all the information you need for the next 4 weeks.
- All SLV.Global projects
- Transportation arrangements
- Emergency information
- Public holidays
It will also contain your individual timetable. Everyone’s timetable could be different, but all volunteers will spend time working at the Psychiatric facility as well as various Special needs centers. You may have a repeated project, as some facilities are very big. Please keep these packs on you at all times during the week, they often come in handy long after you think you’ve finished with them. Many questions can be answered by having a good look through this pack. Take some time to really look at it in your first couple of days.
We understand that a lot of you are already massively experienced. However, working in a foreign culture is often very different to what you’re used to, so we want to make sure you’ve got all the information you need to be able to navigate the sometimes tricky cultural norms in Indonesia.
It is so important to us as an organisation that you work in a culturally sensitive way and this is an idea central to the ethos of SLV.Global. Our aim is to give you training to help you feel comfortable working at your designated projects. The aim is to keep training concise and practical, and to ensure that you feel confident. However, it would be almost impossible in a week to make you feel adequately prepared, and you may feel as if you’ve been dropped in the deep end, but we are here to help you swim.
We work with local professionals to deliver training that is comprehensive and useful. The views of the facilitators may not always be the same as yours and sometimes their accent can be difficult to understand, but please be patient.
Monday: Everyone arrives throughout the day and night and to make things easier on you we’ve opted to take you to a hotel so you can adjust to the new culture and climate. You’ll be able to introduce yourselves to each other throughout the day. Some of you arrive ready and raring to go, and for you, we’ll take you out to buy a phone and a SIM card and to sample the local area. Others would prefer to head straight to bed and that’s fine too. Everyone acclimatizes differently. Please tell us how you are feeling and we’ll do our best to help with whatever you may need.
Tuesday: The first part of the day is taken up with cultural awareness training and introduction-type activities. We do take into account not only that you may be jetlagged, but also sweating out most of your bodily fluids. Generally, water is your friend. We’ll take you to the psychiatric facility and get you settled into the dorms in the evening, so you’ve got the afternoon to take advantage of the pool in the hotel.
Wednesday & Thursday: These days are split between training workshops, project visits and project work. Where possible, you’ll be accompanied by both local coordinators and volunteers that have previously volunteered at the project to show you the ropes.
Friday: You’ll spend your morning at projects or in training. In the afternoon you will be transferred to your homestay where you will be living for the remainder of your placement. You’ll have some time to settle in and have your first meal with your homestay family.
Saturday: The first weekend is for you to get to know the other volunteers, both in your area and further afield. There are a variety of activities for you to get stuck into, you’ll be bonding with your team and getting out into the countryside whilst you do it, surging down a white water river together and enjoying a starlit campfire.
On the first Friday you’ll be heading to the homestay you’ll be living in for the next few weeks and meeting your Balinese Hosts.
Please treat the homestay with respect. You’re residing in someone’s family home for the duration of your placement, so please be mindful that your family is not responsible for cleaning up after you. Please be tidy and courteous to the family and the rest of your housemates.
Between you and the rest of the volunteers, you’ll have a western toilet and a shower with plenty of running water, although it will be cold. But you’ll be glad of that once you’ve been out working all day.
You’ll have breakfast provided for you Monday-Friday and dinner Monday-Thursday. Breakfast is usually a selection of fresh fruit and bread. Dinner will be traditional Balinese food. Homestay families cannot cater for specific dietary requirements, so if you’d prefer to eat something other than what is served you’ll need to get that for yourself, which is easy enough with shops within walking distance of all homestays. Nuts feature quite heavily in Indonesian cooking so please make people aware if you have an allergy. All volunteers will have a bed in a shared room with sheets and a pillow. There is one fan provided for the room. Things are going to be hot, but the temperature usually drops a bit at night.
Your Adventure Break
The Adventure Break takes place during the latter half of your training week.
The Adventure Break will take you out of the buzz of the Indonesian capital and towns and out to some more scenic parts of Bali, so bring your camera if you wish, but also pack your DEET and some long sleeves and trainers. You will be taken through each of your activities by trained professionals. Be expected to enjoy the different activities that are going to come your way and get to know the rest of your team better.
You’ll spend the evening with music and a campfire stargazing and taking stock of your first week. Make the most of the change of pace. We’ve got you, and the more you adapt to the chilled out way of working, the more enjoyable your time in Bali will be.