Before the magic of Bali fades from our system we will try and relay what happened the last couple of days. The plan was to upload more posts during the journey but three days in to the conference it all became so hectic and the days became so long, there was simply no time. BUT here we are. for one final round. And what a fantastic couple of days we had.
The committee had done a fabulous job in keeping us busy, having planned to field trips per day for Thursday and Friday. On the first day we got to go snorkeling to see how the coral reef around Bali was coping with the climate change. As with most things climate related, it wasn’t all happy faces, however, we got to get insight into how the organisation Reef Check Indonesia is working towards a more sustainable way of enabling locals to take care of the reefs. And the waters around Bali were as wonderful as ever, giving some of us a glimpse of three playing dolphins.
Getting ready to snorkel at the Japanese Shipwreck.
After the reef check we moved on towards the next sight for sore eyes; Tirta Gangga; a spectacular water garden built in 1946 for the royal family.
Inga & DIna; Sweden, enjoying the gardens wearing fashionable sarongs.
At Tirta Gangga we were also given the pleasure of seing, and participating in(!), traditional Balinese dancing.
The dancers put on a spectacular show…
… and some of the people how chose Balinese dancing as their cultural activity a few days earlier were put to the test by the masters!
On the second day of field trips we got up almost equally early and set out for the next spectacular day. This time we headed for the mountains to see an organic farm.
After an initial introduction to the farm, the corps and the farm’s way of using eco-friendly fertilization and pesticides we were put to work. Inga and Khalil; Sweden, doing a terrific job planting lettuce.
Before going to the farm, we were explicitly told to wear pants and not skirts. When asking the reason for this, as we were wondering if it was religious, we were given the information that it would be very cold and windy. Well… it was safe to say that for the Swedes this was not quite an issue as the temperature was still around 25 degrees and when, after an hour, the sun came out we all came home later that evening with quite a sunburn…
After having a phenomenal lunch at the farm, getting to taste their produce we got back on the buses and headed towards the next destination; Ulun Danu Beratan Temple. As we got there it was quite foggy and after an hour or so it started to rain, but all in all it was another wonderful (long) day.
Fernesto; Indonesia, displaying the temple depicted in the 50 000 Rupiah bill.
SO. After three days of lectures, seminars and work shops and two days of field trips we finally had our free exploration day. Now, I won’t go into detail on what each of us did here, because I could go on forever showing you a million pictures of everyone’s fantastic adventures. If you want to know more about that; you’ll simply have to ask us!
However, we are moving towards the end and the last day was probably the biggest adventure of them all. We got up at dawn to participate in the grand finale organized by the committe; The Amazing Race. We all set out at 7.15 without breakfast, without a clue of where the race would take us. Unfortunately at 7.30 it started raining. Heavy. And it didn’t stop. By the time we reached the second challenge it had turned into a full blown storm we were all soaking wet and the committe decided to cancel the race.
It was very cold and very wet and we were not very happy.
I cannot in words describe how wet we were, the only way to fathom it is by me telling you that as we got back to the hotel, we got in the pool fully dressed, and it didn’t make any sort of difference in terms of wetness.
After recovering for a while the day moved on to the poster presentation prepared by each group. Now this layout was a bit unfamiliar to many of us and the afternoon became a lot longer than we anticipated. Nonetheless we got to see many great posters proposing many good ideas for change.
At 5 pm we were all dressed and ready for the closing ceremony where we had been asked to wear traditional formal wear. Seeing how this is more common in Asian countries and not something you see everyday in the west, the surprise factor was quite high when Sofia showed up wearing an Ingelsta-dräkt belonging to her mother. In just a few minutes she, and everyone else who dressed in their absolutely beautiful traditional wear became tourist attractions with pictures taken left and right.
Sofia together with the Bangladesh delegation.
The closing ceremony was great with everyone receiving their diplomas and us getting to see several cultural performances and getting a final chance to say goodbye to each other, sharing laughs and tears from the past week.
So to sum up; this has been an absolutely incredible phenomenal adventure from start to finish and we would recommend anyone and everyone to part take in it if the opportunity is given next year. What you should know is this; the days are LONG, the cultural immersion is HIGH, and the experience is PRICELESS. Below is a list of things we would like to share with future delegations.
- January is wet season in Indonesia so when they say bring raincoat/umbrella – do. Because it will rain. At times A LOT.
- The cost of being in Bali is not very high. We had exchanged between 800 and 2000 SEK and depending on how much shopping you did, this was perfectly enough.
- You will be tired. The days will be long, warm and require a lot of energy so EAT. Plenty and often.
- If there is anything you don’t understand in the conference guide write and ask the committee; they will answer and clarify!
- Don’t bring to much clothes; you will not wear it all. You will not change as much as you think.
- The sun in Indonesia is fierce; use sunscreen. Indonesia is on/below the equator; respect that.
- Take every opportunity to speak with the other delagations; get to know them; talk about their cultures, and ask as many stupid questions as you can think of. This is the knowledge and experience that you cannot put a price on.
- Oh, and drink water! Keep track of yourself so that you don’t become dehydrated. Dehydration is no fun.
There. If you stuck with us this long; congratulations! We’ve had a wonderful journey and we hope you’ve enjoyed it with us. In hindsight we are still in awe both that we made it to Bali but also that we made it home..!
Three exhausted girls on the train from Copenhagen after 24 hours of travelling (Khalil was on a different flight than us 🙂 )
Thank you for joining us this past week!
/Dina, Inga, Khalil & Sofia/