Living Somewhere New
My name is Kamilla and two weeks ago I started my placement at the Bukit Lawang Trust.
Back home in Berlin, I study social work and that is what brought me here, to this beautiful place. I am also a passionate traveller and always excited to have new experiences. There is however, a big difference between travelling to another country and working and living there. So, before I started my internship, I had many questions about what awaited me. Maybe I can give you a little jump start on your time.
Starting a volunteer placement in a different country, it is most likely that you will come across a different lifestyle and culture. This is something you don’t need to worry about, you should see it as a chance to grow and gain knowledge. Speaking from experience – you will adapt to this really quickly. Locals here understand that volunteers and tourists come from a very different culture to their own. Anyway, the first priority for you should always be to respect the other culture - after all you are a guest in their country. To be prepared for what is lying ahead of you, you can do some research about cultures in the area you are planning to go to. One thing is for sure - Indonesians love spicy food. So if you can´t handle spice, you might be really happy to know these words “Tidak pedas” (not spicy) when you go somewhere for food.
Another thing you probably have to adapt to as a European, is Indo-time – so just leave your thinking that everything has to happen on time behind and take it chilled.
When you are in a place where everybody is greeting each other and being so friendly and helpful, you might find yourself feeling more connected to this new way of living together than you expected.
Conservation Volunteer from Germany