Reports from the Field

The Unexpected Journey

One night in the midst of a family vacation and a desperate grab into the depths of the universe I went on a deep-sea dive on the internet to find some kind of program I could resonate with. When I found Global Nomadic it was like hitting the lottery, I went with some of my first picks then finally, I decided I need to try one that I knew would be a challenge for me. I’ve never been interested in teaching, at least not to adolescents. However, I recently encountered some friends that had a few questions about the environment, for instance, “Why does it hail in the summer?”; instead of answering simply “because of the intense winds”, I answered in a way that was nearly incoherent and not targeted towards the group who asked me. Ultimately I wanted to train myself to be able to explain environmental concepts in a way that others could more simply understand. Getting lost in translation is not an excuse for environmentalism to take a backseat, and I won’t let it. 

Planning for this trip proved to be difficult; there was little resources provided to Global Nomadic from the Green Lion to fully prepare me for what to expect: I could not reach out to the Green Lion in order to inquire due to the coordinator’s and the organization’s predetermined relationship, I knew absolutely no one who knew anything about the Green Lion, and on top of everything with the information I was given through Global Nomadic I ended up over preparing for the trip by purchasing things that I never actually needed or used. When I arrived at the facility, I was fully prepared to leave at the first sign of dysfunction (which never happened, and I will forever be grateful for staying). 

This trip was fully planned, funded, and organized by me, which was why I was so offended when I could not coordinate with the Green Lion prior to my arrival. This was to hopefully ensure that I did not waste money, and I had all my expenses covered before my arrival. 

My first day was overwhelming: prior to my arrival I had been doing some independent traveling, so when it came time for my departure and the next step of my journey I contacted the Green Lion for information and was met with indignant resistance to any assistance. I was persistent with the information that I was supposed to start that day, and evidently they were not aware of that fact. When I finally was able to refer to a communication we had several months prior about my arrival dates, they were finally willing to give me the address for the facility. When I arrived at the Green Lion it was clear that they were caught off guard and confused about my being there, took a COVID-19 test, took my luggage to my room with little to no acknowledgement from anyone in the facility, and experienced the rest of the day alone and reading my book. It wasn’t until late in the day that I received any kind of friendly faces. 

After the first day, the energy completely changed at the Green Lion. I always felt well looked after and like I had a great support system; the staff always listened and provided anything and everything in their power to be helpful. The accommodations were great, with the exception of pre-installed screens and mosquito nets, everything about the dormitory was impeccable. I think the mattresses were the best in Bali. The food was fantastic, lots of variety and all very local, which I very much appreciated. The area and culture was sublime, the people were very welcoming and friendly. The seclusion from the inner city made the area peaceful and welcoming.

It was not until after I arrived that I was told that there was an option for an orientation week, or other independent accommodations. So, while everyone was going through their intro week, I was thrown directly into the Education program with absolutely no time to prepare, anyone to work with, or idea of what I should be doing. 

With all that being said, this project has opened a door for meeting some of the best people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Beautiful souls with the desire to do good for the world and their communities. These connections and memories are some that I will cherish for the rest of my life. However, these are not the key moments I was hoping to take away, even though teaching the students was gratifying, I feel with the proper preparation I could have walked away with a better experience, the one I paid for. 

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Alison Blanchard