Bali. A tropical island in the Indian Ocean. But wait what? How can it snow there? And why would it bring me to Thailand? Sounds like an episode of Lost, but no polar bears in this story…
It was a regular morning: I got up and somehow made my way to the bathroom. I woke up when my bare feet touched the wet bathroom floor. Brushing my teeth I wished for a carpet and dry towels, but knew this was unlikely to happen in this humid climate.
After a badass Balinese coffee my driver Agung was honking, ready to bring us volunteers to our school in Bali.
The ride took around 20-30 Minutes. The hot air that came in through the open windows did not quite feel that refreshing as I had hoped for but I had kind of gotten used to it.
On our drive we passed a lady that walked along the street waving around a stick to lead her countless little ducks into the right direction. Shortly after passing the duck lady we saw some Balinese men washing themselves inside the river, followed by a group of girls doing the same somewhat further down the way. They looked so happy in a funny, naked way. I pictured myself doing the same, instead of complaining about the wet bathroom floor and had to laugh.
We reached the school shortly after. It was located in Keramas, a remote village on the East of the island. Some classrooms were without walls and the students sat on the floor around a table.
The teachers room in Bali was a small tower with a big window front that overlooked lush green rice fields.
We drank more coffee und waited for the students to run inside, enthusiastically wanting the lessons to begin soon. Damn yes.
Teachers in Bali versus teachers in Germany.
Curios and motivated students eager to learn and feed their brains with world knowledge versus students with half-open eyes in a sleepy ganja red, yawning at the teacher with a mix of sleep and disgust.
Before the lessons started I had to pray with the children, chant some Hindu sentences, fold my hands in front of me and bow. They did the same and the lesson could begin.
“What’s the weather like?” I asked them, sweat dropping off the top of my nose.
“It’s SUUUUUUNNYYYYYYYYY!!!!” They screamed and laughed as if the they were the sun themselves.
I drew a snowman on the board and the class went quiet. The only snow like thing they had ever seen was ice-cream they might have been able to afford near the beach. But snow? What the heck was that on a tropical island?
And yet it did snow. Just right there in front of them.
Just right there in front of me was a previously prepared box of frozen snow powder I had bought in a fancy first world store, which I was throwing in the air. I had to admit that it actually felt like real snow, after inserting water to the mixture and freezing it overnight. Though I had admittedly kind of exaggerated and made a bit too much. But how happy were the children to run around trying to catch the snowflakes.
“The floooooor is sliHIHIHIHIppery”, they were now shouting
We ran around the classroom in Bali, made snowballs and were laughing whilst the sun was burning down outside.
I took a picture of the kids holding a snowball up in the air- all trying to touch it.
And believe it or not. I won a trip to Thailand with this one in a photo competition! Which leads me to my next blog post, that is about to come soon.
Teaching Monks in Thailand. I did not bring them snow, but caused a 3 hour cleaning ceremony….
more on this later haha 🙂