I'm very lucky that I stumbled across the opportunity to experience half a day undertaking Balinese village work in Tabanan. I thought the price on their website was steep, but when I made enquiries (including whether the cost included transport from Ubud), they voluntarily offered me a much more reasonable rate.
Upon arrival, I received the pleasant surprise of having my own personal guide for the half day who spoke excellent English. I was very impressed with how well organised the activities were and the fact that all the locals who participated in the delivery of the activities were prepared for my arrival. I also liked the fact that when I was undertaking work, the locals supervised me to make sure I was doing it properly. I enjoyed very much the gifts they made me.
Additionally, I was taken back by how much thought they had put into looking after participants when it came to the rice fields activity. When I saw how much mud was involved, I initially refused to go. But, my guide told me not to worry and showed me all the precautionary steps they had taken to protect me and clean me afterwards. I'm glad she made me go into the rice fields because it was a very unique experience!
I met the organiser, Ketut, who told me that the money goes towards funding a Sunday educational programme for the local Balinese children (which made me more happy to hear).
My local driver was very mesmerised by the half-day activity. He asked to observe what was involved and later told me that he thought it was a very good experience for me to have done.
I would definitely encourage people who want insight into the real Balienese life to partake in this programme (and your money goes towards a great cause)!
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