What an incredible trip. I have nothing bad to say about Bali. Booking is a simple process. The pre departure help was fine, if not slightly unorganised (being asked for documents I had already sent). Apart from that, they were helpful and relatively quick at responding to emails. Josh was very helpful and provided the Volunteer Handbook which is brilliant. It's a book of helpful tips regarding the region you are travelling to, what to expect regarding culture differences, dress codes, meals, details of the project and more. Very thorough guide which helps when you're travelling alone for the first time. Once I arrived in Denpasar airport, I was greeted and taken straight to the volunteer house where I was shown my room. I wasn't told what was going to happen the following day by anyone official, but the other volunteers had the information.However, I do believe this was because I arrived before the PMGY co-ordinators had arrived however, but I met them halfway through my trip. Steph is lovely, really helpful and always works hard to ensure you are happy as much as she can, very positive and dependable. She now works in the PMGY UK office and has still been as great and positive as always. Adriana was really lovely too, bur I believe the co-ordinators in Bali change yearly. Ketut, Indra, Rush and Krishna (the family you will be staying with, at the volunteer house) are so welcoming and so so lovely. Ketut was known to everyone as the Balinese Mum because she was always there to offer some great advice, comforting words and a bright smile. For a lot of the volunteers, this is the first time being away from home, and being in such a different place, so far and in a different time zone with a hugely different culture than the Westernised one, having Ketut there was wonderful. She really makes the personal difference from just being another volunteer to family. The accommodation is really great, lots of common areas to socialise, the rooms are nice and do frequently have warm water (but not constantly). Some rooms are nicer than others, but even the "lower ranked' rooms are cosy and nice. Rush (Ketut's husband) builds the rooms himself and if there are any issues is there to help. The food is really good, but if you don't like rice, I would reconsider! Tabanan is the area in which rice seems to be mass produced and it will essentially be your entire diet. The rice is usually served with some kind of meat, vegetables and sometimes potatoes or pasta, and occasional noodles. I know there were a lot of good options for vegetarians too. I was on the wildlife project, where I worked with various monkeys, crocodiles in a range of sizes, birds such as cockatoos, macaques and horn bills (my favourite) and also a friendly sun bear named Balou. You will be on project Monday-Thursday and will either work from 8-11am or 2-4pm. Sometimes you get the opportunity to go to a turtle or cat sanctuary if there are a lot of volunteers. Typical work would be to cut fruit for the animals, feed them and then clean their cages when they are finished. A lot of the work may be thinking on your feet and using your initiative as there may seem like little work, but there is always something to do. On the weekends (Friday-Sunday) you are free to do as you please. Whilst Bali is a small island there is an ENORMOUS range of things to do, whether you head up north and do some adrenaline filled activities such as waterfall jumping or paragliding in Lovina, or if you want to head down south and go to Asias largest waterpark, WATERBOM, or head to the Gili Islands to the east of Bali. There is a huge amount to do and a wonderful mix between traditional Balinese culture, and the growing tourism market where Westernised culture is being implemented.
For anyone coming here, I would say come with no expectations, and you will have an amazing time. You will be blown away by the friendliness of the family, making new friends and the work you contribute to the projects. Don't even think before booking, just book it. With an open mind, you will have the most incredible experience.