Not all those who wander are lost

Two rehabilitation counselor students doing an internship at school teaching Balinese children.

Monthly Archives: December 2015

What have I learnt?

– It’s all about planning. You really just can’t go to teach anyone without any plans. It just doesn’t work like that. It’s good if you have also a plan B and sometimes you also need to have a plan C. For example yesterday I had planned for the end of the lesson a very good game (in my opinion…) and we started to play the game and the students didn’t like it at all!!!! They didn’t wanna play it!!!!! AND I had been so confident about my game that I didn’t have even plan B for the game. Thank God then my students had one game on their mind that they wanted to play so they taught me that 🙂

colouring picture

– To communicate without shared language. Many times my students just speak to my Indonesian and I’m trying to speak them veeery basic English or just to draw and communicate with signs 😀 I think this is good if I’m ever going to work with immigrants.

– To be more creative than earlier. I have used really much creative methods that my students learn. For example when we had the topic “On the beach” I made them a memory game of all the things that you can see on the beach and they had to match a text and a picture that mean the same. Many times we use colouring pictures: first we colour a picture that belongs to our topic and then we write sentences about that picture. We play games that helps kids to learn. It’s amazing to see their improvement <3


Mount Batur and volunteers. 1717m high mountain that we went to.

– To learn to see my students as an individuals instead of a group. I think that for me this took about a month. I had to learn their names and something more about them. Especially my first class I know the best, maybe because I see them every day so it has been easier to get to know them. And their English is the best compared to my other classes. Now I can say that who is good and who need more help and what kind of help etc. I’ve also notices that one of my students might have dyslexia because he has so many problems on reading and writing.. Anyway there’s still one big class that I have, that I don’t know very well. Their English skills are not good and there are about 25 students so getting to know everyone has been really hard. So I think that I still need to become better on seeing persons as an individuals instead of a group when they’re in a big group!

– To work with people who have totally different culture than I have. I think that kids all over the world are somehow really same. For example (almost) all the kids love games. I don’t think that there is so big different to work with Balinese children than Finnish children. Of course there is language – we don’t understand so well each other and their religion is having a really big role in their lives; they go often to ceremonies and love it. For me it’s quite strange because I’m not so religious but of course I respect their choices about that and somehow I think that it’s so cool that they have this common thing that connects all of them.


Beach in Canggu

– To report about the lessons. Every day after the lesson we need to write in a diary that what we’ve been. Because I have three classes I also have three diaries to write to. I have really learnt that I need to write the diaries really soon because otherwise I won’t remember what we’ve done with my students.

– To counsel kids in different ages. My youngest students are 8 years old and oldest are 15 years old. I can use almost the same materials for learning but for example all the games need to be different for 8 years old and 15 years old that they are motivated.


Sunset in Tanah Lot temple

– To think after the lessons that what would I do otherwise. Because I’m working with kids, I can really see that what they like and what they don’t like. Actually this is very good because then I know that what works with them and what doesn’t and I can change my teaching methods.

– I would like to learn to make people to adhere in the group. In our school, kids just come and go. You’ll never know how many students you are going to have on next day. Of course here they have also another school that they go and sometimes they have exams that they need to read for and very often they also go to ceremonies. But still!!!


Beach in Canggu.

– If I could decide what do bring here to Finland, it would definitely be sincerity and happiness of all the people. Even though they are disadvantaged, they are still always so happy and it’s amazing to see. They really take care of their families and their community. We really need this in Finland to make it better.


So what is this VP Bali?


I wanted to tell little bit about the organisation that we are teaching in.

VP Bali = Volunteer programs Bali is an international volunteer organisation that provides free English classes for underprivileged children in Bali.
In the organisation there are four different programs; In the Valley, Village, Special needs and the one we’re in that is program Ubud.

In the program Ubud there are two local schools with around 500 children attending to the classes everyday. All of the children first attend their regular Indonesian classes between 7.30-12.30 and after that come to the English classes at Vp Bali in the afternoon. That is why I really appreciate the kids for coming to classes still in the afternoon even though they must be tired after already studied in their normal classes. That also tells a lot about their motivation to learn English, which then also motivate us to teach them the best we can.

In every school program is using the EAL curriculum that have different topics that we need to teach to the students. The teaching methods are pretty informal and we can think of different subjects and teaching methods by ourselves as long they aren’t too hard for them. Usually all of the volunteers are teaching very basic English f.ex words, time, names, depending of the level that the students have in different classes. As long as we remember to keep it creative and fun it is usually enough.

Usually volunteers always teach in pairs but during our stay here there haven’t been enough teachers so we have taught alone. I’d believe that it is much more easier to teach with someone especially if the class is very big but on the other hand I don’t think I would have learned that much about this experience if I wouldn’t have been alone.

Me and Essi with two other teachers and some kids :)

Me and Essi with two other teachers and some kids 🙂

I really think that this organisation is doing a great influence of these children’s lives and I’m very glad to have had this kind of an opportunity to be part of this.

Here is the website so you can check about more details:

So happy.

Because we are living in the same homestay than all the other volunteers, we’ve got loads of new friends. Almost every week there’s a new volunteer(s) coming and at the same time also someone is leaving. Some volunteers are here only for two or three weeks (I think that it’s way too short time to be in the program. For me it took about three weeks just to get used to teaching) and some of them are longer, as us. Somehow I think that it’s good that there are every week new volunteers coming here but at the same time I’m very sad that we have had to say so many goodbyes for so many amazing people. People come here from all over the world (not any Finnish people has been here as a volunteer when we’ve been) which I think is really good but it also makes the reunion harder!! We have already planned a little bit about a trip for next summer to middle-Europa to meet our friends there!

Because everyone stays in the same place, we also do much things together. Especially on weekends. While we have been here, we’ve spent two (???!! really… Not sure 😀 maybe three??) weekends here in Ubud. All the other weekends we have gone to somewhere else. Last weekend we went on to Kuta on Friday because it was one of our friends last night here. Then on Saturday we went to Seminyak and on Sunday we went to Uluwatu. I really fell in love with Uluwatu and I can’t wait to get back there!!!! One weekend we went to Canggu that is on the coast too. We don’t have a beach here in Ubud because this is inland so I think that all our weekend trips are goes places where is a beach.. 😀 It’s good that we have an opportunity to travel on weekends so we can see more places here.

I think that when I compare my English now and when I came here, there is a really big change. First I was quite scared to speak english here 😀 But now it’s more than fine. I just needed to get used to it. I’ve been here in Asia almost three months so it would be weird if nothing has happened to my English skills 😀 Of course there still comes moments when I don’t know the word or I don’t understand what someone says but you can always ask. The problems that I still nowadays have with English are with the accents! Sometimes people have so strong accents that I really need to concentrate myself on listening to them, hahah. Especially people who come from Australia and London.

Anyway, I’ve been so, so breathtakingly happy here. I’m so happy that we decided to come just here.