Dear Bali, Thank You!

Olivia bali thank you
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Olivia shares some of the biggest lessons she learned while studying abroad in Bali, Indonesia in her latest blog post. Read more.

Just a year ago I was giving the opportunity to finish my last six credits Studying Abroad in Bali, Indonesia. My experience after a month in Bali was a well-rounded journey. During this journey I learned new things about myself : I learned to look at a culture without exorcising it, I adapted new ways to handle certain situation, and lastly I was able to inspire others and connect with children who are less fortunate. Being in Bali for a month, I learned that I can cope with more than I expected. The first thing was deciding on what food I would eat while I was in Bali. My first two weeks were very different, however, by taking chances I tried out seven restaurants to know which one was suitable for my taste buds. Another thing I learned about myself is that I’m able to do anything I put my mind to.

Arriving to Bali, I was determined and ready to learn about different cultures and the process of healing in Bali. The first two weeks of class I didn’t understand the readings assigned. However, I pushed myself to reread them until I understood. During most of our excursions we were introduced to the Balinese culture.  This culture is different from what I know coming from a western country. An example of their culture is the process of offerings in how offering are put out every day to thank the gods. This was very different from what I’m used to and being here for a month I was able to grasp the true meaning behind the offerings. I also started to observe the people close to my hotel and this justified how offerings played a huge role in thanking the gods. This helped the Balinese get through their everyday life. Looking into this culture I was able to relate because I myself used prayer to get through my everyday life. Finally I learned that I am very open minded when it comes to learning about a new culture. I love the fact that kids are taught not to beg for things at such a young age and they are taught if they do not have something maybe it is not meant for them. I plan to teach my kids the same ritual because I feel this helps life become so much easier. And if they want something they have to work hard for it, it is not just given to you. Hard work pays off.

One lesson that I enjoyed learning about is when we touched upon a Shapiro article about the Balinese using forgetfulness to cope with certain emotions such as grief, anger, and jealously. After reading the Shapiro article I decided to focus my survey question on the topic of using forgetfulness to cope with emotions.  After conducting my interviews I was able to compare different areas in Bali and see how things such as religion play a role in how a community functions. Learning about how Balinese people use forgetfulness in their everyday lives helped me to apply it in my life. Recently my iPad was stolen and I felt it would be so much harder to wake up the next day without thinking about it. However, I prayed to be able to forget about the iPad. The next two mornings I was able to wake up without letting this situation get the best of me.

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