the job, the experience: a personal update

I’ve been working in Bali for a couple of months now.  Work takes up about 80% of my time.  I am fortunate enough to have an intense learning opportunity like this.  To be pushed to my maximum on a weekly basis.  To spend days surrounded by the best coworkers on the planet.  To work alongside the most diligent and dedicated staff.  To be challenged and motivated and tested.

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Impact analysis training at the factory // Dewi, Nyoman and Suci

Before arriving, I expected to spend about half of my time in the south, Sanur, surrounded by tourists, expats and all the material trappings of a tropical city.  Sipping coconuts on the beach.  Eating smoothie bowls and Mexican food.

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Post-gym Indulgent breakfast while in Sanur // Warung Santai

The reality is a bit different, but in a magical way.  I spend nearly all my time at the eco-lodge in the village of Desa Ban near the East Bali Cashews factory.  I have the occasional day off to relax in the south. To stand beneath waterfalls and say prayers of gratitude.  To feed my soul with friendship.  To put goodness back into my body.  It’s hard and beautiful and I am learning SO much.  I am grateful for the challenge.

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Work trip to Les Waterfall

My main contribution to the company is facilitating visits to our eco-lodge that just opened.  We’ve hosted a few groups, with more bookings coming up in the next months.  While my supervisor/co-worker Nyoman does 99% of the hard work, I am responsible for catering to the guests and their needs.  Coordinating menus, purchasing, activities etc.  I would never be able to do it without the help of AMAZING humans that are so much more capable than I.

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Planting Cashew trees with guests // PC: SlamJam Productions

When I’m back in the city I’m usually jamming in coordination, marketing, social media, newsletters, emails etc.  I sit at a desk and dream of the eco-lodge and the night sky and the sunrises and the smell of a bonfire on my skin.

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Trying my hand at night photography // East Bali Immersion

I’m constantly processing my emotions, reflecting, breathing and trying.  

I’ve had to re-frame this experience as an experience.  As stories to collect and tell in the future.  As pictures to flip through that bring me back to the beauty I’ve seen and touched and felt.  As gratitude for the job.  For the pain.  For the people that pick me back up again and again.

I am nothing if not for the people that put up with me.  That laugh at my ability to cry 10 times everyday.  That tell me to stop whining and do something about my insecurities.  That encourage me to laugh and dance until 3 am with my arms thrown into the sky.  That distract me with stories.  That know that vegetables and silly videos and cheese make me smile.  Thank you xx

The rest of my time here will undoubtedly be challenging.  It might hurt but it will definitely be beautiful.  It will be the gold of dawn, the silence of a full night sky, sweaty sunburned scooter rides, salt water in my eyes.  I embrace it.

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Weekend off with friends // Tegenungan Waterfall
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