Bali Exchange 2022

The second exchange between Brunsbüttel and Bali could finally be carried out in 2022 with some delay due to the corona pandemic. In August the German group traveled to Bali, the visit of the Indonesian guests took place in September.

During the time we spent together with our Balinese exchange group both in Bali and in Germany, we were able to gain many cultural experiences and impressions of the life of the Indonesian inhabitants in Bali through the close contact.

For example, we German students in Bali dealt a lot with the problems that Indonesia is struggling with. Among other things, the extinction of coral reefs on the coasts and the endangerment of turtles. In Pemuteran, Chris Brown, among others, explained to us that due to the increasing temperatures, more female turtles hatch and there are too few male turtles to ensure the turtles' survival in the long term. I was particularly impressed by the traditional dances that we saw and even tried out ourselves. In addition, we were privileged to have the opportunity to make international friends. Because we didn't only learn a lot about Bali from impressive personalities like Chris Brown, but primarily from our Balinese exchange partners and their families, who welcomed us warmly from day one and us - which impressed me personally very much – viewed directly as a member of the family.

Whenever we had questions, there was always someone who knew their stuff and was happy to provide us with answers. We were a colorful mix of diverse personalities with different life experiences and were able to learn a lot about other religious communities, for example, since not everyone in our group belonged to the same faith, and learned a few things about everyday life of the Balinese. The interest in things that we didn't know much about before was of course huge and we also had great pleasure in bringing our culture closer to the Balinese people in Germany. One of my personal highlights was the guided tour through the Wadden Sea, which was certainly a very exciting part of our program for the Balinese. The same goes for the visit to the waste management company in Dithmarschen. Since garbage, especially plastic, is a very big problem in Bali, many of our exchange partners were very enthusiastic about how we separate garbage. More importantly, everyone had taken care of everyone. If someone needed help, everyone was immediately willing to help and nobody was left in the lurch. We developed a strong bond during the exchange that we are still in contact today, sending each other small packages to make each other happy and in between chatting about all sorts of topics that we are dealing with at the moment.

Being part of this international friendship was an enrichment for all of us. Both for us students from Germany and Bali, as well as for the teachers.

Nicole Babinsky