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Volunteering For FNPF Nusa Penida, Indonesia

Nusa Penida, Indonesia

“If you wanna make the world a better place

Take a look at yourself, and then make a change

. . . I’m starting with the man in the mirror”

We took those words seriously and decided that next family holiday will be the one to ” give back” a bit of what we have and make a difference.

This year vacation was not only fun but a bit of “work” as well. Thanks to FNPF (Friends Of The National Parks Foundation) this experience was amazing and unforgettable. Friends of the National Park Foundation (FNPF) is an Indonesian conservation not-profit organization working to protect wildlife and its habitat, at supporting local communities.

FNPF’s primary wildlife focus on Nusa Penida is protection and rebuilding wild populations of endangered Indonesian birds such as Bali Starling (Bali’s emblem bird),Java Sparrow and Cockatoo. Bali Starling is (or maybe was) listed on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. It is one of the rarest living bird’s in the world !

When we arrived to FNPF location in the middle of nowhere I was a bit worried. When I saw our accommodation even more worried. The simple houses ( with the view over the jungle) made of bamboo with holes in the walls and shared toilets/showers outside of our room.

I panicked-how are we going to survive here – no shops ( to buy food, water ) mosquitos could come easily to our room and transmit malaria for sure (thanks to internet malaria was my nightmare for couple of last nights).

Soon my worries disappear..

Before going to bed on the fist night I found out that we have a roommate ” hungry bodygard”- who loves mosquitos and other insects.

The Gecko become my best friend:) and mosquitos were not a problem at all.

The first morning was one of the most beautiful mornings in my life… the music from jungle was so amazing (!!!) I was speechless.

My worries about food also disappear after the first meal at FNPF canteen. The food was tasty, healthy, simple and cheap. Staying in FNPF for a week was great, lovely people, relaxing environment, simple life. We supported FNPF in volunteer work: disforesting trees, cleaning up beaches and teaching local kids English which was the most rewarding task.

Despite language barriers local people were extremely friendly, open, cheerful and happy to meet you and to know you.

Looking from the perspective of the parent I believe this is the best way of traveling with kids!

Maybe conditions of your accommodation are far from the one in the chain hotels but staying with locals gives you unique opportunity to see/ test/ meet local life aith all its aspects. For kids it is an amazing lesson of tolerance, friendship and brings more to their lives than you can imagine. As a family you spend so much time together – quality time-and you grow stronger!!

Author: Iwona

LINKS – Friends Of The National Parks Foundation (FNPF) website – General information about volunteering for FNPF on Nusa Penida – Infos about Nusa Penida Island – Blog Post about volunteering for FNPF

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