From volunteers’ diary
A weekend trip to Tebatutu Waterfalls
27th October 2019
Nothing better than exploring all the hidden places Lombok has to offer.
This weekend our volunteers went to see Tebatutu Waterfalls. Stunning, don’t you think!?
From volunteers’ diary
Exploring Gili Islands and sucking in local atmosphere
16th October 2019
Few weeks have flown by and so has loads of new experiences. We were lucky to experience traditional Lombok wedding, went on a crazy journey to see waterfalls, we did snorkelling and spend the night under the stars at Gilli Bembe.
What is still the biggest experience is teaching local children. We are the leading teachers at three individual groups. We try to come up with various activities where the children will not only enjoy themselves but they will also engage all their senses. The kids seem to love all that and us as well, they are constantly smiling, laughing they are unbelievably kind and humble. It may be due to the fact that they are just not used to going to school regularly, learning English and seeing foreign faces.
Every day here we wake up to the sounds of rooster crowing and to singing prayers from mosques. We are sucking in the local philosophy literally like sponges. With most locals we can chat about lives. Local motto “take it easy” seems to be mentioned daily to the point where we are thinking of tattooing it on our foreheads. To sum up our Lombok description, nobody worries about anything, definitely not the past nor the future because “Today is today, tomorrow is tomorrow” (motto n.2) – everyone is present in the moment. We still have a lot to learn from locals, us Europeans.
We will be leaving in one hour to teach our class. We are tired as hell from the heat and all. We are just laying on the terrace of our tiny house, listening to Bob Marley and can’t picture ever leaving this place and going home.
On the final note: Bara has managed to fall from her scooter and got a nice big bulge on her forehead. Everything is now healing all fine but it is juts a reminder and a recommendation for future volunteers – never, ever ride a scooter without a helmet!
Bára, Tereza a Anežka
From volunteers’ diary
Long journey and first impressions of the island
27th September 2019
A new group of girls have just arrived to Lombok and this is what they had to say about their first few days at the island:
“We would have never thought that the 3 of us will together sit on the plane heading to Indonesia. After never ending 17 hr flight with more than 10 hr overlay in Bali we have finally reached Lombok!
Unsure of our surroundings, tired and grumpy we got rescues by the company’s coordinator Mr Put, who hasn’t left our side ever since. Right that first night we have sealed our friendship with a shot of rum which we managed to bring in with us.
Due to the time difference we got up instead of earl morning at 3 in the afternoon after which Put took us to a short trek up the hill from which we had a view of the entire Kuta. We have also practised riding a scooter for the first time which ended up in a small collision followed by falling in a nearby ditch.
The next couple days we have spent at a local beach called Selong Belanak. It is a fantastic place with a great atmosphere, surf schools and white sand. The waves here are on the large side where one took away my new sunglasses. Here we have also met Put friends who were teaching us surfing. So far we are just enjoying the island, the chill mood around us and all the yummy foods at Harry’s Bar 🙂
The actual teaching will start shortly so let’s see how that goes.”
From volunteers’ diary
Making progress with students & climbing up Mt Rinjani
23rd July 2019
Our stay is coming to an end with only one week left in Lombok. The past two months have literally flown by with all the new experiences, busy teaching schedule and loads of fun trips around the island.
As for teaching goes, with the older students we have been practicing various possible situations which may occur once they start jobs in the tourism industry. With the younger children we have been mainly playing and practising basic english while doing crafts and fun games 🙂
Over the weekend we decided to climb Mt Rinjani. Even though we could not have gone all the way to the top due to tourist restrictions, the view from the volcanic lake was breathtaking.
Dominika and Sebastian
From volunteers’ diary
Discovering what Lombok has to offer
26th June 2019
The time is flying by faster and faster so we are trying to enjoy ourselves here as much as possible. We have just visited a local sarong factory and learnt about how much work it takes to make one piece of clothing like this. We have also started to make one of our own and can’t wait to finish it hopefully soon 🙂
Teaching is also going really well and we are enjoying it more and more, especially once we start noticing the improvements in the students.
In the free afternoons we like to discover all the beaches around. Currently we are at Gili Trawangan where we are learning how to dive for the first time in our lives. Seeing local sea turtles have been so far one of the best moments!
Dominika and Sebastian
From volunteers’ diary
10th June 2019
“Time seems to be flying by and our first week here in Lombok is coming to an end.
On Thursday we have finally managed to test the waters here in Lombok. Due to local holidays the beaches were packed with locals who are still not used to many foreigners so we ended up being asked for several selfies with them 🙂
Mr Jumirim has been a great host taking us to all sorts of places, including a view point above the village on a rather steep hill. The views were fantastic so it was all worth the effort of getting up there. Later on our host also took us to visit some of his friends who were very friendly and welcoming.
Over the weekend we also got to visit the capital city of the island, Mataram. We some some hindu temples and drove through Monkey forest which surely lives up to its name.”
Dominika and Sebastian
From volunteers’ diary
6th June 2019
“We arrived to the village of Pandan Indah on Sunday in the afternoon hours after one night spent on the plane and another night spent at the Singapore airport. Everyone made us feel very welcome and with smile on their faces they showed us where we will be living. The first two days we spent in the village in order to get to to know better Jumirim’s family and our surroundings. Everyone around is very welcoming and friendly.
On Monday we had our own teaching classes, which was more of an introduction session as there are currently holidays. Our proper teaching classes will commence next week. On Tuesday evening we got brave enough to hop on a scooter and headed out to a town called Paya to see local celebrations of Ramadan.
We are still getting used to our new home, the hot weather and finding our way around but we are both already excited to see what the next days will bring!”
Dominika a Sebastian
Work update in Tolot-Tolot
7th April, 2019
The works on the new classroom keep progressing in the village of Tolot-Tolot. The building will be soon having window, door and roof frames in place. Not long till the new classroom will be ready for all the kids and our volunteers 🙂
The works have started!
25th March, 2019
No resting in Tolot-Tolot! Only after a few weeks the foundations of the new, extended school building are taking shape.
It is still a long way to go, but the process of construction has started which is a small victory in its own right.
The plan is to finish the building works in a few months so Mrs Intan can start teaching again at her course this coming July.
Please contact us for all volunteer requirements and placement availability.
The school is growing!
13th March, 2019
Another new building will be added to improve the learning conditions at the village of Tolot-Tolot where we have an English course running under the supervision of Mrs. Intan.
The previous teaching and learning conditions where not sufficient due to the growth of the course. In the past there was not enough space for all the students to join the classes and teachers including our volunteers and Mrs. Intan herself had a hard job of running a class in such crammed conditions.
Therefore an agreement to build a new courses premises has been signed between the village council, our organisation School in Paradise (who will be funding the project as well as the construction) and the school leader Mrs. Intan.
The building will be used not only for teaching at the English course, but also for other various public activities such as workshops, medical centre, library etc.
Will will be documenting the progress of the construction so keep an eye on here to see how it is all going.
The arrival of Czech delegation
28th February 2019
A big event took place yesterday at the English Rinjani Institute in Pandan Indah.
There was a large group of nearly 20 people all from the Czech republic led by one of our past volunteers Natalie. The group handed over a financial gift collected by parents and children from one of our befriended elementary school in Czech.
The sum of $500 USD will be used to finish off the construction of the building roof. The new building will be used as a new classroom and have the additional part of practise kitchen.
The group has also brought some small gifts, toys and various drawings for the children and students in the course.
The whole day was enjoyed by everyone, especially the opulent dinner spread cooked and served in the traditional sasak style.
The school is growing
14th February 2019
After long months of planning the project of a constructing a new school building for IEC is finally taking shape!
Happy New Year!
1st January 2019
Everyone from School in Paradise as well as all our students would like to wish everyone a happy new year 🙂
A new volunteer has arrived!
19th November 2018
We would like to welcome Filip – an additional help to our teach who has been already working with School in Paradise for some time but finally managed to get his schedule arranged so he could jump on the plane and experience what it is like here in Lombok first hand.
Unfortunately he won’t be able to stay too long due to work commitments back at home. So if you would like to follow in his footsteps and continue teaching here in Lombok then we have a space available for you!
31st October 2018
If you are still contemplating whether to come to Lombok or not then you must watch this video!
It has been done by our two past volunteers Katka & Daniela who left few months ago. If after watching it it doesn’t want to make you pack your bags and come here then not sure what else will.
Thanks a lot to the girls for letting us share it with you all. We hope you enjoy watching it as much as we have.
From volunteers’ diary
Construction of a new building addition to the school in ERC Rinjani Course
9th October 2018
Mr Jumirim, the headteacher at ERC course has decided to built a further part of the school which main section is going to be a kitchen. This has been his big dream and we are convinced he is making his dream come true here. All his students will be able to learn how to make various local dishes here. This way he further deepen the preparation of students for their future jobs as most of his graduates will find themselves working in restaurants or hotels.
We have started building the school foundations with our older students. The entire area of an previous farm land has been inclosed with a string and bamboo fence. All around there were goose running, chickens, goats and the land surface was far from flat. Interestingly, nobody cared about this fact and all the students started working right away. With our first effort of digging we realised that the old shovel is reminding a piece of paper which just only added to our admiration towards all their work. Yes, local equipment is fairly often dated, or they don’t have any. Building foundations are being done by hand and for picking of pit they fairly often use little bucket or even a coconut shell.
Overall, all the preparations for construction are coming along super slowly. It is a tough job sometimes totally beyond comprehension considering the heat here. Which is also why on many days people are working at nights.
Currently Mr Jumirim with his family are welding iron structures. We are also amazed by their preparations. Large wires are being bent into squares by hand using only wooden beam with nails. In the end all these wires make one big structure which will be fitted into the pic and covered with stones and concrete.
Once all this is done the actual building of the school can start.
Káťa a Lůca
From volunteers’ diary
First Lombok impressions from our two new volunteers, Katka & Lucka
4th October 2018
After a week of exploring the busy but yet wonderful Kuta we are moving into a quieter little village situated in the middle of rice fields in Pandan Indah, where Mr. Jumirim who is the school headteacher, is taking us in and looking after us like as if we were his family. This way get the chance to see everything up close and learn about their culture first hand. We are thrown into their world of local weddings and traditions. We are learning how to make local dishes. We are also spending a lot of time with Mr.Jumirim’s 2yo son Dapa.
In our free time we are discovering new places of this beautiful island and we are also giving surfing a go.
Right after our arrival Mr. Jumirim has proudly announces, that we will be able to take part in building additional part to the school. To get all the material such as bamboo sticks, stones and concrete Mr Jumirim has been saving for 7 years. We are so pleased that we can be involved in such project. Together with our students from the English course we are currently building the foundations. We are also observing the local way of constructing, which is large different to what we are used to.
The whole of Lombok and all our students are quickly getting into our hearts.
Kaťa a Lůca
Mentioning of School in Paradise and our volunteers in the news
24th September 2018
A news article has been published in the Czech Agricultural University journal about our organisation and our volunteers. If you wish to read about their experience, what they have learnt and what has changed since their stay just click here (in Czech only).
An honoured Indonesian guest visits the Czech Republic
25th August 2018
After nearly a year of planning one of our partners, good friends and generally an incredibly inspiring lady, Aisyah Odist, has finally arrived to the Czech Republic.
Indonesian born, Aisyah is a part of School in Paradise family, but mainly she is keen eco-warrior. She runs a school for disabled young women where she teaches them how to re-use old rubbish and turn it other things for daily use such as handbags, decoration, key rings, clothing etc. She runs various rubbish-clearing projects across the island and is well respected figure within the community. She is an absolute inspiration as she does all this voluntarily with no funding from the government.
Her trip to the Czech Republic is all planned around giving speeches and workshops on eco-education, she has already appeared on Czech national TV, she was given lectures in a summer camps for children and adults and there is still much more planned.
We are also excited that in the near future months we will introduce a new volunteer placement in Lombok where volunteers will be taking part in eco workshops and eduction at the island. For all those who might be interested in this form of Eco-volunteering then get in touch as the spaces will be limited.
From volunteers’ diary
Life at the island after the earthquake
18th August 2018
Life at the south of island is slowly getting back to normal. The first few days after the earthquake all the schools were closed and all the thoughts about teaching understandably went aside.
Roughly one week after the earthquake we got back into teaching. We tried to cheer up the children who were a bit down and shocked from what has happened, and started each lesson with some dancing and singing. We also fit in few english games into the classes. We have also arranged a field trip to local Sasak village called Sade for all the children, where we listened to local guide talking in English about the history and habbits of the village.
Nowadays we are focusing on practising English and slowly getting back to more intense teaching.
Daniela & Katka
Also at the school in Sayang Ibu, where we every year provide scholarships for few of our best students, is everything slowly getting back to normal.
From volunteers’ diary
Earthquake in Lombok
10th Ausgust 2018
People back at home just can’t imagine what it is like to experience an earthquake. We thought that plates on the table will tremble and that perhaps few pictures will fall down from the walls. However, when the earthquake comes the reality is completely different. Even though the earthquake we have experienced can’t be compared to the one in the north of the island, it was still not a pleasant experience. We have realised that that in a situation like this even a simple duvet, some tea or something to eat can make all the difference.
And that’s why we have decided to head in the streets to support a collection for local who suffered the most. Everyone who could helped, and not only with money, but also with a bit of rice or a piece of clothing. The generosity of locals was so touching. Everyone helped, even those own almost nothing, donated what they could.
Let’s hope people in Lombok have the hardest times behind them and there is much brighter future ahead.
How a turtle got saved
2nd August 2018
A few weeks ago we were made aware by some of our volunteers that a large turtle has been brought into their home and was being kept in a small little shelter.
For most westerners this would be totally unacceptable – seeing this endangered species suffering in a small tiny space with the view of a certain death. Obviously for us it was the same case, so we started investigating.
After speaking to Mr Jumirim who lives in the village, we have found out that the turtle got caught by a mistake by his brother-in-law who is a fisherman. Once they already had this turtle they decided they will keep it for laying eggs which have a huge value here in Indonesia.
Doing such thing is not only cruel for the turtle but it gives the wrong role model for all local children who might grow up and do the same.
We have explained to Mr Jumirim and his family the situation and that we could not support him with this process. They totally accepted assuring us this won’t happen again.
The next week they together with our volunteers went on a trip to the beach the turtle was caught and released it back to it’s natural environment.
From volunteers’ diary
Stories from Natalia and Lukas
30th July 2018
“We haven’t even noticed and another two weeks have gone by. Two weeks full of new memories and experiences. We took part in a traditional wedding at a nearby village where we accompanied the bride & groom in the traditional procession through the village. For this celebration our host and hostess dressed us up to make sure we look the part. It was an experience we will never forget!
Our students i ERC keep getting better and better. Just after two weeks of intense course there are noticeable improvements. We have even started giving them home works and various quizzes. We really enjoy working with these students. They are lovely, and full of positive energy! Our hard work was awarded during the weekend where few of our students took us to Sekotong beach. Here we even managed teach one of our students how to swim. We also caught a little boat and took a ride to one of the small Gili islands, where we all together done some snorkelling and discovered the beauty of life under the sea surface.
Since last week we have also been teaching in a state school close from our home here. Compared to western standards the school is missing loads of things, however the students’ enthusiasm to learn is incomparable. Overall, we are loving working with the kids here.
Our host, Mr Jumirim, is looking after us so well. AND he is a fantastic cook! All the local meals that we get served here are so tasty. His 3 year old son Dapa has also stopped being shy and we finally made friends 🙂 With smile on his face he shares with us his favourite biscuits and other yummy stuff. I think you can tell we are feeling here like at home.”
Meet Emily – our new volunteer from England
22nd July 2018
Emily has only just recently joined School in Paradise here in Lombok but she has already become our little teaching star among all the children.
She is spending half of her time teaching English at the Intensive English Course for young children and then she will be attending a different school in the island’s capital Mataram for another two weeks.
(Don’t forget to follow our Instagram page to see some more daily updates and what our volunteers get up to here in School in Paradise)
New school year is starting – and it is a special one for 3 of our top students!
16th July 2018
This year for the first time ever School in Paradise has managed to raise enough funds to support three of our students from poor families – a little girl called Lia & two lovely boys called Raja & Rizi to send them onto one of the best schools in Lombok called in Sayang Ibu. These children are extremely bright and talented and without our help they would never be able to get this sort of education.
All their teachers, families and all of us at School in Paradise are really proud of all three of these kids and can’t wait to see what the future holds for them. Good luck!
Meet Nedisa – one of our brightest students
14th July 2018
Nedisa is a student of Mrs Intan from the Intensive English course. This little girl genuinely loves English and is super eager to practise and speak whenever she comes across any volunteer or a tourist.
Here she has made a video with a lovely English girl while she was on a school trip in Kuta.
First impressions of Lombok from our new volunteers
10th July 2018
Lukas and Natalie have only just arrived recently but it seems that they are settling down here very well. Read here what have they got to say about their first impressions of their new surroundings and their new students
“It was fairly clear right from the first moments of arriving to Lombok airport that this place is a whole new different world compared to Bali. It’s not just that the majority of people follow different religion, it’s also a lot less touristy.
Right after arrival to our new home right at the school where we will be teaching, a dinner was served by our host family, which was so delicious, just like all other traditional food here.
The children that we teach here, the youngsters as well as the older kids, are all fantastic. They all seem to have a huge enthusiasm and passion for learning. The entire community is truly wonderful.
We have already managed to visit a home of a past student of ERC, where we were treated so kindly. We have also visited Selong Belanak beach which is super famous amongst the surfing community.
Next week there will be a wedding that we got invited to which we are really excited about. Overall the impressions are only just positives and we cant wait on what’s to come next.”
From Lombok wholeheartedly
Natalie & Lukas
A final farewell to our volunteers Stepanka & Marketa
8th July 2018
After nearly 2 months it’s time to say goodbye to these two lovely girls Marketa & Stepanka who came here as volunteers from the Czech Republic
And it wouldn’t be Lombok if the locals didn’t send them off in style. Not only they got loads of presents from their students & their families
But their entire class (we are talking nearly 20 students) came with them to the airport to say goodbye. Talking about sweet gestures.. And that’s exactly what you get here in Lombok – some of the most welcoming people you will ever get to meet.
Once again, from the team at School in Paradise and on behalf of all your students THANK YOU for coming girls!
(If you want to be up-to-date with news on what’s going on at School in Paradise & our volunteers don’t forget to follow our instagram)
From the volunteers’ diary
23rd June 2018
First of all, what is important is to distance yourself from what you know about weddings because here it is a whole different story.
If you get the chance to visit a traditional wedding here in Lombok then do definitely not hesitate.
The wife of Jumirim, whose job is the preparation of the brides, helped us to get dressed and to do our make-up. The point is to have your skin as light as possible – which in our case was no issue at all 🙂 Meanwhile we are trying to get tanned and stay on the sun as much as we can, local women avoid it like a plaque to stay as fair as they can.
In the morning, right before the preparations have started, we visited the bride’s house, where we got to try traditional dished made especially for this occasion. The afternoon ceremony comprises of a long walk from the the bride’s house from a nearby village all the way to the house where the newlyweds are going to stay once they are married. We got placed beside the bride right at the start of the procession which was fairly long. The entire village was marching behind us including drummers playing on traditional drums.
After the arrival of the bride into her new home followed traditional picture taking and welcome the bride into her new home.
What was interesting that the bride didn’t stay here at the house but went back to her parents’ home. Afterwards we also went back hime.
The disadvantage was, that everyone was taking photos of us, pushing us from place to place, stopping us all the times. Considering that most of the village has never seen a white person this was totally understandable, however at times we received more attention than the bride herself. However we were told that this is totally fine. Apparently the biggest honor for local people is when us foreigners vitas them at their home or at their wedding.
Unfortunately we didn’t get to join the celebrations the following day – the breakfast and therefore we didn’t get to see right the end. Also we are not entirely sure whose wedding we have visited, and unfortunately we are pretty sure we would not even recognise the bride without any make up should we meet her on the street.
A week in pictures
8th June 2018
Two lovely girls from the Czech Republic are currently here in Lombok volunteering at both of our English schools.
So far ever since they have come their diary has been pretty full from trying surfing for the first time, learning to cook Indonesian food, attending a wedding, take trips around the island and of course teaching English.. the list goes on. Sounds pretty fun right? 🙂
A baby has been born!
29th May 2018
Mrs Intan, who is in charge of running English course here in Lombok, has just had a baby boy! His full name is Meinka Ahlindra Faris S. but to make it easier everyone can call him Mike 🙂
Intan has founded the Intensive English Course in Tolot-Tolot several years ago. She has funded and supported the course by herself purely because of her good will. Now she has decided to take some time off and start her own family.
Luckily, the program didn’t have to stop as we have several volunteers coming to Tolot-Tolot on a regular basis so the children can continue with their studies and Intan can take care of her newborn.
From the entire team at School in Paradise we would like to wish her and to little Mike all the best and we are all excited to see her coming back soon.
New school books and teaching equipment bought for the Intensive English Course in Tolot-Tolot
14th April 2018
Loads of new exciting stuff has been bought for our Intensive English Course which we support. We bought books for teachers as well as students, new bags, pencils, exercise books… the list goes on. Having all these news should make life easier for both children as well as our volunteers who now have plenty of things to work with and make teaching lessons more fun for everyone. All the kids seem really excited as well which is the main thing.
A room for our volunteers at Rinjani English Course is getting a face lift
10th April 2018
Accommodation for our volunteers in Pandan Indah has been in the process of getting 2 brand new beds, a table, a chairs and other little things to make the stay of our volunteers as comfortable as possible.
Volunteers usually stay here 3-4 days a week during their placement so making sure they feel like at home has been our priority. Mr Jumirim who runs the course along with our coordinator Mr Put have spent several days working hard painting and moving things around in order to get things ready in time as we have two girls coming from the Czech Republic very soon. Fingers crossed they like it!