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Department ofAnthropology


Teaching in Bali

Julia Tawney, Anthropology and ESS double major

For seven weeks last summer, I worked at Narayan Seva Children’s Home in Bali, Indonesia, through SCU’s Global Fellows program. Narayan Seva was started by two sisters involved in the Ananda Marga organization in 2004. The home now provides education and housing for 85 children ages 3-21. The home is situated in the village of Kerobokan, near the city of Singaraja in northern Bali.

My main role at Narayan Seva was teaching math and English, taking youth on outings to local beaches and waterfalls, and assisting with developing the organization’s volunteer program. I also wrote field notes throughout the summer for my anthropology major internship. One of my favorite aspects to Narayan Seva was the emphasis on meditation and yoga. The children did meditation and yoga twice a day, and the older girls offered a donation-based yoga class to the community. 

Working with the children and living in the Kerobokan neighborhood allowed me to build community and immerse myself in Balinese culture. Given the high amount of tourism in Bali, I feel grateful to have gotten to experience a part of the island that not many tourists travel to. The international volunteer tourists and donors that visited the home during my time there brought to light my anthropological interests in “voluntourism” in children’s homes and the effects on the child’s sense of self and dignity. I miss the simplicity and peacefulness of the home, and hope to return someday in the future.