Volunteers who choose to teach among the mountain communities have the option of staying at Sanda, the BCP house near the village of Munduk. The accommodation is simple – but the setting sublime.
Although rural, Sanda is not isolated, and our Volunteer Coordinator, Iluh, lives nearby and is always available by phone. Sanda can be reached on foot along forest trails in 30 minutes, but much more quickly by car or motorcycle along the road.
It is possible to rent motorbikes cheaply in Munduk, though many people prefer to negotiate a ride when needed. Walk the short distance to the ‘main’ road and drivers will appear, offering rides. For longer journeys, like to Ubud, it is necessary to hire a car & driver. Whenever possible, we suggest making local transportation arrangements through BCP. Nyoman, our BCP yayasan director, has a new van and a reliable driver available. Volunteers receive a small discount. Through Iluh, you can arrange for her husband, Gede, to provide regular motorbike rides to local schools, stopping for breakfast along the way. Besides safety and reliability, using BCP drivers means you don’t have to haggle about price or risk being overcharged.
Sanda is rustic and surrounded by nature. This means the sound of roosters and running water, cows and crickets, distant motorbikes and the occasional voices of passing rice farmers. It also means ocassionally living with wildlife: birds, insects, and geckos. This is the tropics.
Although Komang, the wife of our caretaker Made, is an excellent cook and can provide you with regular meals at home, it is usually cheaper and easier to eat at roadside warungs in the nearby villages.
There is a laptop and modem at Sanda, but Internet access is intermittent at best. It is better to bring your own laptop and connect to the Internet either in Munduk at the BCP office (where a small fee is charged) or at the tiny internet café in nearby Kayu Putih.
There is no phone line at Sanda, so mobile phones are essential. When purchasing SIM cards make sure they include international service. There is an excellent phone store in Gobleg and we recommend it.
Your donation to BCP for living expenses at Sanda will cover your water, gas, electric, internet service (such as it is), and housekeeping and gardening costs. You will need to buy your own soaps and toilet paper and pay a small gratuity for having your laundry done if you don’t wish to wash it yourself.
There are no banks or ATMs in Munduk, so it is necessary to go down to Suririt, Lovina or Singaraja on the North Coast to get money.
In Bali, especially in the markets and local shops, there are no set prices, and one must be prepared to bargain or even haggle – this can be friendly, fun, and is expected. As a Westerner one will, and should, always pay more than a local, but not by much once you get a feel for the market rate.
Always remember that Bali runs on Jam Karet: “rubber time.”