A taste of Bali, Indonesia

A blog post from SOLES Ambassador and MA in Counseling with specialization in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Miguel Martinez:
The international requirement in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) program was one main contributing factor to my decision in attending USD SOLES. As I finish my first year in the CMHC program I think about the amazing opportunities this program has offered, and the privilege we’ve received as graduate students for studying abroad. I reflect back and I do not regret my decision for choosing USD and traveling across the world to Southeast Asia. I love exploring new places, and my interest in learning about new cultures and languages has taken me to countries in Europe, and now I can check off Southeast Asia from my bucket list.
Traveling and seeing new cultures for the first time is an indescribable feeling, and this feeling motivates me to pursue new adventures. In this academic year (2014-2015) we were given the option in the CMHC program to travel to Bali or Jamaica, and I selected Bali, Indonesia. Without hesitation I selected a country in Southeast Asia because I wanted to gain knowledge about their culture, spiritual beliefs, and their overall views of society.
During our Bali trip, we visited three different locations: Ubud, Amed, and Mengwi. In Ubud, we visited incredible places such as the royal palace, temples, rice fields, and we had a once in a lifetime opportunity to witness the cremation ceremony of a princess in Bali. As a cohort, we then traveled to the coastal strip of Bali and visited Amed. It was one of the most relaxing parts of the trip, and having class in an open area with a view of the Indian Ocean was breathtaking and surreal. During our stay in Amed, we also witnessed the beautiful sunrise over the Indian Ocean as we rode a sailboat into the sea. Before we departed Bali, we made a quick stop in Mengwi where we stayed in a community-based hotel called Puri Taman Sari own by Agung Prana, a founder of the Coral Restoration Project in Bali. In Mengwi we visited one of the prominent temples in Bali called Tanah Lot, which means Land in the Sea. This temple was located on a rock just offshore and it was a beautiful sightseen.
Immersing into the Balinese culture taught me a lot about myself, and showed me the potential I have to work with culturally diverse people as a future clinical mental health counselor. I met Balinese locals (youth and elder) and every interaction was a new learning experience. Here are a few snapshots of my trip in Bali. Enjoy!
UBUD
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The Balinese cuisine is made with a lot of spice
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Puri Agung Peliatan Royal Palace
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Balinese Royal Cremation ceremony: The body of the princess was placed at the top of the tower.
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Balinese architecture is very detailed and grandiose
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I met Gigi at the Elephant Safari Park!!
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Tirta Empul Temple
AMED
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The Indian Ocean was striking and beautiful
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Beautiful scenery during our boat ride in the India Ocean
MENGWI
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The Tanah Lot Temple (Land in the Sea in Balinese language)
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A beautiful commnity-based hotel called Puri Taman Sari

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