Three months ago we introduced the inspiring Indonesia team at the very start of their new guide school program. The 9 students chosen to become Indonesia’s Destination Ambassadors have now completed their theory training and will move on to three months of supervised touring. Marketing Manager Mike Ellis was lucky enough to meet the group on his recent trip to Bali.
I walked into the Guide School classroom on my first day in the Bali office and there sat 9 eager students with Bali History textbooks open on their desks. As we all made our introductions, you could tell how happy they were to be meeting more people from the large Buffalo Tours family. Then, when I told them that I used to be a tour guide, they couldn’t have been more excited. I walked in the room just to take a peek at what they were up to and ended up staying for a 20 minute chat about how great it is being a tour guide!
I then got a little insight into the guide school curriculum as they began some role plays. They made up an airport transfer scenario and the students showed us all they had learnt about making new guests feel welcome and giving them some background on the island. I was pretty impressed.
Yet, it did seem a little scripted (but this kind of role play is important to do alongside their conversational ESL lessons). It wasn’t until the Bali team surprised me with a trip out with the group for a Temple Blessing Tour that I really got to see them in action.
It was so amazing to do that specific tour with people for whom the ritual meant something. They were so excited to share with me the details of the prayers and customs and you could see their passion so clearly. The clients who eventually go out with these young guides are very lucky.
I could not think of a better experience to celebrate this time in their tour guide education. The Temple Blessing is a very mindful experience. You’re holding your hand to your face and closing your eyes, taking in the smells and sounds of this beautiful jungle temple, and you are reflecting and thinking hard about what is important to you. I’d really like to think that the thoughts and wishes of those students meant something that day. Everyone I’ve met who lives in Bali believes that there is something special going on here.
I feel very lucky to have had that experience with them and I know they felt the same. Buffalo Tours knew the power of the guide school Indonesia initiative from the beginning, which is why it won our RT award, and this trip made me realise that the students feel the same way. You can tell that they really do value the experience and are so grateful to the company for everything.
It’s a very special thing and I felt very proud to be working for Buffalo Tours after meeting them.