REPORTS FROM THE FIELD: 3rd Annual Visit from Mount Barker School (Western Australia) to EBPP Schools

By Ni Nengah Merdekawati, EBPP English Teacher. 26 September 2013  

Introduction

By David Booth MBE

For over 10 years, EBPP’s schools  have developed relationships with many Indonesian and foreign schools. Apart from schools in Holland, Malaysia, and Slovenia, many Australian schools have developed long standing relationships, some through pen pal programmes and others through annual learning and sharing visits. Mount Barker High School, led by Geography teacher Callum Gribble, brings different student groups every year to broaden their geography knowledge and share western skills and techniques with EBPP children, forming lasting bonds and unforgettable memories.

At 8am, we welcomed Callum’s group at our Sustainable Bamboo Development Centre in Daya hamlet and immediately got down to presentations. After my overview of the history from 1998 to developments through to 2013, Ketut Suastika gave a comprehensive Powerpoint presentation on EBPP bamboo afforestation programmes, including maintenance, fertilising, treatment and – most important – sustainable community economic development.

Fun Day Activities: EBPP & Mt Barker School

On Thursday, 26 September 2013 all EBPP high school children gathered together at Pengalusan school , the most suitable location for the day’s activities. The Mount  Barker School group comprised nine year 11 students and 2 teachers, Callum and Jenifer. EBPP junior & senior high school students were divided into 3 groups which will in turn perform various kinds of fun activities.

1. Mural painting on the front wall of Pengalusan School: Prior to their visit, Callum Gribble contacted David Booth, suggesting that his students would like to leave a permanent memory with EBPP by joining with EBPP students to paint a mural. Guided by Wayan Merta, EBPP senior art teacher, and Wayan Lias, EBPP Cegi School graduate now in his 3rd year of a Fine Arts degree at Ganesha University in Singaraja (sponsored by Bali Dynasty Resort), EBPP high school students had already prepared outline pencil sketches on most of the wall panels. They designed a mural that tells the story before & after EBPP schools existed, until now until now, to illustrate how the Pengalusan community’s lives had improved, with education for  their children as the foundation. The mural was also to give the story about all EBPP programmes. All EBPP & Mount Barker students together painted the wall.

2. Counselling about health. Mr Callum explained how to maintain good health without regular exercise, because we are not always able to exercise the body. He described a simple and fun alternative without the need for expensive equipment, which is enough to use a balloon. So by blowing up balloons, we can train the lungs to be healthy and strong, only of course, by doing it the right way. In addition, we also played games. A game of dribbling a ping-pong ball by using air pressure blown through a straw. The students were very happy and enthusiastic. In the next session, the students were divided into groups of boys & girls.  The boys were taught how to juggle tennis balls, starting with 2 balls and progressing to 3 balls. The students were very enthusiastic and very quick learners. The girls were taught how to make up by Mount Barker students. They were taught how to plait their hair and wear make up.

3. Fun music class: Two of the Mt Barker boys are musicians at home in Australia and they wanted to share their skill with EBPP music teachers and students. They started by donating 15 Ukulele from funds all of their students had raised before coming to Bali. After playing various sample tunes/songs, EBPP students were taught simple techniques of how to play the ukulele. They learnt the chords of a song until they could and finally play it, accompanied by EBPP students on the Djembe drum and Boom Box. They did indeed produce very fantastic tunes.

Apart from the fun of juggling tennis balls, our students were taught the fun of throwing frisbees, another great fun-filled exercise activity that involves many people – and keeps you guessing when the frisbee will be thrown your way!

At the end of this fun-filled half day, Mr. Callum, representing Mt. Barker School teachers, donated some writing supplies, English books, penpal letters from younger Mt Barker students that will be replied to by EBPP students, a Mt Barker School visit polo shirt to David Booth & Komang Kurniawan and a photo shoot together.

Finally the activities of school visits Mt. Barker has come to an end, all the students are very excited and hope next year they will visit again, as in previous years. Thank you very much for your dedication and support to us, We will never forget.

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