By EBPP Education & Art Teams, and Australian English Teacher Trainer Volunteer, James Anthony
The East Bali Poverty Project (EBPP) had the pleasure of welcoming students, staff and parents from the Mount Barker Community College, Western Australia on their 4th annual visit to EBPP last week. Each year Callum Gribble, a Geography teacher at the school, organises a group of students to visit EBPP to share cultures, learn about the contrasting geography of Bali Island and run workshops with the students in six very isolated schools located on the slopes of Mount Agung in East Bali. This year’s group comprised eleven students and several teachers and parents.
On Thursday 25th September, Mt Barker students conducted classroom activities for EBPP students which this year focused on science, english language, art, sport & health and maths.
EBPP students love to have fun when learning, and there were laughs in abundance during the visit to Cegi School. The Sport & Health sessions included a friendly game of volleyball followed by sack races where there were many tumbles in the dirt causing howls of laughter. Even boomerang throwing got enthusiastic participation and many laughs as they landed on village roofs.
Who would have thought maths and science would invoke such fun. The activities introduced by the Australian students got the EBPP students so excited that it was difficult to get them to stop. The modified “Jenga wooden block tower game” was a great hit in the maths class and making music with bottles and water in science was also well received.
In the art class, students exchanged ideas on their local art styles, environment and culture, producing some interesting cross cultural pieces. The Australian students learned about life living on the mountains while the local students learned about the vast array of wild life in Australia.
In the english language class EBPP students were encouraged to compete in grammar activities related to Australia. They were asked to create words and sentences on the board using the materials brought from Australia. As usual there was lots of running around and intense discussion between the groups. It was funny to see how they took it so seriously, while laughing all the time.
The next day the Mount Barker contingent went to visit the Bamboo Centre and Field School for Environmental and Social Sustainability. This Field School in Daya Hamlet is where training takes place for local staff on how to plant, grow and harvest various types of Bamboo, with the view to creating an industry in Bamboo products. Here visitors were given a presentation from EBPP’s Bamboo and Organic Farming Team Leader, Ketut Suastika, on how important their work is for the sustainability of the region. They then went to Pengalusan School where EBPP Elementary school students taught them how to weave baskets and rice steamers. It amazed the visitors to see these young students work with very sharp knives and hand scythes to prepare the bamboo for making the craft. The young students had a good laugh at the speed and attempts of the Mount Barker students in producing the handicrafts.
The success of these visits is an indication of the keen interest and enthusiasm of the students, staff, college community and the Mount Barker community in EBPP’s sustainable, social and environmental development. The students had been preparing for their trip for some time, raising funds in their community so that they could purchase the materials for use in their classroom activities. It should be noted that the Bendigo Bank and several other businesses contributed to the much needed funds and equally as appreciated equipment brought over by the students. The equipment and materials will be of great help to the teachers and students of EBPP.
Callum and his colleagues at Mt Barker Community College must be commended for their efforts put into this visit, and a big thank you must go to the Mt Barker students who conducted the classes. Their attitude and understanding of their role was most impressive. They conducted themselves with maturity well beyond their years. For the Mt Barker students (and adults) it was a great day and a terrific experience for our students too.