REPORTS FROM THE FIELD: 4th Annual Visit from Mount Barker Students, Staff and Parents September 25-26, 2014

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.

CAPTION: Mt Barker Community College students, parents and teachers with EBPP Founder & CEO David Booth on their 4th Annual visit to EBPP.

Mt Barker Community College students, parents and teachers with EBPP Founder & CEO David Booth on their 4th Annual visit to EBPP.

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.

Jumping sack races full of laughs and a few tumbles.

Jumping sack races full of laughs and a few tumbles.

EBPP and Mt Barker students playing a friendly game of volleyball on the dirt “court”

EBPP and Mt Barker students playing a friendly game of volleyball on the dirt court.

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.

(Left to Right) Mt Barker students lead a science class; and run a fun maths activity using Jenga blocks

(Left to Right) Mt Barker students lead a science class; and run a fun maths activity using Jenga blocks.

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.

Mt Barker students take the lead in running classroom activities.

Mt Barker students take the lead in running classroom activities.

wildlife

EBPP Junior high school students learning about 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.

In the English language class, students created words and sentences using letter cut outs.

In the English language class, students created words and sentences using letter cut outs.

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.

(Left to Right) EBPP’s Bamboo and Organic Farming Team Leader, Ketut Suastika speaks with the Mt Barker students about EBPP’s Bamboo programmes since 2006 and the key benefits for environmental rehabilitation through bamboo reforestation; Mt Barker students with David Booth and EBPP Chairman, Komang Kurniawan.

(Left to Right) EBPP’s Bamboo and Organic Farming Team Leader, Ketut Suastika speaks with the Mt Barker students about EBPP’s Bamboo programmes since 2006 and the key benefits for environmental rehabilitation through bamboo reforestation; Mt Barker students with David Booth and EBPP Chairman, Komang Kurniawan.

Mt Barker students learn about the process of making bamboo handicrafts with EBPP’s Pengalusan School children.

Mt Barker students learn about the process of making bamboo handicrafts with EBPP’s Pengalusan School children.

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.

Mt Barker students visit EBPP to participate in a cultural exchange and to learn about sustainable social and environmental programmes.

Mt Barker students visit EBPP to participate in a cultural exchange and to learn about sustainable social and environmental programmes.

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.

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