By Ni Nengah Merdekawati, Ni Kadek Suartini and James Anthony, Ban, 21 November 2014
On Wednesday 5th November 2014, The Mediterranean Ladies College (MLC) from Sydney, Australia, visited the East Bali Poverty Project (EBPP), for the second time with a different group of students as part of their cultural studies programme. This year, the group, comprising of fourteen 16-17 year old students and three staff, spent three days at some of the schools working with the EBPP students and learning about bamboo, the mountain environment and Balinese dance.
The activity on the first day was held in Cegi School, where the MLC students had prepared four kinds of activities in Science, Geography, English and Art. The EBPP high school students representing all 6 schools were divided into four groups, and they did a rotation for each activity every 45 minutes.
In the Science class, the EBPP students performed three kinds of different science experiments; they learnt how to mix the components to make fizzy sherbet and observed the chemical reactions in the Fizzy Sherbet Experiment, followed by “dissolving in their mouth!; in the 2nd, they observed the separation of the black marker pigments by using paper chromatography in a paint chromatography experiment, and finally, had fun with a bubble making experiment. In the Geography class, the EBPP students were introduced to the Australian Geography; they learned about the Australian topography, Australian native animals and other information related to Australia as a country and a continent. The Australian theme was continued in the Art class where they learned to make traditional Australian Aboriginal dot paintings. In the English class, the MLC students covered some of the vocabulary common to Australian people. At the end of the day, the MLC group donated many useful teaching materials and books for the EBPP schools.
Trekking was the main activity on the second day. The MLC group accompanied by EBPP staff and students trekked down from Bunga School to Daya Bamboo Center through the natural forest in Bunga. They learnt about the Ecology by collecting samples of local plants and making necessary notes about them along the way down. The key purpose of this activity was to identify the flora and fauna and followed a similar activity EBPP introduced in Bunga School shortly after it was launched in 1999 when each of the 35 young students collected leaves of every plant within 50 metres of their home which they then pressed to start EBPP’s first herbarium. In EBPP’s Daya Bamboo Centre, Ketut Suastika, Team Leader of EBPP’s Bamboo and Organic Farming programmes, explained the many types of bamboo grown there and the process of making bio char by using bamboo off cuts and leaves as the core material.
They spent their third and final day at Pengalusan School, where the MLC students taught our elementary school students, from both Cegi and Pengalusan, English, and played some intelligent interactive games. That was good fun and interesting, with the small groups as these students have never learned English before. The MLC students then learned about bamboo weaving and Balinese dance, all demonstrated by EBPP primary students. Those activities were broken down into two groups, one group did Bamboo weaving while the other group did Balinese dance and they swapped over after 25 minutes. The bamboo weaving activity, was led by one of our art and craft team members, and the EBPP students taught and showed the MLC group the process and technique from the beginning, before the MLC students weaved the bamboo into products such as baskets, bins and steamers. The MLC group was amazed at the EBPP students’ talents in weaving bamboo. In the dance class, the primary students taught the MLC group Balinese dance. The MLC students thought it was hard to do Balinese dance because it is very different from what they are used to, it needs talent and lots of practice if you want to master one of the Balinese dances.
This was the second successful visit from MLC School and we look forward to more visits in the future.