It was Saraswati day (the goddess of knowledge) and we went to school celebration at Green School thanks to the kind invitation of our new friend Feny. As already mentioned, Feny’s elder daughter study in this school-non-school since 2.5 years, thanks to the scholarship which was generously granted by school authorities. Otherwise, the annual school fees vary from 11 to 14 thousand US dollars. However, this fact does not seem to cause bankruptcy to the family budgets of 500 pupils from 30 nationalities who study here.
At the appointed time, dressed in local costumes (here they call them sarongs), because by default we respect the local traditions, we materialized ourselves in front of the non-school. We made multiple stops along the way, as our driver felt a persistent need to verify the direction with occasional people on the road. Did we mention that the non-school is located in the jungle, therefore there wasn’t 3-line road leading to it?
Feny welcomed us at the entrance, decorated us with name badges “visitor” and we sank into the interior of The Green. At the left there was a large football field, just right to it there was a gym with the size of a sport hall in a small-town, of course without walls (we don’t need any walls, including the Berlin one!, and there was one more flaw – how could you invite Pink Floyd to make a concert here, m?), with a trip roof of bamboo leaves. However, it happens to rain in Bali, having in mind that the guidebooks consider 4-5 months of the year as rainy season. But our stay at the middle of the rainy did not prove the presumption.
Evil tongues say that local government shoots the rainy clouds and sends them where they came from, because they are violating the airspace of the island and thus impairing its paradise image (you see, urbanization comes slowly, or not so slowly, but surely and major projects for highways and other megastructures cannot wait for the rainy season to call the tune). Honestly, even from our perspective and experience such a scenario doesn’t sound very conspiratorially.
But let me continue with the overview tour. At the right, right after the entrance there was a vegan bar with all kind of juices and derivatives of the coconut milk. After all, so many kinds of exotic (to us) fruit grow on the island. One more detail – please, people with a low threshold of susceptibility to miss the paragraph because it contains unacceptable words. So, in the restroom there were two lavatory pans – one for peepee, the other is for poopoo. Once you have done your peepee, you had to poor one mug of water; if it was poopoo time, after you have done it in the pan, pour one cup of compost, which was well placed one hand away in order to honor the nature cycle.
Further on the path, in front of us rose the main building of the non-school, entirely made of bamboo of course, with three floors and large stage on the ground floor, where the celebrations and the other events were performed usually. Really impressive construction, eco and eco again.
The place was already full of parents and kids (from pre-kindergarten to Grade 12), all dressed with local costumes just like us. European, American and Australian face features prevailed compared to the local ones, but we already commented this.
The more interesting thing and the highlight of the program for us was the dance of 5-6 adorable pupils of the schools, one of which was the daughter of our friend. Her name was Rinka if we did not mention the first 3-4 names before this one. Just like dolls, with tons of makeup, false eyelashes, false hair, all kind of flowers and suchlike stuck in their hairs, they looked like little-big women actually. But, the traditions were created in order to be respected! Full stop! The Balinese are especially devoted to their traditions. It made us dizzy as we heard how many rituals and ceremonies are performed day by day. And these are the official ones. There are many others related to birth or death or … whatever.
Of course, we gladly participated in the ceremony. We kneeled on the floor, we lighted incense, stuck flowers in our hair, we prayed to Saraswati, we drank three times water from one and the same cup with all others (hopefully it was made of silver), we swallowed three grains of rice, we stuck several grains on the third eye and strewed the others over ourselves.
Then Feny took us for a walk around the school. We passed by the “classrooms” that looked like everything else but not like school rooms; we amazed at the existence of a mud pit where children learn martial arts and have fun, we passed by the gardens, where the new green leaders raised plants.
We became speechless when seeing the bridge over the river that looked like anything else but not like bridge. We even entered the “classroom” of our girl and enjoyed her class works hanging on the walls. Hahaha – did you hook? Walls didn’t exist here, right?! Well, they found places where to hang different staff!
At noon our adventure ended and Feny drove us to the hotel. By the way, there are not many local women who drive a car. One more thing that made us respect this girl. In the bottom line, the whole experience stamped – not – engraved in our memories with the scent of incense, frangipanes, children’s hubbub, sarong, bamboo, jungle … In other word – BLISS!
And other phenomena but this time natural ones made us gape 🙂 Read more here.