For the first part of the trip, please click here.
So… finally, I made it to the Green School! *mission accomplished*
For an intro, Green School is founded by John and Cynthia Hardy, both retired environmentalists and jewellery artists, and based its curriculum design on ecologically-sustainable and holistic education. It was once awarded “Greenest School on Earth” award in 2012 by US Green Building Council for its campus design utilizing organic renewable material and local resources.
I had been wanting to visit there since I watched John Hardy’s TED Talk and learnt about his foundation. I was interested to visit and expecting for an inspiring trip rather than just a plain sight-seeing and Instagramable photo hunt. And what a great decision I had made!
Now, you might wanna watch John Hardy’s TED Talk video before continue. It’s really fascinating and made a good introduction about what Green School is all about.
OK. So, the first time we got there, the officials gave you ID tag and audio receiver device so you could listen clearly to the tour guide. Apparently, it was on school break when we got there, so we could explore more of the campus without having to disturb any school activity. Near the entrance, you could see a small cafe/shop where they sold handmade snacks and handmade crafts mostly made by the students.
There’s no pavement at Green School. Students attend the school in their casual clothes and sandals. You might want to consider wearing your most comfortable and durable footwear for the trip.
The Green School is located along the Ayung River. It is the longest river in Bali as it is the most polluted. The guide told us that they had been working alongside with the local to reduce the waste in Ayung River. They had created “Trash Trap” on the upper side of the river. And this majestic bridge is located above the Ayung River. It is also built by hand by the same team of the Bamboo Factory.
The Green School also owns this beautiful “Hydroelectric Vortex” that uses the power of currents of Ayung River and convert them into electricity. This is another step taken by the school to realize their earlier intention of living off the grid.
These are the solar panels. They were donated from a solar company, I guess, and I was told by the guide that the company had offered to do the installation. You know, with all those ugly metal racks emerging in the middle of the jungle and looked all out of place?
The founder hated it so he decided to build these beautiful bamboo racks to hold them, put them among the crops field and tied some chicken feeders on the bottom of the racks, so these solar panels could get along with other inhabitants of the Green School.
And see that cute Hobbit House-like cabin? It’s where they store the batteries! These two help supplying electricity power needed in Green School. :)
Classrooms and Facilities
Here we sat in one of the classroom for a little Q & A session with the guide. As I said earlier, the classrooms had no wall, no lamp, no air conditioner, but I guess I wouldn’t mind since they had heck a lot more interesting things in return!
The students grew their own food crops for their lunch, they had mud pit and weekly wrestling games, they also had breeding facility for Bali Starling conservation and the students were helping with the program. You see, not only they taught the students how to survive in the future, but also were taught on how to contribute for a sustainable future.
Heart of School
So, we had almost come to the end of the trip. This is the Heart of School, the main bamboo building in the Green School complex. This is where the teacher office, computer labs, art space, and where the school’s main activities take place. It has 7 km of bamboo and is constructed of 2500 bamboo poles. John Hardy, the founder of Green School, also often refer the building as “a cathedral to green education.”
Also, the school donors’ names are carved on the segments of the bamboo poles. You can see how many big names or even your favorite people put their hope and support into this school.
This trip had me realized that at some aspects, our ancestors really were more established and capable than most people of my generations. I learnt that the moment we figure out how to get along and live in harmony with the chaos nature, that will be the moment we could grow as a whole human being. Unafraid and adaptable. And then, a sustainable future will be possible. Science and technology of course are such a huge help on excelling the upcoming challenge, but the wisdom is not really new. It was there all along. We just have to trace our roots.
“Back to the nature” is the key, but it’s not on the same level as eating organic food or choose canvas bag over plastic bag, or bragging on Instagram about your privilege of being able to choose a healthier (also more expensive) lifestyle. It takes more than that. Heck, A LOT MORE than that.
Let me just leave this image taken from the second floor of Heart of School here, taken from teacher’s office, that is. A throwback to the time when we ended up having conversations with the guide, after the tour ended. We were asking questions and contacts, and the guide need to grab some name cards for us, so she asked us to follow her upstairs.
Quite feeling fortunate for this one though, since second floor was prohibited for the visitors. I just realized on how the solar panels really complimented the beauty of the whole complex. The view was breathtaking. Coming here was really a lyfe goal…
For more information on Green School and the Hardys:
Hope you really enjoyed my post!