Saturday, 21 July 2012

Green School, Ubud

"Welcome to the Greenest School on Earth" - The Green School make their message pretty clear straight from the start. The focus at this International School is the environment, offering holistic education from Prep - Grade 12 in classrooms made entirely of bamboo.  As John Hardy says, why be educated in ugly concrete blocks when you could learn in these inspiring spaces?

As we emerged from the coconut grove for the 3pm Green School Tour, the kids were finishing for the day and parents were gathering about the organic coffee stand to catch up. We sampled the very popular FREAK Coffee made from beans grown at a local permaculture plantation. A brand new stall, Living Food Lab was serving raw, vegan delights such as peppermint chocolates, cinnamon infused coconut water, strawberry cheesecake and fig tortes.

The tour visited the mud wrestling pit - a traditional Balinese sport, then the farm animals, where students are responsible for rearing chickens, turkeys, goats, cows, and rare black pigs. My children got side tracked from the tour at this point by the bamboo swings, so we ended up there for the afternoon.

Next to the swings, was the "Heart of the School", a circular harp set in the center of an enormous double helix swirling building of bamboo. It felt womb like and safe in this living breathing building. Each wing belonged to a different grade of the high school and the entire structure was so innovative, imaginative and fun. Isn't that what school is supposed to be? It somehow cast a magical spell because everyone I spoke to, yearned to be a part of this incredible project in green living. 

Visit The Green School website here for details, check out the Youtube links, or better still visit the school just to feel the difference and be inspired. Some offshoots from The Green School worth exploring are - Bamboo Chocolate Factory, Five Elements, The Green Village, and Bambu Indah (and I'm sure the list will continue to grow).

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