Friday, September 27, 2013

Final Days Ubud- Green School, Monkeys and River Walks

I had a few things I wanted to do to finish up my days in Ubud. I went to morning yoga classes and enjoyed the area. 

I was intrigued by the bamboo craftsmanship and was told that if I liked it then I needed to visit the Green School.   I looked it up online and signed up for the free tour. The Green School was started by John Hardy. He has a TED talk ( that explains why he started the school and the goal of the school. I looked up directions online and made the journey on my scooter. I am getting use to Bali and finding my way around quite easily. When I am lost or uncertain, I just stop and ask for directions. After a ride down a hill with a million potholes, I came to a small pedestrian bridge across the river. 
I asked directions by pointing and saying "Green School?" The locals nodded yes. I went across, up a hill and saw the parking lot at the top. 
I was amazed as I walked onto the school site. All of the buildings and desks are made of bamboo, the rooms have no walls and the school is set in nature with a river running along one side. There are gardens and animals the students are responsible for tending.

Mud wrestling pit
I was intrigued that PE class included mud wrestling! How fun! The schools goal is to educate students with an understanding of the environment. Class rooms were open and we were told some classes are conducted sitting on the bridge with a view of the river. 
As I toured the area, I found myself wanting to go to school here. Our tour guide explained that 90% of the students are expats children. The goal is to get 20% of the student body of local children through scholarships since the cost has been prohibitive. I felt strongly that local children needed this opportunity as much a the expat children and donated to the scholarship fund.

The school will be completely off the grid soon when the water vortex is running (next week). They also uses solar power to provide energy. All of the bathrooms are green. I decided to use one for the experience. As you open the door you  have a choice of 2 toilets. One for urine only and the other for pooping. You must not confuse these! If you poop, you add sawdust to the bucket afterwards. I was impressed with the system. It did not smell and worked fine. 

I met several parents that had children at the school. I was amazed that several of them had visited the Green School, were impressed and decided to move their families to Bali so their children could be educated here. Most of the parents explained that it was the same price as private school in the USA and they figured out a way to do their work over the Internet. Wow! Several also commented that their children were dyslexic or ADHD and they found their children had thrived at summer camp and decided to move here for the sake if their child's education. One student had even won his education by winning a science award. I will be interested to see how the students do in the years to come.  How will they integrate into colleges? What will they do in the future? Will they be responsible for making the world more environmentally conscious? Will they be leaders in the green movement? Only time will tell. 
My only concern is more children in Bali should have this opportunity. I wish local schools were built like this to educate children all over the world.

I returned to Ubud and enjoyed a juice and salad before going to bed. Mmmmmm!

The next morning, I awoke and decide to walk down to the river. I walked down the  moss covered steps, through the jungle and to the river. It was a beautiful oasis below Marie's jungalow. I found abandon homes .... one is my dream home. I seriously wanted to call squatters rights and take it as my own. 
It was a beautiful wood jungalow overlooking the rice fields and river. I would be happy living here the rest of my life.

I returned to a gazebo overlooking the river and did some stretching and writing my blog. 
It was peaceful. I wanted to stay but I also wanted to see Monkey Forest before I left Ubud.

I drove into town. I parked and entered the forest, ignoring the women selling bananas. I really did not want to be chased by the monkeys. I just wanted a quick peek. Monkeys were everywhere! Tourists were luring them to crawl up their bodies to their shoulders with bananas. I have had a monkey crawl up me before. It was not something I enjoyed. I stood back and watched. In the temple one crawled under my sarong and grabbed ahold of my leg. I nicely chased it away. Whew! 
I felled or the baby monkeys. Poor little guys got chased away each time a tourist brought out a banana. I laughed as a girl was trying to get a small monkey to climb up her. I saw a huge male come running towards her back. I told her a big monkey is about to jump in your back just as he made contact. She was shocked at the weight of the monkey as he scratched and crawled his way to the banana. He knocked her off balance, swiped the banana and ran away. Then another guy lured a monkey to his shoulder and the monkey peed on his shoulder as he ate his banana. Ha ha! That's why I skipped the bananas!

I returned home that night and packed for my morning trip to Amed. I was ready to relax at the beach for a few days! 

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