Apologies for this longgg overdue last post of my trip–writing it slipped through the cracks of my back-to-school frenzy. To my dismay, the final stop in Bali was much shorter than my trip to the beautiful island last year. We headed straight from the airport to our first stop at Green School–the Green School on Earth located just outside of Ubud. We walked down a long path into the jungle before eventually reaching the entrance to Green School (seen below).
We were led to what looks like a giant treehouse where Green School founder John Hardy was waiting for us. He told us his personal story of growing up in the GTA, travelling to Bali and picking up on local jewelry-making techniques, founding a jewelry business he later sold for tens of millions of dollars, and finally his latest project–Green School. We toured the entire school grounds; it is an absolutely stunning place with brilliant bamboo architecture. The school offers K-12 teaching for international students and locals alike. Below is an example of a Green School classroom.
Below is a panorama of the Heart of School building–the photo really doesn’t do it justice. Another cool feature of this building is the names of all the donors written on bamboo poles inside the structure–I even spotted Richard Branson’s pole! Green School aims to be the #1 model of sustainability in education in the world. Although certain aspects of Hardy’s talk were far-fetched, Green School students really are doing amazing things. He told of us of students’ project to abolish plastic bags in Bali; a government official told them they would need 1,000,000 signatures on a petition to make this possible and they have already reached close to 90,000. And who did we see at the airport on our way out but Green School students collecting signatures from travellers on their weekend!
We stayed in John Hardy’s “luxury eco hotel” overnight–to put the ‘luxury’ part in perspective, these cabins were $400/night while I was paying $25/night in Bali to stay in very nice villas last year. The resort was comprised of many small standalone houses on a gorgeous property overlooking the rice paddies. We only had 12 hours to relax at this beautiful hotel but it was a very relaxing way to end the trip! My house was the one on the far right.
We had one final stop in Kuta at Pro Surf School before we had to begin our long journey home. We heard from the founder of the Surf School about the growth of tourism in Bali over the past couple of decades. He attributed the rise in popularity of Bali as a destination to be largely due to surfing–at least initially. From the little that I saw of Kuta I was happy Elai and I had decided against spending any time here last year. Kuta is by far the most touristy part of Bali and the beaches are quite dirty, with piles of trash all along the beach. It is interesting that so many people are still drawn to this location considering the rest of Bali is much more beautiful. I guess surfing must still play a bigger role in tourism than I may have thought!