Our early wake up call was becoming routine. The roosters usually start crowing around 5 am but we try to sleep in until 6. We greet the dawn over the rice fields and start the water kettle on the stove in the outdoor kitchen at Sanda House.
Our typical breakfast consists of oatmeal and coffee packets brought from home. Katy bought some strawberries which are grown in the local area so today we have a special treat.
Our drivers arrive at 7 am and we try to be at the first school by 730. Today we’re traveling to Asah Gobleg where 48 kindergartners are waiting for us. When we arrive we’re led into a covered outdoor badminton court where we’ll be working with the students. Their classrooms are being renovated so they’re holding school outdoors for a few more weeks.
It’s a big group but we have the system well established and our team knows their jobs well. We introduce ourselves as a group and then split into two teams – one to lead the warm-up songs and the other to prepare the craft project. After the songs the children gather on the outdoor stage and we quickly distribute the supplies.
The kids are always so enthusiastic and well-behaved that it’s easy to forget that they started school for the first time a few weeks ago. A lot of credit goes to their teachers who are experts in 5-year old crowd control.
Our second stop of the day is at Wanagiri, another large school with 50 kindergartners in 3 classes. Most kindergartens are stand-alone schools that serve a local village but Wanagiri is attached to a larger primary school with grades 1-6. It’s fun to interact a bit with the older students who speak quite a bit of English since they start learning it in the 4th grade.
After school ends, we say goodby to each student. Our team lines up by the door and each student takes our hand and touches it to their forehead as a sign of respect and thanks. This farewell is always an emotional time for our group.
We have time for a wrap-up meeting with Iluh before leaving Sanda House. Each year we plan a few days of rest and reflection after working in the schools. This year we’re heading to Siririt on the less developed north coast of Bali. The drive is only an hour as we say goodby to the the beautiful mountains of Munduk.