We arrived around 11am on Wednesday the 17th of January 2018, a warm and sunny Bali day, as the students in their smart uniforms lined the entrance to greet us. We were introduced to the principal, whose grasp of English was on a par with my Indonesian, and the staff . Agung, our liaison, interpreted and we were presented with floral leis while music was played by some of the students on traditional instruments, mostly percussion and bells.
We were shown around the older buildings with wooden doors and intricate carvings above them. Our guide showed us some cracks in the walls and other problems that they have with the older buildings.
It was with obvious pride they then led us to the new classrooms which were spotless and neat and tidy. Kate, myself and our four kids were seated at desks, bowls of fruit and flowers were placed on beautiful lace tablecloths, the students seated opposite in the high-ceilinged hall with bright sunshine coming in the windows.
Agung showed us a power point presentation, proudly telling us about the students recent win in the local inter-school basketball competition, which they trounced the opposition in the last game by a massive sixty points to nil! He showed us the uniforms with the Waggrakine sister school emblem which they wore at the game. While we were watching they offered us what I think was the best tasting coffee I have ever had in Bali and the kids had a bit of a laugh when Mason (our eldest) tried to eat a lychee skin and all.
The students then sang the Indonesian national anthem and a rendition of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. We sang for them the Australian national anthem (I say ‘we’, I think it was mostly me and Kate).
Then we gave the principal the tablets, cameras and donations we had brought from Waggrakine, they thanked us and said it would go towards the cost of marking the court and new basketballs for the team.
After we went out onto the basketball court for a muck around game. Jacob and I were on the boys team and Nyssa joined the girls team. There were some good players on both sides and we had a lot of fun. (In the end I think the girls won).
Too soon, however, it was time to go so we all gathered for a final photo by the entrance and said our goodbyes.
Some days after returning to Australia, Agung sent us a message telling us their boys and girls teams both made it to the semi-finals in Denpasar!