Alula has started at a new school. Some of you may have heard of it. It’s called Green School and it’s sort of famous because it’s a) built all out of bamboo (even the toilets) b) Al Gore visited once and so did Ben & Jerry (you can tell which one made me more excited) c) it’s the world’s first eco school or something (I’m not actually sure) but what I do know is that once you see it you kind of come away wowed and wishing that you could be five again with really cool parents who moved you to Bali and were hippy enough to not really care much about the curriculum but who thought that skipping around a giant crystal in the jungle and learning songs about Mother Earth was the way forward (I exaggerate – the curriculum is actually British and the school motto is not ‘Do not follow the Guru, you are the Guru’ though I think it should be because that would be awesome).
It’s like Swiss Family Robinson crossed with Mallory Towers crossed with I’m a celebrity get me out of here crossed with an Ashram . See you’re nodding right? Cool huh? You want to be five again with me as your mother I can tell.
The irony is however that most the parents send their kids to Green School in huge 8-seater chauffeur driven people-carriers. The place is off grid, recycles student poo, grows its own food and uses banana leaves as lunch plates – just to put the car thing into context. I’m one of only a few mums who actually does the school run and definitely the only one who does it in a four seater tin can. Which also makes me guilty of being a hypocrite too but bear in mind Alula’s just turned 5 and I want to be the one to take her to school and I want to be there when she comes out to give her a hug and listen to the teacher tell me what stubborn, willful, challenging new behaviour she’s exhibited that day.
I don’t think that would be fair on a driver to have to relay to me.
Also I’m not about to cycle her to school given its 15 miles of lorry laden madness, broken up tarmac and having to avoid the potholes and splatted dogs.
And I’m lazy, you know that.
By the way, I’m using the I form rather than the we in that paragraph because John is currently in London where he is working because someone has to pay for all this crystal skipping, mother earth bamboo schooling taught by Ben & Jerry. Next week we will revert to we again. Actually we will revert to HE because frankly I’m tired of the school run especially as my ipod won’t synch spotify so I’ve had to listen to the same album by Snow Patrol about five million times (I know embarrassing right?) which I’d still rather do than listen to the free Learn Indonesian podcasts I downloaded, tired too of sitting gripping the sides of the bench waiting for Alula to walk out her classroom feeling a heady mixture of fear and angst as I scan the teachers’ faces, tired of having to wait for her to drink her slushy before we can leave…the list continues. John can take over for a while and errr, I’ll do something useful, like earn the money to pay the fees. Somehow. Or maybe I’ll just go for massages.
Here are some pictures of the school anyway:
The toilets are made from bamboo. There is one for weeing and one for pooing. This means you can sit next to each other and chat whilst vacating your bowels so long as the other person is only weeing. If you poo in the wee toiled I think you’d have to reach in and pick it out. It is quite a challenging set up for a five year old who hasn’t yet mastered pelvic floor control (not saying I have either) to switch between loos without emptying bowels on the floor in between them.
The is the heart of school. That’s what it’s called. I didn’t just make it up.