Jill Coldwell (2nd from left) with her Bali & Green School families.

I guess like many of us, we get to a time in our lives when we feel we’re ready for something new and making a complete paradigm shift is sometimes the only way of ensuring we truly step out of our comfort zone. For myself and my family this was key to opening ourselves up to new possibilities, to experience a new way of living and discovering exciting, inspiring things for ourselves.

Surrounding ourselves with like-minded people is what we felt would help us on this journey of continual discovery and learning. It was also highly important that we could provide our child with a holistic education that allows him to discover who he wants to be and how he, and we, can help to create a world worth living in. Hence, why we are now calling this intriguing island of Bali and the community of Green School home.

Making the decision to leave family, friends and careers and move overseas can unleash many emotions and a little anxiety, well sometimes a lot! With so many unknowns, finding answers to the endless questions can be overwhelming – where should we live? what was that strange looking but delicious thing I just ate?
oops forgot to use bottled water to brush my teeth! what if I need a doctor? how do I pay a power bill? how much is a taxi to Kuta? what’s the conversion rate to Aussie dollars? where do I buy groceries? do I need a Pembantu? how do I say that in Bahasa? do we get an Indonesian bank account? can we adopt a dog? do we dare drive? and is it really possible to fit that many people on a scooter whilst carrying a brush cutter with a spinning blade!!?… the list goes on… However the community at GS has certainly made the transition to living life in Bali much easier.

perspectiveFrom a new parent’s perspective, right from day one, our expectations of GS, what it had to offer our Grade 8 son and us as parents, were exceeded. I feel that much of this is due to the wonderfully welcoming, supportive and informative community, or should I say ‘extended family’ at GS. If it wasn’t for the awesome parents, teachers and GS staff I’m sure we’d still be asking ourselves these questions and more, scratching our heads and wondering “how do we do that?” For this we are eternally grateful. It seems however that regardless of how long families have been living here, every day is a new learning experience, which is what makes living in Bali so special, and sharing this new found knowledge seems to be a daily occurrence over an organic coffee and a delicious ‘something’ from the Green Warung.

I immediately put my hand up to volunteer as Grade 8 Ambassador and a Tour Guide as a way to immerse myself into the school environment and get to know the teachers, other parents, make friends as well as learn more about the education my child would be receiving at Green School. Getting involved in whatever capacity you can manage seems to be the best way to connect and stay updated with the constant exciting evolution that is Green School.

When I’m not able to be at school I’m afraid I’m going to miss something I absolutely must learn about so it is a blessing that parents are welcomed to spend the day at school, to chat with others, learn a lesson in cultural awareness, work on their online business, eat good food or relax and take a yoga class. We’ve been in Bali for 3 months already and the days are never boring. I look forward to waking up each day to the sounds of laughing roosters, barking dogs, gamelan, prayer calls, and the hum of motorbikes as the village comes to life.

I guess what sums it up is a comment our son made after a recent Visa run to Singapore. Upon the plane landing back in Bali he said “It feels like home”. How true he is.


Jill Coldwell

Green School Parent