Bali Kite Festival

We have left Ubud and are spending our last few days in Bali in Sanur Beach. The transition was a bit tough, going from an artisan hippie-expat enclave to resort-town Bali Style. We HAD to see the ocean if we’re going to Bali though, right? Well, the ocean is, indeed, beautiful and we have a great view of it right from our room, but the real reason we chose Sanur as opposed to any number of potentially more interesting beaches is the Bali Kite Festival. We found info about it by accident while researching Bali and figured we NEEDED to see it.

Once we arrived in Sanur, we asked folks at our hotel about the festival, the easiest way to ge there, the best time to go, etc. No one had ANY information and they looked at us blankly as if they’d never heard of it before. Uh oh…maybe this thing is not “all that.” So, we went with our expectations lowered considerably…what were we going to see? Probably not much.

Bali Kite Festival

WOOOHOOO! This is what we saw after walking up the rise from the parking lot, in a giant ocean-front field.

We got to the festival towards the end of the day, so a lot of the artistic kites had left already and they were doing competitions of skillful flying with one particular kind of kite. Each kite in this competition is represented by a team, usually put together from a neighborhood. There are about 20 people who get the kite up into the air and back down again. There is also a music and cheering group, made up of another 20+ people. One of the requirements of each of these teams is that they have a music or noisemaker group.

Taking the kite to the Flying grounds

Taking the kite to the flying grounds

Bali Kite Team

These teams are serious!

Team noisemakers

Team noisemakers

Bali Kite Festival Team Flags

Each team at the festival also needs a flag to represent them.

In the air, the kites look big. On the ground, they are massive!

Bali Kite Festival Team

A team of 20+ people work to bring a kite down.

Bali Kite Festival

The kite coming down.

If you are near one of these teams while they are working, get ready to run – fast – out of the way.

Bali Kite Festival Team

Bali Kite Festival Team

Working hard to get the kite up in the air

Peanut man at the Bali Kite Festival

You can’t have a festival without peanuts!


…and corn!

Bali Kite Festival

The Bali Kite Festival was a great thing to see! I wish we could have seen more, but even this amount makes me excited to bring something like this to the NC coast – Get ready!

Green School

John Hardy and his wife Cynthia were well known in certain circles for their international jewelry brand, John Hardy Jewelry. John Hardy moved to Bali in 1975 with his first wife and they began the jewelry brand with one-off pieces sold one at a time from out of their house. 30 years later John and his second wife, Cynthia, had built the business to an amazingly successful international brand and were the largest private company employers in Bali. So, to me, it is something of a surprise to find that in 2006, they sold the business (and the name) and used that life-long investment to fund a new dream, the Green School.

The Green School mission: Empowering global citizens and green innovators who are inspired to take responsibility for the sustainability of the world.

With that in mind, maybe this dream isn’t an entire departure from their jewelry design past. John Hardy Jewelry had a mission of sustainable luxury, which is in keeping with this new vision…but aside from that, moving away from a fashion customer base in jewelry to an education and sustainability base with a strong focus on architecture. Yep, it’s an entire shift away from everything and into something new. I find that amazing.

There are about 14 million references and articles about Green School, not counting its website, so I won’t really go into details. Basically, it is a school that started just 4 years ago, in 2008, for kindergarten through 8th grade. Their first 12th graders will be this year. They teach all the basics, but they flip learning on its head. Put the classrooms outside. Build the school sustainably using natural materials and natural light. Take away the walls. Add sustainability and creative process into the curriculum, and empower the next generation to not only be responsible global citizens, but creative, questioning, ideating citizens as well.

Just think about your primary and secondary education…what if YOU would have learned in this environment:

Green School

Soccer Field and outdoor lunch and meeting area

Garden and Electrical Room

This garden supplies food for the school. The building is the computer and electrical brain of the facility, housing all of the ugly power boxes etc in a pretty form – YAY!

Green School

This is a small lecture/class in the round. It has maybe 16-20ish seats.

Green School Bridge

The kids cross this bridge to cross the river as they arrive and leave school (picture taken from Green School website)

Green School

Centerpiece of the Green School, class areas and meeting spaces.