By Juan Herrero, EBPP volunteer for PR & documentation
This is the third trip for EBPP students to experience the greatest adventure so far in their lives: the Bali Safari & Marine Park. This time was for the 76 children and 6 tutors from Manikaji School.
I joined the buses at 4.00am from Bali Discovery Tours’ Sanur office went all the way up to the chilly saddle between Mounts Agung and Abang to wait for the kids. They arrived all together, jumped from the truck, stepped on the buses and started the day.
Once we started down the steep south face of the mountain and the first villages showed up, all the kids’ eyes were wide open already, just quietly looking at everything that was unfamiliar, strange, new… Every so often some words in low voice filled the sleepy air in the bus “sawah, sawah”. These were the first padi fields many had ever seen A far cry from their own village farms of steep and dry volcanic ash, where they can only grow cassava and corn!
We finally got to our destination after such a shaky ride that made everyone on board dizzy! The steamy atmosphere surrounded us. Big animals on billboards welcomed us at the parking lot. The kids were twisting and craning their necks, looking everywhere at the same time. We waited for our turn for the safari tour, then jumped on the vehicles and started the wild trip!
The tour all around with the different animals from Asia and Africa, the marine park, the bird exhibitions, the elephant show, all those “white” people around; followed by the super cool ice cream break, and everything sprinkled with the magical Safari atmosphere continuing with the jungle type buildings and surroundings… The kids were astonished, amazement showing in their wide open mouths, expressions of awe, but no words uttered….