Tenby's Field Trip to Bali

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“It was definitely a change from the field trips I have organised in Scotland where you would be hiking over hills and valleys, being battered in the wind and the rain and wading in freezing cold rivers. Living in Southeast Asia and having such amazing physical features on your doorstep, it would be silly not to take advantage of these as a teaching resource! It was a fantastic experience for the students to see geography in action, getting up close and personal and seeing all of the things they had only read about in textbooks.”

Ms Alison, Teacher of Geography, Tenby International School Penang

Most people will associate school field trips with a day out to the local museum with the school, but a group of lucky Geography and Biology students from Tenby International School, including me, got to experience a fun-filled and educational field trip to the wonderful island of Bali in Indonesia for a total of four days and three nights.

On the first day, we were met with a daunting three-hour flight that took off at 6am. Even after we touched down, however, our travel ordeal was not over as a very hot and humid one-and-a-half hour drive was still needed in order to reach our destination: Ubud, the cultural centre of Bali. Upon arrival, we got started on our field work straightaway,wandering the town interviewing various tourists of different nationalities. Although there were some slightly embarrassing rejections, we got the opportunity to have a small chat with some very interesting people to find out what attracted them to Bali.

As if waking up for a 6 a.m. flight wasn’t enough, we were required to wake up at 2 a.m. in the middle of the next morning for a hike (in the dark) to the top of Mount Batur, an active volcano. Although the hike was exhausting, the view of the sunrise and surrounding caldera from up there was simply breathtaking; probably on my list of 100 things you have to see before you die. We learned all about the formation of the volcano and the surrounding area as well as the damage caused by the most recent eruption, which was in 1968. Later in the day, we got a chance to finally lay back and relax for a few hours before embarking on a cycling adventure around some beautiful villages and rice paddy fields, learning about the growing season and the processes involved in this extremely labour-intensive farming.

The next day was a rather relaxing trip to two different beaches; both beautiful, but with different coastal features. One consisted of purely rocks on its shoreline

with beautiful coral reefs hugging the shore. Here, we had the opportunity to swim with the fish with the help of snorkels and flippers and got an up-close view of the coral reef ecosystems in the area. We also learned how to measure slope angle and pebble size using various geographical instruments. The other beach was surrounded by two massive headlands with a shoreline of sand. Here, we drew field sketches and got to experiment with how longshore drift works.

On our final day, we got up fairly early in the morning for a short drive to a river with a beautiful waterfall. Here, we measured various features of a river including its width, depth, and velocity to name a few. A few “lucky” students even got the opportunity to take a nice little dip in the gushing torrents of the river trying to catch our floats as they quickly drifted past.

A few hours later, we were well on our way back home to Penang via flight and needless to say, I think I will definitely be making my way back to Bali sometime soon. The trip was exhausting, but great fun and we definitely learned a lot of useful skills and techniques that will help us in our upcoming IGCSE exams.



By Cheam Tat Sean (Yr 11, Tenby International School Penang)

Source: The Expat April 2013

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