Ballin’ in Bali

Snapshots from the trip of a lifetime

Isadora Blatt, Editor-in-Chief

Ever heard of “Bali Belly?” This past spring break, a group of 22 sophomores, juniors, and seniors got the opportunity to experience it firsthand. But it was all worth it. This ten-day trip, facilitated by Science teachers Dr. Pamela Reynolds, Mr. Ben Duehr, and Mr. Michael Samale, immersed students in an unfamiliar culture on a beautiful, tropical island, as they learned valuable information about the environment through real experiences.


The students smile in LAX on the bright Saturday morning that commenced Spring Break, excited for what was in store. Not pictured: the same students, rumpled, exhausted, and with only slightly faltered smiles after finally arriving 36 hours later. “Being with people from school made even the more boring moments of traveling so much fun,” noted Joy Udinsky (‘24).




On the first day, Ben Brown (‘25), Warner Vaccarro (‘25), Kiran Dhupa (‘25), and Joshua tie a traditional sarong for the first time in their hotel in Ubud. These sarongs were required to wear to visit temples and other cultural sites, as in Hindu and Buddhist culture, men and women are both required to cover their legs below the knee to show respect in places of worship.
Joshua Lee (’23) and Rex Harrison (‘23) try natural herbs on the guided herbal walk in Ubud, where students learned about the uses of many different locally grown plants. Turmeric, for example, is a widely used medicinal root in Bali.
The group comes together for a photo at the Royal Palace of the district of Blahbatuh, where they had a dinner of the traditional dish nasi campur with the king and princess (center). The princess, Gisa, is fluent in English, and the students had fun talking to her about topics ranging from her daily schedule with school and extracurriculars to her favorite music artists (The Strokes and Red Hot Chili Peppers, to name a few). “Learning about the princess really stuck with me, because her life just sounded completely normal, despite her role and her standpoint,” said Warner.








Scarlett Helliar (‘24), Joy Udinsky (‘24), Joshua, and Lily Gover (‘24) play the gamelan, a xylophone-like percussive instrument. At this Banjar (“neighborhood”) cultural workshop, locals taught them Balinese music, dance, wood carving, and offering-making.
Ethan Marquez (‘23) prepares soil for compost at the IDEP foundation, which provided hands-on environmental activities to help with sustainable agriculture processes.



Kaila Turley (‘24) and Ripples Turquand (‘24) mix up Balinese sauces made from scratch at the Ubad Ubud Cooking Class, where students made an array of dishes such as chicken satay.








Jessica Luo’s (‘24) underwater camera captures a sea turtle in an approximately 10 foot deep snorkeling area off the north coast of Bali.
Nao Nadahara (‘23) helps plant mangroves at the West Bali National Park, where the group hiked and learned about the importance of the plant in protecting the coastline by reducing erosion and absorbing storm surge impacts.


Kiran enjoys the view on the boat ride to Menjangan, an uninhabited island known to have some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving sites in the world.





The Bali Mandara boarding school welcomes Bishop’s, where the group met Balinese students of the same age, toured around the school, and learned about the students’ daily lives. “One thing that stuck out to me was how hard the Balinese students had to push themselves,” recalled Joshua. “I wouldn’t want their schedule myself – it’s really busy. It was interesting to see a different lifestyle like that.”
Mia Bravo (‘24) and Jessica Luo (‘24) make recycled paper through a mixing and drying process: blending up recycled materials and later using a filter sheet to lay out a flat layer of the substance. Here at the R.O.L.E. (River, Oceans, Lands, and Ecology) foundation, students also learned about natural and sustainable methods to make a variety of products such as soap and dye.
At Mengening Purification temple, Novalyne Petreikis (‘23) cleanses her face with holy water.
The magical trip came to a close with a sentimental last dinner on the beach. “The trip truly was an experience of a lifetime,” said Alex Gonzalez (‘23). “I wish it didn’t end so quickly,” Jessica reflected. “I could have stayed there for a lot longer.”





























Photos courtesy of Mia Bravo (’24), Beni Sanjaya from the Bali Institute, Ben Duehr, Jessica Luo (’24), and Ethan Marquez (’23)