Transforming Bellarine: The 2018 Editorial - Year 9 Elective
There are stories all around us, just waiting to be told. During Term 2, a group of Year 9 students have been given the opportunity through ‘The Editorial’ elective to tell their stories in ways that, they hope, will capture and captivate their readers. In addition, students are learning about and experimenting with all elements of story-telling: selecting subject matter; research and interview skills; writing and editing; and creating and manipulating visual mediums to convey meaning. Students will work on the creation of individual stories, as well as working collaboratively, using the overarching theme of ‘transformation’.
Students have created a blog to showcase their work to their target audience – years 7-9 – a link to which is emailed to Homeroom teachers each Friday afternoon. However, we will also publish a piece of student work in ‘The Vine’ each week. The first article students were asked to create was one introducing themselves to their audience. They were asked to think about how they might do this in an out-of-the-box way, which not only engaged their audience, but also saw the reader learn something they might not have previously known about the author. All students will have a piece published in The Vine. However, this week, I would like to introduce you to the work of Serena El-Hage…
Experiencing East Timor
Arriving, I did not see the poverty-stricken, desperate place I had been warned about. Instead, as I looked out of the plane window, I saw a country that I thought looked to be in decent condition. Rolling green hills and a well-built airport, East Timor seemed like a fairly habitable place. Despite first appearances, as we rambled along the road that progressively got bumpier, I began to see hints of the place I had been told about. Starved dogs limping along the roadside, every bone in their body on display. Roads turning from gravel to dirt, potholes at least a metre deep staggered throughout the road. Scenery, transforming from slightly shabby buildings to isolated stretches of greenery and ocean. Viqueque, with its wall-less houses and malnourished inhabitants, only held further proof of this. What I did not expect was the locals’ personalities. Their eyes held years of torture, pain, poverty, killing and things no human should have to endure. However, they welcomed us foreigners with beaming, genuine smiles on their skinny faces. Despite this, despite their being through hell and back, they were the kindest people I have ever met.
The world has a lot to learn from their grace, love, purity, faith and hope. I know going there has inspired me to be the best person I can be and every day the thought of their smiles inspires me to incorporate kindness into everything I do. For this reason, I wish everyone could go to Timor and experience their humility, if only to become a better person within themselves and to motivate others to do the same. Until next time. Or, as the Timorese would say, “to’o tempu oin mai”.
By Serena El-Hage