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This story is written by Achintya Nilsen from SevenStonesIndonesia

When it came to the actual graduation, and like, our pre-grad ceremony, the biggest bummer is just, because I still got to see all my friends, but not being able to go and see teachers.
And be able to hug them and say proper goodbyes.

But I just, I feel like we were so lucky. The people who were on island, we ended up going to a hotel together and we stayed there and we watched our graduation premiere on YouTube.

And I don’t know, it was, I loved our graduation, and I don’t know if everyone graduating in 2020 had the same, or as good as an experience.
But I’m just very lucky that I still got to be around people who I love and be around my friends. Still got to say goodbye to teachers and I mean I still graduated and still presented my Green Stone. Just in a different way.


Achintya Nilsen Hi everyone and welcome to another episode of the Seven Stones Podcast.

Today we have with us a guest as part of our ongoing series: Humans of Bali.
A series where we dive into deep conversations with diverse individuals and topics that form Bali’s authenticity.

With me, in the studio, today is an old friend and very recent graduate. Chayton Thompson. Having spent a good 10 years of his life in Bali, Chayton pretty much grew up here, right?

Chayton Thompson Yeah.

Achintya Nilsen All of those 10 years were spent at the Green School, where he learned a myriad of different things, asked a lot of interesting questions, maneuvered his way through a marimba band, and shared his good-natured and cheery self with everyone around him.

His Green Stone, which is Green School’s version of a capstone experience was based around curiosity and fermentation.

Which already has me feeling curious, and intrigued, so before I keep on blabbing on and getting into all our green school shenanigans, let me welcome Chayton. How are you today?

Chayton Thompson I’m doing very good thank you for inviting me here.

Achintya Nilsen Is this your first time on a podcast?

Chayton Thompson Yes.

Achintya Nilsen How are you feeling so far?

Chayton Thompson Good.

Achintya Nilsen What have you been up to most days recently?

Chayton Thompson I’ve just been kind of enjoying being graduated from high school.
I’ve been hanging out with friend, before they leave, because people are now starting to move out of the island and go work on their plan for the future.

Achintya Nilsen Has everyone started leaving already or?

Chayton Thompson Yeah people are, I mean people obviously started leaving while school was still in, but now yeah. Some people start going to start leaving like in the next week. Some people have left already.

Achintya Nilsen Is that sad?

Chayton Thompson It’s a bit sad. But I feel like it’s been actually pretty, we’ve been so lucky to, I mean it’s unfortunate that maybe we couldn’t present in front of a live audience with our Green Stone, or have a graduation with everyone to be there. But we’re, I feel like we were so lucky to still be able to see all of our friends because in Bali the lockdown hasn’t been as strict as other places obviously.

And so I think we’ve gotten to say goodbye to each other like 50 times. So it’s pretty great. And I’m still going to be here for a couple months and so are a couple of other friends and it’ll just be nice to hang out with them.

Achintya Nilsen So before we get super super into this, maybe for the audience out there you could talk a little bit about your background.

Who are you, where did you come from and all that.

Chayton Thompson Okay, well. My name is Chayton Thompson, I was born in Japan.

Achintya Nilsen Oh, wow.

Chayton Thompson Yeah. I was born in Japan, I was there for two years. Then moved to Singapore, for six. And then I moved to Bali. So my parents put me in the Green School. We came here for the Green School, and then I’ve been here for 10 years. I’m 17 now.

Achintya Nilsen Where are your parents originally from?

Chayton Thompson My father is from California, and my mother is from Vancouver, Canada.

Achintya Nilsen But you’ve been growing up pretty much in Asia it seems.

Chayton Thompson Yeah, I’ve lived my entire life in Asia. I’ve visited North America, a couple times. Well, for the summer, to visit family and friends. But I’ve never lived anywhere but Asia.

Achintya Nilsen So what’s that like to kind of, have your origins be from somewhere, but grow up in a completely different culture and environment?

Chayton Thompson Well. It’s because it’s not like I have this, I don’t know, I’ve had this conversation a lot because I have a teacher and my friends, always whenever I say I’m born in Japan they’re like, “oh so you’re Japanese?” and I’m like, absolutely not. Because one, I do not look Japanese, I can’t speak Japanese, neither of my parents are Japanese. So it’s like, I’m not Asian, even though I’ve lived here my entire life. And I don’t know maybe it would be different if I was maybe not in an international school. Because I’ve been surrounded by culture and community that’s similar to what, well not 100% similar, but like I still am surrounded by American culture, European culture, things like that. And my accent is obviously American. So I consider myself North American. Or if someone asked me where I’m from I would say Canada and America. Read more here…

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