The week that was.

Funny faces with the 2nd Graders!


Hello! I Join you once again from what is normally Jakarta’s noisiest and most pre-pubescent populated internet cafe but which is tonight both relieving and depressingly quiet as obviously you have be a real loser to be here on a Friday night! Anyway, first and foremost a very happy Euro 2012 to you all, with Indonesia being six and a half hours ahead it has obviously already started here and for anyone looking for a tip the score is currently 2-0 Poland after 10 minutes, Szczesny getting them both… get on that.  Apart from that I start this blog with news that for you guys may seem trivial but for Robbie and I has been a major development of the week, the fact that we have now, after almost 7 weeks in Jakarta, have now taken our first full car journey without turning on the air-con; an achievement which obviously indicates our acclimatisation into fully fledged Indonesians, a graduation which i’m relatively involves a toast over noxious cigarettes and sambal in a never-ending traffic jam.

After our session for Andrew last week Robbie and I have obviously impressed somebody (Sunday) at SSI as all our sessions this week have been as a pair, with occasional assistance from the absolute legend that is George or the equally legendary Simon. On Sunday at ISCI we were put to work with u-14 ‘soccer school’ group before taking their u-16 counterparts. With the u-14s it was decided that the topic for the day would be dribbling which, as regular readers of the blog can guess, meant there was only ever gonna be one drill I wanted to take, an Indian favourite, the brilliant Skills Corridor. After going through the usual variations and progression we ended the session with the ‘gauntlet’ game which goes hand in hand with the drill as the kids have to dribble down the corridor whilst protecting their balls from the ones hammered  passed in by players on the side. Starting with the coaches (Robbie, Simon, Sunday and Myself) these players are gradually joined by the fallers until one kid is left to run the course with 16 people lined up along the sides with no aim other than kicking balls at him, a fate that befell Chadra and Rizky who, despite brave efforts were both unable the weather the hail of small footballs (about half of which appeared to come from Coach Sunday’s direction!). Despite this borderline bullying the kids seemed to have a great time and engaged with this session more than most, we were finally able to see a bit of their individual personalities which just makes the session much more fun.

After the bravery of the u-14s we moved on to a volleying session with the u-16s which, after working on the technique of several types of volley, we ended with the universally popular football tennis. Our coaching partnership continued into the week as Robbie and I took an elongated version of the turns session we had taken during soccer school training for the u-14s (or possibly 12s?) on Wednesday before rounding the week off by working on dribbling with the u-10s on Thursday, a task made far harder than it sounds due to the fact that around half the group were Japanese and spoke neither Indonesian nor English, making demonstrations key and coaching points really an irrelevance!

Other than coaching we have , of course, been working at Kembang School. On Tuesday we were greeted with the news that this week would be our last at the school until late July as the kids break up for their five week summer holiday. With it being the last week the majority of the older grades’ time was spent on exams which meant Robbie and I got to spend most of our time with (our favourite) grades 1 & 2. The clear highlight of the week was one lesson with the first graders in which Bu Yaya, the headmistress of the school, brought in bread, butter, ‘pastry stencils’ (for want of a better way of describing them) and various chocolate sprinkles and decorations in order to practice making the ‘sandwiches’ the 1st graders had been tasked with making for Saturday’s graduation ceremony. What followed was a display of culinary imagination that made Heston Blumenthal look like a strictly egg and chip man from the local greasy spoon. The highlights came from three of our favourite students; Rashad, who made an angry bird before transforming it into a beagle, Ochiro, who made a stunning goose before finding the time to create a tsunami (out of a scrap of bread?! unbelievable!) and finally Melauana (?) who’s achievement was more one of imagination then creation as he was able to look at what to anyone else would seem to be a crusty scrap of bread, put a few sprinkles on it and assure everyone that what they were looking at was a ‘crazy kangaroo’… Utterly convincing Robbie and Myself.

The week at Kembang was topped off today with the annual Kembang Friendly Cup, a football tournament held between the grades. After a curtain-raiser between the two kindergarten classes the tournament proper began with the first round game between grades one and two. Supporting grade one, I went into the game confident of an upset, a confidence shared by Rashad who assured me they would win just minutes before kick off, unfortunately this confidence was soon proved to be misplaced at the 2nd graders, led by a monster of an 8 year old, orchestrated a systematic dismantling of our plucky 1st graders before a couple of late consolation goals gave the guys a chance to celebrate and look back on an utterly respectable 8-2 defeat. Luckily, like all good fans of an underdog, I had prepared a back-up and transferred my support to the victorious second graders who, backed by fanatic and vocal support, battled against the odds to beat the might 3rd graders to reach the final were the 6th grade juggernaut proved one step far for as they slipped to a heroic defeat, having already won the affections of the neutrals in the crowd. After the final all that was left was the prize-giving event before we said goodbye to the kids, wished them a happy holiday  and thanked them for their hard work (and the second graders for our thank you cards) before heading home. Although i’m sure i’ll enjoy the extra lie-ins i’m definitely gonna miss working with the kids at Kembang, especially the younger grades, who are just so much fun….looking forward to seeing them again in July!

Other than work this week has been largely spent watching various films and TV programmes after another trip to Poins Square’s veritable cornucopia of DVD’s of questionable validity on Sunday night yielded the new American Pie, Borat, Get Him to The Greek and I Love You Man for the about the same price as the bus to the cinema might cost in London. Added to this, already impressive, combo was The Vow which we had bought on a previous visit but I probably shouldn’t talk too much about on here in case it sets me off again, emotional stuff..

Finally Robbie also decided to introduce me to Entourage this week which i’m thoroughly enjoying so far, for the already initiated in the early exchanges Vince and Eric have steamed ahead as my favourite characters although Robbie keeps going on about Ari. For those of you who haven’t seen the show, well, those two are still my favourite characters its just that I could’ve said they were Chandler and Bagpuss and you wouldn’t have known the difference.

Obviously the hours clocked up on the sofa watching these has had an effect on our gym/swim participation, i’m sure you remember me mentioning the currents of discontent at our pool between the widthers and lengthers in a previous post and the war I was sure would follow. Despite still sympathising with the lengthers cause its fair to say this week Robbie and I have taken up the role of Switzerland in the conflict; not really doing any swimming at all, preferring to dive after our lockers keys in the deep and sit on the steps, possibly actually acting to unite the opposite causes by providing them with a new common, and far more annoying, enemy.

Finally, whilst we’re on the topic of exercise tomorrow is this years edition of Jakarta’s annual six a side World Cup event, held at ISCI, in which Robbie and I are pencilled in for the Scotland and Ireland team respectively. Unfortunately our session at Pancoran means we are missing the earliest group games but hopefully we will be able to get there for the last two, in my case (in a coincidental parallel with the Euro groups) against Spain and Italy, to help push our sides into the knock-outs! Buzzing!


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