Inspired Words

These are the experiences of our volunteers in Bali.

Day 12: Football anyone?

Posted in Bali on February 28, 2012

The timing of our drivers is improving, they broke inside of the 20 minute late window this morning. In anticipation of our day we had all eaten a good breakfast, which some of us almost lost on the subsequent drive. Our closest call of the trip occurred today when we found ourselves head to head with a bus passing a truck. The rule of passing is “they who hesitate will lose.” When the passes get to close for comfort (and we use that term loosely), the plan is as follows. The oncoming car as well as car being passed both slow and pull as far to the side as they can. The passing car then floors it if not there already doing so to complete the pass quicker. Though this sounds barbaric, it actually works. Oh yeah add 10 scooter into the picture as well. 
Today the project went vertical with the construction of the buildings rear and side walls. Half of us hauled bricks and sand while the others showed their talents cementing the bricks in place. The locals at more than one occasion to us “plan plan” which means “slow down.” We responded by saying that our “plan plan” was to make progress today, and we were setting a new pace. They responded by joining the push and we all got a lot done. All members of the team are now certified brick layer in the eyes of the Indonesian government. The usual suspects, Micel, Gasper, Exel and the lot were nowhere to be found. They had gotten into something that kept them busy until lunch. The heat was present though, and we were happy it was the only distraction to negotiate. Finally lunch time came about with the faint but persistent ringing of the bell. 
During lunch we asked Lena if the bell was also used as a fire alarm, to which she said there was no such plan in place. Once again the “move your butt or get burned plan,” let’s hope it works out as well as the swimming hole (heaven forbid). We were spend from the mornings work and still had a soccer game at 3pm. We gathered in Nenden’s office to sit on the couch, a move we like to call circling the wagons. The children have a post lunch energy high that can consume you if you’re not careful. Our strength in numbers helps to share the load of children as they move in and out of the office. 
We rallied for another hour of work and before we knew it the van was pulling up to take us to Malaya for the game. We arrived and were met with a sea of kids eager to engage with adults from far and away. The Balinese refer to tourists as “Oraung Bule” which means people who are white. The origin is the same for the English word, “orangutan” Which when separated into Indonesian means Oraung – people; Hutan – from the forest. This is the way people are classified in the Indonesian language. It is not to compare anyone to apes, just a way to make sense of our physical differences. After another short meet and greet it was time to move out to the soccer field for the match. When we say field we mean pasture complete with cattle and the scattered signs of their continuous eating. According to Joe the German aid worker, field conditions are the best he has ever seen due to the wet season weather… there is actually grass. The kids are not dissuaded and teams are drawn in short order. Most of us play bare footed with the exception of three DWC members and one older boy whom actually had real soccer shoes. There is no feeling like running through a muddy hole, then tall grass and then stepping in a cow pie to get to the ball. Soon you put it all behind you and just have fun. The only girls that played were two members of our DWC group, but we did manage to get the sewing teacher out there, he was quite good. The game lasted 40 minutes which was three times longer than we had expected in the ambient conditions. After five minutes the sweat was so heavy you had difficulty just keeping it out of your eyes. These people are on a high carb. and almost none of them are overweight, now we know why. The kids play hard and with consistent training would produce a competitive team on any stage. Their skills are picked up by watching professional teams on TV and then applying them as they can on their own. In the end the score was 3 to 1 and as is sometimes the case in soccer, the weaker team won. Heads were hung low, but for only a moment as the children all know that in the end they are all on the same team. We returned rehydrated and said goodbye to our new friends. The sea of children reformed around the van making the experience one of the most difficult of the trip. There is so much we can share and learn from each other, and these kids are at the most critical age. Nenden said she has never seen them soo happy as she did today which brings a tear to some of our eyes. We pray for their success. The day was done and so were we.

DWC Team
Gregory, Tommy, Arnaz, Bob, Mary and Jen

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