The second half of the fist week of school was pretty interesting. Since the students spent the first half of the week finishing their midterm exams and having no real time to de-stress, the principal let the students organize a two-day event of class meetings (class competitions) for the 10th and 11th graders. The morning of the event in the staff meeting Sasha and I found out that we would be the teachers supervising these events since the other teachers would be finishing their mid-term report cards and the others that were organizing the upcoming solo and leadership camps were going to visit the location. That is the one thing I have learned here in Indonesia, you definitely have to be ready for anything because plans are always changing and new things are always popping up when you least expect it, flexibility is key!
After the morning meeting the events got started right away at 7:30 (really means 8 or 8:30 according to Indonesian time) so Sasha and I headed out right away after a brief chat with our cooperating teachers and decided that since it would be only the two of us we would split up for the events depending on the location. While we were waiting for the opening ceremony we just chatted with the students here and there to get to know more about the day’s events and what was going to take place. A whole committee of students had been put together to organize and plan the events as well as referee the various tournaments taking place. They even set up a small stage on one of the buildings steps and had several students playing in a band throughout both days! I was very impressed at the initiative and leadership the students took!
The opening ceremony started with introducing each class, going over the rules, and then a speech by our principal who then kicked the opening - goal! After that the first two meetings were marbles (played the traditional Indonesian way by lining up the marbles in a straight line then the person whose striker marble was flicked the furthest from the line got to strike first to knock out as many marbles from the line as possible, also played only by boys) and a traditional Indonesian game called Boy-Boyan (it is kind of like a combination of bowling, jacks, and dodge ball played by girls. The first team will attempt one at a time to bounce or hit a cup containing stones within a one to foot circle. Once the cup is hit and knocked over all the offensive team’s players scatter outside of a larger circle about a 20 – 30 ft area while the defense finds the ball thrown at the cup and attempts to knock out the offensive teams players. The offensive goal is to gather all of the stones from the inner circle and get them back in the cup and the cup standing upright before the other teams keepers stop you by knocking you out). Most of the students got really excited and cheered on their class wich was really nice to see the comradery between everyone!
That afternoon we watched Basketball, Futsol (soccer), and traditional dance. Futsol and the traditional dance shared the same court so when there was a break in the futsol came then a group performed their traditional dance and to be graded by several of the teachers and then the futsol came picked back up. It made for some quit interesting spectating because while we were waiting to see the traditional dance we would catch the occasional stray ball and one time it caught us so unaware that it knocked one of the other teachers right out of her chair, luckily it didn’t hit her just the desk and she wasn’t hurt. The other game played by another group of the girls that afternoon was Benteng (a version of tag and capture the flag where two groups of girls start from home base and then attempt to get all of their players to the opposite teams base while at the same time tagging the opposing teams players to get them out).