Tuesday, May 18, 2010


We made it to Taipei. Will be on our flight for San Fran in less than an hour.

This flight is our long one. It's 950pm here, so we'll all probably be fast asleep by take off time.

Next stop: San Fran, USA. See you soon America!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Last day!

Blog followers,

Sorry to leave you hanging yesterday. We had a very full day, and by the time we got back, Times was closed which meant not internet access!

However, due to lack of quality internet access still, there will be no pictures. This post will be slightly boring, huge sorry's to our devoted followers!

Sunday's events:

We got to sleep in till 9am, which felt great to everyone! Breakfast was very good too, a sugared croissant roll with bubble tea drinks! We walked to church, which was full of professional African soccer players. It was really great to meet some of them and tease them about setting up a friendly match against them! After church, we walked to the mall for lunch which was probably everyone's favorite meal! Let me tell you, it was delicious! A variety of items were presented to us at different times: chicken fried rice, beef fried rice, chicken egg rolls, fried shrimp, sweet and sour chicken, and much much more! We all stuffed ourselves for probably the first time in a while.

After lunch, we loaded our trusty bus and headed to Mangga Dua which is a huge "mall" for bartering. There were so many levels, probably more than 7 (when you got to the top, it got quite hot and stuffy as I'm sure you can imagine). Every floor seemed like the same stuff, but it was fun to get different prices for the same product. We all did our best "bartering." Thankfully we had our amazing Indonesian bilingual friends with us to tag along and beat down those high prices. Because we all look like sweet, innocent, "white" girls, they always try to raise the price. But we didn't fall for it! All of us came back with many, many fun finds and treats, probably items that some of you followers will be receiving!

We came back right in time for the MYC BBQ that was put on for us along with other UPH athletes. It was such a good meal: hamburgers, hot dogs (American style if you liked), watermelon and other fruit, bbq'd chicken, potatoes, spicy chicken, salad, and more! It was like an All-American BBQ in our eyes. And to top it off, soda pop was served instead of the usual water. We were all beaming with excitement!

After dinner activities included more shopping to finish off the gifts we're all bringing back as well as saying goodbye to the new friends we've met. It is sad to say goodbye to them, we will miss them dearly. But we're excited to chat it up with them via Facebook, twitter, skype, and the like! Other events included the inevitable packing! It's almost a puzzle to try and figure out how to pack the immense amounts of clothing we originally took as well as the new stuff we purchased (and to keep it under 50lbs)!

Today was another busy day for us. Breakfast was 7am which included CEREAL with warm milk, fried chicken and french fries. We all raced to get the chocolate sugar coated cereal, it was quite the battle! We then loaded the bus to visit the Batik textile museum. It was interesting to hear and learn about the Batik cloth and designs that originated in Indonesia. It is pretty much Indo's thing. The designs are very particular and involve a lot of focus and work.

We then headed to the nicest mall any of us have EVER seen! We're talking Gucci, Mark Jacobs, Chanel, Hugo Boss, and all of the other stores that are way out of our price range. Even Indo's Forever 21 store was too fancy for us! We also were a bit under-dressed for this mall. Apparently having soccer shorts and a t-shirt isn't good enough for Gucci, who would have thought? Either way, we enjoyed ourselves as we frolicked around, bug eye'd at the high prices! We also had another good meal, which included teriyaki chicken and rice at Hoka Hoka Bento, an Indonesian delight!

When we returned from the mall, we had a few hours of free time. Activities included packing some more and shopping even more! At 4pm, we headed over to the amazing Miller's home. We got to do some relaxing, swimming in their pool, and watched The Proposal- we're all suckers for a good chick flick! Pizza, all kinds of fruit, and soda pop were on the menu. In fact, it was Dominoes pizza, and it tasted exactly the same! And to top it off, homemade chocolate chip cookies. We feel as though we're preparing ourselves for our journey back to America, so what better way to do that than enjoy the food we eat the most :). The Millers were amazing hosts to us and it was very enjoyable to get to share our experiences with them tonight.

We can't believe our trip is finally coming to an end. We look forward to telling you all the memories we've made throughout the trip. It's been great to meet new friends and immerse ourselves into another culture. While the trip wasn't always easy, it is safe to say that we all had an amazing time. Pray for safe travels for us tomorrow. We fly out of Jakarta at 2pm Indo time. We look forward to being back in the comforts of America and seeing all of you. However, we will miss you Indo. Thank you for being so good to us!

We'll be blogging along the way to keep you guys updated on our travels back. Thanks for all your support!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Wow, what a longggg day!

Blog followers: we are exhausted!! It's been a long day, a day that has stretched us for sure.

We started off at 7am for breakfast which was rice with veggies mixed in, omelet, and veggies on the side. At 7:30am, we headed over to SPH for our 8am soccer camp. The camp consisted of around 100 K-5th grade girls. Whoa, it was overwhelming a bit! Also, it should be noted that it was probably around 100 degrees outside, sun shinning bright, not cloudy at all!

We split the camp into two groups: K-3rd and 4th-6th. Like we've said in previous blog post, girls soccer in Indonesia is not a big deal. Nothing like it is in the States especially. With that, the skill level was a lot lower as well as was the enthusiasm for the sport. Both made it a more difficult situation. We also we're a bit overwhelmed on how we were to manage that many kids! However, after the camp, we were all pleased with the outcome! The camp was around 3 hours long which was very long for those poor girls. Shannon and Regan spoke to the campers about attitude, they both did an amazing job! All the campers had a good time (even if they didn't show it throughout the morning) and all were completely exhausted (which I'm sure their parents enjoyed). Marty and Benny were very pleased with our efforts, stating that it was a very stretching experience. We could have easily been overcome by it all, but instead we all embraced the opportunity.

Part of the campers with their parents, starting to pile in!

Amanda working on passing drills!

Erin working those campers!

Working on some stretching, it's very important!

Blog readers, I wouldn't let you down, of course there are Team pictures! The older group with their coaches!

The younger group with their coaches making funny faces!

A few of us decided to jump into the SPH pool after camp. Can you believe that a K-12 school has this pool at their school?! Jealous!

We made the trek back to the University for lunch. Lunch included what I want to say was Ramen. It had noodles, a chicken broth flavor, with seaweed, pot stickers, beef, and other items along with papaya fruit. After lunch a few of us headed to the BK Lounge for some dipped cones (I think we're obsessed) but then it was back to Binong village for the opening ceremonies of the court we have been working on this week. Have I mentioned that Binong village is home to around 250,000-300,000+ people. That's the size of Salem...but the square footage of the village is considerably smaller than Salem!

It was a very good afternoon, all the kids joined us on the court for the cutting of the ribbon, basketball shooting, juggling soccer balls, traditional Indonesian cutting of the rice (the dinner we had the first night we got here). To finish off the ceremony, we played the "Binong all-stars" in a futsol match. They were some tough little boys, super quick. They were scoring left and right (although they did have an extra player as well as their goal was smaller than ours, but those are just excuses!) The girls even came in for a game against us...which is when we actually scored our goals. But it was great to see them get excited about playing soccer! Marty even joined in for the last game, and scored a goal which followed with a Tiger fist pump. The kids were incredibly adorable, enjoying themselves so much. We feel so honored to have been able to contribute to this court that we know the kids will enjoy for a long time.

Aren't they adorable? In their lines for the ceremony!

Opening ceremonies, shooting a basket on the new court: Kacie, Emily, and Katie. Kacie was the only one to make a basket out of the three sets of people (first administrators, then our team, then kids from school) despite that awful follow through! Emily, don't you play basketball?!

Lots of high fives were given!

Rach and Regan showing how it's done!

In their lines at the ceremony!

The girls wanted to join in for a juggling session too! At first they didn't want to because all the boys were on the court. We had to convince them a little!

Jess juggling with the boys!

"The dream team" is what we called ourselves. You're welcome to call us that too.

We finnnnaaally scored! Doing a little celebration!

Yes, that's right, Marty joined in. He probably just "schooled" that administrator!

Dinner tonight included french fries, honeydew and pineapple, along with sauteed beef and jelly like noodles. We've had free time since dinner which included a trip to the BK Lounge for dipped cones by most of the team (yeah, no shame in going to the Lounge twice a day.... also no shame in getting two dipped cones in one sitting.) Most people now are relaxing, reading, sleeping, or seeing Robin Hood in theater! We're so burnt from today that functioning in social events (like talking to each other) is tough! We get to sleep in for the first time tomorrow with breakfast being served at 9am. I'll leave you with a picture...which pretty much sums up our exhaustion...slash is pretty hilarious!

We can't believe our trip is almost finished. We'll be seeing you all in only a few days! Thanks again for all your support!

Friday, May 14, 2010

We are "guru's!"

Yes, that's right. We were called "guru's" today. Which means teacher, but guru sounds a lot cooler.

We woke up at 7am for breakfast which included CEREAL! Chocolate corn flakes and original corn flakes with semi cold milk. Semi cold milk or not, having cereal was amazing. Also provided was potato french fries and this spicy chicken pot pie thing.

After breakfast, we headed back into Binong village to the Lentara school that we taught English at on Wednesday. Instead of wearing our skirts and dresses, we were in our comfy soccer clothes. We came into this clinic having no idea how many kids we'd have, what the ages were, and their skill level. They don't have a field, just a concrete court. We brought some soccer balls and some cones. The first group we had was 4th/5th graders. They were extremely polite and cute. Some of the boys had some skills, but for the most part the girls were very shy and not as good as the guys. We split into two groups and worked on simple fundamentals like passing and dribbling. Games were incorporated immensely which was loved by all. The second group was 7th graders who were also very polite, cute and eager to learn. There were only about 6 boys in the group, so we split up between boys and girls. Again, the same fundamentals were taught. The boys group was very good. The girls group was a bit shy, but enjoyed themselves nonetheless. Overall, the mini camp was a huge success. There was a ton of laughing, especially when we made the kids do star jumps, jumping jacks, and squashed tomatoes! Marty was very proud of us for stepping up and getting the job done despite not know what to expect. The kids were incredibly adorable and fun to work with, even with the language barrier.

Brit and a camper doing squashed tomatoes after dribbling to the cone. Brit did the best squashed tomato we've seen...except that boy might be her competition.

Katie doing her squashed tomato!

Working on dribbling. We must be good "guru's" cause they are winning in this picture!

The field (court) we had to work with!

They're so adorable!

Team picture of course.

Another team picture of course.

After camp, we headed back to UPH for lunch and some rest time. Today's lunch was definitely needed for us grumpy eaters. It included BURGERS! and french fries and watermelon! Our own little American BBQ for lunch. It's safe to say we all enjoyed this meal and ate it all up! From there, a few of us hit up the BK lounge again to get some dipped cones. Others slept, rested, used computers, read, etc etc. It was a good resting break for us after a long week.

We had our last friendly game today again the SPH faculty. They recruited the high school boys to play for them too, after their loss to us on Wednesday (which by the way was 8-1, not 4-1 which I originally posted, My B!). Unfortunately for us, we lost 2-1. We definitely didn't have our best game, especially the first half. We were a little bummed, but more extremely exhausted. We had the opportunity to swim at SPH after the game, but even that was too much work for us (that's how tired we are!) Sorry blog followers, we didn't get a team picture after this event!

Melissa dancing with the other team. Typical Melissa!

Pretty view from the field!

For dinner, we had french fries (yes, frenchies again!), beef, and veggies with a side salad. After dinner, some of us headed back to BK lounge for our comfort food: dipped cone. I don't think we've appreciated a fast food dipped cone more in our life. It really hits the spot, and we have no shame in getting it twice a day!

Tonight was the Teachers College devotional. We traded our soccer shorts for jeans, skirts, and nice shorts. Melissa was volunteered by Marty to speak for a few minutes about our trip. She did an amazing job, and spoke wonderfully to a 600 person crowd. She got some "ohhhhhsss" when the translator was stumbling a bit. We kind of felt bad for him as the crowd was giving him a tough time, but we all know he had a crush on Melissa! Here's hoping he adds her as a friend on Facebook :)

For the rest of the night, we're all resting and hanging out, preparing ourselves for a long camp tomorrow. It's our last camp of the trip, expecting around 100 elementary girls for 3hrs.

More pictures would have been updated, but Times bookstore is closing. Goodnight blog followers! See you tomorrow!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

satu, dua, tiga! HAPPY 22nd BIRTHDAY KAITLYN!

Binong village and SPH soccer camp is the events from today!

First, breakfast at 7am: it included an omelet (with onions cooked in) with fried french fry potatoes along with bread and jam. We we're all feeling this breakfast a lot more than the hotdog from yesterday, so we ate up!

We headed to Binong village at 730am. Today is an Indonesian national holiday, so no one is in school. It also made for a very busy day in the village, full of people and cars. See pictures below for how close we get to cars in this village, the road is very tight!

When we finally made it to the school, we got to work on painting the lines of the court. The contractors did a lot of the work before we got there so it made for a pretty easy day. At first it was a bit overcast which was so nice as we weren't drenched in sweat. But pretty soon the clouds parted and the sun was shining bright. As usual we had rivers of sweat flowing down our legs, back, chest, etc etc! We finished the lines and they look amazing. We're excited to present it to the school on Saturday afternoon.

This is how close we get to cars in the Binong village!! Practically touching!

Mmmmmmm hanging fish in 90 degree heat!

Painting lines!

Contractors working hard with us!

Emily playing with the little kids!
Disclaimer: This photo was taken by thee Marty Z. He worked really hard at getting this, dodging the fogging!

The surrounding area including the school was fogged to kill bugs. Needless to say, it smelt extremely gross...and it probably wasn't the safest thing for us to breath in! We lived though...and saw many cockroaches come out afterwards!

The finished project, so fresh and so clean looking!

Yes yes, another team picture of course!

After leaving Binong village, we headed to the mall near UPH for lunch. Apparently we got some Indonesian delight, I can't remember the place though. It included white rice, fried shrimp, beef with onions, and I think fried chicken wrap thing. We only had a little bit of time to rest before we headed to our camp. Some people took advantage of this by sneaking in a little cat nap or got themselves some Starbucks.

Today was our last day with our SPH camp girls! It was a normal hot day in Jakarta, but I really feel like our bodies are acclimating to this heat which has been nice. For our last day we wanted to work on tactical stuff with the girls, getting them familiar with specific aspects in soccer rather than broad fundamentals (although we all know the fundamentals are key!). We've enjoyed getting to know the girls throughout the week. We've really seen a huge difference in their play from the beginning of the week till Thursday; we're very proud! At the end of camp, we did a full field scrimmage. They really put into action the fundamentals we taught to them throughout the week which was so nice to see.

The coaches showing how to do a drill. Shannon in action in this photo!

Working on wall passes!

Amanda and Kaity Men working on moves!

We saw a few new creatures today: above Katie was this huge lizard with an interesting run/skip. We also met a nice little frog that Melissa seemed to get along well with.

The refs for the full field scrimmage. Kacie sporting Marty's hat as it started to rain at the end of camp! I believe they got ref's of the week after the game, that's debatable though.


The pretty coaches!

We had a pretty long break from camp till dinner which included long showers, resting, hanging out at Times (where I'm blogging from), resting, etc etc. Dinner included french fries, tomato soup, a suasage/salami meatloaf-ish, sweat rolls (which were AMAZINGGG), and a summer salad. After dinner, we headed to the BK Lounge for some sundaes and ice cream cones. It was a good ending to a long day of work!

Happy Birthday to Kaitlyn McLaughlin. We're so excited to celebrate your birth with you today! The birthday girl went shopping at the mall after dinner. We love you!

Also, Miranda made it home safely and soundly. She had 2 bowls of cereal this morning at 5am her time (yes, we're a little jealous!).

Tomorrow includes another camp at the Lentera school we taught English at. We're excited to see the cute little kids again and teach them a little bit of our specialty!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Taught some English!

Hello readers and followers!

Today was another busy day. We're all pretty tired. In fact, I think half of us are already in bed (I'm sacrificing my sleep time to blog for you loyal readers!). The events from today include:

Woke up a little bit earlier than usual to put on some nicer clothes: skirts and dresses. We headed down for breakfast at 7am which was the Indonesian hotdog (hot dog with cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, and sauces) with french fries. Blog followers I must be honest with you: we're all a little grumpy about the food right now. Some of us have and are still a bit sick, so any food isn't much of an option. Also, we're going on more than a week with our experiencing different foods and I think we're just craving cold cereal, waffles, etc for the breakfast menu! However, we're pushing through, enjoying ourselves throughout our last week. This morning was a bit sad too as it was the last time we'd see Miranda in Indo before she boarded her plane. We'll miss you Miranda and we all pray for safe travels! After saying goodbyes, we loaded our bus to head back into Binong village to teach English in a different school than the one we worked at yesterday.

Like I've said before, the village roads are a bit sketch. It's practically less than a one car road, very tight spaces. Most of it isn't paved either, creates for a bumpy ride, one where I swear we get some air on. To get to the school we were helping out at, you had to go up this ridiculous looking hill. The bus and bus driver have done an amazing job weaving themselves in and out of this village. However, we weren't so lucky this time...and ran into a roof that hit one of the windows. It was pretty scary and intense, but somewhat exciting as well. Emily and Katie got a little spray of glass on them, but everyone was completely safe and laughing afterward!

Our poor bus window, spider webbed and broken. The roof in the background is what we ran into!

Poor little Emily got a little glass spray. But she was tough, didn't shed a tear or nothin! Took it like a champ!

We headed into the school ready and willing to teach some English. Okay...we weren't completely ready as none of us knew what to do or how to teach English, but we pretended like we were ready anyway! We split into four groups and went into classrooms ranging from 2nd grade to 7th grade.

Activities included: Singing songs like Old McDonald and Bingo (is that what the song is called? B-I-N-G-O!), playing hang man and Simon says (huge hits!), and talking about where we are from, the sport we play, etc etc. When we played hang man, the kids were super good at it! They speak very little English, some more than others, but they were guessing words like Washington and basketball, with very few letters on the board! Simon says was also a hit with the kids, they were laughing it up the whole time! This school is apparently "middle class," but it's in an area that looks a lot different than our middle class. It also doesn't have air conditioning. We were sweating like crazy, it was a shock to think that they go there 5 days a week to learn. It was a great experience for all, getting to interact with extremely cute kids, and experience the joy they have while at school and for us being there.

Such cute kids posing for a picture!

They wanted to see one of the groups play soccer. It was a bit difficult to do a lot while wearing skirts, but we managed! They were a bit shy, especially the girls. Notice them grouped together not really participating!

Whenever we came into a classroom, they'd all stand up and greet us with a "Good morning Miss." They were extremely polite!

After teaching, we loaded a couple cars and 2 public transportation vehicles to get us back to UPH while the bus gets fixed. For lunch it included fried shrimp, octopus, and white rice with a veggy and shrimp/octopus soup. Again, we were still a bit "grumpy" about the food right now because we aren't feeling well. But some did enjoy the fishy options! We had about an hour to relax before and after lunch, so people went to computer lab or Starbucks (we love us some starbucks coffee, especially that 50% off if you bring your own mug deal!)

Around 1:30pm we walked over to SPH, the location for our weekly camp with the girls. It's less than a 10 minute walk, so not bad (except on the way back when we're all tired!). For the camp today we focused on shooting! It included four stations and drills, one being world cup and another penalty kicks! We ended with our usual scrimmages, except some of our girls made a team to play against the campers. Jessica also talked about perseverance with them, pushing through difficult situations and finishing strong! After camp ended, the girls took on the SPH staff members (all guys) in a friendly match. I believe the girls won 4-1. Apparently we can't be beaten in Indonesia!

World cup action!

Jess talking about perseverance.

We're all about the team pictures now; after everything!

a little friendly match against staff members.

seriously, we love the team pictures.

Disclaimer: Soccer camp pictures taken by Benny Flores. This is some of his "work." He is very proud and wanted to be mentioned.

We came back to UPH right in time for dinner. And we were all extremely happy to see "satay" and "gado-gado". We ate up almost all of our meals in extreme happiness. We couldn't snag a picture as we were too busy stuffing our faces.

At 7:30pm tonight we met with the student executive board at UPH to discuss, listen, talk, get to know each other and the way UPH's student body works. It was great to meet new friends and get to know them a little bit more. I'm pretty positive there will be Facebook friend requests in our future. We're all very burnt out and tired from the long day, so like I said we're pretty much resting/sleeping now. We look forward to going back to the Binong village and to finish off the court we started on Tuesday. Soccer camp with our girls in the afternoon at SPH too. Should be another busy and tiring day. See you guys tomorrow, this little lady is going to bed.