The Kuku Dance Returns
April 30th. SDL Coach, Nora Dooley, shares her thoughts upon her return to the field in Indonesia.
There is a very good reason we only work with leaders. I’ll give you a hint: what happens if we work with children and then leave at the end of the week? Every once in a while, however, we have a session or two with the beneficiaries of our partner programs, and we are faced with the task of doing what we ask educators all over the world to do on a consistent basis: simultaneously teach children about football and life, while having as much fun as humanly possible.
After two months on the Off-Field grind, I was back in action in Sentul, Indonesia – a small city outside of Jakarta. I ran a two-day training for our partners at Uni Papua, who are exploring the option of expanding their CAC partnership at a school in Sentul, where children from Papua study far from home.
This program launched me back into the CAC rhythm, asking me to rise to the aforementioned challenge. I had to show these kids what CAC is all about. Still remembering my sato, dua, tigas (1,2,3s…) from my time in Indonesia two years prior, the rust fell off with ease and a couple of boomshakalakas.
I could not have asked for a better way to re-engage with our amazing curriculum than doing so with a group of children that spend their days in search of their next chance to laugh. And whether with me or at me (most likely the latter), I’m happy as long as we’re laughing.
At this point many have heard of the famous ‘Kuku Dance’ – coined in Kenya in 2014, and carried with our Self-Directed Learning coaches far and wide. To simply say I was excited to get my ‘Kuku’ on would vastly understate my love for this dance – and the smiles it brings in amazingly diverse cultural contexts. At no point were these children laughing harder (at me) than when they learned the now legendary dance during the first of many ‘Mingle Mingles’.
Two days of games centered on teaching life skills, conflict resolution, and female empowerment, fully saturated with giggles and mingles and kukus, made for the perfect welcome back to coaching. Hopefully next time we run a program in Sentul, we will focus more on sustainability, but for now, fun was the objective, and that objective was achieved.
And as I walked off the school ground after saying goodbye to my new, young, Indonesian friends, shouts of “kuku dance, kuku dance, kuku dance” put a final, contented smile on my silly face. Terima kasih Uni Papua.