April 11th, 2011

This is [a slightly edited] letter that I wrote Friday night summarizing an afternoon I spent teaching Ultimate at a boarding school near Acco as part of Ultimate Peace, an initiative to promote cross cultural meetings with Ultimate Frisbee.

Hey gang!

I spent a good part of this week dealing with all sorts of Ultimate related things, but I kept coming back to the same nagging question:  What is the weather going to be like on Friday!  The internet on my phone kept saying rain, even when I checked it repeatedly.  The internet on my computer said differently, but the pessimist in me didn’t want to believe it.  So you can imagine the dismay I felt when I woke up to a text message that Kfar Tavor had canceled partly because of the weather.
I quickly threw some clothes on and went outside.  A little gloomy, and some grey ominous clouds, but the ground wasn’t wet.  Then the ritual began in earnest: Text messages, phone calls, who is still in, and who is picking up who where?
After some long phone conversations Jez and I were able to convince Becca not to drive two hours from Jerusalem for an hour and a half at Kfar Manof.  Needless to say, by the time all of this was sorted, the sky was cloudless.
And that is how Elana, Jez and myself found ourselves, three wondering UPers, at the familiar gates of the Kfar Manof boarding school.  While Elana and Jez went directly to the field, I began a mini treasure hunt to find Roei except all the clues were being given by half awake teenagers lounging on the grass.  By the time I found Roei and made it to the field, Elana and Jez had already managed to gather a small group and had started to throw some discs around.  Once again we are reminded that kids are drawn to a flying disc like moths to a flame.
We threw, taught, laughed, and dodged a soccer ball with a group of about ten boys.  We even had a visit from two of our old friends Michelle and Riki (NOTE: some names may have been changed to protect the innocent, but more likely they have been changed because I’m really bad at remembering names) who, while they had a lot of fun at camp, were way too cool (tired, sick) to join us on the grass.  The kids asked for the simple two people chase down a huck drill, so we came together, did a simple name game, talked a little about how to throw and catch, and got into the fun.
Predictably, it quickly deteriorated into chaos again as they got bored and started trowing with each other.  So, we set up a small field and turned around to find that there were only five left.  With the three of us, that made eight, a decent number for a small field.
And we were off…  Elana and I teamed up with Benny and Dan.  There was a surprisingly high quality of game with some good throwing and cutting and some excellent defense. We took the first two points before Jez’s team was able to score the third.  On the way back to the line, I made a joking comment about it’s less fun when the other team scores and Elad turned to me and said something along the lines of: “It’s a game, it happens, it’s not such a big deal.”  Hmmm, maybe they get this spirit thing…
At one point after our half-time water break a sixth boy showed up at the field and began teasing our guys a bit.  They took it well, basically telling him to put up or shut up.  He tried to play it like he wasn’t interested, but when I decided to sit out a point, he was eager to take my place.  He even scored one of the next points.
Chatting with them as we were packing up, we got the feeling that these guys are hungry for more of this.
On the negative side of things, their ‘local coaches’ (who aren’t really coaches, but their madrichim or counselors) disappeared quite quickly, and we only really had five who stuck around.  On the positive side, the ones who stayed had a lot of fun.  As did Elana, Jez and I.
I feel as though I have the easiest job in the whole operation, all I have to do is go out and teach and play the game that I love.  So I want to say thank you for all the hard work that goes into coordinating these days with the different communities.
Another day in the books.  Lets hope there are many more like it in the near future.
See you at Camp!


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