Friday, July 25, 2008

Sidalia and Idalia

Sidalia and Idalia are another two members of the basketball crew that I see a couple of times a week at the Eskola Cina. Sidalia, 19, and Idalia, 20, met when they both started playing basketball for the Futuru Team in junior high school and have been friends ever since. The Futuru Team are reigning champions of the national basketball competition held in Dili each year despite being substantially shorter and younger and having a much smaller team than any of their opponents.

I saw a few of their games in the competition this year and after they scored the first 18 points of the second half (with no subs) against the much larger and scary-looking PNTL team (the National Police Force) I thought it might have been prudent to maybe go a little easy on their opponents. They did have a bit of a scare in the final against the Canossa School, but once they calmed down and found their rhythm in the second half they pulled away to a comfortable lead and took out the championship for the second year running.

They both graduated from high school last year and are now taking an English course at a private school in Fatuhada before going to university. Sidalia hopes that she can get a scholarship to study overseas and her dream destination is her favourite country: America. Idalia hopes to continue her study here in Timor and wants to study medicine or, failing that, leadership studies.

They both like to read comedies and mentioned the Indonesian Bengkel Tawa series as one of their favourites. Idalia said that she liked to read self-help books too; fortunately for her, it seems like about 80% of publishing in the Indonesian language can be neatly placed in that category... They don't actually own any books of their own so they normally just borrow them from friends. Other than that, the only things they read on a semi-regular basis are Lafaek and the odd newspaper.

They were quite interested in the idea of the writing competition and actually asked if they could enter. I think we'd better hurry up and launch this thing...

PS - And here's a badarse photo I took of Sidalia going for a block against a guy a foot taller than her the other week:

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