Life in Timor

Friday, January 21, 2005

Back from the 1st trip away

I have just returned from the first district trip of the year. I visited a district called Suai. Had been there once before last year, but its a great place and i will try to get back there more and more. The trip only last 3 days, but ended up being quite busy. The plan for the trip was to update the information we have on the programs that are running in the office and subdistricts down there. And of course wanted to stay.
After the 1st day of work, i was given the Oxfam car to use during my time there. So i took the opportunity to drive to the beach, about half an hour away. I had learnt my lesson not to swim there last year. (We saw crocodile tracks go into the water last time just as we got out) So the plan was to keep fit and go for a run.
But After the run (unfortunately no crocodiles), of course the car wouldnt start. I was getting slightly worried as it was getting dark, i didnt know the area, and the fact that i was by myself with no idea how cars bloody work. It all worked out as i walked for a while and found a few timorese relaxing at the beach. They gave me a push start and i eventually found my way back. Not too many other stories, a rather large spider hiding in the hollow of a toilet role as it 'was in use' was abit of a surprise. And a planned meeting with the staff in the districts turned out to be a training i had to somehow conduct, which put me on the spot abit.

Its now friday afternoon, so have the weekend to go before another trip. Lucky enough to have this next trip for over a week.

Also, on a sadder note. It has been confirmed that a youth ambassador was killed in Thailand by the Tsunami on boxing day. Her name was Susan Oliver, she was taking a holiday over Christmas from her post in Vietnam. Please keep Susan and her family in your thoughts.

Take Care, and thanks for the little comments posted up. Ill definately be keeping you updated on this end- so keep any news coming.


Saturday, January 15, 2005

Start of the year

Well, I am back in Timor and settling back slowly into things.
I have arrived back to find the office running on about 1/2 capacity. 4 staff members (including my supervisor) are at the moment in Aceh coordinating Oxfam's relief work- primarily with logistics and recruiting staff for the longer term.
It will be interesting to see what it is like first hand working on the relief activities.
Besides that, things are running smoothly, but it will take some time to get back into the swing of things. Another AYAD had her dad visit over the last few days, so we headed out for a dinner last night. Not too bad all up- dinner on the beach, (or in ankle deep water if you choose), great option of prawns, and all easily under $10.
We have also been gracd by the presence of Xanana Gusmao (East Timorese president) as he made his way into a restaurant we were eating at a few days ago.
I have also now become slightly more immune to the real way of how meat arrives on our tables. A pig and a goat had their lasts moments on our fence earlier today as i watched from my room. Makes you feel alittle sick as you see it all happen (and pigs scream very loud), but it is how its always been done i suppose.
A nightclub has opened up here in Dili. There are already one or two here. But this one is totally different, you might aswell be on George st on a friday night- besides the absense of the the suits, its all the same. Bar, furniture, too much base in the music and all the rest.
I am off to the districts for 2 weeks with a break next weekend which i look forward to. So im sure ill be debriefing about that aswell.