Life in Timor

Sunday, February 20, 2005

More or less a usual week in dili

It is sunday afternoon and i have found myself at work.. probably wouldnt be needed if i would be more productive during the actual working hours.
The week gone by has been more or less a usual week in Dili.- but alittle more exciting than usual i would have to say.

I am preparing to go back to the districts from tomorrow (monday), and return on friday the 25th.

In the past week, there has been more or less an exodus of people leaving our house. We have gone from 7 people living on the house, back to 3. Two brazilian fellas have gone back home, another volunteer has started her placement and moved out to a district called gleno. A little puppy also passed away. Which was quite sad, especially in the way it all happened, but the culture here is of course different in some ways, so all you can do is as much as you can, yet accepting the realities of how certain things work.

On another totally unrelated and useless point, a shipment of food from australia found its way to the supermarkets complete with milk and proper yoghurt. This shipment actually comes most weeks, but i always seem to get there after all the good stuff has already been sold. i have therefore had over 4 glasses of full cream milk- with milo today... the small things, but as i said, just alittle bit of useless information.

I made my way to a health clinic during the week. That was also a new experience. Althougth when i am in the districts the scene is quite different, here in Dili the oxfam office is complete with air con, internet, and most computers run properly (most, not all).
Going to the clinic was a slightly different experience. It is called Bairro Pite clinic and i was able to have a look around at the workings. I was able to help out in one of the rooms where the dengue tests were occuring. Half a dozen or so kids were needing to have dengue tests. When looking at the chart its never good to see that there are about 3 out of these children who have been listed positive. Not so good. The little dengue outbreak i think has now has some attention from the World Health Organisation. Currently, there have been around 150-200 cases of Dengue Heamoraghic fever, primarily in Dili, and with a relatively high mortality rate of 9.1%. Quite scary when you look at those statistics. So Dili has recieved a 'crack' team of epidemi-somethings and virologisits to assist with the treatment, as the high mortality rate is primarily due to mistreatment, rather than the dengue itself.

A group of us made it to a belated valentines day party last night. And for some bizarre reason, the hosts thought it would be nice to have the 'tall malae (white person) in the white shirt' to come up and 'say a few words to the person he loves here tonight'... (in tetum)I suppose it was a valentines party afterall, yet maybe the group didnt really think about what that entailed. Wasnt the most comfortable situation, but abit of a laugh afterwards. So i did my best not to make a total fool of myself. This was followed by a few hours of dancing. Yet dancing where you are not allowed to smile (or more that no one smiles at all), and as soon as the song is finished, the sea parts and everyone sits back down again, to wait only until the next song starts, where the males ask the females, and it all starts again. Quite enjoyable when you learn to master (or just think youve mastered) the timorese 3 step.

Hope all is well, and my best wishes to those who are making trips of their own soon.


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