Fish on a stick

Last Sunday, Pat and I went snorkelling at Back Beach behind the Jesus statue, as we’ve done on many a Sunday morning in the last two years. Later, we wandered around to the next bay. A high stone wall has appeared on the cliff edge. It won’t be long before the view of Atauro Island is commandeered by whichever ema boot (big-wig) is building a house on that beautiful spot.

The beaches and hills of Dili have soothed our souls during our two-year stint.

The beaches and hills of Dili have sustained us during our two-year stint. You can see the Jesus statue (Cristo Rei) at the end of the point, and Atauro Island in the distance.

Behind us work had begun on a five-star tourist resort; across the water, new dirt roads zigzagged over the hills, heralding more exclusive development. We agreed that we’ve been lucky to be in Timor at this time. A time of optimism, in spite of all its problems. A peaceful time, sandwiched between the turmoil of the past and the creeping inequality that casts a shadow over the future. Continue reading

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From rescued to rescuers

A chance to repay the kindness of the Timorese after our car broke down on our Mount Matebian trip three weeks ago came sooner than expected.

Tony, our guide Guido, Pat, Pip, Julia and Del at the entrance to the Loi Hunu caves.

Tony, our guide Guido, Pat, Pip, Julia and Del at the entrance to the Loi Hunu caves.

We spent last weekend at Loi Hunu, south of Baucau, with Julia, Del and Tony, three other Kiwi volunteers. It’s my favourite place in Timor with impressive limestone caves and a beautiful river hole (see my Gals’ Weekend blog).

On Sunday afternoon, as we were contemplating another swim, there was a loud crash. Everyone in the village went running through the trees, followed by Julia and me. To find out more, click on the photos below.

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Gals’ weekend

Everyone says you have to get out of Dili to see the real Timor. That’s where three-quarters of the population live, far from the capital’s hot streets and hustle. What better reason to join a gals’ weekend to the highlands with Tracey and Liz – two other Kiwi women of a certain age – and Carol, a young American brave enough to hang out with us.

Not that women in the real Timor would take off in a car together for three days. When Pat told Lukas, a World Vision driver, we’d gone gallivanting without husbands, Lukas slapped his thigh and roared with laughter as if it was the funniest thing he’d ever heard. Continue reading