A Travellerspoint blog

THE FINALE

WHAT HAPPENED AT THE END OF THE JOURNEY AND NOW FINALLY THE ANSWER!!!

The Finale=====

It is hard to believe that it is now almost seven weeks since my return from East Timor. Unfortunately there were some very helpful people who tried to fix my computer in Dili which meant that I couldn’t use it until I sorted it out on my return so I called it an enforced break. So what happened in the last few weeks. For those of you are may still be checking from time to time to see if in fact there is conclusion well here it is.


Meeting Gloria

Gloria and I finally met out at the college where she studies at the Instituto Scientifica Religiosa. Gloria is probably best described as petite bubbly young lady and it was great to actually meet her. We ended up going back to where she is living with her uncle and many other family members. Just by way of update Gloria is from a small town called Zumalai about an eight hour drive from Dili. Gloria is residing with her family in Dili until a bed space becomes available for her at the College and she is looking forward to not having to get up so early to commute to school.

We also caught up when she invited a couple of her friends to come over to Timor Lodge where I was staying and yet again when my mother was over as Gloria and her delightful brother Danny came with us on a day trip to a place called Maubere. Maubere is about a two hour drive north to a little town that was used by the Portuguese as a fort and there are great craft markets there.


Helen will return to Dili in 2013

The money I paid for Gloria’s tuition was directed to a Carmelite Brother (via the Carmelites in South Melbourne) to dispense the funds as necessary as funds are paid out of the account on a tri-annual basis and this also depends on the subjects that Gloria elects. I finally met up with Brother Antonio at the Carmelite Nuns in Dili to discuss Gloria’s study.

Long story short I start my English as a Second Language Course when I can get around to enrolling with the mission of returning to Dili September 2013 to teach the Carmelites for an intense month and I hope to make it an anuual event. Great, I always thought I would end up in a convent. I look so forward to returning to all those smiling faces.

Best Tour Organiser in Dili======

Having been in Dili for almost seven weeks I was able to assemble a comprehensive itinerary for my mother and I. Mum arrived on the morning of the 19 April 12 at 0715h to start the whirlwind tour heading straight out to the mountains to Maubisse where we stayed in the pousada - vestige to the history of Portugese building. It was about a four hour trip allowing for the stop at the cafe set up for commemoration of WWII and displays video footage as testimony of how the East Timorese helped we Aussies out sooo much. I think we should be eternally indebted for what they did for us. By the time we stopped in Alelieu on the way we finally arrived in Maubisse early afternoon.

Even East Timor becomes small as one of the girls from the Sao Miguel College where I was teaching came running up calling me Mrs Helen, Mrs Helen. Over there everyone is referred to with a title and given my age (boo hoo) I had the honour of being called Mrs. It was great seeing her with her friends and they later came to our room to share in cheese and biscuits. Noni (who I had met the last trip) came up with a group of her friends to collect all the balls that we had taken up for her. Noni was the girl who I met after taking up one soccer ball last time and she asked if I had anymore or a table tennis table. She was happy to take away basketballs, volleyballs and soccer balls.

That night our driver Augus joined us for dinner. Here is a plug for Tony and his wife who run a business in rentalcars and driver. Tony’s number is (+670) 7343416. They charge $80 a day without petrol. Providing meals isn’t a requirement but it is only fare to include meals for the driver and it is always interesting gleaning more about their lives.


Return to Dili

After a one night stay we took our time driving back to Dili and we were booked into the Casteways. Great little hotel and our accommodation was only $60 a night with share bathroom {contact number(+670) 723 7382}. They also have a kitchenette where you can cook your own meals and a little lounge room to watch TV if you are so inclined needless to say I don’t think it was ever used given there is so much to do and see.

Meeting Ramos Horta

Next morning we had another driver (Alberto ) pick us up to drive us to Baucau. What a scream. Honestly this guy is great if you book with Tony see if you can get Alberto to take you to Baucau. About an hour into the journey I said it would be nice if we could stop for coffee. Alberto really became part of the family as everytime we hit a bump hard he would turn around and say ‘sorry Mum’ with the cutest of accents.

As it turned out the requested stop coincided with a very shattered tyre as I kept saying something felt funny with the driving sitting in the back of the car. When we asked Alberto where the cafe was he said he thought we had brought our own coffee. Oh well. Poor Alberto couldn’t find the wrench to change the tyre nor the key to unlock the tyre that was on the back of the 4WD so I asked him to go to another 4WD I spied in the distance. While Alberto was gone I managed to flag down what turned out to be two very cute Portuguese officers. Their wrench worked but they didn’t have the key to release the replacement tyre . A thorough search of the glove box found both so within a short time we were on the road again.


Pousada Baucau

The Pousada was well worth staying at although building excavations were going on at the back of the hotel. At only $70 a night Mum and I had separate rooms. The restaurant that night was beautiful although and it was a pleasant surprise to find that President Ramos Horta was dinning with his entourage of 15 other males. We didn’t have much chance to converse although we did have an opportunity for some photos. President Horta was not re-elected in the East Timorese elections and so this was a journey to say goodbye to all those he had had contact with during his time as President.

Next day we headed down to the beach to a restaurant we discovered the previous day. Meals were only $8 each with fresh fish, rice, chips and vegies. The day was just so perfect, the people were great, service excellent, scenery magnificent, temperature spot on. My sister had sent $100 over with Mum to buy things for wherever I perceived the need. Having been down at the beach the day before and seeing all the kids down there we went shopping in Baucau before we went down to the beach armed with thongs, clothes, buckets and balls for the kids. Also a few bags of rice and food were purchased for families. People were just so appreciate of the bits and pieces they received. It really doesn’t take much to make them happy and I suppose for my part the most disappointing part of the trip was those from Australia that were receiving a very, very good income and not providing any aid whatsoever. It is not a matter of just giving money but a few bags of rice here and there at $16 isn’t that expensive. Buying balls for the kids at $5 each to play with and just small basic things means so much to them. If you put into perspective that the average wage is $5 a day and if you were to consider what you earned for a full day could you afford to buy a basketball on your full day’s earnings?

Returning from Baucau was funny as well. As we were travelling along Alberto decided he needed to buy sardines for his family to cook that night. I couldn’t figure out how I never heard him open up the back of the car to put the fish in but he had slung them onto the back tyre and then pulled over later as they were coming loose. Then he tried to sling them on the driver’s side mirror until he was finally convinced to put them in a plastic bag we had and keep them in the car. We had such a laugh about such a small thing.


ANZAC Day in Dili

We returned to Dili 24 Apr 12 as we wanted to attend the ANZAC Day ceremony. My friend Robert turned up to drive us to the venue and it was great to be part of a celebration of our history. The comparison from freezing temperatures in Canberra with the many times we have attended ANZAC Day at the War Memorial to honouring those fallen in a country that had helped us through so much was very special. What was so sad is to see all those young lives that had been lost as a result of the operations that we have had since WWII. Being Catering Corps in the Army there is a special mention for LCPL Andrew Gordon Jones. LCPL Jones was tragically killed in action on 30 May 2011 at a patrol base north of Tarin Kot, Afghanistan. He was the first AACC soldier to be killed on active duty since the Vietnam War.

Onto Maubere

Augus was back as our driver and we went down to Maubere for the day as previously mentioned with Gloria and her brother Danny. It was a great trip down via the coast and being a week day very quiet everywhere. We had the restaurant to ourselves (which was just as lucky given the time they needed to milk the cows and haul the fishing lines in but a really great environment).


Aratauro Island

Next day it was onto Aratauro Island for two days. We booked into Compass with Robert’s company taking us over. For those who have previously read it is $5.00 on the main Ferry but it takes three hours and leaves at 8 am but then returns at 3 pm the same day. There is another taxi which is $30 each way but there is a minimum of four people required to run it and depends on the weather whereas Compass runs just about all the time and is $45 so we decided that the $45 option knowing that we were going to get there was the best option. Compass number is (+670) 7230964 and email address is: svscdili@tesltra .com . Robert is very accommodating and runs diving courses and group accommodation on the island as well. All else fails with contact details just go into www.guidepost.com


The Island

What a great couple of days. We had the biggest bungalow there with two stories so Mum had the ground level and I had the top. Day 1 we met another lady from Warnambool Rotary who we had met at Castaways and she was there with a young girl who she had given an opportunity of getting away and doing something different. We had so much fun together getting a tuck tuck to see the local crafts that were made with ladies using the old deadly treadlies. Their working conditions where pitiful and it was terrible seeing them all working in the dark with the amount of work they were turning over of a day. The sewing was fantastic and what I would assume was a quilters dream for the work they produced.

With some of the other money my sister had given me we bought reems of A4 paper and crayons to take over to the island for one of the schools. We met the principal and he was really happy with even the small contribution we could provide him with.

On returning to Barry's we had a lunch with a quiet afternoon. That night we booked into an Italian Restaurant down the road which took about 30 minutes for $2 per head each way. You have to pre-order your meals at the restaurant which is also organised by Barry's which is not a problem but sooo much food one dish would have been enough for two. Again the four of us headed out together so we shared our orders that night. The pizza was fantastic and probably the best choice of the dishes.

The trip back that night to Bary's was a little scary as there was another few girls getting a separate tuck tuck and the drivers decided they wanted to race. Racing is one thing but in complete darkness was another matter. In the end all torches to the front that anyone could provide for the drivers to see their way back home. We won in the end and the driver was given Mum’s torch to help out for future ventures.Next day we returned to Dili after wishing Lena (the owner) and Mickey (the other adorable twin) goodbye. Barry was in Queensland with the other son at the time.

So What Happened Back In Dili?

We had a day and a half left before departure so it was going to some local Tais Markets to buy a few gifts to take home. We also did the trip up to Cristo Rei which is the big Jesus statue overlooking Dili. On the walk up there we inherited a family and we all had photos taken together. They are all so friendly and we really felt like a part of their family. We managed to eventually make our way back to enjoy a hot coffee or in my case a cold beer before we returned to our accommodation which at this time we had booked in to The Esplanade. It is more upmarket at $110 a night and a nice little restaurant in the bungalow style. If you are staying for a while best to talk to Ashley to ask for a better price.


30th April 2012

Finally time to depart this fine country. We got a taxi to the airport and had fun there as we usually do. I was overweight with my luggage by about 6 kilos and mum was under so they said I should transfer my luggage to Mum’s which I did. Long story short they still ended up charging me for being overweight even though the transfer had occurred but there comes a time it is not worth the arguments and just pay the bill. So we went through customs and sorted everything out expecting that there would be a cafe through immigration or at least a coffee machine but nothing. You couldn’t even buy a bottle of water.

Entertainment In Dili

There is not a lot that happens although they do have trivia at the Dili Hotel on a Tuesday night and probably more significant is a Thursday night to attend very special meaningful movies generally about Timor Leste. The movies run in two session with session one from 7pm and session two from 9pm. The movies are shown at Fundacao Oriente at Rua Dr. Antonlio Carvalho No 13 Apartado 470. For anyone not knowing the area it is just around the corner from the ANZ Bank in Dili and as there is only one ANZ Bank it is a pretty significant landmark to base your directions. They do have service of beverages prior to the movie. (www.fairtradefilms.com.au or www.aguerradabeatriz.com)

Where to from here?

The days have been full on trying to get my home back to order, catching up with friends albeit very intermmitedly given my commitments, a trip to Perth and starting a new job in Canberra. After retiring as an ARA member of the ADF I always said I would return as a reservist given the knowledge and experience I had accumulated. An appointment with Wollongong Recruiting didn’t work out last year but I can say that I am very fortunate to have secured a terrific reservist position in Canberra at the Directorate of Reserve Officer Career Management- Army. This is right down my alley given my previous experience in career management.I have landed in a great place, a great space with a group of wonderful people for which I am very lucky. Canberra is a magnificient place this time of the year with all the colour changes in the trees although hard getting back to the very cool temperatures of a morning.

To end this particular blog I can say that journeying to East Timor has finally given me a real sense of a future purpose as to how best help out in the country. There is no doubt that education of the people is the best way to go to help move the Timorese from where they are to where they should be heading. Should anyone wish to sponsor any child through education I have contacts and there is always the possibility of combining with friends to help sponsorship knowing there is no middle man and all monies are donated directly.


WHAT A LIFE

I give thanks for the wonderful opportunities I have experienced and the most interesting people that have crossed my life in the last few months. I thank my friends and family who donated money to buy things for the locals that I thought would help out and the smiles on the receiving faces will be with me forever. My friends Janelle and David gave me some cards to hand out from time to time to people that I would like to thank for different things. They are cards where you have to take the cover off to read the saying. I kept one card for myself and opened it to read the saying: “When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am older I admire thoughtful people”. I admire clever people that use their skills to be thoughtful. I watched a talk back session when in Dili with Mr Simon Mordant being interviewed. His statement was that anything that encourages more giving is good. I believe it is a statement that we should be conscious of in our day to day actions and a statement that unfortunately I feel doesn’t permeate through our society. How are you going to give or encourage giving today?

I am an extremely fortunate soul and I know that the rest of 2012 will be interesting, demanding, exciting and most of all rewarding.
Should anyone wish to talk about any aspects of an impending journeys to East Timor please feel free to call me on 0419230812.

Here's to the East Timorese and may God bless them all.

Posted by prayer49 19:22 Archived in Australia

FULL FORCE GALE

sunny

Friday rolls around again.

A successful day with retrieving my computer from the computer doctor and having my right arm re-installed as I have communication with the outside world again. One of the guys at work needed help with a CV as he applies for a scholarship and the report is just about finished for ETDA as I hand over with just a few finishing stats required. Lots of action out on the streets as Timor Leste prepares for the next bout of elections on the 16th and it is really hard to move around of an evening with the amount of traffic on the road. Road work continues outside as the roads are sealed during the whole night and morning to prepare for the finish of the elections (where I am staying is only 5 mins from the airport so main road in and out of Dili)- they are just missing the red carpet. Banging and welding continues outside my window as a sewerage tank is being built - I could say what it is giving me having listened to it for three weeks now but that is life - I just seem to perpetually attract noise. Oh well up with Van Morrison and good excuse to drown out the noise - yep Like a Full Force Gale is working... well Ok I have played it now 5 times so it is really working.

Posted by prayer49 23:02 Archived in East Timor

YEAH, I GOT LUCKY!!

sunny

All I can say is what an absolutely incredible Easter.

Carol was around at 10am on the Friday morning to pick me up with her flat mate Nancy. Carol is from Texas, Nancy from the Phillipines and me born in Chile made it an interesting conversatiion during the journey. We met up with the others here in Dili where we travelled in convoy with three vehicles and 12 people. Carol's partner and another friend had gone ahead by pushbike and we would catch up with them later.

The drive to Maubisse was tremendous. We meandered through the countryside at a steady pace given the condition of the roads and stopped at Alieu for lunch and caught up with the other two. We arrived in Maubisse about 3pm and settled into our accommodation called Maubisse Cafe. It was only $15 each per night and given the number of us we booked out the whole place.

Dinner was at the pousada that night - an original Portuguese building overlooking Maubisse. I will be going back and actually staying at the Pousada when my mother comes over. It is the best place to book in for meals of an evening although a very casual affair but meals are cheap at an average of $6 per meal. After dinner it was back to the accommodation for games and it was a heap of fun playing spoons although the looser had to eat a banana. I think they were happy to loose as there was still a liittle hunger amongst the group. One of the guys said last time the looser had to eat potatoes and chillies as there was so much left over from their cooking. I love chillies but I don't think I could come at eating them on loosing a game.

The trip to Maubisse is very worth while and the village is really quaint. The main church was opposite the accommodation and being Easter was the centre for a lot of people to come and worship. Apparently they have a great food market on Sundays where all the locals come in to sell their wares (including donkeys, goats, chooks and pigs) so it will be good to be up there for that. I took a soccer ball up to give to the kids which they loved so now I am on a promise to provide basketballs, volleyballs and soccerballs next visit. They also asked for a ping pong table but I explained that would be a little difficult.

Sat morning was a slow start and on the road by 10am after sitting around the top verandah admiring the splendid view over the village. Riders had swopped at this stage except for one guy who was determined to ride all the way to Hatobullico. Going was really tough on the bikes as the state of the roads were really bad. Given the ride the previous day and other things he called for backup to pick him up. I went back with the support vehicle.

A funny site ensued as when we got there one of the guys went to open the back door of the vehicle and out crashed the gurnie of wine that was going to be consumed that night. It was like a fountain with six holes and you have never seen so many bottles of water emptied out in the attempt to save the wine. So back to Mausbisse at which time one of the guys friends were coming through to join us at Hatobullico. We ended up having lunch together and then it was time to hit the road again. Brian stayed in Maubisse and was looking forward to attending the special church service that night.

Having had so much time in Dili I was just quite happy tooing and frowing and just enjoying the spectacular countryside. We arrived at Hatabullico which is 2000 metres above sea level and at the base of Mt Ramelau at about 3.30pm. Time to go for a walk and stretch the legs. Dinner was served that night at the accommodation and there were 18 for dinner. I got talking to another Palms volunteer whose husband helps out in the local clinic and for Dr Dan Murphy as well at different times. What a cross section of people that night. Amongst the group was also Catharine Williams who is the first person to write the English to Tetun dictionary, amongst other works, and her husband who is a research adviser for Dpt of Fisheries and Agriculture. Mr Woing was there whose wife runs Wong Lawyers - naturally I had to have a joke to him about that but no doubt he was used to it. There were NGO workers, UN workers and the list goes on. Suffice to say that the cross section of people at the table was amazing.

Not a late night as everyone was up by 2.30 am ready for a 3am departure to climb Mt Ramelau which is the highest point in Timor at a height of 2986m above sea level. A few of us armed with torches and being guided by moonlight we gradually made it to the top. We did quit well as usually they allow three hours but we took 1hr 50 mins. I can't remember the last time I was so cold - on second thoughts yes I can when I was doing officer training in the middle of Canberra in winter at -5 and having the old fashioned greens on without any jumper.

You have never seen a group huddle so tightly. I'm surprised we didn't leave our teeth up there. The sun gradually made its way up over the clouds and it was a site of incredible beauty. On one side was the sun coming up and on the other side was the moon shining down. As the sun continued to penetrate through the clouds it cast a shadow of Mt Ramelau on the other side which made for an amazing view. Naturally by this stage we all dreamed of a hot cup of coffee - well anything hot.

Having made full appreciation of the views it was time to do the walk back. I think I took the prize for the one that slipped the most as there was so much loose rubble. Everyone enjoyed the breakfast when we got back and then I headed off with Catharina and her husband Robert to go to a church service slightly off the beaten track going back to Maubisse being Easter Sunday. Well the intention was good but I ended up falling asleep in the back of the 4WD punching out a few ZZzzs uwhile they attended the service. After the service we were invited ti partake in coffee and corn with the preacher which was an honour.

After coffee it was the treck back to Dili with another pitstop at Aleiu where we met up with the others who had gone ahead. Everyone agreed what a fantastic weekend we had had. I got dropped back at Timor Lodge and ran straight into one of the guys here who invited me for a wine. Whow what a way to finish the weekend. The group that I tagged along with were mainly a church group and such a delightful warm group of people. I was so grateful to Carol for including me in her group and we are catching up for dinner this Friday. I was hoping to download some photos from the trip but I have collected a virus onto my E drive from where I have been working and so need to get that sorted as I can't download any photos out but in the mean time I will try and get a copy from some of the others.

Monday was a nice sleep in, a catch up on things and then I caught up with another girlfriend for drinks at 1.30pm. I have mentioned Naimi before and it was good catching up with what had been happening over the weekend. From there it was more socialisation and then out for dinner down near the beach. I was a content little vegemite that night pondering the many wonderful days that I had had.

And to add to this my luck continued. Today being Monday I received a phone call from the Australian Embassy saying that my passport had been picked up for me and it was ready to collect. Whow was I impressed and what nice people to do that for me. I tootled down to ETDA for a while to continue with the report and it is in the finishing stages and taking shape. It has been a great opportunity getting to learn more about what actually goes on with training here in Dili. To give you an example how diverse ETDA is today they had a workshop and meetings in regards to UNMIT pulling out (United Nations Mission In Timor) and how ETDA could assist with different facets. It has been so interesting watching the coming and going of people at ETDA it just reminds me of an ant farm with everyone going about their work.

Posted by prayer49 23:48 Archived in East Timor

YOU CAN'T PUT A SQUARE PEG IN A ROUND HOLE

Well by George I think you can as I am gradually finding out. The weeks are rolling on now which I suppose is indicative of being busy given that I have a bit of a routine going with doing a report. Last Monday was a great success as I ran a workshop at the East Timor Development Agency for staff to project out in order to draw up a five year development plan. It was a most interesting exercise given that I could not understand that much Tetum. Palmira the Director interpreted for me and it was great to see the enthusiasm of the staff as they were broken up into groups to consider the challenges of the future. Yeah something worked.

Anyone who runs any workshops knows that the biggest challenge is converting ideas to actual plans. Nothing like a SMART goal – specific, measurable, articulated, reasonable with a time frame. Need help – contact Aspirations Life Coaching. I used to call my B&B Aspirations Accommodation but abbreviated it really didn’t sound too good. And so welcome to AA and enjoy your weekend. Mmmmmmm – don’t think so. Now it is Aspirations Studio Accommodation.

Gloria, Gloria where art though young Gloria? I made another trip up to the university to see if I could meet her. Usual trouble with taxi drivers wanting more money as it is too far even though the price has been agreed. Anyway the thing is just not to pay. So I arrived and this time at least they had heard of Gloria but she was away for a week. That night I also received a phone from a priest (who is from the same village as Gloria) making contact with me and telling me she had changed her phone number again. Father Antonio was travelling back to Zumalai for Easter but would be back in Dili next week and we could meet up then. Halieluah.

I can tell I am becoming more of a local when I tell the drivers what directions to go although some of them I am telling where to go. Another tip in Dili. Never sit in the front with a taxi driver even though the back seat may have people in it as they will get out and then you are stuck. I know where the male genitals reside and I don’t need my hand to be grabbed as proof that it exists. Just wait for a taxi with no-one else in the taxi so you can have the whole of the back seat to yourself.

That night I was sitting having a few drinks with my mates here (it is great as I feel like a little groupie hanging out with them) and we got talking about my passport and visa issues. After much discussion I decided to hightail it to the Australian Embassy the next morning to see what could be done to retrieve my passport. It is the first time in 29 years of overseas travel that my life support has been taken away.

I arrived unannounced the next morning and met the Australian Defence Attache who was also one of the students who studied under Sandi, my Tetum teacher at the Military School of Languages, in Victoria. It would appear that Mark and I joined the army in the same year. Mark and his offsider Marcus were very helpful and it was reassuring to know that I had done the right thing after all in giving over my passport although five days was the usual time to leave the passport but with Easter the Immigration Dept didn’t want to have to work too hard.

Coming to East Timor for a while- I would strongly recommend anyone coming over to East Timor to register at the Australian Embassy. They keep all NOK contact details and can notify you of any issues. What was even more amazing was that I ended up meeting the wife of the rotary contact here who signed my paper work for my rotary project . I didn’t realise she works at the Embassy. Hello, I felt like being Pauline Hanson and say “please explain” why this wasn’t mentioned to me on arrival...... ah yes, caring and sharing I think it is called. I think there is a name for people like that.

It was a very worthwhile visit. There are so many scenarios you hear about with people having problems with extension of visas . Some say just leave the country and come back in. Well after all it is only $300 return to Bali. Wrong. Depending on how long you have been out of the country you may still not be able to re-enter until the appropriate paperwork has passed through Immigration. Some say just pay the fine on departure from the airport. Wrong. It is not just a matter of paying a fine as again the appropriate paperwork has to be filled out so that could cause you to loose your flight as well. I believe the fine is about $150 a month + loss of airfare.

Last night was a great night out at my favourite Portuguese restaurant with some friends. Fresh fish, salsa, Portuguese rice which is like tomatoe cooked with the rice, chips, potatoes... nummy. Dining alfresco is my favourite way to dine and with not a skeric of wind it was fantastic. No mossies and no taxi drivers where even a bigger bonus.

I had a phone call last week from someone via rotary who needs to practice his English prior to doing some testing for a scholarship. Sunday afternoon he came around and I also had a couple of the girls from the College where I have been teaching at for extra practice. It all went well for two hours and then he was supposed to come back Monday at 5pm and never showed. So I had a phone call from someone ringing on his behalf on Tuesday and I said I would give him two hours from 5pm to 7pm Wednesday night. Once again no show. Natalino works at a clinic not far from here for Dr Dan Murphy.

I haven't had luck teaching this guy from Dr Dans. I ended up ringing his mobile the voice answering wasn't his and I asked to speak to Natalino as I was waiting to give him an English class. The person answering was Dr Dan himself and he said he didn't need any English classes as he could speak English. I said to Dr Dan I know he doesn't need English classes and he was very well known in Australia and my sister and mother went to the fund raising dinner for the clinic in Wollongong . He said he heard it went well but the phone I was ringing on was actually his phone. Long story short apparently a lot of people use the phone and it would appear that Natalino doesn't have his own. Dr Dan had never heard of him but would try and track him down. I felt like saying to Dr Dan that I love Dan Murphys but he might have taken it the wrong way. Sometimes foot in mouth comes easy to me. As my mother said his namesake should provide a bit of financial backing for his fundraising for the clinic.

Great day today doing lots of walking and it is a public holiday here so.... no work. Tonight a few of us are gathering to farewell someone from work and then at this stage I’m off up the mountains for the next three days with a group although the girl organising everything still hasn’t made contact so I won’t pack my bags just yet.

Do I get to go to the mountains or don’t I.... stay tuned for the next update.

Posted by prayer49 23:28 Archived in East Timor

DO YOU NEED ANY INFORMATION ON DILI?

As I mentioned I went to a place called the Guidepost as part of the tourism course and the information in the guide is just so valuable for anyone wanting to come to Dili. It has all the embassy contact numbers, where to stay and contact details of all dive places for those into diving and a great way to find your feet. It was so so nice I was told about it when I arrived. Some people are just so thoughtful it amazes me. For anyone wanting to find out any info, addresses and contact detail it is great. Go to www.guideposttimor.com

If you bring up Edition 67 you will get a few laughs out of it as I did this morning. If you go to page 46 you will realise the traffic contentions that I have been dealing with trying to get from A to B but what the photographer doesn't include is people like me doing the duck and weave between all this traffic and all dirt floating around as people are wearing masks it is just so bad. Taxis I have been in have almost hit motorbike riders as they decide to come up in the opposite direction just as the taxi is trying to overtake. I believe their is a quick attempt to get the roads finished prior to the May anniversary here. Also looking through the Guidepost I don't think I would like to be an Egyptian comedian if you look at page seven. Mind you I liked the idea of an electric shock to males who try and molest on page 3. I think that is what I needed in my taxi ride the other day.

I love animals but I am sorry I really had to laugh at the Darwin Awards section with Fifteen Minutes of Flame. Well it was supposed to only be an April Fools joke. It is amazing how many people haven't heard of the Darwin Awards It is more amazing how many male candidates contest to be winner (well maybe not so amazing) but unfortunately some of them don't live to receive their prize (sorry guys but it is a reality check)

In regards to info on Dili as well I went to pay the $700 for my first months accommodation as I don't like to be in too much debt and produced my visa card. O ... Oh... no we only accept cash here. Whow I am so so lucky someone told me about that one as well. So it looks like another trip back to the ANZ to do a cash advance. At least I have another three weeks to sort it out but what if I was checking out and flying out this morning?

Good to check with establishments if in fact they accept credit card!!!! I didn't as things had been organised for me??? Morale to the story... check up yourself even though someone says that everything is organised.

Identification robbing is also apparently quite prolific here. People are stealing other's email addresses and taking over and asking friends on their emails to send money urgently to a specific account. At least I don't have that trouble with my friends as they know it would only be wine that I would be asking to send urgently. My wine intake here has reduced significantly given both the cost and quality but I have found that gin is rather cheap and so be it.

For those that haven't gone back to find out that I could not access my gmail account from day 1 my new email address is helenstransky@yahoo.com. As advised if anyone tries to cut across my email account and asks for anything apart from a good bottle of Aussie chardonnay don't send a thing.

Well a good afternoon with three students teaching them English here at Timor Lodge of which one is from the Bairro Pite clinic that my sister and mother went to a fund raising session in Wollongong so we are on for a tour when Mum gets here. Just love the name of the doctor..... Dan Murphy I think a lot of people love Dan Murphy.

Also for anyone travelling I would seriously recommend a blog site for any issues such as this email fraud that is going on that people get onto the blog site and find out really what is going on and a quick way of getting info out to everyone (well that is for everyone who is interested in finding out what you are doing anyway). I have found this website so great and so easy to use. As I said to a friend of mine if I can use it anyone can. So here's a plug for travellerpoint Just go to www.travellerspoint.com and start your own blog. My only question to them was that I thought I had a site set up and I contacted them and they said I didn't have any entry but once I did they got back to me with my own URL site.

Give it a go! Oh and bye the way when I finish my blog I can just hit print to print everything off as a diary. How good is that?

Posted by prayer49 00:35 Archived in East Timor

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