What have you achieved today?
23.03.2012 - 25.03.2012
If you were to pick up a pen and a piece of paper as opposed to sitting in front of a computer what would you write on your piece of paper as to what you thought you had achieved today? I am being quite serious here and I challenge each of you who are reading my blog to get a piece of paper and write down what it is that you think you have achieved today.......?
At the end of the day it doesn't really matter as long as you have brought a smile to someone else in their life and I think that is one of the biggest achievements that you can bring. It has been hard for me with my journey and having been in the military for 25 years that the big focus achievements aren't as meaningful. The sometimes not so significant achievements are probably more significant in the end. To backtrack, before I start the story of moving forward, when I arrived at Artaro Island yesterday I visited some local markets. A little boy of about eight years age kept of following me around the markets and not asking for anything but just being by my side. After half an hour I bought a packet of sweet biscuits and gave them to him and his smile was so huge a real sense of satisfaction came over me. How simple is it to bring a smile to these children here and they so appreciate anything. If you gave a packet of biscuits to our Australian children what would be their reaction?
Anyway I digress.
Long story short I start with the East Timor Development Agency tomorrow (Monday) writing a report about the last five years of achievements. It is now a requirement for NGO's to provide a report to goverment in the wake of the elections. I am looking really forward to the challenge of this and working with the enthusiastic people at the agency.
After workling out the way ahead with ETDA I set out to try and find the girl who I am sponsoring here in Dili at the Institute of Religious Sciences Long story short five taxi rides and two and a half hours later I arrived there and asked for Gloria De Jesus and she presented herself as the person I was after, from the village that she supposedly lived in and knowing the people in Gerringong who had let me know about her plight, that she was actually Gloria. I said to her she doesn't look like Gloria or have the same bearing as Gloria from the photos and she doesn't speak English very well as to what my understanding of Gloria's English level is. After about an hour she said she thought it maybe her cousin I was after. I tracked down a priest who said that the girls finish of a lunch time on Friday and that maybe this Gloria (who no-one appears to have heard about at the College) may have returned to her village but maybe come back next week.
So onto the Timor Hotel to catch up with Namai for a Friday afternoon drink and then back to my accommodation for an early night and ready to go to Araturo Island the next day.
It was a great trip over there and it was great going over in Robert's boat. I was originally going over on the ferry having finally tracked down where to buy my ticket on the Friday afternoon that costs $5.00. It is not obvious where the tickets are sold but it is in the blue building of the Dili Port on the ground floor turn right at the first corridor and a small office just at the end on the right hand side. So they did open at 2pm after all. The ferry apparently leaves at 8am. The tickets also go on sale on the Saturday but I didn't want to have to line up at 5am to secure a ticket. Anyway the trip with Robert was great and muchly appreciated as he didn't charge me. The trip started well on top of that as Naimi came through and picked me up and dropped me off with a big bag of clothing for people on the island as well as contributions from a great guy from Toll who gave me a box of stuff to give to the children on the island.
It is hard to believe so many pilots fly in and out and are just not concerned about the issues that confront the East Timorese but they are just concerned for their lives and I can't generalise too much but one of their partners who has been coming here now for three years and not thought about bringing anything for the children and just so oblivious to the plight of the East Timorese. Oh well I suppose they won't have to worry so much at the end of the year about work in East Timor.
Barry's on the island is fantastic They are limited in accommodation so make sure you book (723 6084). All meals are included and the meals are fantastic. As a person who loves their vegies there was a real array of everything. I just loved the spices and the chili salsa dish is to die for. It is a real family enviroment and the accommodation is largely run by Barry's wife Lena because Barry is mostly a Palms volunteer. They have the most cutest twin sons although the photo doesn't do them justice. There are other things to do as well. I borrowed one of their bikes and went for a bike ride in each direction and on the west direction ended up in church. A group of others went out snorkelling around the island for only $10 each and that included lunch. Accommodation varies from $30 for a tent under a shelter, $40 for my bungalow, $70 for a queen and single bed to $105 for a bungalow suitable to sleep six but with anymore than three paying extra. No ensuites with the toilet and bathing block centrally located. And there is also all day tea and coffee provided. Can't give this place a good enough pitch.
Well here's to another day tomorrow.