Team Email Home 01 Oct 12

Hello from East Timor!

We are currently in Dili staying at the Timor Lodge, which is a very popular place among the locals. We think that our accommodation is 5 star in East Timor standards, it has a very nice pool, AMAZING air conditioners, a billiards table, milkshakes (that Declan is addicted to), showers with hot water, there is a restaurant within our compound, fridges and beds that are relatively comfortable.

Our first day in Timor was meant to be relaxing and acclimatising to the culture. Instead we running around like chooks without heads to get our first boxes delivered to the wife of the Prime Minister, who runs a charity organisation called ‘Alola Foundation’, this foundation supports babies, women and young children throughout Timor Leste.

We took the bus to the Prime Ministers house, they kicked everyone off the bus just for us to fit with our four 20Kg boxes. Once they realised that we were going to the Prime Ministers house they charged us extra because we were the ‘rich Australians’. We didn’t take their bus back because of how much they charged, so we went for a walk through some fruit markets, and were followed by taxi drivers offering us lifts. We caught a taxi to the Dili Plaza where we had lunch and got some groceries for breakfast. On the way back from the plaza a push-bike ran into the side of one of the taxis.

The biggest shock for all of us I think was the weather, we knew it was going to be hot and humid, but not THIS hot and humid… although the day we arrived it was the hottest day they have had for a long time. It was certainly a stressful day getting used to everything!!

We are all getting along really well and have been playing cards, chilling in the pool, and playing billiards most of the time. We are all fairly tired still from our flights, and will probably still be really tired when we get back, but that’s just because we are teenagers and we are lazy (you can’t hold this to us).

Today we met some Rotarians that are going up to Maubisse tomorrow. They are working on a project building a playground for the children. We have decided that we will almost definitely go and  help them with their project. We are excited to go to Maubisse, although our plans have changed a little.

The newly elected Timor Leste president is making rounds to all of the districts in Timor Leste, and is staying where we were originally going to stay in Maubisse. This means that we will be delaying our departure from Dili until Thursday and then returning as planned on the Wednesday.

We went to the Australian Embassy today to check in, we got there and the security was tighter than it was to get into the country. We spent  40 minutes walking to spend 15 minutes getting through security and 5 minutes in the actual embassy.

Kim and Attila have been busy making contacts and have met an Australian who runs a security, logistics, and communication company, they made good friends with him and scored us free drivers to Maubisse and we have used one of his vehicles for a couple of times to get around Dili. We are really happy about this as takes away from our costs in Maubisse and as we are staying in Dili longer and need to pay for accommodation.

We have been to a local scout group meeting, where they were discussing their national Camp which is going to be in November. We sat in on their meeting and pretended we understood when they all looked at us. The meeting was in Tetum (a local language), it was interesting to see what we could understand without them translating for us.

Kim and Nathan were very excited when we heard about a really good coffee shop in town. We went there today, and met some more Aussies who had just returned from Melbourne and were disappointed with the AFL grand final results. Nathan and Kim sat there looking very happy after their coffee.

Anyway, we’ll write again soon.

See you in a week or so,

The Timor Team

P.S we miss our families very very very very much.

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