Team Email Home 10 Oct 12
So we arrived back in Dili today after our 5 days in Maubisse. Maubisse was beautiful, all that the local Timorese made it out to be.
We stayed in the Pousada de Maubisse Hotel for our first night in Maubisse as the President of Timor Leste was staying at the coffee plantation that night. This place was the former home of the Governor. It must have been amazing in its prime. The view is spectacular, it overlooks the valley and the mountains, the only thing was that a camera could never capture how amazing it actually is!
We had our first real taste of living outside of the western civilisation. The toilets in the Pousada didn’t flush, so there was a bucket next to them that we quickly learnt to use.
The Co-opritiva Café Timor is where we stayed from the next night onwards. Here the toilets sometimes flushed, and the showers sometimes worked. But we had our own local cook, who made us local meals. We took her to the markets a couple of times a day and we found out how life really works there. The markets were hectic but extra-ordinarily cheap! Almost upsettingly cheap really. One dollar for 24 small bread rolls called ‘pound’.
On the way up to Maubisse we stopped in at the local scouts in Alieu, who had decided they were going to join us in Maubisse the next day. We played games with them, and taught them other games that we play in Australia.
When they joined us in Maubisse we helped them set up camp and then they taught a couple of us different words and phrases in Tetum and Portuguese. We now have quite an extensive list to help us communicate. We taught them some English as well.
On the Monday and the Tuesday we went to the local school and played games with them and taught them English. On Monday we gave them the sports equipment and played games with them. Elvis, the youth scout leader for the Timorese scouts was a great help to get this going. He told all the kids what to do so that we could play the games. We played Frisbee and soccer with the children. It was a great day. When we came home the Australians versed the Timorese Scouts in a soccer match. The Timorese won by a mile. We could barely keep up.
On the Tuesday we went back to the school and taught them English in their classrooms. ABC, Head Shoulders Knees and Toes were a major hit with the younger children. We gave them their gifts and the smiles and chatter were fantastic afterwards.
The school has three rooms, for 364 students, as well as these tiny rooms which were more like corridors for the younger children. The school was missing half of it’s roof and had no toilets, no washing facilities and was surrounded by rubbish.
It was quite hard to see the conditions of this school and then to hear the complaining of the Australian scouts about having to go back to school in a few days.
Dili now. Tomorrow we are going to do a lot of touristy things, see the statues of Jesus and the Pope, visit the Resistance museum, the markets, and other attractions around Dili.
We are all happy to be back in Dili with working toilets and showers. We are still looking forward to going back home. We arrive at Canberra airport at about 2000 hours on Saturday night.
Missing you all,
We have taken lots of pictures.
The Timor Team,