Day 12: Tuesday, 09 Oct 12 – Maubisse

As we travelled down the track this morning to the school, it hit me that this is the last trip out to the school. There is definitely the thought going through my head that we must come back in the future. This has been a rewarding experience for the whole team. There are mixed emotions, joy and happiness for seeing the children one last time and also sadness for this being the last time this trip.

On arrival at the school the Australian Scouts had one last cram session with the Timorese Scouts. They were taking in as much Tetum as possible, before they each enter the classrooms to deliver their English Lessons. Each of the team taught English in a different way and they all did an awesome job. They used a mixture of techniques including using the blackboards, singing and verbal. It was very exciting to see the children respond so well and also for each of the team to receive so much personal satisfaction.

For each of the five classes there was one or two Australian Scouts and two Timorese Scouts. The Timorese Scouts assisted in bridging the language gap a little. The Timorese also had a great time in the classrooms. They really enjoyed the experience too. Among the team we had some natural born teachers. At the end of our time at the school, we presented each of the 350+ students with a gift. We also presented the teachers with some useful gifts also. It was then time to leave the school…. We will miss the children and it was great to see them line up along the road smiling, waving and yelling in English to us.

One of the things that are very different in Timor Leste is the smoking of cigarettes. It is very common place in Timor Leste for the smoking of Cigarettes among all ages. Also smoking happens indoors as well as outdoors. It is nothing for a teacher to smoke in front of the students. In Canberra, Australia we have very strong anti-smoking laws, which I am grateful for. With smoking in Timor Leste it is something that only males do. I have not seen a female smoke.

After lunch it was time to farewell the Timorese Scouts. They headed back home today. They also have made this Timor Project an awesome project to be a part of. Though most of them did not speak English it was great to see the Australian Scouts communicate with the Timorese Scouts using various methods. The Timorese Scouts taught the Australian Scouts some Tetum and the Australian Scouts taught the Timorese Scouts some English. The friendships and bonds across borders, cultures and languages is what international scouting is all about.

In the afternoon we need to get some washing done, so we contacted the Rotarians and asked if we could use their washing machine. They helped us out as usual. It was great to have Rotarians in Maubisse while we were here as we were able to help each other out a number of times. We found out a lot about the Rotarians. They are from Bendigo, Victoria, Australia. They have a partnership with Maubisse as the Timor Leste’s Prime-Minster’s wife, Kirsty is from Bendigo. We had a great chat about the joys and frustrations of working in Timor Leste.

The day ended with the team finalising the preparations for travelling back to Dili. Everyone is looking forward to toilets that flush, showers with hot water and pressure and some western food. That said the team are all thankful for the opportunity to experience the Timor Leste Culture, food and Language.

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