Day 15: Friday, 12 Oct 12 – Dili
Our last full day in Timor Leste was to be a busy one. We still have a lot of sights to see and only one day to go. However the first one is the Statue of Christ at the eastern side of Dili. As there is about 500-600 stairs to get to the top where the statue is we left at 6am to get the walking done before it gets too hot. The views from the top were amazing. Well worth the walk.
We managed to organise a tour of one of the Army Bases in the morning. The team enjoyed seeing the good work that the Australian Army does when on deployment. After receiving a brief on what the operation in Timor Leste is all about the team took a tour of the base and then has a look at some of the kit that is used by an Infantry Riffle man. Then we received a guided tour of a Blackhawk Helicopter. This was an amazing experience, which the whole team thought was awesome.
On the way home we headed up to the statue of the Pope John Paul II on the Western side of Dili. From here there are great views over the airport. Timor Leste is a very Catholic Country with Statues of Pope John Paul II (commemorating his visit) and the Statue of Christ at each end of the city. After Lunch back at the Hotel we headed out to seeing the Resistance Museum. It is a must see sight and was recommended by many people. The Museum is still being developed, however it gives a great overview of Timor from the time the Portuguese arrived, the Japanese invaded, their independence from the Portuguese, occupation by the Indonesians and then finally their independence.
Timor Leste has been a country that has been in a consistent state of resistance. Though it is good to see that Timor Leste has its independence it’s challenges for the future are many. The spirit and passion in which the Timorese have resisted and won their independence is now turned to facing these challenges that lay ahead.