Day 04: Monday, 01 Oct 12 – Dili
The first day of the month and our first weekday in Dili….. What a morning. Though I was impressed with the level of activity over the weekend, it was clear that it was a weekday. There was more Vehicles on the road, the schools were buzzing and government offices and buildings were full of public servants.
Most of the team went for a walk this morning. The plan was to walk to the Australian Embassy (about 2 km from our accommodation). I enjoy walking the streets of a country when I arrive, for a number of reasons. The first is that you see so much more than by vehicle, the second is that I enjoy the outdoors, the third is I love interacting with the locals and finally it is good exercise.
On the way to the Australian Embassy, we stopped in at the Energia Café at the Landmark Plaza (about 1.5 kms from the Timor Lodge). Paul from the previous day had advised that it has the best coffees in all of Dili. He was right, the coffee was fantastic. This is certainty a place to come back to. We even got a small gift of a packet of coffee beans.
I often hear that the world is a small place. I have experience this a number of times in the past, where I have unexpectantly meet up with people I know in the four corners of the world….. Well, today was no exception. In the coffee shop I bumped into a former work colleague that I had worked with about six years earlier. Last I heard he was off to the Solomon Islands for work, however now he works in the building that we were standing in….. Small world. The Venturers were all like “of course, we cannot take Attila anywhere where he doesn’t know someone”.
Off to the Australian Embassy…. This was an experience. The security on the embassy was very tight…. No photos, searches of our gear, taking all liquids off us and metal detectors…. I cannot blame them for being cautious and I think it was the most security we had been through since the start of our trip in Canberra. It took us many times longer to get through security at the embassy than we were actually in the embassy. So after registering our Timor Leste Mobile number with the embassy off we were back to the accommodation.
The afternoon was a relaxed day at the Timor Lodge Hotel. The youth members took advantage of the pool. We had chips for lunch (healthy I know…. But yummy). And we played a massive game of cards. Master and Slaves became the choice game for cards. We all seemed to spend time as a Master and as a Slave….. The team is really coming together as a team. It is great to see.
Later in the afternoon we had visits from Filomena, International Commissioner for Scouts Timor Leste and Mateus, the Chief Commissioner of Scouts Timor Leste. It was great to see them and officially be welcomed to the country. After a discussion about the project and scouting in general, we discovered that there was another glitch in our plan…. In fact the glitch is with Plan B. The President is now staying Thursday night in Maubisse.
The team is starting to get edgy with this new challenge placed in front of us. What do we do? We want to go to Maubisse and another few days in Dili is not really useful. So the decision was made. We are going to work out a way and make it happen. We are to leave Dili on Thursday. Once again I am impressed with the way that the team has faced the challenge.
When we make decisions in life it is amazing how things just seem to come together. Not sure if it is the single focus or that we just look harder for solutions to make things work. However, this was certainty true of today. We ended up meeting some Rotarians at our accommodation that are heading up to Maubisse in the morning to build a playground. So this provided us with many opportunities. In addition to the opportunity to help with their project we will have also have contacts in Maubisse to sort out accommodation. The bonus was that they also took all our aid boxes up to Maubisse for us.