It is unsettling to hear the news from New Mexico that a good friend, that I saw only two weeks ago, has been shot. Sounds like his life isn't in danger but may still have a long road ahead. My thoughts go out to him and his family. Take care man and get well soon.
Hearing this news makes me realize what a bubble we live in the US. East Timor has gone through a major political and civil upheaval of the entire society over the last three months including rioting, gang violence, police and military waring. Most people would be worried to come here and even the US advises against it right now. Yet the death or violence here over the entire last three months must be less than that which occurs in one day in New Mexico or other metropolitan areas in the US. Of course it is dwarfed exponentially with what is happening daily in the Middle East and some areas in Africa and Asia.
Work is good. I have stepped into a project that is already running and is nearing its end. It is always the best time to enter into a project because all the hard work is out of the way. Building of the water systems are well underway and I have to just keep the projects moving in stride without their technical quality faltering. In fact with what they seem to have done already anything I help them do will be a quality step up.
I have learned to ride a motorcycle again. Besides hopping on a little scooter in thailand I haven't actually been on a motorcycle since riding a neighbors mini motor when I was a kid. I was a bit nervous when I had to do it for the first time but I got into it quickly and am comfortable on it now. The project requires the car out at the farthest site everyday so i have been riding the motor back and forth from home. It is a surreal experience to finally ride a motorbike after all the taboo around it and PC. As I cruise threw some rice patties on the edge of the river up to the community I can't help but have a big smile on my face.
This week we finished the first water tank of three we will build in the end, one in each of the communities. As it ended the tank is very well build in fact it is over built. I think a professional could of easily built two tanks of equal size with the cement we used on this one.. Next week we start on the second one in the farthest community, the tank is also the largest one 5m x 6m x 2m.
Lions, Tigers, and Bears
Wednesday was a very stressful day. It is not worth going into but involved lots of Timorese, some bad communication, and some unfortunate circumstances. At the end of the day i came home very tired. Unlike normal after making dinner and preparing to relax I started to feel a bit scared in my house. The situation sort of sank in all in one moment. The fact It was very dark and quiet, no one nearby, a big empty house all by myself, and an unusual silence about the moment. About an hour later out of no where a large gust of wind began to blow and suddenly there was a large cracking and then a crash outside. I grabbed my flash light and went for a look. Still feeling the creepiness I quickly ran outside to find that a large tree had been blown over closing off the drive way and only exit from the house. Trees falling over is not all that strange but it seemed creey so I ran back inside and locked the door. I went to sleep and while in a dream I started to have a nightmare where i was being chased. Suddenly in the dream i started to hear music. One guitar and whinny singing. I broke from the dream but still heard the music. In fact it was coming from right outside the window. There was also voices I couldn't not understand, more singing, and some breaking of glass for the next hour. It was after midnight and there were no lights anywhere. I didn't go outside or shine my flashlight out and could not see any figures. After and hour they eventually went away. Hours later I was finally able sleep again just in time for rooster and pig wake up call at 6am. That day I told my coworker about the night and why I was so tired. Upon hearing the news he looked like they had a just seen a ghost. They proceeded to let me know that i live on sacred ground ! The voices and singing were spirits that came to scare me off. The told me next time they come I should go outside and tell them I am american and I am here to help timor to develop into a powerful nation. I am not here to cause problems and they should go back to were they came from.
I think i will pass. It was probably just some young men drinking and hanging out but who knows. WoooOOOoooOOooO
Miss ya. Lv jesse