Monday, October 30, 2006
Miles from nowhere
I started reading a book I have wanted to read for years called Miles from nowhere last week. It is about a couple who bikes around the world. Three days later my boss meets a guy on a bike on the streets of Dili who is riding around the world. My boss stopped after the site of the bike which he only recognized because he too has tried to ride around the world. He has made it from france to East Timor. The biker here was spanish and has been going about 4 or 5 months so far. He is alone and has been in Australia, New Zealand, Papau New Guinea, and now East Timor. He plans to be travelling for 2 years. My boss offered him a place to stay with Vincent and I Laleia. Sure enough the next day here appeared in laleia after biking from dili. He left the next morning for Laga I think. He is going to an full loop of Timor going all the way the Los Palos and back through the south road to Ramalou and then to Indonesia and west Timor.
We are reaching the very last weeks of the water and sanitation program here. The last tank is near completion and we have started the installation of the solar panels and pumps. This week we should have the first one installed completely with water flowing in the town. I will extend my contract once again until the end of November. After that I will truly be done and will either go back to the US or find a new job. I actually hope to do both. I have some vacation days that I can use at the end of nov and if I find a new job here can then come back to start that in dec or jan.
There was a large party in Cairui this weekend put on by the church. It was a celebration for a new Amo or Padre or Priest. It was by far the largest party I have been to with a couple thousand participants. We heard a rumor in Dili that one or all of the malaes there made it on TV as well. The only negative part of the party were the speeches and announcements by what must of been Portuguese missionaries. Either way they represented the catholic church. My reaction to their words includes anger and pity. If nothing else their words are a formal declaration of war. There goal to keep East Timorese poor and suffering and fight against development. Actual comments by them included them pleading for East Timorese to have as many babies as possible to populate the country. (East Timor currently has the highest birthrate in the world about 7.3 children/woman) They said foreigners are rich and have material excess but have no spirt whereas the Timorese have nothing but are very rich in spirit. When ever they announced anything they never mentioned the people as people but as baptised people. It was interesting to see although it enraged me.
flipflop...not a shoe...a lifestyle.