Sunday, December 03, 2006

Ramalao or bust

My first week working in the IDP camps was a good one.  The job is challanging and stressful with long hours but is very rewarding.  I am back at it again today.  The main IDP camp I am working in is Metinaro with about 7000 people.  There it is no water there and finding it has been tough.  It is a rough spot with more than one problem.  Right now water is trucked in from Dili, 30min away, with not enough to go around.  We identified some other possible sources last week and should test them soon.  Even then water will still be trucked in.  If this camp turns into a permanent village like others before it all around the word then they will need a large and expensive project.
This past weekend it was my friend Bree's birthday so we took to the mountains for a trip to Maibissie.  Fifteen of us stayed at the Pousada and enjoyed the cool weather.  Jesse, Ann, Dave, and I got up a bit earlier than others with the goal to climb Ramalao, the highest mountain in Timor.  I think it is roughly 2900m, about 8500ft.  It was only a two hour hike from where you can leave the car and wasn't too tough.  Just as we reached the top though clouds rolled in closing off our view.  We stayed at the top for a hour getting sunburned and eating our lunch.  As we started our decent the rain started.  In combination with the wind and our stupidity it got pretty cold.  Some of us managed to only wear timor dress, flipflops and t-shirts.  It got hairy as the rain got harder and the trail got slicker but we made it back to the car.  We got back to Maibissie to meet the others and the sunshine.  We had a good dinner and played some Foosball (mini soccer) until the early hours before finally hitting the hay. Oh man the cool weather was nice.  I miss it already.  Happy holidays.  lv jesse 
Jesse Shapiro
flipflop...not a shoe...a lifestyle.

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