A Travellerspoint blog

August 2009

THAT’S IT

Thursday 13th August – 8 months, 28 days

The mouse just CRAWLED UP ONTO MY BACK WHILE I WAS READING ON MY BED

It has never even ventured onto the bed before (while I’ve been in the room)

MOUSE IS GOING DOWN

I’ve got the knife, mouse

I’ve got the trap, mouse

I’ve got the peanut butter, mouse

DOOM IS IN YOUR FUTURE

Posted by timortimes 21:20 Comments (0)

Teh Intarwebs Are Not Teh Evil

Monday 10th August – Wednesday 12th August – 8 months, 25-27 days

I miss my friends and family. I’m used to being away from my family (albeit in better touch by phone, though) but not my friends. I guess if you read this, you could have worked that out; or if you know me, then you definitely know that.

And so I am going to have a fit if I hear one more yammering older person on the radio (hello media of yesteryear) wringing their hands about how the internet is making people’s language worse, isolating people, killing off their social skills, etc.

The internet lets me talk to my friends FOR FREE and keep in contact with all my social networks, in Australia, in Timor and around the world, in a way I never could if I were relying on the phone (ridiculously expensive) or on letters (takes weeks). It allows me to plan social events with friends. I write on this blog and hey, it’s fun for my friends and family. Sure there are plenty of people out there with poor language skills. But government and school policy, lack of funding, poor-quality teachers, kids who aren’t interested in learning, etc are what causes that. Sure there are people with poor language skills ON the internet, but they’re allowed to be. The internet doesn’t CAUSE that.
People can be isolated on the net but the net is a reflection of society – so maybe we should all start being nicer to each other – and other people formerly isolated, e.g. those with social phobias and particularly limiting physical disabilities, find the internet a wonderfully freeing, socially interactive place. Hell, I have friends I met through the internet.

So. Teh Intarwebs Are Not Teh Evil. Don’t like the internet? Try going on there and looking for something that *does* suit you. If you don’t like Facebook or whatever, you don’t have to use it. I’m not on Twitter – I don’t really like it, and I think that’s because I don’t have the kind of attention span for it; plus, I just don’t think I have time when I am already maintaining a net presence without actually having reliable internet, or internet at home. But, other people like Twitter, and it’s had some very important usages in the media over its evolution.

Posted by timortimes 21:10 Comments (0)

Exhaustion. Again.

Sunday 9th August – 8 months, 24 days

Good: Awesome three hour bitch session and lunch with a friend who shall remain nameless on the blog. :)

Bad: (very bad): I was really sad to miss Canberrang. :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :(

Posted by timortimes 21:07 Comments (0)

*sings* INTER-VIEW TIME AGAIN!

Saturday 8th August – 8 months, 23 days

I always learn something new in every single interview, and I have got some amazing interviews, so I’m very grateful for this. But, interviewing in the districts is hard. We never know where to get food, find a toilet, or even, on occasion, someone who will be good to interview.

The best bit (by which I mean the most exciting, frustrating, harrowing bit where I actually closed my eyes and went into my happy place to avoid turning into a person-shaped hurricane of fury) was when, after I had just asked about half a dozen young and older males who were interestedly listening in (this always happens) to my interview to move away and give us some space...

yet another village chief stumbled into the interview* and went off at us about essentially all the stereotypical things Timorese might resent about malae: consultation without notice or returning anything to the community, potentially harming people they see as vulnerable, etc.

The frustrating thing for me was, of course, that I have tried LIKE NOTHING ELSE to be the opposite of these very things. I contacted the gender focal point and asked her to identify suitable people. Nobody has to talk to me if they don’t want to. He thought I was trying to harm the woman I was talking to; I’m trying to get her voice heard so people like *him* can’t harm *her* (with their attitudes). I try to visit at convenient times for people. I plan to make concrete recommendations for gender-based violence programs, culture programs etc, get my work translated into Tetum and I will get copies to all of the district gender focal points / administration.

So I wanted to go off at him, but didn’t, and my restraint was rewarded: turned out he was drunk. Once that was established, everyone else suddenly got a lot braver about how to get rid of him, and he blithered off back to wherever he came from.

  • Village chiefs all insist on being interviewed, or people think I should interview them, or something. It’s useful to have a couple for my thesis but I don’t want to skew my results, you know, and I REALLY would rather talk to older people who know a lot about barlake or younger people who may know less but it really affects them.

Posted by timortimes 21:03 Comments (0)

This place is amazing.

Monday 3rd August – Friday 7th August – 8 months, 18 – 22 days

I have been watching the prison trucks for the Reinado attempted assassination trial scream back to Becora Prison every day. It is surreal and totally like being in a movie.

Timor is hard but the positive side is that this is a freaking amazing time to be in this country.

Posted by timortimes 21:00 Comments (0)

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