A Travellerspoint blog

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)


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)


Sunday 2nd August - 8 months, 17 days

I believe this entire day was lost to thesis or wondering what job I will have when I go back to Canberra or staring at my toes, or something. Timor really is *exhausting*.

Posted by timortimes 20:57 Comments (0)

Showing Alice and Jane around

Saturday 1st August – 8 months – 16 days

Luckily the lovely Alice and enchanting Jane arrived to distract me from boredom, this weekend anyway. Since we were vehicle-less I gave them the Taxi and Walking Tour de Dili and it was maaaaahhvellous fun, dahhhling.

We started off with the Cemeteries Tour of my suburb. Wandered through Santa Cruz discussing the proliferation of colour in Timorese cemeteries. Hiked up the road to the shadier (richer) Chinese Cemetery. Alice and I climbed up to the lookout which I hadn’t previously noticed. Then we walked back to my place and had a little rest, before heading out to the tais market (where I decided that I really, really feel uncomfortable with the way the stall-owners watch you and watch you and try to get you to buy stuff; it means I always end up leaving earlier and buying less).

Then it was on to Arte Moris, where I totally wanted to buy some art, but nobody was around to buy it from...

Then on to lunch (wayyyy too much lunch, but v. good, at Dili Beach Bar).

I wanted to take pictures of the scary king statue that graces the new children’s playground (playground is awesome; statue is not, or at least, it is but only in a horrifying way), so we went there before...

Skipping back near my place to go to the (always crowded with locals) Taibessi Market. I don’t know what it is, but Timorese have started refusing to haggle with me. It’s weird.

We ended the day with drinks back at One More Bar. Drinks at the beach is something I have really been wanting more of, so this was faaabulous.

Posted by timortimes 20:51 Comments (0)

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