Well I've been back in the Land Down Under for a week now. It's been so hectic at work that I haven't had a chance to write about my last week in Timor until now! As I write this blog, the AFI Awards are on TV and the movie 'Balibo' is scooping up awards which is awesome! So I thought it was a good time to sit down and write about Timor. It's also a good way to avoid packing for my trip home to NZ. I love my family and I am dying to see them but I REALLY hate packing!
Anyway, as you can imagine,my last week in Timor was pretty packed as I tried to tie up a few loose ends, squeeze in some last minute meetings, and say goodbye to everyone over lunches, dinners, rather nice wine and G&Ts! It was so sad saying "Adeus" to the wonderful people I met during my stay - I wanted to stay longer! I had to keep telling myself that I would be back in 2010 even if only for a short trip.... but that only worked once in a while!!
During my last week I made it down to the local food 'tent restaurants' at the embassy end of the beach and finally had that chicken on a stick I'd been wanting to try since I arrived! It was cool sitting there looking out over the beach (through cooking smoke haze!)and with my chicken before I attempted the long walk back to my end of town.
Of course in my last week I HAD to visit my little local Sri Lankan restaurant just one more time. I'm already missing that place! There are however a couple of things I won't miss about Timor.......
* The taxis constantly beeping to get your attention during the day (on approach, as they pull up next to you and as they pull away from you - just in case you changed your mind in the 10 secs it took for that to all happen). AND THEN, not being able to get a taxi at night because they stop at about 8pm .... mind you what am I talking about - you can't get a taxi in the Sydney at night either!;
* the large open drains down the sides of the roads - I have to say I am amazed that despite my clumsiness I never fell in one! Although there were a few close calls (shudder!);
* Having to brush my teeth with bottled water all the time and having 'bucket showers" and drop loos when visiting the districts;
* The constant river of sweat that ran down my back (yeah sorry about the imagery there!).
But those are all minor and the things I will miss far outweigh them that's for certain. Just to mention a few........
* the pace of life (yes it can be frustrating some times, especially when there are deadlines, but it was nice as well);
* The cheap local restaurants - with great food (and the odd rampaging wild pig!);
* My 'make shift office' in the One More Bar restaurant that over looked the harbour. Pretty inspiring view as I worked - and beats the wall I face in Sydney!;
* The coconut and pineapple drink (non alcoholic!) at One More Bar that I became addicted to and was almost automatically brought to me when I sat down there! Mind you I don't think my waistline will miss that particular indulgence;
* all the "kindred spirits" I met and the lovely friends I made;
Actually I'm going to miss most things about Timor - It was a fabulous experience and an amazing opportunity. I even managed to learn a thing or two about myself - always a good thing!
I am continuing to learn Tetun although it is harder back in Sydney. However, my friends back in Timor have promised to help and I have promised to write to them in Tetun every now and again!
Well here endeth this blog. I am going to take the next few weeks to mull over my time in Timor and shift through and digest all the things that happened. Maybe I'll let you know what I come up with.......