stopping for lunch on the way (14-hr van ride) from Kupang, West Timor to Dili, East Timor. you see this chairs all around indonesia, crafted from spent car tires. low-tech recycling.
crossing the border from Indonesia to Timor Leste (a previous Portuguese colony until 1975), the youngest nation in the world.
crossing the border is a drawn-out process consisting of different stops; immigration, customs, police….
Dili, capital of Timor Leste. Inondesia’s violent answer to the 1999 referendum of east Timor’s desire to become independent left the country, especially Dili, in shambles. after years of reconstruction and UN presence, most people still live in crumbling homes or these makeshift tents given by the UN and the government.
meanwhile, the clean and primmed streets of the barbed-wired embassies enjoy some sense of comfort and security….
while we waited for the renovation of our Indonesian visas at the Indonesian embassy close-by, we hung out with some children playing a local game with sticks and stones. (no os perdais la camiseta del Barça!!!)
showing me their English-class homework from school. the girl in blue spoke english quite well. her father works in the UNDP. they live in the tent just behind.
el malecón de Dili.
scars of the recent war.
the government palace. Portuguese was reinstated as the official language of Timor Leste after independence, along with Tetun, a fairly recent language native to the country.
view of the bay at sunrise, with the giant Jesus statue (small from way over here) on the last hill on the far side of the bay.
the seaside town of Baucau in Timor Leste. dining in a overpriced, solitary, out-of-place fancy hotel restaurant. the only foreigners or tourists the locals see around here work with the UN. consequently prices for the few tourist facilities there are unreasonably high and unfavourable in generating tourism, a possible income source for a country without a reliable source of income (except oil).
the road leading down to the beach, lined by ancient trees, waterfalls and excited, giggling children
i thought this was nice
even in the remotest of villages in the shabbiest of shacks, you can find, thats right, a satellite dish and a tv set
symbolic? or ironic?
more beaming children
waiting for 2 hrs under the dusty heat for a bus, bemo, aid vehicle anything, to take us from baucau back to dili
finally, we got a ride an an overcrowded bemo (local minibuses), which are by the way, not designed for any person over 5 feet tall.