I’ve wanted my Mum to write a blog post for Unofficial East Timor for ages. Especially because she’s in her fifties and a lot of people over fifty are hesitant about travelling to East Timor. They shouldn’t be. East Timor is a safe place and East Timorese people show so much respect for their elders. Of course, my Mum isn’t quite of ‘elder’ status and she surprised many of my work colleagues, who thought that she had “a very strong body” for her age. They were also shocked at her height because Mum is the same height as them (which means she’s short).
When my daughter Zena was applying for a position in East Timor I agreed that if she went, I’d go and visit her. Well it turned out that she got the job and six months later, I found myself on a small two engine plane from Darwin headed straight to Dili.
I was in East Timor for a total of ten days. We spent most of our time in Dili with one weekend in Baucau, a three hour drive East of Dili, where we stayed in the beautiful old Pousada. Like most places you go to, they’re never quite how you imagined them to be. Of course, I knew a lot about East Timor’s horrific past and I’d heard on the news about their recent internal conflicts, but I soon discovered that’s just one side of East Timor.