Friday, 9 March 2007

Operation 'Wrap-up'

Today has been a peaceful one in the town of Dili (any resemblance to a western is deliberate, we still have a few varmints out there, despite everything/everybody taking a breather before the next thing happens). I had lunch with two friends at the Harbour View cafe and only needed to leave them once to collect a hard drive from a ministry (part of my 'share all your software and training data' policy). Anyway, the traffic was casual and unconcerned, while across the road and out over the shore and the harbour, local people were calmly getting on with life . Good enough for a tourist photo, but no one there to take it. Where ARE all the tourists?

I only managed to put in appearance of 40 minutes today at work due to my efforts at sorting out travel affairs and getting rid of my goods from the house. 'Everything must Go!' and people came and left with many different goodies, furniture, fridges (I had day I'll explain), battery and invertor, tennis balls, tins of chicken curry from China (I bought a box of 48 of them before Christmas, but admitted defeat a month ago and had contented myself since then building pyramids with the remainder)

Neighbours turned up to check for 'extras' and the landlady was keeping an eye on things while I also worked with three different households that were taking things for themselves or holding onto others on the chance that I could retrieve them when I came back later in the year (a positive thought that keeps me going at the moment along with three conversations with job prospects).

I just realised now that I skipped lunch and forgot to have dinner. Maybe that's why the cider at 22:00 tested so good?!

The house is looking rather empty now with table and six chairs and radio, plus piles on the floor waiting to be packed or sorted some other way.

I have a grand, cunning plan for tomorrow night. After send-off drinks (18:00 Motion) I'll return here and divide everything left over into five equal piles (I have five Timorese neighbours). Then, one neighbour will turn their back while another randomly points to a pile. The first person calls out a name and THAT person gets the pile. The caribbean pirates used this technique for parceling out their loot without arguments. Let's see if it works in Timor.

I put the word out two days about my house being available ($390, in a super safe area and with great space and three bedrooms) and had about 20-30 people informed. About two hours ago, a woman working for the UN came over looking for a change from Taibese, where she was forced out of her house after it was attacked on Saturday night (just a few hours before the troops attacked Renaldo in Same).
She'll probably take it, subject to the UN security officer's approval. I am dubious about that assessment procedure after she said that UN security had approved the Taibesse house and this house in Kuluhun might be a problem because it had only one entrance?! They say they'd then put in aircon and a 5,000 litre water tank. I am astounded at the money that is floating around while I fuss over a few volunteer dollars.

My last day in Dili is on Friday, well actually Friday has already arrived, but I have a wee sleep to fit in first.

1 comment:

T said...

Good account of the events. I can tell how hard it is when you are "forced" to leave against your will because you can not control all variables. It is frustrating, to say the least. The important is not to give up. Good luck with the job hunting. You write very well. T