Busy day as Dili tourist
Dili Travel Blog› entry 32 of 86 › view all entries
There was a list of things I wanted to get done when I went on my first days off since I arrived in mission 63 days ago. I wanted to go shopping, explore the town centre, walk along the dry river and get to Dili’s 2 important sites, Chega! And Christo Rei.
Well, I’d done most of the easy stuff but I had not managed to get to Chega! Yesterday because I had decided to walk to Obrigado Barracks for my Hep A shot and then continue around the corner from there.
Unfortunately the vaccination office was shut that day and then when I was a few hundred metres from Chega! I tripped and fell onto my camera breaking the lens. No point in me going to the site without being able to take photos – luckily it was just my little camera and not my good one.
So, Tuesday morning and after breakfast I
decided to head straight down to the river.
The river is not usually as dry as this but the wet season was over early and the river is just a river of dust now. That’s good for all the workers that spend their day digging up the stones for building or road construction material. It seems like bloody hard work to me but they seem pretty happy to get stuck in for their $1 per day.
I wonder how long it will be before a few more machines are brought into the country and these men and their shovels are put out of a job.
At lunch I made arrangements with Ross and Nigel to go to Chega! We would get dropped off at Obrigado where I would be injected and then we’d walk around the corner.
The first bit went smoothly this time and afterwards we arrived at the gate and signed into the Chega! Site.
“Chega!” is Portuguese for “no more, stop, enough!”
This is the title of the report into the
human rights violations carried out during the Indonesian occupation of Timor
Leste between 1974 and 1999.
The site was one of many former prisons where Timorese prisoners were held, tortured or killed by the occupying forces who had unexpectedly met stern resistance from the little country.
I have put more into the review but this site is a “must see” for all visitors to Timor Leste. There have been many atrocities committed around the world but after seeing all I have seen in this exhibition I am even more impressed by the open friendly nature of the Timorese. They are without a doubt the most delightful people I have ever had the pleasure to meet.
After our visit we started to walk back into the city. We only went about 500m when the other two decided to get a taxi. I had spent the whole week walking everywhere so I was not worried about the hour it would take to walk home for dinner but we got a taxi anyway.
It was a classic Dili taxi and cost $2 to
anywhere in the city. The driver didn’t
speak a great deal of English except to get the name of the Hotel.
When held up of more than a few seconds at traffic lights he would turn the engine off to save petrol. Dili taxis are the bane of transport in this city as they creep about at very slow speeds holding up traffic. Every pedestrian seen makes them start tooting in the hope the person will wave them down for a lift.
One of the things I hope to achieve during my time as Traffic Chief is to regulate the taxis so they don’t hold up traffic and perhaps reduce the noise pollution from all their loud horning.
… but perhaps I’m aiming too high!