Jobs and a new job

Uatolari Travel Blog

 › entry 22 of 86 › view all entries
Wednesday market

So there I was, doing my thing in Uatolari.  The sun was shining, the kids were smiling, the generators were humming and the lizards were making that funny little sound they make when they come out in the evening to hang around the lights to wait for some foolish bug to fly to close.  Life was good!

 

I had actually been complaining to Bear that he had lured me here under false pretences.  They had told me they had not had a single job since their arrival two months earlier but for some reason I had found myself to be busy every day.

 

Okay, I guess I’d been scooting back and forth to Viqueque most days but even when I hadn’t done that there seemed to be somewhere to take the PNTL for one reason or another. 

 

Perhaps that’s what the guys were saying, we weren’t so much doing any Police work as performing the duties of a taxi driver.

Proud owner of fighting cock
  Timor Leste has a long way to go in so far as providing the fledgling PNTL with all the equipment they need to get the job done.  They have just been issued with spanking new uniforms but they don’t have transport or radios etc.

 

Anyway, I had busied myself on Monday by taking them up to a village near the top of Uatolari Mountain.  The drive was exciting but the views from up there were terrific.  I was struck by the somewhat undisturbed “traditional” way of living and the housing these people enjoyed.  Perhaps they wished secretly for an easy existence like I may be used to, but I envied their simple way of life that afternoon.

 

The next day I went with Tom and a party of PNTL to a meeting.  7 of the local village chiefs were discussing a few policing issues and we’d been invited to sit in.  Upon our arrival I was seated between the PNTL Commander and the Head Chief.  Unfortunately our Language Assistant was 2 people away from me so I was only able to catch the odd sentence he was saying as he translated for Tom.

 

Shortly after a cup of coffee and a fried banana we got stuck into the discussion.

Kids at a roadside shop
  Tom was asked to say something early on and he quickly said a sentence about how we were here to support PNTL and stopped right there.

 

All the chiefs had a couple of turns on the floor and then the PNTL Commander asked me to say something.  I had to move over to the LA and make sure I was following the gist of the discussion.  The next time around I was introduced and took the floor.

 

That happened a couple of times and I addressed the subject of litter and security which seemed to fit the bill.  We then concluded the meeting with a prayer and a lovely lunch, before we headed back down the mountain to the station.

 

It seemed like there was plenty to do here and I made sure Bear knew how hard I’d worked having to give two “off the cuff” speeches like that.

 

The next day wasn’t so productive.  I spent most of the day sitting in the office just in case I was called upon by PNTL.  At about 4pm I was called on the radio by the Logistics Officer at VQQ.  His message was that I was to be re-deployed to Dili and he needed to know who was going to drive me so he could complete our MOPs.

Rice fields

 

I guess I got the National Traffic Unit job.

 

 

THOUGHTS

To tell you the truth I was a bit bummed about having to leave Uatolari.  I was really enjoying the lifestyle and the people.  I hadn’t had anywhere enough time to really discover the true TL.  Now I had to return to that hotel in Dili that was a tiny NZ, to eat restaurant food, talk to everyone in English and develop the routine of everyday city life.

 

 

Oddly enough, I think Bear was a little miffed as well.  We didn’t really expect to get on as well as we had and three guys in a house is better than two as you can have a rest from one another but still be sociable. 

 

Next morning we threw my freshly packed bags in the back of the truck and headed to VQQ for the paperwork.  Tom the drove me to Baucau and I drove him the rest of the way to Dili.

Village up Uatolari mountain

 

I hadn’t even done two weeks at Uatolari. 

 

I’d be spending the next 5 months of my deployment in Dili but I will do everything I can to get around the rest of the country.  The way I look at it, there’s no point in being the head of National Traffic if you can’t go and see what the problems are on a National scale.

 

All I need to do now is try to get them to give me a motor bike!

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Wednesday market
Wednesday market
3 Kiwis, 2 Philippino, & a Timorese
3 Kiwis, 2 Philippino, & a Timorese
Proud owner of fighting cock
Proud owner of fighting cock
Kids at a roadside shop
Kids at a roadside shop
Rice fields
Rice fields
Village up Uatolari mountain
Village up Uatolari mountain
In touch with the outside world
In touch with the outside world
Selling tobacco by the handfull
Selling tobacco by the handfull
Boys playing near the old house.  …
Boys playing near the old house. …
PNTL enjoy our bacon and egg break…
PNTL enjoy our bacon and egg brea…
Traffic problems between VQQ and UA
Traffic problems between VQQ and UA
Our balcony
Our balcony
Looking into our yard
Looking into our yard
Uatolari
photo by: goezi