Quiet Time

Dili Travel Blog

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Farooq buys a coconut
The office is quiet these days.  I have lost momentum since returning from Aus and facing the Christmas period. 

Paulo is away for two weeks to undergo "train the trainers" for Language Assistants.  I knew he was worth his weight in gold.  He's been a great worker for me and now he's been selected as one of 12 LAs who will train the hundereds of others in Tetum Official (there are about 14 dialects of Tetum spoken around TL).  Good on him.

In the meantime I made sure I had a new LA to replace him for the two weeks.  I was given Esmerelda (Emmie) who was working in Dili Traffic so has a bit of a clue about what we do. 

...except that this week we haven't done a hell of a lot!

Hu is due to redeploy to Baucau on Friday so tomorrow is his last day.
Emmie helps Farooq negotiate with the vendor
  Farooq is a very pleasant man who has some great conversation.  I found the others difficult to talk to and since I had so much work to do didn't try too hard to make conversation except in the car before and after work. 

This period seems to be a real flip-side of my mission; with no work and daily visits to Dili cafes -have to admit I'm enjoying it.  Tomorrow I'll get everyone in the car and head up the mountain on the South side of Dili (towards Ermera) and see if we can find a cafe next to a Japanese monument.  Emmie had no idea what I was talking about so it'll have to be a road trip and a search.

In the 7 months I've been here I've only left the office for 3 coffee breaks.  Tomorrow's will be the third this week -how decadent!

Farooq mentioned the other day he had never had fresh coconut.
Farooq, Hu and I enjoy coffee at the PX cafe
  That afternoon the power went off (as it does regularly lately due to the wet season).  The aircon died and without computers we had little choice of jobs to do.  I decided it was time to get out and survey the roads.  The coconut was definitely NOT the primary reason for our drive.  No, truly, it wasn't.

The next day we lost power again.  I decided we should go and wash the car.  It was a fun job for the whole office (except that Emmie didn't agree it was a job for her) and we managed to kill another 90 minutes.

This morning there were a couple of interesting developments.  Farooq, the guy I interviewed on 21st December and was reployed to my office on 27th December, has now applied for 2 jobs elsewhere.  He asked me if that was okay and I told him I would never restrict his progress.
Installing road safety campaign posters around the police stations
  I am happy with his work but he's obviously wanting a more social office.  The three of us are busy and don't get out and about as much as he would like.  The office he's hoping to get a position in has more than a dozen staff and several of his fellow Pakastani countrymen.

Oddly enough I also heard about my own mission timings today.  New Zealand has decided what the future holds.  They will downsize the Police commitment to Timor Leste from the end of this rotation.

I was due to ship out on 15th June.  I had sought another extension along with 12 others here currently.  The announcement today says we will all leave on 10th June (25 of us) and be replaced by 15 new Kiwis.  In October those 15 will come out and be replaced by just 10.

I guess I'll be back in NZ in the winter after all.  Can't say I'm looking forward to that but it will be nice to travel back through Aussie and then shoot home to finalise my post-deployment debrief before I skip out somewhere else (note to self: plan next travels) on the start of my 2 years leave without pay from the NZ Police.

I guess they may rotate me onto another mission somewhere else in the world.  I wouldn't mind that too much.  In the meantime I have to think about planning my tour of this country before I leave.  Wet season ends when I return from Western Aus in March so I'll have 2 months left here and about 4 weeks of time off.  I knew there was a good reason I didn't have much leave in my first 6 months.  I think the next 5 months is going to be very different from my 7 months.

... didn't I say that before?!
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Farooq buys a coconut
Farooq buys a coconut
Emmie helps Farooq negotiate with …
Emmie helps Farooq negotiate with…
Farooq, Hu and I enjoy coffee at t…
Farooq, Hu and I enjoy coffee at …
Installing road safety campaign po…
Installing road safety campaign p…
photo by: jose28