On a mission no longer.
Darwin Travel Blog› entry 86 of 86 › view all entries
The arrangement was for 3 early shift patrols to drop us and the driver I was with frightened us all the way to the airport. One thing I won't be missing is the poor driving skills of UNPOL. It seems ironic that the first thing I was asked to fix is still the last impression I have of UNPOL in Timor Leste - guess I'm less of a miracle worker than management had hoped.
We loitred at the check-in counters for a while as the computers were down. More TL problems of course so this meant a manual passport check and seat allocation process. Time wasn't an issue though, even here in Dili we must report at least 90mins before an international flight.
flight from Darwin bringing the new Tuituia 11 team arrived at 7.30am. We collected our passports and wandered back
into the airport arrivals hall ready to greet them in fine Maori tradition.
I remembered back to the nervousness we had prior to our disembarking from the airforce flight. With just 5 of us and no real plan the haka we were expecting to have to perform weighed heavy on our minds. What relief it was after we had been challenged by those we had come to join as they leapt forward to shake our hands and prevent us from answering them.
The new crew were 15 and they appeared equally as nervous. I wondered why we insisted on doing this ritual. Most of those coming on mission are of European decent and don't enjoy it anyway but it is the expected behaviour of most NZ government departments since about 15 years ago and now we haka at every opportunity.
I only knew one of the incoming team. The lone female in the 11's, Cas, is a driving instructor from college whom I have worked with several times over the past 10 years. We didn't have a great deal of time to chat after the exchange of haka but I had time to congratulate her on getting here and wish her well in her mission, ensuring her she would love her time here.
From there we were straight through immigration and out to the plane. We left the ground a few minutes late but the flight was just an hour and very quickly we left Dili, Timor Leste behind and started to think about Darwin, Australia
into Darwin was straight forward, this is Australia, a country whose systems
function as they should.
I guess that's job done then huh??? Time to start my two year holiday.