Well on 15 January I returned to Timor-Leste to live, once again. I have been a frequent visitor for the past 2 years, with short interludes in Liberia, Sudan, Haiti and Afghanistan – whilst hiding out in the interim in Indonesia.
When I was first told I had to return to Dili I was annoyed. I had little choice in the matter due to some practical realities of life related to our Peace Dividend Marketplace project. As I type this I am waiting to meet with Helio Tavares our new’ish point of contact in the Ministry of Tourism Commerce and Industry.
Whilst I was annoyed, I also welcomed the prospect of returning full time to Timor-Leste, it has become something of a second home to me over the years, and to be honest my first home seems a distant memory.
I first arrived in Timor-Leste with UNTAET some 11 years ago this very month just about. Between then and now I have meandered around the world but always it seems being drawn back to Dili. In Timor-Leste I have worked for (or acted as consultant to) NDI, the International Crisis Group, the State Department, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, DPKO and now the best job of them all, Peace Dividend Trust.
Timor-Leste and the Timorese have been very good to me, and its something I never forget.
Despite all the problems that Timor-Leste has, it still a land of possibilities – when I compare it with the other fragile states I have visited in the decade or so, Timor-Leste has considerable promise. This is primarily a result of the Timorese, the nature of the conflicts here, and the fact that neighbours and friends are genuinely friendly – at least the vast majority of the time. Timor-Leste has its own money, it does not suffer from waves of illicit weapons and land-mines. Its people have a greater sense of common purpose when compared to other communities emerging from conflict. It does not have neighbours which seek to undermine it at every turn – much unlike some places.
While I have to say I love Timor-Leste, Dili as a city is changing fast, and these are the things I like, and don’t like, about my second home’s capitol city.
Things I like about Dili:
Things I don’t like about Dili:
One day I must tell you about a “young man from Iliomar.”
Note: here is the MegaPro. A man from Mehara, Lautem modified the mirrors, much better…
Tags : Dili
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