Mike's Notes on Madison -Ainaro delegation June 2002 :
At the Memorial Union I called my father to ask him to bring a large duffle
bag to pack Diane's box of tools and stuff. Fortunately the bag fit well as
the box was unwieldy. Left May 29th from Madison with Diane Farsetta by bus
to Chicago. Tom Foley was already there in Dili prior to Independence day
ceremonies May 20th having taken one of his remarkable electric guitars
carved in the shape of a crocodile after the legend of how a crocadile became
the island of East Timor. In San Francisco I learned my flight was never
confirmed to Tapei and so had to fly stand by.
On flight from Tapei to Bali met a woman who was from the island of Lombok
near Bali and who had married a Canadian. She told me the people on Lombok
were somewhat primitive and in their naivete they believed the lies the
government or military had used to sow hatred toward Christians in Lombok,
people that were her neighbors and friends had homes burned etc. It never
occured to those who used violence that this might adversely affect thier
hopes for potential tourist industry on Lombok. Stayed overnight in Bali.
On the plane from Bali to Dili sat in back of East Timor's Minister of Environment,
Tourism and Investment Jose Teixeira whose grandmother spoke Tetun, father
was Portuguese, and who grew up in Australia. He said there were two forested
areas in East Timor with intact bio-diversity (virgin forests) due to traditional
values of indigenous peoples, one near Same, the other near Los Palos.
Stayed a few days in Dili at the Asia Pacific Support Collective with Yohan,
Diane and Tom. The APSC website :
. Met Edith, Gizela, Titi, Theresa, and the maid Filizarga and Australians
old Jim, and Andrew McNaughton who was trained as a doctor but was covering
the oil story. The APSC was in the middle of a move to a new location from
Avenue Liberdade Imprensa Kuluhun to near the municipal (soccer) stadium.
Jackfruit soup at local restaurant was good. Dinner at Philomena Barros dos
Reis's. Next door Tom helped musicians of the band Cinco D'Oriente set up
equipment ; Tom says they are awesome musicians.
Met Steve Cran who does permaculture who served in the Australian
military for 9 years or so. Steve told a story of an Austrlian aboriginal
town that he helped reduce the crime rate by 90% in by empowering people.
He planted 200 species of trees in the middle of town and another 100 were
supplied by mother nature (green space). He treated the toxic waste dump
with a bacteria that broke down the toxin. He says some soil near the river
when disturbed produced flowers that scientists had thought extinct and had
not seen in a hundred years. Later he described an experiment in Timor in
gathering and growing 17,000 native trees in plastic bags with soil and fertilizer
that failed when the Timorese didn't water them properly but Tula suggested
Steve Cran bears some of the blame for not following through on it.
Tuesday morning June 4, '02 before leaving Dili, met Constacio Pinto and
Fernando Araujo who is from near Ainaro (Manutassi near statue of the virgin
Mary). He mentioned possible contact persons at the East Timor national university
in Dili : Rector Benjamin Corte Real from Ainaro (who I met later) and Helder
Costa the director of a research center. Tom talked about (Saraswati Sunindyo's
husband in Seattle) John Brennan's idea for wireless point to point broadband
Doctor Dan sent two doctors with us after loading up on medicine in Dili
: Audrey Bank from Scotland (She and her husband went back to Ainaro for
several months to do medical work) and Nina Soares from Ainaro who had completed
two years of med school in Jakarta ; Jen Laakso stayed with Nina's
family during her stay in fall of 2000; Nina's brother Valentin is working
to get a youth center in Ainaro that would offer computer skills classes
among other things. Her brother Bira studied engineering in Indonesia.. We
passed a large cemetery in Maubisse. As we neared Ainaro road quality deteriorated.
En route on the last stretch to Ainaro we were detained for over an hour
as two UN vehicles pulled a third which had been wrecked out of the ravine
it had fallen into. At that time also detained along the road we met the
mother superior of Suster Connosian in Ainaro who Diane and Audrey stayed
with. I heard different stories about the vehicle. One was that there were
four persons on board, one died; another story that there was only one aboard
who had parked the car by the roadside but forgot to put the emergency brakes
on and he didn't die.
We arrived in Ainaro at night with Tom driving over difficult roads. Tom
later injured his wrist from the driving in part he thinks. We stopped first
at Nina's house and spoke with her brother Valentin and her mother Maria Immaculada.
Then we went to the church where men and women separated. The moon was nearly
new and the milky way was spectacular. One wonders what if Ainaro, which
gets four hours of electricity a day from a generator in Dili, had continuous
electricity like Madison. Would one still see such a magnificent starry sky?
It got more complicated as Ainaro potentially has available ample solar power
and hydroelectric power (were they to have the means to tap it) especially
during the rainy season which would conserve on firewood, possibly helping
to prevent deforestation and consequent erosion and biodiversity loss and
curtailing smoke which to my sensitive lungs felt unhealthy, having contributed
to the cold I got. During the course of our visit I thought about many other
such questions which I didn't know how to answer. The roads were rough and
were part of the reason my back and Tom's wrist were injured and why several
UN vehicles went into the ravine causing serious injury perhaps death. Yet
a paved road is not as aesthetically pleasing to look at as an unpaved one,
the later being more varied and interesting, and what if in so paving Ainaro
would become a suburb of Dili, or what if, once road improvements allowed
tourism to flourish, what if the first hotels in Ainaro were built by rich
westerners and the people of Ainaro got no income from them. Finally, I thought
of the unemployment in the region as high as 80% at least by western standards,
but it was hard to judge (in a subsistence agricultural economy most people
seemed to be getting by, although clearly there was some malnutrition, and
though the people weren't rich in western terms, a dollar went a lot farther
there). In the great depression era in the USA in Wisconsin the government
paid workers to build the pathway up the mountainside in Devil's lake state
park. The pathway towards Ramelau from Ainaro which one old timer said he
had hiked (I heard from others that there was such a path) would make a spectacular
scenic route for tourists to hike once the roads to Ainaro allowed tourists
to get there. But before I would start promoting such a project of hiring
people to build trails, before such got under way, I would want to know that
goats would not eat up the remaining biodiversity, or that people would not
cut down the forests for firewood. Being rendered accessible might make the
forests (and similarly the town of Ainaro) more vulnerable.
Tom and I meet father Dionisio originally from Oecussi, Domingu (nicknamed
Ameu), Giovanni, Octavio, Manuel Ribeirinha from Portugal who teaches
Portuguese at the pre-seminary Sao Luis Gonzaga where we stayed (named after
an Italian who became a saint). Father Dionisio told how in September
1999 he and many other Ainaro residents headed to the base of mount Kablaki
near Same (the mountain visible in back of the pre-seminary) where Falantil
was stationed and the Indonesians and militias afraid to go. Met students
at preseminary : Facu, Azeka, Angel, Aderito
We went with Audrey and Nina to talk to a health official in the Caritas
office, who said: Ainaro currently has no doctor and has not had a steady
doctor for many months. It lacks a car to transport dead persons, has not
enough money for nurses and not enough nurses for all villages. Ainaro district
has 37 nurses (12 are in Ainaro town itself, 12 in Maubisse) Common medical
problems include diarhea and coughing illnesses (TB and viral pneumonia).
Caritas has a TB program in Ainaro. Malnutrition is a problem especially
in the villages. Children's height and weight are checked. Crops Cassava,
potatoes, tomatoes are grown but depend on the season. Money is needed for
seeds. Beans would be good, as well as corn and most vegetables. During the
rainy season the clinics in Ainaro and Maubisse have leaky roofs. Birth protocol
for ministry of health is different from the NGO protocol. Villagers give
birth in their homes unless they are close to a clinic. Deliveries used to
be done in Ainaro but no longer. Clean water is a problem. Many get water
from the rivers which are especially dirty in the rainy season. Ministry
of Health said Ainaro would get one doctor but did not say who. Communication
for urgent cases is a problem. The community of Ainaro complained to Ministry
of Health about moving the hospital to Maubisse. There is less sickness in
Maubisse. In Maubisse it is difficult to get space. The roads are bad and
people's mentality has changed : now they want money if you widen the road
and it cuts into their land. UN took most communications, computers etc before
they left. There are only 4 phone lines total to Dili : the civilian police
headquarters (Civpol) , UN military observer (UNMO) and district administrator's
office. Land disputes have yet to be resolved. 8000 people from Ainaro are
still in West Timor. Many returning refugees get resettled in Cassa where
health and water and sanitation and habitation facilities are not good. There
is need for an eye doctor. Timor Aid did not fairly distribute housing materials.
An UNTAET generator still there is in bad condition. Eventually Los Palos
will provide power from an underground river for the whole island including
West Timor but for now the power comes rather unreliably and feebly from fuel
burning generators in Dili. When an additional connection is added the lights
We see many burned out satellite dishes in Ainaro.
Thursday June 6th : a mouse crawled over me inside my mosquito net but fortunately
left immediately. Tom thinks it may have been attracted to peanuts. Bought
one large Tais blanket (traditional Tiimorese weavings are called Tais) for
US $60 perhaps too much. Tais can take months to weave here and cost a large
fraction of the annual local salary to purchase. On one occasion when purchasing
some I was asked if I was buying them for my wedding.
I feel run down and am resting. Dinner is at 8:30pm lunch is at 12:30.
Met Rosario who teaches English here at pre-seminary 4 hours each day (2
classes) He is doing a bachelor's thesis on Mombai ritual speech under the
guidance of Benjamin Corte Real the rector of the university of Timor Lorosae
in Dili who is a linguist with a PhD in Mombai language. He tells me that
traditional healers here are secretive about their methods. The quarters
of Tom and I are in a fairly public space. Some kids are coughing a lot and
I wondered if TB was a problem here. The ventilation is not the greatest
as the fire of the school's cook is stationed outside the door which
is left open most of the day and the bathroom is located next to us as well.
Today 6/6 we went with Dr. Audrey on the mobile clinic to Soro near Ainaro.
People lined up inside the temporary clinic building. There was no way to
wash hands between patients which seemed bad medical practice. We brought
a frisbee that the kids there had never tried before but were enjoying although
many were afraid to catch it. On the way there could see hot tar being heated
by fire the fumes unpleasant where the road was being added by means of a
small steamroller. First came large rocks, then small and then the tar. Near
the mobile clinic was a small school in Soro that had a large hole in the
side of the building and across from a grotto with statue of the virgin Mary.
Friday June 7, 2002 Visited Cassa in Ainaro district but the cheif was not
in. Cassa is at a lower elevation so is warmer and has more mosquitos. Cassa
(where returning refugees from West Timor often come) is in need of education,
music instruments (guitars etc) , health care. There is not enough generator
power for the water pump. Antonio studied English in 1996 at University in
Dili. We passed through town of Gosmori. In Cassa we met Bryan Versaci
a U.S. civpol (civilian police) officer from the Bronx who was stationed in
Ainaro. In Cassa one could see traditional Portuguese style buildings that
had been burned down in 1999 and in their place traditional thatched roof
Timorese had been built beside them.
Trash is a problem as is the smoke from burning it (burning plastic is not
pleasant). A recycle bin, compost bin and other cleanup would be nice. (Later,
on the day when Tom, Diane and I walked up the mountain path, I gathered up
trash in plastic bags and the local children brought me much more; largely
plastic packages from Ramen noodles which schoolkids ate uncooked, and plastic
laundry detergent packages . When I mentioned to Tom about giving kids plastic
bags to collect trash in and hiring them to do so, Tom was fearful this would
seem like westerners looking down on the Timorese, but some of the locals
(adults) told me : "Please mister, take as much as you possibly can, please
take all the trash away". How one would dispose of it without burning plastic
or contaminating groundwater in a town dump is not clear. )
I have what seems to be a cold and am not feeling well. Ainaro is a bit
cold at night and I did not dress warmly enough my first night (Hopefully
a cold is all it is and will get better soon. I was told some flu was going
around : malaria and dengue initially have similar symptoms so it was a little
uncomfortable knowing the only doctor Audrey would be leaving) . Later we
learned that the malaria medicine we brought to Ainaro saved someone's life.
On June 9 we had meeting with Roasrio and Valentin mostly about the youth
project: young people need jobs, Unicef has provided 3 months of support with
the possibility of up to one year. The community center would house classes
on computers; Women's group wants restaurant in the community center. Ainaro's
radio tower needs an antenna .
Civpol headquarters meeting June 11 9:45 am Sports: volleyball, basketball,
football ( = soccer) Domestic violence prevention program, advice and education,
community center (Valentin), Reconciliation (Fretelin). Simon, an unarmed
UN military observer from Australia. Talked to Alexandra from Portugal who
teaches Portuguese 6 hours a day. In Portugal there is no work which is why
she came to Timor, but it seemed she didn't really want to be here. She will
be leaving Timor at the end of August. She did not think that the Timorese
want to work.
Today according to the date on my photos, Tom, Diane and myself took a walk
on the rocky road past Soro (to further reaches of Soro) where we saw a burned
out clinic, traditional thatched roof homes, palm fruits, some strange nest
or something hanging from trees, living fences made from trees.
June 11th 7pm meeting with priests and sisters. Education, hospital, scholarships
for poor children to attend pre-seminary or to attend university in Dili
would be nice. Friendship and solidarity are important. Sister Connosian
will open a university in Dili next year.
June 14th waiting to go to Cassa w/ Portuguese teachers. The brooms
here for sweeping seem to be made of horsehair and don't work so well .There
is no dust pan. Bira (Nina and Valentin's brother) studied mechanical engineering
4 years in Indonesia (Surabaya) but did not finish.
Areca nut (round green fruits sold in market) = pinang in Bahasa = bua
in Tetun = Beetelnut is chewed with lime which can cause gum cancer. Beetelnut
is a stimulant which is addictive, makes the gums receed, and turns the teeth
purplish red and seems to rot them as well. Many older women chew. When I
bought an elegant handwoven beetelnut basket in the marketplace, some
of the women asked in Tetun language whether I would chew; when I said no,
they asked if I would put tobacco in it, and when I said no again, they asked
sarcastically if I would store money in it; I said I wanted it for its artistic
beauty, which made them happy.
Sunday June 16th meeting 10:30 am 18 or 19 Ainaro residents plus our translator
Rico and father Dionisio. Ainaro introductions given, 5 major areas of interest
1. Health : clinic in Cassa needs material and medicine
2. Agriculture - small tools desirable
3. Social life - need orphanage, youth center, typewriter
4. education - primary school Careta Fatin, scholarship
5. transportation difficult - a horse would be nice says ex-village chief
Abelio do Amaral de Araujo
Manuel Pereira, head of church council, Ainaro parish :
education: many students but few rooms, 1 high school only in Ainaro,
more teachers needed.
Carlota da Costa Amaral : headmaster of nearby primary school Careta Fatin
which has gone
3 years without doors or windows (gets bad in the rainy season), no chairs,
no desks, no functioning bathroom, school children sit on floors, some parts
of the roof are still missing.
Friendships between catechists Ainaro + Madison, exchange of opinion,
help with transport for catechists.
Angelina Fereira would like scholarships to an American university or to
help open a university in Ainaro. Too many students are in the private school.
Sometimes orphans have no funds for education.
Julia da Carmo asks about chapel in Sukrai? no furniture : 7 years ago for
church -only chairs.
Fedencio Luis de Aruja : Carpentry : if possible open training center for
young people in carpentry and masonry (bricklaying)
Vasco Gomez da Araujo originally from Cassa now lives in Ainaro. Would like
exchange of music and culture (art) traditional and vica versa between Madison
Angelina who spoke earlier would like furniture for schoolroom.
30 years ago there was a separate space for catechist teaching.
Abelio (ex-village cheif) who spoke earlier :
1) agriculture: provide machetes (tractor too expensive), shovels, simple
2) College or convent for orphans needed
Renaldo do Araujo, cheif of village of Soro, liurai, vice-council of church,
would like some support to fix their gruto (Virgin Mary statue) in Soro.
Manuel Martins went around district Maubisse and Hatebulico would like
orphanage. He worked with social office. Building needs repairs (destroyed
in 1999) Have skill but need materials and salaries for people.
Hermandillo do Rosario : Suggestion about agriculture and carpentry : Wants
us to talk to DA to fix tractor or give new one and for training in maintenance
and usage of tractor. Also fix grutos (various districts).
Raphael Pereira maskita catechist Bulico sub-village chapel in Bulico. They
have volunteers to fix it but need more materials to complete work.
Laurinda de Carvalho : Catechist wants typewriter with paper for birth certificate
or baptism certificate.
Amelia Mario ? catachist from Soro wants help with gruto and chapel in Soro.
Manuel Martins request for Ainaro district : can get list of names and specifics
of critical needs. Make clear to DA and others what we want to do.
Rico (our translator) : Frederico de Araujo Pacheco :
Mark Pate counterculture from Australia knows Steve Cran and wife Jenny
3 kids , one named Ohm. He says an Australian group AQIS surveyed Timor and
had a botanist (AQIS =Australian Quarantine Institute ?)
Sunday afternoon June 16th after visit to market, walked with Tom and Diane
to Manutassi east of Ainaro 1 or 2 kilometers carrying Tais in one arm.
Evening June 16th : met with Mr. Fernando Xavier ex-CNRT leader in Ainaro
district; he missed the meeting Sunday morning because a family member died.
He wrote a letter we presented to Madison city council; his wife involved
with OMT (women's organization) weaving/sewing, adult literacy program. He
has 12 brothers and sisters. Introductions : Tom Foley has made guitars (young
people here would like to know how to make guitars)
Monday June 17th Rico translating return to speak with Fernando Xavier
and wife Carlotta olinda Xavier. He is no longer involved with CNRT but
with AVR (association of veterans of the resistance) (He's leader for Ainaro
district) His wife Carlotta is head of women's orgaization in Ainaro district.
The Irish NGO CONCERN in Maubisse gave sewing machine. Illiteracy, lack of
education are problems. Economy depends on agriculture. A proposal was made
by the women's organization to CONCERN about making dresses but no response
yet. Pencils, books, notebooks are needed for adult literacy class. Electric
power here is weak. There is one carpenter but he can't use electric tools
as a result.. When AVR has office it will look after agriculture scholarship,
and program with orphans.
Recommended we talk with Olympio Renaisas Amaral CRS and
OMT Susana Batiste Barros whose house is after bamboo and coffee on road
to right just up hill past the church in Ainaro. She teaches at primary school
mornings (behind church) class 4. Olympio's house is located past restaurante
Villa Clara : CRS is 2 houses down.
Tuesday June 18th talked to Edmundo da Costa head of agriculture in district.
Tomorrow for the purpose of discussing reconciliation he goes in a big group
to West Timor, Atambua with sister Elsa back Friday afternoon. We set up
meeting for next Monday morning 9am with Ainaro sub-district coordinators
deputy DA education, health , development
Met June 18th at Health Ministry clinic in Ainaro (with Cornelio do Santos
: person from Cassa) to discuss Cassa's clinic : Ceiling and floor is not
good, needs paint, building tiles for floor needed, many refugees there,
no medicine, bad in rainy season. Need accomodation for Dr. Dan. Ireland
contract for 6 months. Nurses in Manunu, Surokuai, Nunomarge in Hatebulico.
Chloroquine, paracetemol, cotrimaxazole. There is TB and malaria in Cassa
(sometimes from West Timor) and more illness in Cassa (very hot there) No
doctor here in Ainaro, transport a problem (e.g. mobile clinic) Very
far from Hatebulico. Timor Aid has no plan to return. Timor Aid's failure
stemmed from their lack of cooperation and coordination. Ambulance is broken.
Fuel and oil is a problem as are the cost of tires. Have mechanic here. One
sack of cement in Dili costs $3 but here it costs $4 (cost of transport)
Minister of Health has plan to repair some buildings. Four nurses in Cassa
now. Water is a problem. Generator for pump is too small. (Makes people sick).
Cassa's former hospital was destroyed by militias.
June 18th 2:15 pm Meeting with Susana Batista Barros OMT Women's organization.
OPMT operates in whole district of Ainaro. Tais made by one of 4 or 5 groups.
Dressmaking materials, machines . Some money goes into pencils and books for
children. Cloth given by CONCERN just once. Sell them and the money buys
more cloth. They were invited May 20th to display their tais at independence
day festivities. During clandestine times there were 60 women in Dili and
elsewhere now 20 people in Ainaro but on special occasions 60-70. NGO CONCERN
supports the whole Ainaro district, and travels around to give support to
those in need. Need thread from Dili. OPMT was banned during Indonesian occupation.
Restaurant project in community center. In future wants to help women growing
rice in field. Continuing literacy training, civic education once a month,
gives small business education. 100 small groups work together in Ainaro
district. Susana endorsed Valentin's youth center project. Young people work
together with OMT. Outside Susana's house was a beautiful trapadeira climbing
Olympia Amaral of CRS (Catholic Relief Services) did vaccinations during
Indonesian times, worked as agriculture representative with UNTAET. CRS programs
on agriculture in Ainaro district also Viqueque, Baucau, gave hand tractors
for rice fields, materials for irrigation canals, cement etc. 3 agriculture
groups. He gives 2 tractors : 1 for rice , 1 to separate hulls from rice.
When they use the tractor they pay in rice. Money goes back to community
(cooperative) to buy new machines. Folata near Cassa CRS provided cement.
They gave rice to another group to start production. After 1 year they must
be independent. CRS helps to find buyers for rice.
1) No water system to irrigate rice.
2) finding new markets important
3) traditional methods ; not enough buffalos. When agriculture in differnt
places asks for help they will help but so far only 3 places have asked for
help. Five year CRS project: now ther are 20 groups of farmers, it is hoped
there will be 160 groups in 5 years. Other NGO's in other places work with
rice. CRS helps with difficult transitions (as when people are hungry) :
small tools, machetes.
How might we help? Tais, carpentry, small enterprises, teak trees, plantation
of sandalwood reforestation, artesan, seeds would be desired for agriculture
: cabbage, tomatoes (big ones), peppers, carrots, eggplants (large)
Eduardo Pereira wants Tetun-English dictionary so he can learn English.
Photographed Pedro an old man wearing traditional attire.
Policeman (policia) Octavio de Araujo (he is ETPS station commander Ainaro
sub-inspector) gave letter in Tetun to Madison asking for help with communication
: Octavio de Araujo
ETPS 10343, Ainaro Station, Ainaro Town, East Timor (via Darwin)
Simon Cullen Sauer airforce UNMO (UN military observer) from Australia
Five Australians arrived from Perth, Western Australia : David (2nd
time here; originally from Darwin), Richard, Kylie (a journalist), Carmel
(a physical therapist) who went to school in Ballarat, and Jessica. They are
part of a college program on East Timor : Rebirth and Rebuilding (the title
of a large collection of reading materials they brought with them) from the
Edmund Rice Centre . David had made friends with the cooks on a previous
visit and the bunch of them helped the cooks out next door to father Dionisio's
house. Contact info for the Edmund Rice Centre (the book of reading materials
would be worth getting from them. It included a section on the American civil
rights movement, a section on how you get as much rewards from friendship
with the Timorese as they from you, and some background on Timor) :
Edmund Rice Center
PO Box 1225
Fremantle, Western Australia 6959
Met again with Abelio do Amaral de Arujo (ex-village chief) at his house.
He has ten children. He said many young people had come to him asking for
pen-pals in Madison. He mentioned he knows a number of older people who could
tell the history of Ainaro if someone would want to record it.
Olympio Amaral : CRS distributed many tools and some seeds. It is better
to distribute in groups rather than to individuals. Church youth groups, better
to start from sub-villages, very concentrated in agriculture. Assist with
livestock (cows, pigs, chickens etc) easy to distribute to male and female
groups. Better to provide animals and seeds than money. Give hoe rather than
food, nets rather than fish etc. Difficult to get good quality seeds in Timor,
better to import. Tools can be found in Dili, not necessarily a lot but high
quality preferable. Distribute in groups better. Small things : shoe repair,
Manuel Ribeirinha was unusual in that he wanted to live with the Timorese
(in the pre-seminary next to where Tom and I slept) not with the Portuguese
in their rich abode. This seemed to cause him some difficulties and he was
concerned that he might loose his funding from the Portuguese government to
teach Portuguese. he was determined to stay on in Timor. He had been there
over a year, had given up smoking sometime after getting Dengue and Malaria.
He was from the poorer mountain region of Portugal which he had fond memories
of, the people friendly and he said it was very beautiful there.
Met Sophie McNeill , an independent film maker from Perth, Australia (17
years old but very knowledgeable: not her first time in Ainaro). She
interviewed me on video in Ainaro. She recalled to me the article about peoples
in Timor who in their isolation for the last 20 years had scarcely heard
of Indonesia : article in Melbourne Age newpaper from 1999 called something
like "the luckiest Timorese of them all". This gives hope that some parts
of East Timor might still remain rich in biodiversity .
Friday June 21 2002 according to the date on my photos Tom, Diane and I
hiked up the mountain trail towards Ramelau over two bamboo bridges. Some
kids escorted us over one of the bamboo bridges up a steep cultivated hillside
that appears as a bald spot on the mountain visible from the church in Ainaro.
There we met a farmer who wasn't too happy that we were on his property. He
said that the path to the top was not good (La diak) and the last foreigners
to come several years earlier (Indonesians?) had been afraid to do so. After
lunch we got lost from the trail which was a bit unsettling.
Sister Elsa returns evening of (Friday June 21st?) from her trip or mission
of reconciliation to West Timor. The West Timorese did a traditional dance
to respect visitors from East Timor (sister Elsa and others) Many refugees
came to border (majority want to return). There are too many people in West
Timor (so it is better to return). Owners of land in West Timor are sometimes
angry . Two hundred refugees from Hatebulico region died. Refugees became
angry at the militia leader. The militia leader is ready to take responsibility
and go to prison.
Meeting with Susana Sunday June 23rd OMT women doing the sewing and selling
among themselves? Plans to enlarge the program (a store to sell them?) If
women do good work they can make a large portion of their income from sewing.
Training is a major part of OMT. Not only Ainaro sub-district but 3 other
subdistricts including Hatobulico. Cassa is part of Ainaro subdistrict. NGO
CONCERN in Maubisse. Now cloth from Dili is of good quality. Every subdistrict
has 3 sewing machines. Cassa may think this is not enough. Plans for OMT
office in Ainaro town for public. Also involved with athletics (soccer and
basketball want help with uniforms). Made a request to Katerina for net and
football (soocerball) OMT gives thanks. In refugee camps many died from
1) floodwater (dirty water)
2) no food and poor health
3) traditions are different (way they cultivate, didn't respect, when cut
bamboo, need to give something) The DA in W. Timor and military commander
say refugees must return to E. Timor by the last day Aug 31st to return or
else they will be moved to Sumatra or elsewhere If they come back now to
East Timor, the UN will give $1500 US to each. Militia leaders
want to return and serve prison terms. 4 people couldn't or didn't want to
come to meetings between E + W Timor
Daniel (from Manutassi) + Roberto
Sunday June 23rd meeting w/ Carlotta + Fernando Xavier. We want to thank
Carlotta for talking with us again and we are interested in OPMT projects
and want to ask a few questions. Adult literacy needs materials, chalk, blackboard,
notebook, pencils. How many teachers in OPMT program? : about 26 people. Want
to put OPMT in other sub disticts but can't go to Hatobulico because lack
transport. Do they go to other villages or do people come to them? In each
village 2 people join. Initially they meet to train in Ainaro. How often do
they do training? Right now since there is no furniture the project is still
in the planning stage only. They have a program request proposal to Ireland
but have not yet heard back. In the days of the Indonesian occupation, OPMT
had to go underground which is why they didn't have institutional support.
Books would be helpful? Books in Portuguese, Bahasa, English and Tetun are
used. Is a library planned with the project?
Basic reading and writing is what is wanted. Carlotta thanks us for our
visit and our cooperation and hopes we will meet again.
Monday morning : Domingu (Ameu) made request for uniforms
SAO LUIS GONZAGA
AINARO, TIMOR LOROSAE
include a picture of St. Luis Gonzaga if possible
(Sao Luis Gonzaga was an Italian who became a saint)
Football (Soccer) 24
Band uniforms with a collar saying
BEND SAO LUIS GONZAGA (GONZALES?)
Meeting Monday 9:30 am June 24th with Ainaro subdistrict commander, head
ministers of health, agriculture, education (DA was in Dili)
Diane speaks: Thank you for being here today. We've been in Ainaro for 3
weeks. We've heard over and over that health, education, and agriculture are
important for Ainaro. Thank you for being here to explore how we can work
together. We have been involved with East Timor activism for many years. We
wanted to get involved with direct people to people projects. We have
found Ainaro is very beautiful place with warm and friendly people. We want
to insure we are coordinating our work so that our work will be stronger.
We are a small NGO but we are committed. We wish to exchange knowledge and
Personal introductions: 8 Ainaro residents attending plus Rico our
translator. About health: reconstruction is the problem, hospitals and clinics.
Most clinics were destroyed, need reconstruction. Regarding equipment for
health care, up to now it is still limited. Requested nurses to help in clinics.
Already have contract with Ireland NGO 3 nurses plus one in Casa. In Hatulo(?)
will try to prolong contract which ends this month. refugees need assistance.
(Diane: people are upset that ther won't be a hospital in Ainaro and won't
be a doctor for many months.) One doctor in Maubisse and one here in Ainaro
eventually. Accomodation for the doctor is not yet ready. We will try to rehabilitate
; the doctor will then stay permanently. (Diane: we realize that there is
a great need in the villages.) Regarding the villages. Until now it has been
too difficult. We use the mobile clinic two times a week. Minister would
be happy if American doctors could stay in Ainaro. (Diane: we have supported
work of Dr. Dan Murphy and were wondering what people would think if Dr.
Dan sends his own mobile clinic or if nurses from here would go to
Dili to train?)
It is OK to come here but for nurses to train in Dili we need replacement
workers here to take their place while they are gone. Many houses for doctors
need repair. (Diane: how would it be possible for us to help with reconstruction?
would we work with government?) That is up to us whether we work directly
or not. It is OK if we work directly. Tom: teaching of carpentry here in community
could go do carpentry to fix the doctor's houses perhaps.
Mr. Alexander, education: primary students : 39 elementary schools in Ainaro
district 12,000 students . 20 primary schools have been fixed, 19 not yet
(no furniture, no doors or windows). Approximately 200 teachers (still limited)
sometimes only 2 teachers in a primary school
Pre-secondary schools (junior high) : In Ainaro district 2 private Catholic
ones and 2 public ones. In Hatulo 8 teachers for 600 students. In Hatobulico
4 teachers for 120 students. 13 subjects in each school. Building conditions
: US AID has helped with some furnishings. Hatobulico : too cold ; need windows
and doors. In Maubisse 8 teachers, 600 students. Last May 2002, teacher
testing was conducted but none of the teachers passed. Under Indonesia there
were 7 government schools. Now only 2. If students pass primary schools there
are not enough schools where they can go to continue their education. Reconstruction
is needed and so are qualified teachers. Our first priority is for teachers.
Secondary schools (high schools) : One government (public) school but only
4 of the rooms are fixed. Teachers there are not good. One private high school
(in back of church in Ainaro) for whole Ainaro district. Have no secretary
for education. Typewriter needed, manual copymachine (stencil) desired.
Kindergarten (preschool) Before there were two now only one. No teachers.
No building . 67 pre-school children in Ainaro town alone (?) Transportation
a problem and communication is limited. No computer or photocopy machines,
no typewriters (only the priests have some) Government plan to rehabilitate
schools with no doors etc. One World bank project (ESRP Elementary school
rehabilitation project) fixed 23 schools up to secondary. Another world bank
project 2002-2015 wants to fix 4 elementary schools each year. Required
training for teachers or volunteer teachers : would need to speak Tetun or
Portuguese or Bahasa : class 1-4 Portuguese; 5-12 Bahasa. Portuguese is a
subject in Junior and high school. (Diane: we'd like to establish scholarship
to go to University in Dili or the US. Does education minister think this
is less important than basic education?) Better to give scholarship outside
of Timor (Australia, Indonesia, Portugal , US etc) Vocational training needs:
are there plans for vocational training (technical school)? Only two tech
schools : one in Dili, one in Baucau Fatimaka : Electronics, agriculture.
Agriculture: Increasing product yield- have 46 irrigation channels 2246
hectares but only 20% of these have been fixed (fixed 13 channels for irrigation
so far). Fixing the others is 1st priority. Hand tractor and manual tractors
used (can use buffalo to pull for rice field) Chinese gov't gave two big tractors
per district and 12 hand tractors. Japanese gave 5 hand tractors. Need to
train. Want to have a professional to look after training but need skill
(how to use and maintain). Seeds, fertilizer, tools etc. Need 'extension',
need tools: received hand tools but some people still need them , quantity
is limited. Gov't has no funds. Medicine and vaccine for livestock needed.
Forestry: tried reforestation near river so no landslide, and deforested
areas. Tried to give seeds to people for replanting trees.
Transportation a problem. How to stimulate these things. Gov't lacks funds
for personnel so up to communities to implement.
Fishing: tried to fix fish pond. For ocean fishing need motor and equipment.
Want to buy minnows and want nets. Need to send some professionals.
Agriculture is 1st : crop production
1) need seeds
2) need transport (Ainaro to Dili to Suai); road conditions are bad and
need working vehicles . Japanese PCF road project (JICA NGO) main roads but
not village roads. No idea how long it will take for Japanese to fix roads.(
1 year plan only).
Tourism: Hatobulico has great potential for tourism (Ramelau) but roads
are in bad condition. Roads allow one vehicle only at a time(if two vehicles
After the meeting I was asked if I would like to have a traditional healer
treat my back. The healer proceeded to rub some substance on my back and then
spit on my back some sort of beetelnut juice or something. It was a little
unpleasant. He made me chew on some bark (aspirin comes from willow
bark?) which he also wrapped in bandages around my waist and said to leave
it overnight. I should rest. The translator said it was good for sore back
muscles but not structural problems and Carmel the Australian physical therapist
said it sounded to her like a disk problem and that massage was not necessarily
appropriate in such circumstances. She recommended anti-inflamatory
Voltaren, pills which I found and took back in Dili. On the bus from Ainaro
to Dili I clung to the upper rail for dear life. Later that day in Dili I
was only able to get up with a helping hand even after attempts with my bamboo
walking staff that I carried around like Moses.
Back in Dili June 27th Thursday. Met Portuguese teachers (separate part
of campus adjacent to university) Shakib from Iran (Bahai religion) going
back to Portugal in 2 weeks. Shakib invited me to lunch with the Portuguese
teachers one block from the ocean, cook Marguerita from Baucau = "Gita".
Mauel, Maria, Paulo, Shakib Shahidian. Paulo had studied ag. engineering
in Seattle. Shakib was teaching computer lab course in word but his background
is agricultural engineering. The computer lab on the Portuguese side of campus
had 13 1.2 Ghz Pentium machines which he said were better than any he had
seen in Portugal. Only Windows instruction is offered (some Java). Paulo
said there are books in Portuguese about flora of Timor and some botanists
who study it. Not much primary forests left.
Met University rector Benjamin Corte Real. He got his degree in Australia
where he spent 5 years in Western Sydney, MacArthur University doing a masters
and PhD in Mombai language native to the Ainaro district where he was originally
from.(Corte Real was his mother's name; his father in his 80's Arturo Araujo
is one of the oldest living in Ainaro.) In Ainaro, Rosario was a student of
his. Corte Real was going to spend the weekend on a trip to Baucau and Los
Palos to explore the history of the Portuguese poet Ruy Cinatti who had a
blood pact with the liurais and after 2nd world war became the vice-govenor
of Timor Leste until the mid-60's when he returned to Portugal where he died
only a few years ago. He advocated many progressive policies for Timor and
was thus not always liked by the authorities. Benjamin Corte Real also works
with Ballarat group. He helps linguist Geoffrey Hull with translating Timorese
languages and linguistic studies now published anually by University of Timor
Met Miguel Maia dos Santos, dean of school (faculte) of education and teacher
training, himself a linguist. He said there were 7 departments : math, physics,
chemistry, biology, Portuguese, English, Bahasa within the education school.
In 2003 or 2004 they will open Tetun department. Professor Gabriel from America
teaches physics in Tetun. He will be in Timor til October or December only.
He wrote a high school level physics manual in Tetun. They still need $3000
to print 800 copies. Got aid from AUSAID. Did 7 workshops with 35 physics
lecturers. Other colleges (faculte) include school of economics, agriculture,
engineering, social science and politics, education. University of Dili located
near the municipal stadium (near where APSC where we stayed is located),
is another public university which will open some basic medical related course
this fall and so would seem to complement the University of Timor Lorosae
curriculum. It had 5 buildings when I visited it. New private university
just opened : University of Maulaear (hero's name) in Comorro (near Dili
international airport), other private ones include University of Jupiter,
College of Christal, Conossians also plan to open one. One university in
Baucau (Baucau Salesian Institute?)
Duarte da Costa teaches engineering math. He uses book: Differential and
Integral Calculus Volume II by russian author N.Piskunov translated from
russian by George Yankovsky.
Met Rosa Carascalao, a sister of Jose Ramos Horta and owner of store Papelaria
Pereirita next to Hello Mister in Dili. She told me she had some beautiful
photos for making postcards and she knew a place in Australia where she could
get 3000 cards (all of same design) for $.19 (19 cents) each. .. a potential
business idea for some enterprising young Timorese.
French girl Alexandra Ory who had met Yohan, and Audrey; she was travelling
the world with her boyfriend and had stayed in a mosque in Dili where she
had recently converted to Islam. I tried to interest her in the Tour de Timor
ride. She said she might bicycle from Malaysia to Mecca.
Met two girls Marta and Dolu from Barcelona at the Xanana reading room in
Dili where we watched a film about 1999 violence.
Raul Sarmento de Araujo mentioned location? Aituri Laran, receptionist for
Red Cross and cousin of Benjamin Corte Real
July 2 2002 Yohan took a veteran (former Fretelin soldier) with a prosthetic
leg to get help but couldn't find a place that would help him. Ended
up giving him money. Later I took some photos of stadium wall and of Gizela's
family (lives in Bairo Pite near Dr. Dan who stays with Gizela's grandfather.)
Bought towels for Edith and Gizela in Commoro department store (everything
in English) after visiting the seer (or witch doctor) matan dook (see
Jose Luis Lopes is a cousin of Gizela who works for Ramos Horta in
the foreign ministry. He mentioned another Tetun-English dictionary which
he recommended but didn't write down for me. He had travelled to the states,
spoke decent English and said Ramos Horta was pushing Linux free software
for Timor. Gizela's father Faustino is a dentist. He hoped the military might
help send used dental equipment to Timor. Gizela's mother : Antonieta
When the motorcycle which Edith and Gizela had saved dearly to buy,
was stolen from the APSC (Asia Pacific Support Collective), we took a trip
to a matan dook literally "eyes far" in Tetun (or as Gizela explained a seer,
wiseman, or witch doctor) in the hopes that he would help find the
motorcycle. He claimed he heard talk of it and that it was still in Dili
and had not been sold yet.
A Malaysian from UNDP (UN development program) taught computer science for
a few more months, had trouble teaching programming skills to Timorese. Yohan's
friend Tula born in Australia; parents were both Greek. She and Melanie both
got dengue at same time in Bairo Pite, maybe from same mosquito and were
evacuated to Darwin. Melanie was unconscious with dengue hemorhagic fever
at the time. Jane musician gave me a lesson in "tapping" two handed electric
guitar style of playing. Yohan's Australian musician friend Jane : band:
sparks fly www.sparksfly.com.au
Tula's Timorese ex-boyfriend Ego (Filomena's cousin) worked for Steve Cran.
On plane from Dili to Bali sat next to a woman who goes to school in
Indonesia . She was in Dili to attend her grandmother's funeral (her father's
mother). Her father had been forced into the Indonesian military and was
afraid for his life to return to East Timor, because not everyone there had
accepted reconciliation, so he was afraid to even come to his own mother's
funeral and so stayed in Indonesia.