Friday, September 14, 2012

Hillary visits - UN Me - Cycling - Work dispute

2012-09-12 ending
Lunch down Beach Road at Aru Bakery in the hours before Hillary Clinton left town. The intersection outside the bakery (we were eating on the verandah) was closed 30 minutes after I passed through it
One of my hard drives wouldn’t read properly so I passed it off to a friend with a Linux system and he fixed it in no time – quite a difference not having access to over 1Terra Byte of movies, books and articles.
Thursday night Movie in Dili (held at a wee private theatre, holds about 120 people, near the ANZ – used for fundraising to complete the first home-grown feature film made in Timor Leste): “UN me” satire on how the UN appears incapable of saying or making a difference such as:
  • No definition of terrorism. Hmmm, so how can the UN do anything about terrorism if there is no ‘acceptable’ definition of the term & no countries are identified as being involved in terrorism?
  • No action taken on preventing the Rwanda tragedy, even when told by their own peace keepers. So who does the UN listen to?
  • The UN spent US$8 billion in 2010 – I wonder what concrete results have been produced?
  • The film maker compared the original UN Charter with the current situation and he pointed out that no nations have ever been expelled for breaking the charter rules.
  • On the bright side, the UN is better than nothing at all and they possibly keep foreign driving schools busy.
• The Tour de Timor cycle competitors are staying at the Timor Lodge (before and after the event) and early on the morning of the 10th, left on the Tour

Unhappy staff – a minor ruction on Friday, when a petition was presented to management to the effect that the petitioners, who’d come in from the districts, were unhappy. Quite a surprise but the Board of Governors has stepped in to investigate the issues raised. The petitioners have been in town since then and there is some uncertainty as to when this will be resolved. Update: situation has not got better. This is one situation that needs listening skills and then action, the sooner the better.

We informed the two new staff members (part of our MIS rollout, over the next 15 months) that they had jobs and would be starting later this week. That makes for a least two happy faces.

Friday evening was dinner on the beach opposite the ‘Excelsior’ Hotel, along Beach Road. Fish on a stick. Other things I couldn’t identify, also on a stick. Beer, in a can and labeled ‘Tiger’. Perfect with the sunset.

Saturday was another cycle up to Dare in the morning. This time I cut three minutes off the climb, so I got there in just over 55minutes – 10 slower than the lead cyclist, so plenty of room for improvement. Next day was the Hera circuit. This involves leaving town via the Becora suburb, up the hill and down the other side onto the flat and on through to Hera and the turn off back along the coast to the hill over near Christa Rey (Jesus statue area) and down to the beach for breakfast at the Cazbah. Sunday morning is church day and nearly everyone is out working along the road in their best, on the way to pray and sermons, which I could hear from the road. People appear to drive more slowly too, so I was overtaking car, trucks, vans and motor scooters (all travelling under 30kmph)
Sunday was visiting day, but my scooter, with disconnected speedo and stuck dials, ran out of fuel . I parked up, fortunately in Dili central, and walked 500m to a local version of a fuel station. This is a stand with re-purposed water bottles hanging from various places. NOT the local illicit brew, but 'benzene' or petrol. $2 and 1.5l later I was in business again.
After seven weeks of sleeping-in, I got out for a Tuesday morning run along the beach near the airport. There are heaps of runners out at 06:00. The airport fence has fallen down in large sections so we could have just run across the runway and even to the helicopters and terminal.

There is a lot of scope for tourism here. It came up in a conversation on Saturday night (Brazilian Day with a dinner of pork & beans + large amounts of sangria) where I heard Burma only has about 200,000 tourists per year while Timor Leste had only 1,700 official tourists in 2011. At least there are some big international events on the Timor calendar now; maybe they will start drawing in the travellers?

  • Fishing competition
  • Marathon and the
  • Tour de Timor.

No comments:

Post a Comment