I needed it. Although it was meant to be the day we moved into our house after 5 1/2 months, being the caring and sharing guy that I am, I opted for a weekend away where alcohol played a major part in proceedings.
So I headed off on the weekend away, taking my bicycle and sleeping gear for a weekend away with the hash house harriers. The group of about 30 went to Gleno which is a village about 50 kms from Dili. The roads are not that great so it took about an hour and a half to get there.
Despite the “hash’s” dubious reputation, we stayed at an orphanage in Gleno run by an Australian in his spare time. You have to be in awe of these people who set out to do this. There are tons of kids here parentless, courtesy of the turmoil over the last 25 years, famine or just plain old poor health.
So the hash goes there, sleeps rough, brings tons of food and other stuff, consumes what they need and leaves the rest. This feeds these kids for weeks. The guy who runs the place is extremely grateful. We have a great time and feel good about the whole thing.
On the Saturday afternoon, we did a ~10km run in the mountains which was absolutely magnificent. To be honest, only about 10 people did the run with the rest opting for a more casual walk.
At dusk I decided to have a wash in the mandi (Indonesian style bathroom – lots of tiles and lots of water splashed around the place). I slipped big time and landed flat on my back on the tiles. I curled up into a fetal position for 5 minutes while I got my shite together. I have massive bruising of the lower back and arms, but I survived without critical damage. No, I was not drunk, but who will believe me ?
For a reason that escapes me, Fretilin had a big party in Gleno on the Saturday and graciously allowed the electricity to run all night instead of stopping at midnight. The locals took advantage of this and partied until dawn. After a 10 km run and a number of beers, and wishing to remain compus for the following day’s bike ride, being kept awake all night with (to my tastes anyway) music to die by playing all night, and dogs fighting, and the early morning roosters crowing and the door creaking every time some one went to the toilet. Well, I was knackered when I got up.
On the Sunday, I was part of a group of 7 who rode bicycles back to Dili. It took us around 3 hours with plenty of ups and some cheek-flapping downhill runs of awesome proportions. It was a blast. And absolutely magnificent for 50 kms.
The perfect introduction to a week of full-time box unpacking, swearing and house problems.