Touch rugby competition 19 November

There will be a touch football competition on Sunday 19 November at Democracy Park commencing at 9:30am.

There will be :

  • Two sides from the AFP
  • Two sides from the NZ military
  • Two sides from the Hash House Harriers
  • One side from the ADF

The competition will be held at Democracy park on the Sunday, It is hoped to mark out two grounds so two games can be played simultaneously. There are two pools of four teams (where an organization eg AFP has two sides they will be in alternate pools).

Pool 1 Pool 2
Delta Company NZ 1 Delta Company NZ 2
Hash House Harriers 1 Hash House Harriers 2
ADF Spare

The two top sides after the round robin games will progress to the semi finals of the trophy comp, the two bottom sides will progress to the semi finals of the bowl competition. Remember it is $5 – registration per player and there will be water, snags and bread. Perhaps a roasted pig for lunch.

ROUND 1 Game No
9:30 AM 1 Delta Company NZ 1 Hash House Harriers 1
2 Delta Company NZ 2 Hash House Harriers 2
10:00 AM 3 AFP 1 ADF
4 AFP 2 Spare
10:30 AM 5 Delta Company NZ 1 AFP 1
6 Delta Company NZ 2 AFP 2
11:00 AM 7 Hash House Harriers 1 ADF
8 Hash House Harriers 2 Spare
11:30 AM 9 Delta Company NZ 1 ADF
10 Delta Company NZ 2 Spare
12:00 PM 11 Hash House Harriers 1 AFP 1
12 Hash House Harriers 2 Lime
2:00:00 PM, 13 Winner Pool 1 Runner Up Pool 2 Semi 1 Cup
14 Winner Pool 2 Runner Up Pool 1 Semi 2 Cup
2:30:00 PM, 15 Loser Pool 1 Third Place Pool 2 Semi 3 Bowl
16 Loser Pool 1 Third Place Pool 2 Semi 4 Bowl
3:00:00 PM 17 Winner of Semi 3 Winner of Semi 4 Final 1
3:30:00 PM 18 Winner of Semi 1 Winner of Semi 2 Final 2

The First Lady Cup (10km Run)

The 2nd Annual First Lady Cup
Fundraising Challenge

10 Kilometre Run or 5 Kilometre Walk.
Sunday 26th Nov. 8.00am. Start Palacio do Governo.

Entry forms available from and payment made to Castaway Bar, Dili Club, Monkey Bar, Harvey World Travel or UNMIT intranet.

Entry fee is US$5.00 Entries close 24 November 2006. Late entries accepted on the day until 7.00am.

Conduct your own fundraising, individual or office & highest will be presented with the First Lady Cup by First Lady Kirsty on day.

The first 10 to finish will receive a certificate signed by the President Xanana & First Lady Kirsty.

Proceeds of all fundraising activities must be received by 24 November 2006.

Start from the ‘Palacio do Governo’ (GPA) 8.00am & continue along the Beach Road to near ‘Cazbar’ and back to the GPA.

Free printed T-shirts on the day to the first 500 entries.

Food available & live entertainment following the Run/Walk opposite the ‘Palacio do Governo’.

Free give-aways distributed during the event.

Further info : Daryl Mills (723 2015) or Trevor Parris (723 6476)
Proceeds to Alola Foundation & Rotary International.

A PDF file of the advertising flier and an entry form is available here

Holidays, tourism & why ?

Yeah, I did briefly sneak out of Dili a few weeks back to complete my dental stuff, but am now genuinely on a break with no other reason than to do something different and try a new set of batteries.

Bali sounds great but it has fascinated me just how different it feels from earlier in the year when compared to Dili, Bali was like going to the big city.  This time it felt stranger to be going to another Asian country, with similar (perhaps cooler) weather and seaside nearby.  The food and beer is cheaper, the shopping options infinitely greater and no security issues (that I am aware of).

The Bali beaches are wider (but darker and finer sand) and it struck me as curious that one would even want to hire a deck chair and umbrella to go to the beach.  And spend all day turning away watch vendors, wood carving vendors, pedicurists, manicurists, foot massagers, fruit sellers, bracelet floggers and the odd beggar.

You get none of this on a Dili beach (or I don’t).  I can cycle down to the Christo Rei area in Dili, park myself outside “Sol e Mar”, order my fruit juice and camp on the beach with barely a soul to bother me.  I once thought the same thing about beaches on the New South Wales coast of Australia where I used to be almost offended if I (& accompanying group) did not have an entire beach to oneself.

I noticed a few brave souls daring to pooh-pooh convention and stretch out on their own towels – such reactionaries.

Anyway, Dili can do similar things if it tried.  The city beaches are no good but over the other side of Christo Rei, the beaches are better, cleaner and there is no-one around.  But I hope I never see deck chairs on the beach – leave that to hotel pools.

Atauro Island

Over the Easter weekend, we went with a group to Atauro Island – the large island dominating the view to the north of Dili. Despite getting a lot of “stick” from my crook tooth, I decided that suffering in Atauro was probably going to be little different from suffering at home here. (Note : no medical or dental services were expected to be available in Dili or Atauro over Easter.)

Atauro is 30kms to the north of Dili and covers about 140 square kms. As I read the Lonely Planet guide, Atauro (unlike TL itself) is more Protestant than Catholic. The biggest village Vila (where we stayed at the Eco Lodge) has an Assembly of God church and we heard regular singing coming from that general direction.

There is a short narrow 4km stretch of bitumen road from the small wharf at Beloi (where we were deposited) to Vila. My guess is that the island has about 3 or 4 motor vehicles and maybe 10 motor cycles.

We took a fast “dive” boat to get from Dili to Beloi which took about 1 hour 15 minutes across the Wetar Strait. We saw none of the hoped-for whales or dolphins on the way, but many flying fish. Wetar Strait is well over 3kms in depth at its deepest points and is said to be popular with submarines making their way from the Pacific to the Indian oceans.

The Eco Lodge is about the only formal accommodation available. It is straw huts by the sea, no refrigeration, limited lighting and no sign of radio or TV. Simple beds with mosquito nets were provided and 3 meals a day at around US$15 per day plus the US$24 per day accommodation. They provided some quite respectable long-drop toilets (with toilet paper) and a quite nice mandi (ie large water basin with pitcher for washing purposes).

The sea is only metres away and most of the time, as hot as a warm bath.

The standard means of getting around is by foot and one of the planned activities was a hike up to the top of Mt.Manucoco (995m). Of the larger group that set off for the top, only about 1/4 made it all the way. It took them 9 hours in 35 to 40 degree heat (4 hours to the top) with insufficient water by any measure. I was the last of the pikers to pull out after 2 hours walking uphill on small rough mountain tracks. My pathetic excuse was the general malaise caused by my chronic tooth problem. The other half was a member of the small group that made it to the top.

As for cost, 2 nights plus all food and transport came in at around US$125 per head. The only way to do it cheaper would have been to take the once a week ferry from Dili each Saturday. Private charter is the only other option.

And the sunset that greeted us on our return to Dili harbour was one to die for.

Although it was a couple of days away from AC, it was extremely relaxing and stress-free. No newspapers, radio, TV, traffic, noise … it was also a welcome relief from the hustle and bustle of Dili. Hey, did I just say that ?


By coincidence, we were in Bali during Nyepi – Bali’s day of silence. We were warned. It would be quiet and we MUST be quiet. From 6am Thursday 30 March to 6am Friday 31 March, no lights, no street lights, no traffic, no music, no TV, no talking, no going out, no leaving the premises.

The night before Nyepi, we went into Denpasar and watched the ogoh ogoh monster ceremony where evil paper mache monsters parade the streets to represent the driving away of evil spirits. The crowds were huge, the atmosphere light and completely non-threatening (and not a drop of alcohol to be seen).

On the next night, I thought a little quiet TV would go un-noticed but the tiniest of light leaks was spotted by the local nyepi squadron who patrol the street to make sure everyone complies. They beat on the door. I turned off the TV. It felt just like Dili. I taped the black plastic bags over the bedroom window (just like Dili) and remained in bed for 12 hours.

Next morning, it was business as usual.

For an explanation of Nyepi, try :

Pig Races

On a weekend in Dili, there are no football games (apart from a few local games on dirt), no sailing regattas, no car races, no horse races, no squash courts, no bowls, no rowing, no track meets, no cycling velodromes, no wineries, no relaxing Sunday drives and no tea and scones in the hills.

But every now and then, there is pig racing. For a bit of a hoot, every month or so, the Monkey Bar puts on pig racing. Modelled on the greyhounds with four starting gates and a short 20m track, the four porkers dressed in racing numbers make the dash after a bowl of swill carried by a nimble hare.

Beers are consumed, no money changes hands and it sure is different.

A Big Weekend

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.

Internet Connectivity

Well, you wouldn’t be reading this if I didn’t have an internet connection at all. And no, it is not too hard, but compared to developed countries, it is very expensive.

What encouraged me to comment on it all now is that over the last five days, internet connectivity has slowed to a crawl and been off completely for long periods. Everyone I know who uses the internet is complaining. Everyone is “thanking” their “friends” who thought they would like to see a picture of their new cat. People are complaining about why they have not replied to email from 4 days ago. It has all got very painful.

After 2 hours of solid email downloading from multiple mailboxes and numerous browser tabs with web pages being downloaded, I got a magnificent 3.3 Mbytes. Thats about 28 kbytes per minute.

So what do you pay for this ? Well, there are a couple of “internet cafes”. Perhaps the best I know of is directly across the road from the ANZ Bank. It charges about US$1 per 15 minutes and it is definitely about 3 times as fast in downloading (yeah, I measured it) than the Hotel Timor business centre which charges US$2 per 15 minutes during the day and US$1-50 between 5pm and 11pm. (Hotel Timor about 12 kbps, across the road from ANZ about 40kbps).

There are a few others (like Global Net) which I have not tried yet. I like the ones that allow you to connect your laptop directly into their network so I can read and prepare emails away from the “cafe”. And write stuff like this.

I have been told that Timor Telecom hold the monopoly rights to all telecommunications whether it be nationally or internationally. There is no vigorous competition amongst ISPs, leaving it to internet cafes to pick through the scraps.

Most of the time I use dial-up, although the designated dial-up number appears to be blocked at the Hotel Timor. If you call it advertising, the dial-up plans are shown in the table below :

Occasional User

Normal User

Intensive User



6 to 30


One-off connection fee




Monthly charge




Price /min (normal)




Price/min (economic)




– The Normal period is Monday to Friday from 0800H to 2000H and Saturdays from 0800H to 1300H
– The Economic period is the rest of the time

As for broadband, I have seen no reference to ADSL and a 64k permanent link will set you back a cool US$500 per month plus US$500 to set it up. A swifter 512k permanent line will set you back US$3,450 per month – this is a long way from the US$40 per month for a 2Mbps cable connection that I used to have.

Today, there is no connectivity at all. I can dial-in, but a traceroute reveals no connectivity past the server at the other end of the dial-up link, not even to Timor Telecom’s DNS servers. I checked with an internet cafe (by phone) and no go there either. They don’t know and Timor Telecom won’t tell them either. I think this is called busted !