Security Heads-Up

There is still a bit of rough stuff going around town and it doesn’t really help expats when they read about “Street Gangs Running Riot in Dili” in the international press. I was actually on my bicycle when this was happening and didn’t see or hear a thing at the time.

Yes, I know where it happened (Taibesse) but only a very brave expat would roam around that area without good reason.

But I do have a bit of a beef. How is it that so much of the info on events of this nature comes by way of the international media (often a bit over the top) or security reports from various institutions security advisors. It really depends on the insurance exposure of some of these institutions as to the advice given to staff.

My point is that there is no proven source for information on these sort of security incidents. All I want to know is what happened and where – just the facts. Having some “security expert” tell me what I should do (without these facts) does not cut the mustard with me. And I will venture to say that a few others would think the same way.

Yes, there will be some who “need” to be told what to do but if I am told the facts, then it is a lot easier to convince me of the most appropriate response. I know there is pressure not to report on bad news but that does not cut the mustard either.

I want the facts before the tears.

Dangerous Mangoes

Over the last couple of weeks, mangoes have hit the streets in big numbers.  The tree hanging over the back fence had been bulging with ripe fruit until today when some of the local kids got up into it and harvested as many as they could.  They did a lot of shaking and quite a few landed on our side of the fence.  Thanks guys.  I ain’t climbing up into a 15m high mango tree.

Just yesterday, I had been speaking to a volunteer doctor who had told me one of the most common injuries at this time of year is kids who have fallen from mango trees. It is always kids and there are few safety measures put into practice.  At this time of year, there is no lush greenery so wherever you fall, it is hard.

Whereas I am happy to wait for them to fall, when it comes to the potential income hanging up there in the tree, why wait when someone else may nab them first.

I just wish mangoes were easier to eat, instead of being like a slippery bar of soap. But I just lurv mangoes.

Community Events

It is worth noting that a number of community events have been going on over the last couple of weeks. They continue over the next week and include :

Event Location Date Time
Traditional music, poetry Independence Park 5 Dec 5pm
Contemporary music Independence Park 6 Dec 4pm to 10pm
Traditional music, poetry Independence Park 7 Dec 5pm
Hamuluk Prayer Ceremony Independence Park 7 Dec 6pm
Contemporary music Independence Park 8 Dec 4pm to 10pm
Traditional music, poetry Independence Park 9 Dec 5pm
“Soru Mutu ba Dame” followed by
Open Air Mass by Bishop Ricardo
Palacio do Governo 10 Dec 7:30am to 1pm
Traditional music, poetry Palacio do Governo 10 Dec 6pm

Independence Park is the discretely located park just west of the Motael Church. If you walk past the Motael Church on the beach road heading west, Independence Park is the next street on the left.

The Hamuluk prayer ceremony involves returning weapons to their scabbards, symbolising a return to peace (or something like that). The President will receive the symbolic weapons from the Elders.

I am guessing “Soru Mutu ba Dame” translates to “Peace Rally” (literally “Peace Discussions”).

The local papers will have more details.

The Power Cuts

Three weeks ago, the Dili power supply encountered problems and there have been numerous and lengthy power cuts right across the city ever since.

Now this is OK if you have a generator supplying backup power. Generators are quite common here but domestically, tend to be available at hotels, some restaurants, serviced apartments and the numerous smaller accommodation complexes around town. Outside that, it is pretty much for the elite. Many expats enjoy the benefits of these generators.

I am in the smaller accommodation complexes category. This is good except the generator has been failing ever since this round of cuts started. For the last 2 weeks, the cuts have been daily and usually between 7pm and midnight and averaging about 3 hours.

You might think it is just a matter of calling a mechanic and the job is done. Well, local Timorese mechanics were unable to solve the problem, so a search went out for the best man in town. However, the best man in town was in hospital in Darwin.

Eventually, about the 5th person to look at the generator found a loose wire and re-connected it. Problem solved ! Hopefully, 2 weeks of candle power are over and I can remember the 1st half of the book I was reading 2 weeks ago.