I came across “The Hope Orphanage” blog recently (hopeintimor.blogspot.com/) and it took me a minute before I realised I had actually been there and stayed the night on the floor in the big room which has the kitchen, classroom and recreation room. I slept between 2 desks in the classroom area.
I hope I don’t get this wrong but it is run by an Australian couple Isa and Ina Bradridge. As far as I can tell, they have no religious affiliations and are doing this just because ! Isa is about mid-40s, drinks beer and is a thoroughly worldly and pleasant man.
I had a long chat with Isa about how his 3 months of setting up an orphanage turned into years (can’t remember how many). He seemed tired. I didn’t realise that his day job was running the free weekly English language newspaper the Timor Sun, which unfortunately is holding on by the skin of its teeth. This paper is devoured by all English speaking expats as it provides a few tidbits of local stuff and is the only real place to advertise services to the English speaking community. I can grind my way through the Tetun language newspapers but it is so much harder.
Anyway, the orphans at the Hope Orphanage in Gleno (50kms from Dili) are the lucky ones. Isa has obviously busted his gut over this. He does have some very kind benefactors who can get funds to him directly with no middlemen. The Timor Sun did have a web page once but it seems to have stalled and not been updated for some time.
If you want to say g’day to Isa, I am sure the message will get through via the blog or give him some goss at the Timor Sun via [email protected].