Another world...

Trip Start Feb 07, 2004
Trip End Dec 15, 2005

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Flag of Timor-Leste  ,
Thursday, June 2, 2005

Though only 1 hours flight from Darwin, East Timor, the World's newest country, certainly is worlds away... My room mate said that I was the first traveler he'd seen for 10 days! The other foreigners here are working with the UN, which also makes this little country quite expensive when compared to it's Asian neighbors.

We set off to Jaco Island on the extreme east for a couple of nights, there's not many places in Asia where there isn't someone trying to sell you something, but Jaco is one of them - nothing but clear water for snorkeling - so we 4WD'd it back to our "resort" for a pig feast, and some local Palm Wine!

The people (smiling kids everywhere!), villages, wandering animals and road conditions reminded me of Nepal years ago; except that here evidence of the brutal war in '99 is still everywhere... strangely (to me), however, is that the locals seem not to hold any resentment to the pain and loss inflicted upon them. In speaking at length to some UNICEF workers trying to learn what resources the country had that would bring them forward - 60% of the population is below the poverty line (earning 55 cents a day) - it seems it will be a long, slow and difficult road ahead for East Timor.

I'm glad I made the effort to come here.
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