Saturday, July 02, 2005

New Beginnings (arriving in Timor)

There is no way to do justice to the last five days. I'm not even going to try. Sam was sick, we both were stressed and by the time we fell into our 4:30am taxi to the airport after packing up and cleaning out our Northcote rental house we were reduced to gibberish and random bursts of laughter.

The poor taxi driver didn't know what to make of us and our many miscellaneous accoutrements, most of which were consolidated into eight bags by the airport. Qantas laughed at our letter requesting a larger baggage allowance due to our humanitarian mission, relief only coming in the fact we were able to carry on the three bags containing most of our heavier items.

In Adelaide we took part in a Kafkaesque group run to catch our next flight, disassembling and reassembling our bags along the way (as we passed through security once again) only to discover we were reboarding the same plane we arrived on.

Darwin was more relaxed, twenty odd degrees warmer and noticeably more tropical. Air North was far more considerate regarding the baggage quotas and didn't charge us despite our being well over the limit. The only negative was that two of our bags were held over until the next morning's flight due to space limitations. Not a big thing really.

The flight from Darwin to Dili deserves a post of its own and hopefully we'll write one - needless to say it was the smallest plane I've been on and being able to see out both windows and the pilot's windscreen at the same time is quite an experience.

Arrived safely after a dramatic approach to Dili's seaside airport. Was met by my employer who helped us and a fellow arrival to the Hotel Venture where we are currently staying. Since arrival things have been pretty relaxed, the heat is hot, there aren't many mosquitoes around and I've met the people I'll be working with and am feeling positive about the situation.

The big issue is that Sam is very sick, her sore throat from Australia seems to have become something worse with TB-like coughing and vomiting. We visited the Hospital Nationale with a friend (who is working there) and she was treated well (better however than the many Timorese waiting).

This morning was the first day she feels slightly better, so fingers crossed she is on the way up. If she doesn't pick up soon we might have to return to Darwin or even give up on Timor altogether.

There are other stories to tell of our time here, but they'll have to wait. We┬┤ll hopefully have some photos too. Stay tuned and all the best to everyone.

Category: Timor-Leste (East Timor)

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