Thursday, April 06, 2006

The farewell for my Indonesian colleague

Just as I was about to leave for lunch, my other malae colleague said that our only Indonesian colleague was leaving tomorrow and a farewell lunch was being held in her honour today. Yet again, nobody told me! (I don’t know what it is about my NGO, but its communication channels are woeful.)

I her how she was feeling about leaving Timor. She was sad because she really loved Timor and plans to come back again in the future. She has been here merely one year.

I am totally perplexed as to why she loves it here so much. Her home country has much higher human development than Timor and moreover, she’s Indonesian in a country that was brutally occupied by her home country’s government and military for twenty-four years. I can therefore only assume the following.
One, My Timorese colleagues are not bothered by the fact that she is Indonesian (which is positive).
Two, That because they share a common language (Bahasa Indonesia) they are able to easily communicate and therefore, get to know each other.
Three, she is young and single as many of my colleagues are, and has formed a very tight knit group with the team she works with.

One, I am a malae and Australian at that; my culture is completely and utterly different from Timor’s which is much closer to Indonesia’s than Australia’s.
Two, I do not share a common language.
Three, I am not young and single. Are these the reasons why I feel so alienated at work? Mmmmm, I’m beginning to wonder.

Category: Timor-Leste (East Timor)

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