Friday, August 11, 2006

The season of anin-boot

Weather wise, I really enjoy this time of year in Dili. The humidity level is bearable, the daily temperature around 30oC, and the mornings are cool. Sometimes I don’t even need to sleep with the fan turned on. I also enjoy the anin-boot (windy weather) for during the wet season, the air is so still and humidity levels so high, that one begins to feel suffocated by it. The one downside to anin-boot is that it whips up all the dust which is considerable.

A necessary accessory in Timor is a pair of large, wrap around sunglasses to protect one’s eyes, not only from the damaging rays of the sun, but also, from the dust and any potential infections. At this time of year, many people are afflicted with matan-mean (red eyes or conjunctivitis), and having experienced two such episodes myself, the purchase of a new pair of sunglasses while on holiday in Cairns, was a worthwhile investment.

With the dust however, comes a commonplace Timorese practice that speaks volumes about the lack of environmental awareness amongst the general population. People hose down dusty roads with the precious little water this drought prone country has. The dust problem not only causes matan-mean but contributes to the depletion of the country’s water supply, which gives even more weight for the need to build paved roads and footpaths. The photo below was taken outside the Ministry of Saúde (Health) in Caicoli. The irony of this photo is not lost on me.

Category: Timor-Leste (East Timor)

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