Bondia from Timor-Leste (Pt 1)

Bondia!

As we gathered in the airport, the team was filled to the brim with excitement and anticipation for what was to come.

Our first glimpse of Timor-Leste from the plane was of the mountainous landscape and the beautiful Coral Sea. As we stepped onto the tarmac we were hit by the wave of heat and humidity. We were greeted by Paulo (our in-country partner) and were guided to the local form of public transport – a mikrolet.

Our first few days were spent exploring the local Dili sights and learning about the country’s rich history. One highlight included hiking up to Cristo Rei, where we were rewarded with a 360 degree view of Dili. Our hike was followed by a nice swim at a nearby beach, a chance to interact with the local people and practice our Tetun (the local language). The Resistance Museum we visited provided us with the opportunity to learn more about the country’s past challenges and gave us an insight into how they overcame adversity.

Cristo Rei - The team and Paulo

The team was warmly welcomed by the Centre of National Rehabilitation (CNR) staff whom we would be working alongside for the next 4 weeks. We were impressed by CNR's facilities and resources, along with the staff’s eagerness to learn and work with us, as we were with them.

Our first day of placement took us out of the busy streets of Dili and into the countryside where we met children and their families at the local rehabilitation centre. Our language learning was fast-tracked by being thrown into the deep end as we needed to communicate and connect with both the CNR staff and our new clients. This was challenging, but we all had a giggle over our language mistakes. Throughout the week we had a chance to work with CNR staff from each of the professions in our interprofessional teams and it has been a great learning experience so far.

The first week flew by and we had our first weekend exploring Timor’s natural beauty. This took us to Mt Ramelau, the highest point in Timor. We woke up at 2:00am to make it to the top by sunrise and it was an experience we will never forget. The team is excited to see what the next 3 weeks holds for us while on placement at CNR and the remainder of our trip in Timor Leste.

Check out our the rest of our travel pics here. Until next time, adeus.

Timor B’este

Written by students Wataru, Christie and Nataya.

Last updated:
9 June 2016