Bondia from Timor-Leste (Pt 3)


So here we are at the end of our third week living in Dili (Timor-Leste), and we can’t believe how fast our time has gone! During week one the team adapted to our new home - we were bright-eyed and soaked up the local culture as much as we could. Week two is when we really found our footing and we were feeling more and more confident every day with our professional practice. The CNR staff greet us every morning like old friends, and our relationships with our clients continues to grow. It’s sad knowing that this will be our last week and we will soon have to say goodbye.

It’s been a busy week. Each interprofessional team has been working hard on projects, ranging from modified utensils to wheelchair arm supports. Additionally, we are each presenting educational workshops on our last day at CNR to hand over valuable experience and information to all staff. A lot of preparation has gone into developing these workshops and creating resources that can be used by all departments within the centre. This also includes designing culturally appropriate handouts and posters that can be distributed to the rural communities and centres that the Community Based Rehabilitation team visits weekly. These resources will assist clients and professionals long after our time here has finished, so we want to make sure they are perfect.

It’s been an eye-opening experience getting the opportunity to work with a wide array of clients who present with such varying conditions. Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder and post-stroke patients are just a few of the common presentations we see. Having exposure to such a wide range of clinical and cultural experience has definitely seen us develop both professionally and personally.

To finish the week, we visited a community medical clinic in Hera. It was here that we met a practicing doctor, and traditional midwife who work to provide health promotion and community livelihood projects to the local people. We were so fortunate to have a tour of the centre and have many of our questions answered. We learnt so much about how healthcare is provided and the cultural values that underpin their services.

As it was our final weekend in Timor-Leste, we made our way to Atauro Island. We had a relaxing weekend of snorkeling on the coral reef, sleeping under the stars and early morning sunrise swims. To top it off, the food was amazing! At 5:30pm, three giant trevally fish were caught and by 7:00pm, they were beautifully cooked and on our dinner plates! YUM! The group also travelled (on tuk-tuk’s) to Hospideria Faca, where we got to see the most amazing craftsmanship by local women who were sewing, stitching and weaving. Many bags and trinkets were purchased! While we were on the go constantly and fit a lot into our short time on Atauro Island, we left feeling refreshed and ready to head into our final week in Timor-Leste.!

Written by students Nicola, Maathangi and Maddie. 

Last updated:
15 June 2016