We decided to have Christmas here in Timor Leste this year. We hope to go to Oz in June to see the snow and catch up with rellies. Unfortunately, this seems to have worked against us. A bad case of diarrhoea went around. We all got it but Cynthia fared the worst. She struggles to keep weight on and is breast feeding Xakira as well. She bravely fought the diarrhoea for about 6 weeks. At 38.6kg and no sign of improvement we decided it was time to get serious. A doctor confirmed this and ordered her out of the country on the same day. Samuel, Cynthia and Xakira went to Royal Darwin Hospital where she stayed for 3 days – long enough to stabilise and diagnose it as cyclospora. There’s still no culturing facility for microbes in Dili so its tough to diagnose unless you leave the country. Thanks to Nick and his family in Darwin for caring for Xakira and her bewildered dad and the ADRA family in Dili for looking after Serenity and Israel. Cynthia and Xakira are still recovering in NSW with her folks while Serenity and Israel are caring for their dad in Timor.
Samuel’s mum, Deborah, came over for Christmas in our hut by the beach. We appreciated this and all the goodies she brought – thanks ma. The more nobler gift was a corn grinding machine sourced in Byron Bay and donated by the Lismore CLC (oops … is this your latest name?). Thanks so much. We are hoping to use this to grind corn into flour to improve business opportunities for corn growers in Los Palos and supply flour to a malnutrition centre in Dili. We hope to experiment with Moringa leaves which will be dried on the island and ground in with the corn.
Samuel drags mum out to a little water project – here the farmer has built a holding tank near the top of his garden. Poly pipe flows from a mountain spring to fill it up.
The farmer’s wife gets a tap by the house for all her washing and water needs. Mum suggests she shift the hut so the tap is inside. The farmer’s wife just laughs. Why would you do that? Then your floor would get muddy.
Mum casting a technical eye over the farmer’s coffee mill. Coffee cherries go into the hopper at left of machine. He cranks the handle (in his hand), the beans come through the shoot and have their skins rasped off by a metal disc made from a 44 gallon drum. The process requires water so its likely this will get shifted up closer to the house near the new tap. Next time you have a cup of coffee, think of these mountain farmers – its just a tiny part of a very long process.
Mum shows a group in Liquica, Fini Transformation, how to fold paper cranes.
Sese makes a brief appearance at Fini Transformation’s graduation/Christmas party before heading back to England.
Pastor Samuel’s wife, Uli, has just given birth to a 3.3kg baby girl named Elsy just yesterday. In this country they have some unfortunate practices such as pressing down on the mother’s belly to force out the baby and if that doesn’t work, cutting her opening. This is sor of a standard practice. I warned Pastor Samuel to not let them do this yesterday before the birth but they did both to Uli. Pray for her recovery.
So I hope you all had a great Christmas and look forward to a challenging new year. Set yourself a goal which stretches you – something that brings you closer to the person you aspire to be.
I shall keep promising to send you our annual report for 2013 shortly so you can see what we’ve been up to and where we are going. Lets make this another sensational year full of weird and extraordinary activities.
The following is a few pics from Christmas in Timor
A manger set up for Christmas, Timor style, complete with …
and an angel.
Christmas shopping along main street of Dili – perhaps they should put caps on the reo sticking up? This is a failed attempt to make a storm water drain (second time around).
Serenity and dad couldn’t pull off a roast chicken so we fried it instead – another failed attempt. But Christmas is all about smiles and bon-bons isn’t it?