Friday, August 28, 2015

About to Burst


Cynthia is still in one piece but any day now she is about to burst.  We’ve got a couple of midwives down on the south coast ready to come over to help (although the journey between us and them is around 6 hours!).  Cynthia’s being doing a bit of nesting and has prepared a “How to give birth for dummies” instruction sheet for me.

Some other random things…

A nice visit from two folks from America, Jason and Ashley, who’ve come across the ocean to share God’s love with the Timorese.  They also painted our dining table and bedroom. 


And we bent up a cool little hook which is our Timorese version of a husking hook to take the husk off the corn in the field.  Its off to get tested in Los Palos.


Jason sports a new weapon against poverty.

Its made of 6mm steel and wraps around behind the forearm and is strapped on with rag.  The idea is that if it works then anyone can make it.

I snapped this one of Serenity the other day…

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Serenity goes shopping at the local plaza – for her, like any 15yo, its all about the look.

And we got a surprise visit from Sipri, my Salvo brother in training to be an officer.  He’s been doing his practical placement in Kupang which is the capital city on the western half of the island in Indonesia.  He got a few days off and came over to see his family.


Sunday, August 23, 2015

Dirty Water

Two of the great challenges for any city is to bring clean water to all its citizens and to take dirty water away.  It takes good leadership from the top and cooperation, ingenuity and determination from the bottom.

Here in Dili there are still many drains full of stagnate, dirty water.  I visited my friend in a middle class suburb the other day and noticed slimy water coming up through their front drive and running down into the drain by the road. 

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The open drain outside my friend’s home in Dili.

As it was the dry season I asked where the water was coming from.  They responded that it was just like that especially if they use the bathroom – that is, it was actually raw sewage running down their driveway which they would walk through each day before entering the house.  These were clean people who looked after their family well but right beneath their noses was this urk.  So I whipped out my circular saw with concrete cutter, cut a trench in their slab and gave directions and cash on how to put in an absorption trench. 

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Digging the absorption trench to receive water from the septic tank.

This one is about 5m long, 60cm wide, 80cm deep, filled with 20-40mm stone and running the length is a 100mm PVC pipe with holes cut in it to get the septic tank water absorbing into the ground.  The whole job was knocked off for about $80.



500 Years of the Catholic Church in Timor-Leste

This year is also the 500th anniversary of the Catholic Church coming to Timor-Leste.  There were many celebrations and even the head of state of the Vatican flew in for the occasion. There is a very strong link between the Timorese people and the Catholic Church and thousands turned out for the special ceremonies. 

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The main 4 lane road packed with the faithful.

A main event was escorting the “Youth Cross” and its friend “Maria Peregrina”. 


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The Youth Cross on the right.

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With Maria Peregrina protected in a glass box.

The Youth Cross, originally inspired to draw young people to Jesus, has taken on a life of its own and with special Tais (local cloth) and a golden head piece it appears remarkably similar to a sacred pole dressed up as what could be understood to be a witch-doctor or local spiritual leader (similar to the gentleman in the above photo on the left).  Mary statues are generally pretty and peaceful and lovingly adored.  They make a suitable and comfortable couple to symbolise Timorese religion. 

So it seems, even the City of God has its challenges.  May God help us both at the top and the bottom to make changes. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Death has a win

If you fight – I suppose you must be prepared to lose … sometimes.  Well, we lost this round.  I was soaring on visionary wings with these chickens, that is, until they all died.  All 10 chickens are dead.  We were taking it to the next level by bringing in a rooster and 4 laying hens.  Unknown to us, the rooster was carrying a lethal disease (possibly Newcastles Disease).  He died within 2 days and then slowly the rest of the flock died.  It was so sad to see and I will spare you the pictures of crippled chickens. The four laying hens turned out to be old battery chooks who, being vaccinated, are blissfully enjoying their new life without competition and not doing much egg laying at all.  So now we must begin again to rebuild a flock and try to breed up some nice laying chickens.  But its hard to get back up again after such a loss.  Its another component to a very long list that sheds light on why these people are poor.  In Australia, we’d probably have such lethal sicknesses under control. But here, poor folks with few assets lose all their precious chooks in one hit.  I am very sad.

As we wallow together in avian misery, I might as well recount another loss.  Mauk Moruk, the “rebel” leader has been killed.  He was leading a group that was demanding that the government stand down and had a fair number of armed (and unarmed) followers. The police and military were closing in on him and apparently he did not want to give in and was killed in the shoot out. His body is yet to be buried.  There is lots of talk about who will do what now.  Farmers in the east want freedom to go out and work their fields since being in lock down for the last few months or more.  I hope and pray that things will calm down so we can all get on with the fight for a better life.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Help Needed


In The Salvation Army, pointing to the sky is our way of saluting, saying hallelujah and giving glory to God.  So in the above picture you could take it as a two-handed salute or it could also be me pointing to the top of the building which has no slab on it.  Its probably both.  When I find myself in a jam I tend to say “Hallelujah!”  Its like saying, “Drat, I’ve stuffed it up again, now how is God going to get me out of this one?”  But let me cut to the chase, can you help?  I need about $10,000USD to get this slab on the top of this section.  That will take steel, plywood, gravel, cement and other things as well as Timorese labour.  Once that is done, we can put some doors and windows on, tiles in the sewing room and try to get the girls some space to sew.  There are no overheads on this project.  I cover all the admin and ra ra.  Any money donated goes straight into raw materials and Timorese labour.  A lot of it local too.  The gravel comes out of the river 100m away (paying the river guys and trucks) and the blocks are pressed in the neighbouring village.  The wood to support the slab comes from the palm forest just down the along the beach from our place.  Actually, Tobias was bringing the support poles along the beach by boat but things went wrong and the boat rolled.  Tobias was bruised but ok.  The motor is not so good.  The roof of the boat was once again demolished.  He’s spending hours cleaning out salt water and sand.  I’ve been giving him a couple of lessons on the carburettor and replacing the water impeller which died trying to pump sand.  Just dumb stuff I gotta do to lay a suspended slab.  Hallelujah!


Tobias with the boat motor apart and feeling quite down about the whole affair.


Posts from the palm forest waiting to hold up formwork for a slab – quite oblivious to Tobias’s feelings



Some work begins on setting up formwork.  Plywood goes on top, steel, then the concrete is poured.



Forming up a concrete post.


If you’d like to contribute we have a few ways:

Through The Salvation Army in Australia:

Account name: The Salvation Army (NSW) Property Trust
Bank: Westpac Banking Corporation
BSB: 032005
Account No.: 000495
Swift Code : WPACAU2S
Note: The remittance should include "Timor Donation" & Donor’s details

Direct to our Australian Account:

Account name: Samuel and Cynthia Bacon

Bank: Teachers Mutual Bank

BSB: 812170

Account No.: 14670

Include “Timor Donation” in the details

Direct to our Timor Leste Account:

If you happen to work in US dollars, you could send it in USD straight to our account in TL which operates in that currency:

Account name: Samuel Bacon

Bank: ANZ

Branch: Dili


Account No.: 1012119641030

Include “Timor Donation” in the details, and you could send us an email as we don’t yet get statements from this bank.


God bless.