This is my first blog post since arriving in Dili 6 days ago (I blame the slow Internet and my lack of patience). The sad truth is that I have been so busy with work there hasn’t really been any time to explore this half-island. Thankfully I was able to get out yesterday with two other colleagues for a 7-mile walk along Dili’s idyllic coastline.
Dili is certainly beautiful in an understated way. I on the other hand have been a hot mess drenched in sweat from the tropical sun (not to mention the mosquito bites that have swelled up). Good thing I don’t know anyone here…
Dili is a very small capital city; quite possibly the smallest capital I have been to with a population of under 200,000. It was great walking through the city and seeing the rustic charms of Dili.
There are a lot of stray dogs roaming around here. They’re so cute and I want to pet them all but I also don’t want to get rabies. They seem friendly enough though (famous last words). There is also great fish here and surprisingly polenta fries and mapo tofu! It’s not exactly foodie paradise but I am enjoying it.
One of the things I was told before coming to Timor Leste was that it is very underdeveloped and poor. This is pretty much true. Timor Leste became an independent nation 11 years ago, so its still very new. The country is still bruised from 24-years of Indonesian occupation and the political and civil unrest it faced since gaining independence. Today, things are much more calm, and peaceful. I can certainly feel a sense of optimism from locals on Timor’s future.
It would be interesting to see where this country goes next. No doubt it will be a long road but its exciting for sure. I am here for another week and this may be my only post while here since it takes fooooorever to connect to the Internet and don’t get me started on uploading photos. (Side note: Building the infrastructure for better Internet would be my first order of business here if I had a say.) If I gain patience, I’ll post again. Stay tuned.