Back in Dili

It always feels like a time warp coming to Dili – step on the plane in Darwin and then step off again 45 minutes later at a tiny airport fringed by palm trees on a pacific island so many years behind Australia…

I’m sitting on the balcony at the Esplanada Hotel, watching the bustle of early morning traffic (mostly motorbikes) along the road between the hotel and the waterfront.  The donor who funded Macaclao school arrived with me yesterday and another 4 donors and fundraisers are coming in on this morning’s plane.  We’ll have a day looking around Dili – probably including a walk out to the beautiful Jesus statue on the promontory next to Dili and then head off to the school openings tomorrow.

We meet Kirsty Sword Gusmao early tomorrow morning and then head to Baucau (3 hours away along stunning but primitive and winding coastal roads) and then head 1.5 hours up into the mountains to reach Macalaco school.  We’ll overnight in Baucau and then head to Maucale school the next morning to officially open their school. 

At Maucale School we will also present each of our 4 schools (the 2 we have built in previous years and the two built this year) with $500 to start a community garden to grow vegetables – the idea being that if those gardens go well we can increase the funding and expand the projects.

These school openings are always an adventure – will report back in a couple of days!