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Tuesday, 28 September 2010
IT Joy Timor Leste, Day 11 of 11. 28/09/10.

11th/LAST Day

only while boarding the plane did i realise, 'our trip has concluded.'

spent 3/4 of our 3hour flight translating songs, 20mins staring at our team, 5mins spacing out, and the last 15mins chatting with a Japanese civil engineer who stood behind me while queuing to get on board the plane.


土田さん was apparently in Timor to help with road improvement supervision. we chatted about our jobscopes, basically.

learnt that my course (nutrition) in Japanese is 栄養士。

helped him around Changi Airport a while before going off for dinner with Bernard and Kent. ate at Aston's at T1 while missing Erica. she flew off to Japan without telling me. =.=

served by Anand, who juz came back from the US for NS, but is having some cock-up with registrations, so he's juz waiting around doing nothing.

cabbed home.

well, i guess that concludes the 11-day community involvement project in Timor.

hahah. not a very well-written journal, but oh well.

this trip had lots of ups and downs.

there was insufficient planning and preparation due to poor communication abilities between Singapore and Timor Leste, printer toners being packed and sent wrongly, parellel cable, extra OS, etc not being prepared. it was still an enriching experience, however.

like what Daniel said(at least, that's what my hazy memory tells me), shortcomings are inevitable, but they are what made the trip fun and enjoyable.

okay, now i'm juz copying from the finale minutes of the last debrief that Jane sent me.

this trip has truely taught me how fortunate we are to be staying in Singapore, where everything is available at whim. we have tech shops, convenience stores, fast food restaurants all over the place!

life in Singapore is soo comfortable! we can even drink out of the taps!

in Timor, there are few street lights, 2 Singaporean-owned supermarkets, bottled mineral water that tastes funny after 3 hours, and the only decent food available are the hotel restaurants and a Singaporean-owned foodcourt!

here, we have buses, trains, cabs, all air-conditioned and clean.

in Timor, the people were hanging from outside the buses. even in Chennai i did not see them soo packed! there are no trains, cabs have no air-con, the seats are all rotting, and the rearwindows are pasted with posters and other paper things where the glass should have been.

i really thank God for LeeKuanYew at this moment.

if Timor had someone like him, there's no doubt that they'll be as booming within 10years. they have oil, land, resources, aid etc. the only thing Singapore had was people.

hopefully Prasanth would actually make it to be Timor's first non-residential prime minister. ahahha. okay, i'm making no sense.

anyway, going back to the minutes from the final debrief.

in order to improve future overseas projects, different leaders should be appointed to be in-charge of different things. eg, one person to pack the parallel cables, one to secure the software over, one in charge of adapters, another in-charge of banners, etc.

each member should also put more initiative into the things we do, take up responsibilities and be accountable for them, and be more sensitive to each others feelings.

yea, there was a bit of bullying and teasing going on, but it was all good fun in the end.

the DPA students of our group talked everything through and agreed that we were juz silly, and are still going to be.

even at Aston's, i was spitting daggers at Kent, and laughing at Bernard for eating sauce.


Vicky, thankyou for choosing the 13 of us out of 30+ to go for this wonderful trip.
Michael, thankyou for being our guide throughout the entire 11 days, renting the vehicles, bringing us out to eat, bridging the communication between us and them, and taking care of almost our every whim and fancy. next time, it'll be our turn.

Space, Shakey, Nata, Prasanth, thankyou for handling all the techinical stuff, eg when the computers cockup, your jokes, spaz, and all that jazz.

Firdaus, thankyou for lending me your shoulder and being the butt of my 'affection'.

Phillip, thanks for the final day's intrusion. really, cuz there's soo much to thank everybody for that i forgot what i planned on typing originally. veggie boy, i forgot what to thank you for liao.

Daniel, you cheater, thanks for showing my how the game of Bridge is played. i don't think anyone can ever copy your style.

Roy, Kent, Bernand; DPA group. thanks for spamming the food orders, etc. there's this silent, really lame fun that's going on, and i don't really know what it is.

Jane, last, and most importantly, thankyou. you were such a generous roomie and pal during this trip, especially in the later half, where things juz started shitting themselves up for me. i never told anyone about my dogs before, and i probably won't. so please keep those moments of whining and senseless yabbering on my part hidden and locked away in your forgotten memory.
thankyou for everything.

i guess that's everyone.

Thank God for this wonderful trip.

hope to go for more.

now to sort through the 860 pictures in my camera. seriously! i didn't even take the beautiful ones yet!

Fieary. 28/09/10.

when will my dreams be fulfilled??

Monday, 27 September 2010
IT Joy Timor Leste, Day 10 of 11. 27/09/10.

10th Day

left the main group with Vicky to visit the Mother Theresa's nuns in Aileu.

altitude went up to 1300m, 864hPa. at least, that's what the altimeter/barometer in the landrover showed.

it was a.. very nostalgic trip.

puked for the first time in 3years.

could totally hear Jane going "see larh! eat chocolate icecream for breakfast. killing yourself!"

there was a Singaporean nun there, who is Vicky's godmother. Vicky was telling us that she met Mother Theresa 4 times in Singapore, and juz before she died, and that she had been working with Mother Theresa since she was a youth.

quite impressive, if i should say so.

got an offer to join them as a nun. hah.

brought back a box of intricately created paper cards to sell.

they were made by jobless mothers taught by a Polish sister there.

IT Joy Timor Leste shall set up a booth to sell each card at 4bucks each soon.

all proceeds shall be flown to set up the orphanage there.

donated the rest of our instant mee, snacks, sweets, and Jane and my towels. plus about 200+ USD in cash.

went back to the first convent for a gala/farewall dinner.

had another mass dance for 8.15pm to 10.40+pm, according to Sister Aurora.

had a final debrief in our room before ending to pack/play the rest of the last night away. addressed a lot of issue, assigned final work for the after-trip wrap up.

fell asleep while packing.

Fieary. 27/09/10.

when will my dreams be fulfilled??

Sunday, 26 September 2010
IT Joy Timor Leste, Day 9 of 11. 26/09/10.

9th Day

went West to Ermera.

brought along 2 packets of instant noodles in instant mushroom soup, with 4 frankfurt sausages for breakfast.

ended up feeding it to the dogs at the convent. xD~!

old habits die hard, huh?

there was this adorable scruffy puppy no bigger than my foot! can't believe it ate half of my food.
soo adorable!

taught the girls there how to sing Pass It On, Give Thanks, Morning Has Broken, You're My All In All, Welcome to the Family, and the Alphabet song.

did the alphabet dance.

hope nobody caught that on video.

accepted a dinner invite at a Singaporean coffee processing plant.


thanks, Bill and Natalie! the bbq was awesome!!

the dingos there would actually jump for the food i threw! so cute! miss Princey, Milo, Dipper, etc.

Natalie told us of a new department their plant juz opened. had to do with the health sector. offered me an intership. I GLADLY ACCEPT! ^v^

held a very intellectual conversation with Bill about Timor's politics, etc, after dinner. >1hour.

>50mins of which, i was lost and confused.

the only point i could pick up, was that they claimed to invest 70million USD into improving the roads, but <700k went in for sure.

i think everyone who drove there could testify for that.

Fieary. 26/09/10.

when will my dreams be fulfilled??

Saturday, 25 September 2010
IT Joy Timor Leste, Day 8 of 11. 25/09/10.

8th Day

travelled back to Dili.

had a serious case of low blood pressure thanks to being sick + eating badly.

sorry guys. switched to Vicky's van. 1st leg that she didn't sleep. lol

her laughter went to over 120decibels for at least 20mins.

epic conversation between her and Michael.

was too dizzy to think straight.

Fieary. 25/09/10.

when will my dreams be fulfilled??

Friday, 24 September 2010
IT Joy Timor Leste, Day 7 of 11. 24/09/10.

7th Day - travelled to Los Paulos, supposed city or crocodiles (didn't see any)

so much for crocodiles walking the streets.

set up many more computers in another convent school there.

like every school but the first, their generator couldn't power up, so not much could be done.

wandered around the garden, snapping loadsa flora/fauna pictures.

3 girls started showing me around.

thanks for complimenting my photography skills!! xD~! first time someone actually said my photos were beautiful. or in Tatum, Bonito(a).

while everyone else was playing cards, i heard someone strumming a guitar.

so i went over, and had an awesome praise&worship singing session with 2 guys for 40?? mins.

Bernard the Timor-phile gave his contact details to a little girl. i bet she doesn't know what email is.

on the way back, the driver had to keep honking at the chickens(mainly), goats, and buffalo blocking the road.

they literally owned the place!

i bet if a bull sat on the road, our minivan would flip over during the crash, and the damn buffalo would juz get up and moo away leisurely.

heheh. thought of the buggy vs Mazda...

Fieary. 24/09/10.

when will my dreams be fulfilled??

Thursday, 23 September 2010
IT Joy Timor Leste, Day 6 of 11. 23/09/10.

6th Day

travelled 4 hours to a mountain convent.

photos and words wouldn't do the place any description justice at all.

altho a kiddy movie started playing in my head.. "Hei~~~di~~~.."


better than the Tibetan and Nepalese snowy mountains.

Vicky tried to teach the high schoolers Old MacDonald had a farm.

tweaked it into "Sister had a little farm~!"

best footage of the day; VICKY CHICKEN/DUCK DANCING.

travelled 4 more hours back to our abode.

in the evening, we juz hopped over to the convent next door to set up 10 computers and have dinner.

sorry guys, my monthly friend decided to pay me a visit and screw me over. i apologise for having to be commanded to rest. guess i really became more of a hindrance than a help.

fell sick for the rest of the trip.

during dinner, the scary clown tablecloth kept creeping me out.

Vicky told us about her past overseas community trips, true ghost stories, injuries, etc.

very interesting..

Firdaus has... very comfortable shoulders. x)

Fieary. 23/09/10.

when will my dreams be fulfilled??

Wednesday, 22 September 2010
IT Joy Timor Leste, Day 5 of 11. 22/09/10.

5th Day

spent over 4 hours by van travelling from Dili to Baucau. made a pit-stop in Manatutu, and took a quick glimpse at some of the computers there.

the kids were already using Photoshop!!!

by now, i guess you readers noticed that everything is almost in point-form. xD~!

2.) THE SCENERY IS SOO !#@$%^&*(&^*&(&^#-ING BEAUTIFUL!!

comparison time:

beaches- Hawaii, Bintan
fields/plains/shrubs - Africa, Australian Outback
hilles/mountains/valleys - New Zealand, non-snowy Swiss Alps.
others - Israel, etc.

i think this is the ride where a grasshopper jumped through our speeding van's window and caused a shriek-fest in the middle-back seats. xD~!

i wonder how those guys are gonna protect our country in the future..

"Nata!~!!! kill it!@!!! kill it!!! where is it?!>!? AHH!! IT'S MOVING!! KILL IT!!@!@#NATAAAAA@!!!"

3.) reached Baucau at 6pm+

received news that in the past few days, there was a little tension between the locals.

heard the local police make an announcement in Tatum, then in Portuguese.

something along the lines of "no fighting, or you'll be arrested. everyone back in your homes by sundown."

that was all i could make out through the scary, threatening tone of broken portuguese. talk about military enforcement! brr~!>..<

Fieary. 22/09/10.

when will my dreams be fulfilled??

Tuesday, 21 September 2010
IT Joy Timor Leste, Day 4 of 11. 21/09/10.

4th Day

went back to the same campus to set up 30+ computers in the kindergarten building. wow. why would 4year-old kids need Microsoft Office for?

since there were only 8 computers, those that needed fixing/special attention were getting tended to by our awesome technical dudes (Space, Shakey, Nata, etc.)

i went to try teaching the kids how to play skipping rope and zero point. fail. ah. ha. ha. hah.

then went into the senior high classes to introduce ourselves. first class Jane and i went to, ended up explaining what our Singapore flag symbolised.

5stars - peace, prosperity and progress, democracy, justice, equality.
crescent moon - a young and rising nation
red - brotherhood and harmony
white - purity and innocence

hope i got them right.

second class, ended up discussing the differences between the education structures in Timor and Singapore.

heard someone mention that the students there are all from the wealthier/prominent families. eg. the minister's kids.

so.. why do THEY need our computers?

in the afternoon, Michael brought us to the beach in the outskirts of Dili. wow.. totally blew my breath away..

played with the water and goopy mud illogically.

Fieary. 21/09/10.

when will my dreams be fulfilled??

Monday, 20 September 2010
IT Joy Timor Leste, Day 3 of 11. 20/09/10.

3rd Day

went to a college/grade/kindergarten school campus to set up around 50 computers around the college building.

it actually went by smoother than expected.

the only major obstacle was a lack of extension cords.

so we would only install software in a maximum of 4 computers at a single time.

replaced Norton Anti-virus with Avast. installed Microsoft Office 2003.

guess what,

they were asking us "why 03? why no 07?"


internet was available at the school. heard it was the Ivy League equivalent in Timor.

my phone started malfunctioning. couldn't send texts.

heard my cousin's grandmother passed away. couldn't help thinking of her the rest of the day.

Fieary. 20/09/10.

when will my dreams be fulfilled??

Sunday, 19 September 2010
IT Joy Timor Leste, Day 2 of 11. 19/09/10.

2nd Day

woops. day 2 is missing from my little notepad..

crap. uhm,..

it was a sunday, so.. we met up with more Canossian sisters in the afternoon after their morning mass.

Vicky and 3boys went for morning mass at.. somewhere.

the rest of us stayed behind to recover from jet lag.

what else..

the food there.. oh. my. gosh.

every food place had soo much Singaporean influence. it was 'Tzi-Char' and roti-prata everywhere!!!

the pricing was.. well, modern foodcourt range, in USD.

so.. yea.

pro: suited to our tastebuds
con: expensive. very expensive.

Fieary. 19/09/10.

when will my dreams be fulfilled??

Saturday, 18 September 2010
IT Joy Timor Leste, Day 1 of 11. 18/09/10.

as some people know, i was in Timor Leste with my school for community service.

i'll be posting up an informal journal of the trip, day by day.

1st Day
@7.30am, we were gathered at T2, for our 9am flight.

on the plane, Prasanth started chatting with the guy on our right, a university Portuguese Linguistics lecturer. talk about morning breath! after a bottle of Merlot on his part, the stench faded juz a little. haha.

he recommended us restaurants and dishes, beaches, places to visit.

apparently, some of the beaches had warning signs about crocodiles, which are supposed to be rather common in their crocodile-shaped island. he hadn't seen any first-hand before, tho. so he told us not to worry.

touched down at Dili(Timor's capital) airport. met Michael. (he is AMAZING. our trip was a success largely due to his sincerity and commitment towards us.)

first visit, the convent.

@ the Canossian school.

immediately after getting off the van, there were 2 rows of young Timorese girls, all about our age, forming an aisle to welcome us.

their voices were soo sweet, i bet they melted the guys' hearts!

"Welcome to our family~ we're glad that you have come to share your life with us~ as we grow in love and, may we always be to you~ ..."

they sang Welcome to our Family, as taught by Michael.

we were presented with Tais, Timor's traditional cloth, and after the first song, everyone spontaneously burst into a round-rosy step-in-out kinda dance. couldn't help joining them. ^^

they prepared a welcome meal for us. quite a spread. turns out that almost every meal the convents provided us with would be as extravagant on their part.

halfway through the meal, blackout. twice, their generator stalled.

in the following 10days after, the lack of electricity would pose as the greatest deterrent to our purposes in Timor.

after the power came back on, everyone finally noticed that there were winged insects fluttering around the light, and our food.
to get rid of them, we switched off the light near our table, and let them swarm to where the other light (with a handful of gargantuan wall-lizards were.

<1min, only 6 insects were left alive..

Mana (in Tatum, their local language, MANA = big sister. MAUM = big brother) then told us the legend behind Timor's island.

it's as follows;

"One day, a boy saved a baby crocodile. He fed it and took care of it till they were both big.

then, the crocodile began to have 'bad' thoughts. he wanted to eat the boy.

but he thought about it, and said, "no, the boy saved me while i was a baby, and took care of me. i shouldn't have these 'bad' thoughts."

so he regretted it, and eventually promised the boy his own land when he dies.

the crocodile then began his search for the best spot on earth, and lay down to die.

where his body was, the land began to form, and following his body grooves, Timor now has plenty of mountains, and the shape of a crocodile."

Mana also told us that dolphins and crocodiles can be see at the beaches, and in the town of Los Paulos.

it's fine to pass a crocodile by on the streets there, as you'll be fine if you do not harbour 'bad' thoughts towards the crocodile. thanks to the legend.

however, the Southern beaches facing the Australian seas are too dangerous to swim at, due to too many saltwater crocodiles.

Mana also went on to tell us about Timor's history, civil wars, how the Canossian sisters helped the people, placed themselves in crossfires, etc.

one particular unrest story i listened to was about how the competition between the various martial arts groups blew up into full-blown civil unrest.

wow. i'm amazed at how such childish matters could cause soo much tension.

and with each period of unrest, Dili was always empty at one point of time.

the whole time we were there, i kept hearing someone playing the guitar.

not bad, actually. talent exists, but no proper techniques/skills, i guess. nature, no nuture.

Fieary. 18/09/10.

will add pictures and colour after all 11 days has been posted up.

when will my dreams be fulfilled??