Thursday, 31 May 2007

Mad Swiss - Part 2

Below is a picture of the Swiss couple, Emil and Liliana Schmid, who are travelling the world. On Wednesday 31st May they met with Sr. Miguel Lobato (pictured on the right), Government Director of Tourism. Also pictured is their car, which you have probably seen driving very slowly around town recently.
They have just returned from the east of the country and have now headed for the middle and the south.
You can also get more information on their odyssey

Emil and Liliana Schmid with Sr. Miguel Lobato, Director of Tourism (r)

The vehicle, a Toyota LandcruiserFJ60, built in 1982

Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Job Going

The following is an edited version of a job advertisement which appeared in today’s Timor Post:

The Australian Embassy in Dili is seeking applications from Timorese nationals for the position of Training Officer and interpreter working within the Office of the Australian Defence Cooperation Programme. This is a long-term, full-time position.

The main duties of the position are:
- Conduct research on issued related to Timor – Australia Defence cooperation, including
provision of media monitoring.
- Conduct liaison between the Australian Defence Cooperation Program and F-FDTL including
the ability to work directly with both agencies.
- Liaise with the Timorese Ministry of Defence and other Government organisations on bilateral
Defence matters.

Essential requirements for the position:
- Fluency in spoken and written English and Tetum languages
- Knowledge of Timor’s and Australia’s defence systems.
- Initiative, astuteness and strong analytical skills.
- Ability to work well in a team and to be flexible and adaptable.
- Relevant experience in similar positions or fields.

Highly desirable attributes:
- Well-developed and proven organisational skills.
- Knowledge of Australia and Australia’s involvement in East Timor.


Now, I don’t know about you, but the most qualified person I can think of is pictured below:


Monday, 28 May 2007

Random Stuff

Aussie sayings I really like:
He’s got a face like a dropped pie”.
Well, that went down like a wrought iron hang-glider.”

Things said on my verandah in the past week
I feel like making a ricey mixture thing”.......
That’s called a risotto in every other language”. err, only in Italian I think.

I must have lots of eggs in case I have to make an emergency quiche

Dili Directions:
You go past ‘Rubbish Ridge’
Cross over ‘Pig Bridge’
Where ‘Hello Mr.’ used to be.
Where the ‘dead cow’ used to be
The old New Resende
Where the market used to be (could be anywhere)
Where the old Dili club used to be
Where the new Dili club is
Past Ramos Horta’s house
The old Poy Chalor
Kiwi lines on the right, the old Makota on the left
Past the Jardine/Airport/Arte Moris (insert name here) IDP camp

This country has one of the highest unemployment rates in the world.
Why do we have so many holidays? And from what?

Do white Pajero’s with tinted windows and no licence plates make you as nervous as they do me?

Why is it that when you are in this country you want to grab it by the shoulder and give it a good hard shake and yet when you are out of it you want to get back as quickly as possible?

Nice People To Meet

There are a couple of people in East Timor at the moment who, if you get the chance, you should try and meet and maybe buy them a couple of beers.
Their names are Emil and Liliana Schmid and they are doing a pretty amazing thing. They have been travelling the world in a Toyota Landcruiser since October 1984 and have so far have visited 156 countries with ET being the 156th. They have been in the past 10 issues of the Guinness Book of World Records. They are a couple ‘of a certain age’ who are financing their quest on their Swiss pensions (you couldn’t do it on a UK pension, but if you were an East Timorese MP you might be OK). Originally their journey was meant to be for 1 year only but obviously things got out of hand.
The other day they gave me a big list of facts and figures about their journey and some of them are quite incredible. For instance; they have had 161 flat tyres, used 132 spark plugs, the lowest average speed in any country was 10.0km/h in The Vatican. They have spent over USD 6000.00 on visas alone. Oh, and their 1 millionth driving minute was in Kupang, West Timor. (Yah boo sucks to Kupang, it should have been us).
The car is very unmissable. It is sky blue, has about 100 jerry cans strapped to the roof and comes equipped with Zurich licence plates.
As soon as I get a picture of the car I’ll post it here.
Talking of visitors to ET, Mr. Lonely Planet (South east Asia) is also in town. His name is Ryan Ver Berkmoes and he is also a very nice bloke. He is currently staying at the Hotel Dili but will be moving around a bit. Again, if you meet him, buy him a beer and tell him all about our beautiful country. He is a big amiable American chap and may even buy you a beer back…….

Saturday, 12 May 2007

Situation Vacant

Click to enlarge.....

Thursday, 10 May 2007

Deja Vu

SMS News
Sec Tree – 1120 – fighting in Bairo Pite at bridge near primary school number 4, use caution or avoid the area.
Sec Tree – 1220 – Bairo Pite now clear.
Sec Tree – 1400 – Report of large disturbance at Lorema in Liquica, all staff advised to avoid or leave the area until further notice.
Sec Tree – 1420 – Alert, all staff members are advised to avoid Dili courthouse this afternoon danger of public disturbances when Lobarto judgement is announced.
Sec Tree – 1730 – Rock throwing in Kampung Alor ivo Australian embassy, avoid the area.
Sec Tree – 1940 – Area around Jardine camp and Colmera remains tense following large groups fighting. UNPol on scene and now calm. Use caution in the area.
Sec Tree – 1950 – Groups fighting in Kampung Alor ivo Australian embassy, avoid the area.

I wonder if this could have anything to do with the election results?
Lots of police cars racing about town with intent....

Restaurant review

Name: Little Pattaya
What: Thai restaurant
Where: On Beach road towards Christo Rei just past the new roadwork’s
Phone: 7332398, Chatree is the manager and a very nice bloke.

A wonderful little restaurant with possibly the best ocean views in Dili, from the Christ statue in the East to Alor in the West. Four of us had lunch but I would imagine the sunset view would be absolutely stunning with the sun setting behind Alor.
The beers were icy cold and the food was cooked and not re-heated. The service was efficient and unobtrusive. There is a small canoe on supports that sits parallel with the ocean where one can sit on bar-stools and look at the view.
The WC is clean, bright and well appointed.
For appetizers we had Spring rolls, Papaya salad, Seafood salad and fried chicken wings. Everything was very good but the papaya salad could have been a bit more spicy. The wait between ordering our drinks and the first course arriving was just half a beer.
Our main courses consisted of Padh Thai, green chicken curry, a three sauce fish curry and chicken with cashew nuts all accompanied by steamed rice. We also had 3 large Bintangs and a Tiger. The portions were all quite large. For a total cost of $51.50 plus tip I would say this was one of the better priced and nicer beach-front restaurants in town.
The only minus point, and a minor one at that, was the Hawksbill turtle shell hanging on one of the walls. After explaining to the owner that he faced a possible $50,000 fine for just possessing it he agreed to take it down.
I will definitely be going back to this place a lot, especially for sun-downers and a few snacks.

Marks out of 10: 8

Monday, 7 May 2007


From The Age, May 7th 2007

Fretilin secretary-general Mari Alkatiri accused security forces of landing a helicopter and "inserting" soldiers into a Fretilin rally in the central mountain town of Ainaro last week, which he said "disrupted the proceedings".

Brigadier Rerden, under pressure over the hunt for fugitive rebel leader Aldredo Reinado, denied that his soldiers entered the rally area.
"I have personally investigated the issues you raise and I can confirm that the nearest ISF presence to the rally was around 50 metres," Brigadier Rerden said. Age photographer Glenn Campbell took photographs of soldiers mingling in the crowd.

ISF troops around 50 metres away from the rally in Ainaro.
Glenn Campbell, The Age

Full story here

Even more interesting reading here

Friday, 4 May 2007

Over the Top

The following is a verbatim transcript:

Office of the Special Representative of the Sectary General
United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste
Postal Address: obrigado Barracks, Caicoli, UNMIT Headquarters, Dili,

ON 30 APRIL 2007-05-04


Good afternoon,
I would like to take this opportunity to remind all UN staff members of our responsibilities as peacekeepers in Timor-Leste.

We are GUESTS in this country and we are present here to help the people recover from the trauma of conflict, and not to perpetuate it. Each and every one of us owes a fundamental duty of care to the people of Timor-Leste. We must always be on our best behaviour and work towards maintaining the respect and trust of the Timorese people and the United Nations.
Let us not forget that all our actions reflect the image of the United Nations and I call on all UN staff members to practice courtesy and respect at all times, including when driving.
Never underestimate the impact we can have on our good relations with the Timorese community, simply be being friendly and courteous while driving. For many Timorese, the only interaction they have with the UN is when a big white car passes them on the street. Don’t waste that opportunity to make a positive impression and help us as a mission have good relations with the community. Little gestures, like a smile and a wave, can make a huge difference.
Many of you may say that the driving conditions here can be challenging, but let us remember that the basic driving rules and concepts of road safety are similar in all countries. Therefore, I call on everyone to respect and practice these rules here in Timor-Leste as we would in our countries of origin or nationality.
Not drinking and driving, not speeding, not cutting-off vehicles, but obeying traffic signals and allowing pedestrians to cross the streets, are just some examples of road safety rules that if followed could make a difference, not only in the perception given when big UN cars drive by, but in ensuring that our lives and the lives of others are not compromised.
Since 1 March 2007, there have been over 80 traffic accidents where UNMIT vehicles were the only vehicles involved. The frequency of accidents has been increasing significantly.
More recently – yesterday – UN Security conducted a Joint Operation from 0100 to 0400, where checkpoints were established in the vicinity of ‘Pig Bridge and Dili 2001.’ During this three-hour time frame:
26 UN vehicles were stopped
Four UN staff members tested positive to a breath test. One refused to take the test.
Three vehicles and two weapons were impounded.
Seven non-UN staff members were being carried in UN vehicles in violation of regulations.

Yesterday’s operation was set-up following an incident that took place at 1.35 a.m. on Saturday morning when a UN staff member was stopped because of erratic driving. This staff member, who was pronounced drunk, also assaulted the police.
Yesterday at 3.30 in the morning, another accident took place near Hatuberiku, where six Portuguese teachers and 1 Timorese national were injured. The fact that this was a vehicle travelling on its own greatly contributed to the delay in reaching the injured persons. Yesterday’s accident reinforces the need to conform with the rule for two vehicles to travel together on roads that have not been approved for single vehicle use.
I am shocked and distressed by these developments.
These numbers reveal the high volume of accidents involving UN staff. Let us work together to reduce these numbers and to set an example of proper road safety behaviour.
Thank you.

All great sentiments.
Now, when is the SRSG going to deal with the issue of armed UN personnel drinking alcohol in the various ‘de-stressing’ establishments here? I personally have nothing against alcohol, in fact I am known as a bit of a connoisseur of the distilled liquid. But I do object to being in a bar with someone who has a gun on their hip and a beer in their hand. (see UNPOLs post, 12 February 2007)
There, that’s got that off my chest…….

Tuesday, 1 May 2007


I received the following photo and message via my Dive blog. If you know this guy or have seen him about get him to 'phone home. His parents are worried.

Sirs !
For two years my son has been lost somewhere in the world and as parents we are quite concerned
Does he need help or some kind of assistance.. is he still alive for our peace of mind we want to know his fate
Suddenly there was a rumour that he was in East Timor and since he is a diving man I take the liberty to ask if you have seen this young swede?
Max Castor 188 cm tall slender buildt and last known picture is included
There is a reward for information about his fate and if you see/meet him ask him to kontakt home all resonable costs will be refunded ...
Rolf Castor with family concerned parents
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