As you may have already heard I have changed homes here in East Timor to a bungalow just outside of Dili (the capital of East Timor). I now live in a one room bungalow inside of a guarded “compound” right across the street from the ocean and a nice rocky/sandy beach. My compound has 3 other bungalows that are rented out by foreigners and our landlords live in a house slightly up the hill from us. There is 24 hour security, a wire fence with gate, 5 dogs, various other Timorese living in the compound (not sure who they are just yet), a bunch of construction workers building a new 2 story bungalow and a garden with three friendly monkeys that like to pick at my arm hair and try to find bugs.

I live about a 45 minute walk outside of town so I have bought (and learned to ride) a small 125cc motorcycle to get me back and forth (and out into the mountains in the near future). I have always wanted to learn how to ride and it is the perfect place to learn (minus the pigs, cows, goats and chickens that run out in front of me constantly). My commute is beautiful, hugging the side of the mountains and right next to the water. I am pretty much living up my tropical island fantasy, and the conflict and violence here keeps me from getting too bored. There have been a wave of stabbings recently and more and more foreigners are being attacked at night for money. Not sure if the trend will continue or not.

Anyway I decided to walk home on Saturday and take pictures along the way so that you can get a better feeling for where I live and my trips to and from home. I hope you enjoy the pictures and there should be more to come. I really want to buy a nice digital camera but it would never make it here in one piece (I might just have to make a trip to Thailand).


In front of a supermarket and on the main road out of town people sell their fish. You can get 2 red snappers weighing 8 pounds each for about $20 US.

One more “shop” on the way out of town.

Just in case you didn’t realize that there are trees and houses outside of Dili (the capital)

The windy road just out of town. And yes this is a two lane road and SUVs and buses (called Microlets here) squeeze by each other.

Leaving Town we come to the first Beach (although the beach runs along the whole coastline, even in the “city”. I live close to the mountains in the distance.

View to the right of typical Timorese houses. There is not much to them and family sizes can be very big. The average woman has about 7.25 children in her lifetime.

Beginning of the first beach.

Fisherman fixing his nets.

Traditional boats. These are left all over the beach and are the main fishing boats used.

I passed by a bunch of kids swimming and a few adults looking for shell fish (I think).

The kids here love having their pictures taken and like seeing themselves and their friends on the digital screen even more.

The next J-Crew model?

Loving the attention!!!!!

View of the next beach/cove

This cove is filled with fish BBQ restaurants, and various other foods. There is even a “dance club” called Exotica.

Animals (like these goats) like to jump out at me while riding my motorcycle. The pigs here (hogs really) have no fear as they know I will die before they do! The chickens love flying right in front of my face too…

This is a shrine to Mary. The Island is mostly Catholic but mixed with a native animism that believes in a mother earth and a father sky. In the far back of this picture is a statue of Jesus up on top of the far mountain.

What more can you ask for. They have tables on and off the beach and two nights over the past week I had dinner with a friend here. You sit by candle like on the beach with the stars nice and bright overhead. Both nights a large pig as walked by. Animals here are not penned up and everyone knows which pig belongs to who.

Leaving the restaurant area.

Where I just came from. Damn Goats!!!

Looking back at the “City”

The beach and cove where I live

The cove at low tide

There are lots of abandoned or unused boats “floating” around…There are still about 100,000 refuges that have fled the violence here in Dili. A lot of their possessions have either been burned or taken by those who have stayed. It is a huge mess sorting out their return.

The simple life

The fishing village just before my house

The beach right in front of my house

The gate into my “compound”

View from the gate…not too bad right?

The center of the compound

My Bungalow (if you are lucky the next installment of Cribs will show you the interior)

And finally my Hog. This bad boy has 125cc of pure power. There is not much to it besides the gears and engine. No fuel gauge, no start button, just pure power and a kick start. It is really fun to ride around (yes Mom I wear a helmet)…..I am fulfilling my island fantasy as I ride around with flip flops all around town and out to the beach. I am going to take it for a day trip next Tuesday during a national holiday….stay tuned.

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