Colorful Seaside Shrine: Travel Photo Contest Friday 19

Update: The winner is Dave! I know you all have been dying to find out where this is.  The picture was taken in Dili, Timor-Leste (East Timor) just down the road from where I used to live. While the religion is Catholic, there is an unique blend of Animism that is found throughout the island nation and really comes out in the shrines. Timor-Leste is such a beautiful place with an amazingly diverse group of clans (kind of like small kingdoms) and traditional religions based on spirits.  If you have the chance this is one off the beaten track destinations that should not be missed. Oh, and the tropical beaches and untouched scuba diving helps too Dave doesn’t have a website, but he is sweet enough to put his wife Rebeca’s blog forward: This Must Be the Place Welcome to Travel Photo Contest Friday. If you’re a new friend, each Read full article…

Reconciliation and Human Rights in Timor-Leste (East Timor): more to travel than just beaches and beer

When I decided to take my own advice and re-visit Timor-Leste, I didn’t expect to find myself in a dark suffocating prison. Travel is not just about beaches, bars and mountain tops; its also about learning the history of the country and its people. I am sure the 13 odd government employees I brought with me to learn about post-conflict land administration and conflict management were hoping for the former. I can’t name where the officials are from as elements of their own government might not be happy we discussed ethnic reconciliation. If you know me well, I am sure you can guess. The Indonesian era prison is actually home to a permanent exhibit on the Reconciliation process that occurred in Timor after independence, called the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation (CAVR). It is tricky business getting people together to admit to crimes they committed against their neighbors, but Read full article…

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