East Timor 2006

Timor-LesteEast Timor 2006 – pictures of an amazing country and an amazing peopledili-timor-leste

I entered East Timor on May 4 , 2006. The capitol, Dili, seemed strangely quiet after my 12 hour bus ride from Kupang and the streets were deserted. The situation in the country was tense and there didn’t seem to be any shops open for business and I was hungry. In the morning nothing was open for business save a lone vendor with one bunch of bitter bananas, which I bought for a dollar. (…and they were bitter :)

Maliana cowboys

Maliana cowboys picture taken on a road trip a half a year later.

kid from OecussiKid in Oecussi taken Dec 2006. That Oecussi was such an amazing place!

Protest rallyI soon became aware of a different atmosphere in Dili. As May rolled into June things became more political. The east and west people and other political groups were struggling for control of the country.The Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri faced heavy opposition.Most of the markets were burned to the ground and many people lost their homes to fire as a result of gang style warfare in the city and elsewhere.

It was kind of weird because finding food was getting difficult. Henry (owner) of the backpackers guesthouse moved Rita (manager) and a bunch of other locals onto the grounds to protect them from the destruction.

Patrick and RitaPatrick with Rita – He was a cool Irishman that had just come up from New Zealand. He was working at a butcher shop in Christchurch and was on his way home to see his daughter in Ireland. He was the only backpacker friend that I made in the first few months and his cheerful attitude affected the atmosphere where ever he went. Patrick had a zest for life that was invigorating.

Dili protestersProtest marches became almost a daily occurrence and were peaceful for the most part, but violence and fires would erupt throughout the night. It seemed that up to 15 homes a night were getting burned down and most of the common markets went up in flames too.

near the parliment buildingA few times the streets were shut down completely to help keep control of the situation. I took this pic near the parliament building downtown in 2006.  I spent endless hours riding a motorbike around Dili during this time.  Prime Minister Alkatiri resigned on June 26.

protest colorscolorful protestors

Mt Ramalieu Timor-LesteI took this picture at the top of Mt Ramelau Timor-Leste.

beautiful peopleBeautiful people on the beach in Dili Timor-Leste after sailing in from Flores.

remembering Henryremembering Henry of the Backpackers Guesthouse

Henry…at the smoker

never will forget you mate







Jun 7, 2012 www.dutchpickle.com

Leave a Reply

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *