Christmas and New Year in Timor Leste (East Timor)
It was a long flight from Vancouver through Taipei to Bali to East Timor, but the trip was worth the adventure as we were greeted by our daughter, Vivienne from Geneva and her husband, Ronny, who is representing the UNFPA in this new country. Signs of colonial days under the Portuguese rules are seen in many places in Dili. After years of war with Indonesia, the country is finally independent although with trials and tribulations of a developing democratic country, helped by the UN and others. Its capital, Dili with its many embassies face miles of sandy beach front. Its infrastructures are primitive but its landscape is just gorgeous with miles of unused sandy beaches and multi-coloured forest greens adorned with tropical flowers among various shapes and sizes of tropical leaves. Fruits like mango, banana, rose apples, coconut, avocado etc. seem to grow in the wild lush forest of the island. Ronny managed to import a turkey for our Christmas dinner. It looked like a big fat chicken with a long neck with no giblets in its cavities but a long flattened skin from the neck attached to it. Cooking it was an adventure but amazingly it turned out well even with minimal available supplies and seasonings we are used to, at home. It was a wonderful Christmas gathering, joined by Ronny's two sons, one from Japan and another from Montreal.