Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Getting ready to go.

I’m excited, to quote Big Kev. The clock is ticking down and I’ll soon be winging my way to Timor Leste to take up a position with one of the ministries there. I’ve made accommodation arrangements, flight arrangements and initial living arrangements. Despite our previous time in the Solomons, however, this is really an adventure.

I flatter my self that I know a bit more about living in developing nations, a bit more about capacity development and a bit more about cross-cultural sensitivity than I did before. How this will translate to the Timorese context, I have no real idea.

What am I looking forward to? The chance to roll up my sleeves and get involved again, to really look around the faces of my workmates and realise I’m making a difference. It’s the cooperation of the atmosphere that is so rewarding. To be frank, I also like the idea of living new a new country. It’s not a case of whether it will live up to my expectations, it’s a case of learning about the people and the place so that I can actually have expectations.

You can never know a whole country, not even if it’s a small one like Nauru. Timor is huge by comparison and I’m sure my workload will be large enough to keep me busy, too busy to engage as much as I’d like.

But I have my Tetum language book and my learn-to-speak-Indonesian software, and I’ll be hitting the streets with the bare and basic minima of politeness and getting-around words. I think I’ll have to put learning Portuguese on the backburner for the time being, however.

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