The first issue is Timor used to be Portugal, but then they left, letting the Indonesia take over in 1975. They left after a few years in 1999. Portugal is a common language in Timor, but there is also a local language called Tetun. The word ‘Mallai’ means ‘white people in Tetun. ‘Mallai’ isoften said to foreign people, people who aren’t born in Portugal.
Timor experienced recreational revolution in 2006; a civil war was going on with people killing each other. There were other wars too, that led to a lot of destruction. Since then, Timor has had a lot of trouble with food, resources and electrical things. The housing in Timor is quite severe, as most people live in huts made out of coconut leafs and logs with no flooring like carpet, and no electricity. Some lucky people, like the family Rosemary and David lived with, had a nice and cosy home, with chairs, lights, sofas etc.
Timor’s education is also quite severe, most kids in Timor don’t go to school, as they cannot afford to go to school. The transport there would be a bus, but that requires a bus fare. School also costs money to get in, so most kids don’t go to school. Some parents don’t let their kids go to school because they think it’s useless as the country is a poor country and the kids aren’t going to go anywhere. But even though some kids go to school, the school doesn’t have any resources like text books, libraries etc. Most kids go to school and sit there and listen to the teacher talk as there are no text books to use for the teachers to teach.
The transport there isn’t as bad. Most people there use motor scooters which you can buy for $2.50 U.S dollars to fill up. The currency in Timor is U.S dollars because they currently do not have a currency. It is very expensive to refuel the scooter.
Now this is where David, Rosemary and the XO come in. David teaches the locals how to program phones through the internet, and to my surprise, the people there have never seen a phone before. There are mobile phones there, but it is a rare thing to see someone with it because it is very expensive. And the spending fee is also very expensive. So people who buy it only use it for a cool factor or to receive calls.
23 people volunteered to join and learn how to use the XO from David. The Xo is waterproof, shatter proof and won’t let crumbs get into the keyboard. It also uses low battery usage, so kids can use the Xo more since there is very low electricity in Timor This is a very good thing because kids will sometimes accidentally drop it. The Xo also has eBook which allows them to download books through the internet for them to read. Since the missionaries (the people who are helping) want to give every kid an XO, they must teach the teachers how to use the XO before they can teach the students.
Another good thing is that there are nuns that run a program to help girls get a job somewhere outside of the city. The nuns have 40 bedrooms and they pick girls ages 12-15 to come and learn. The girls are taught hospitality, book keeping, cooking, and computer lessons in the evening. The girls stay there for 9 months, then a bunch of girls come in.
This was a very good and interesting lesson for me. I was really interested in the story; it makes me feel very guilty for having a nice home, food, games electricity, good school etc. I hope I can help donate money to them in the future.
Here are some of the pictures that were taken by David and Rosemary.