Monday, November 30, 2009

help? Hope.

After my last series of blogs, I got some very interesting feedback from a lot of you. I'll write more about those thoughts soon, but I did conclude that a lot of my frustration is with the particular situation in Timor Leste. Though a lot of you could relate to many of my frustrations, the particular set of disillusionments I've faced particularly reflect this country.

But, of course, I believe that as human beings we are all equal, and are in fact all created in the image of God. Which means there is good to be found in everyone... and in every context. So I decided to sit down and list ten encouraging things I have seen recently - things that give me hope for Timor.

1. The man dancing in front of the speaker store, and two days later the woman in front of another store, also dancing. Both of them were old, skinny and wearing traditional dress, and they looked so happy they might have been high. But they danced their hearts out, full of life.

2. Half of the runners and bikers at Cristo Rei, where I go jogging whenever I have time in the afternoons, are Timorese - and in the few other areas where people jog in Timor, even more than half the joggers are Timorese. For a country with an inordinately high number of expats, many of whom are military or police and so motivated to stay in touch, this seems significant.

3. The group of kids I saw jamming at the Cristo Rei parking lot. One guitar, lots of slapping and clapping, and all of them singing on and off. They totally had rhythm.

4. People here have a real sense of fashion. Everyone bathes before everything, even before exercising sometimes. And their outfits are FUNKY. Funky good, funky bad... I won't say anything about that, but it's clear thought goes in to what they wear.

5. The kids here are kids like anywhere else. They're not intimidated by the foreigners and they tease and make games like kids do. They aren't tainted by the eventful and traumatic, colourful, history of this country - at least not at too young an age. (Except for... no, I won't write it because I'm sticking with the good here.) How do we build on hope for a younger generation?

6. The family of my landlord took my loss personally, mobilised the whole neighbourhood in sympathy. Then they spent the next two days looking for ways to make it up to me, even if it wasn't their fault. Time will tell whether it was a cover or whether they truly have honour.

7. When you live surrounded by sea and mountains and beautiful weather, there is always some hope - right? People here have an ability to sit around and enjoy one another's company, to just walk across town in search of something interesting like a capoeira class. This culture is a master of just-do-it.

8. The country's politicians are dynamic personas and [mostly - relatively speaking] honest. They can be role models.

Sadly, I only made it to 8. I thought of some other glimmers of hope, but they were either repetitive or else they didn't seem very meaningful at all. I had hoped I'd get to ten and have barely scratched the surface. But nonetheless, eight signs of hope is still a lot of hope.

1 comment:

Zane said...

Kate,
My advice, take care of yourself always.
I see, we don't help others; we live with others :)

Love u sweets :*
Tc, miss u :)

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