Thursday February 25th
We’ve landed in Dili, so our journey finally begins after days of travel to get here. Our first sight coming off the runway was of a series of large UN helicopters, not one, but many. This image is not lost on us for long as the sight of white UN marked transports and compounds are everywhere. Literally everywhere!! It is clear to see why there is some resistance to the large UN presence here as it really can be overwhelming at times and makes one wonder about how, or if, everyone can work together efficiently.
A few of our first impressions on day one are regard to the tremendous welcome we are receiving. In a city and country with so many foreigners, to get such a genuine welcome is heartwarming. It makes you feel very humble. Our first example of this came at the airport where we all received a traditional “tais”, a hand woven scarf. This hospitality was even more evident at our first dinner in East Timor compliments of the Sisters of St Paul Chartres as they hosted us along with representatives of many of the organizations we came here to meet. What a great way to start our trip.