10 July 2014 1 of 5


TIMOR-LESTE (Oecusse Distr.)

 


TIMOR-LESTE REPTILE & AMPHIBIAN SURVEY
THE END OF THE ROAD

Laca, Caitlin and I were up at 05:00 to watch the Netherlands vs. Argentina World Cup semi-final on a small television set up by the owner of the Hotel Rao. It is ironic that we were last in Oecusse during the 2010 South African World Cup, and on that occasion we had sat in a bar in Kefemenanu, West Timor, with four of the Jets (our Timorese colleagues) to watch the Brazil vs. Netherlands game on a screen that kept dropping the signal. We were cheering on Portuguese speaking Brazil while surrounded by Dutch supporting West Timorese (Indonesia is a former Dutch colony). On this occasion we had missed the Brazil defeat by Germany (7:1) the night before but watched the Argentine game largely because Laca supports Argentina. Everyone will know by now that it went to extra time and, still being 0:0, to penalties, which the Argentine side finally won. We also experienced a power failure at a critical time during the game.

Caitlin and Laca watching the World Cup,
just as the signal was lost

At 10:00, Sr. Bautista, the forest guard for Timorese protected areas in Oecusse, arrived at Hotel Rao and after a discussion over the map we set out to drive to the western Oecusse sub-district Nitibe. On the outskirts of Oecusse we visited a sandalwood park established with money from the Government of Monaco to re-establish the endangered tree species that was devasted by centuries of unsustainable harvesting.

The sandalwood park

 


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