This is the ‘road’ we took to get to one of the villages where Plan has supported a water system. Clearly, cars don’t come out here often… they have barely left a mark. The landscape was beautiful up here… grassy meadows on top of hills where cows and Timor ponies roamed free.
You could see all the way back to the sea. Timor is a fairly small island.
When we got to the village, everyone was there to see us and they were very excited and curious. We had some really interesting conversations with the villagers and saw how much the water system had changed their lives, especially the lives of the children and youth who had to spend hours carrying water from a source that was many kilometres away before. Now they have more time for study.
We sat in the community hall and talked about all sorts of things, including how the village had changed in the 10 years since independence.
The community welcomed us warmly and served coffee, boiled cassava and fried bananas to us to show their hospitality. They used sweet condensed milk in the coffee — a very special treat in a community where people are so remote and mostly live off subsistance farming. It’s always very humbling to come to these communities and also very exciting to see how, with a small amount of assistance, the people really mobilise to improve their own futures and to improve conditions for their children.
The village was in a very beautiful location too.