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Friday, March 11, 2005

Going to Timor-Leste

Today, I confirmed my participation with my church's exploratory trip to Timor-Leste (that's East Timor to the rest of you! hehe). Apparenty, the government there has opened its doors to allowing religious organisations to help the country in whatever way it can. So my church has decided to take that first step.

Based on what I know, this trip will be to find out what the church can do, thus the "exploratory" part. It's a small team of folks (unless more people join from now till mid-April) who, I think, have never been to that part of the world.

So why did I volunteer? Several reasons come to mind, but the primary ones are:
  1. I need a holiday.
  2. I want to visit a regional country, instead of thinking of grand destinations like America or Europe.
  3. it'll be like stepping into a timewarp to the 1950s or so (if my impression of the country is correct).
  4. I find out how I can help others.
  5. I've always wondered what a mission trip is like.
That last point is especially ironic. I remember that when I was in Sunday School in my early teens, the teacher once asked how we'd participate in mission trips. Everyone said that they would go, while I was the only one who said that I'd give money and that's it. Years later, most of those people have gone on mission trips, some have not, and then there's me.

This five-day trip will set me back $1,600. Apparently, there are very few flights to Dili, the capital. The one we're flying is the only airline between Bali, Indonesia and Dili, so because of its monopoly, it can charge US$280 (two-way) for just that leg. There's a cheaper flight, but that's via Darwin, Australia.

I plan to bring my good ol' camcorder, so hopefully I'll have something to show when I return.


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