Sunday, February 5, 2012

Guest Post: Vanisha

Hey guys, here is the last guest post and I couldn't have picked someone better (if I do say so myself). I have only known Vanisha's blog for a short time but I'm already hooked. It's funny, honest and there are always beautiful photos to drool over. PLUS she lives in Canberra and does a much better job of summing up my awesome home-town than I do. Enjoy!


Hello! I'm Vanisha from Vanisha's In Life...Australia Kaylia invited me to write a guest post whilst she's on her fabulous holiday! Being asked to write a guest post almost feels like being invited into someone's home. I'm honored. Kaylia said write about "anything" so I thought I'd write about an amazing trip I recently took. 




A lot of people find it odd that of all places, we decided to got to Timor Lestse. Let me preface this decision a little. It all started in front of this fire place in the middle of winter in the Kangaroo Valley. Two acquaintances sat. Trying to get warm. And the words came. He told her about his country. She listened. He spoke of struggle. The struggle to gain independence. The loss. The dreams put on hold. This acquaintance became a friend. He told me about his involvement in the resistance in Timor Leste. I was shocked, captivated, intrigued. 

And so began a long love affair with the country, which about a year later resulted in a trip there. 

To see for myself. 


Here are my top 10 favorite moments from our time to Timor - in no particular order. 
(you can read more about this trip here)

1. Visting Cristo Rei. 



The first post I did about our trip (when we booked it) had a picture of this statue of Jesus Christ. Actually going up and seeing Cristo Rei was amazing, and that I took these pictures and they are mine was a wonderful feeling. Timor started coming 'alive' to me.




2. Fresh Fruit Juice of Amazing Variety.


Timor has an abundance of fruit and vegetable. Everyday I had a different freshly made fruit juice. I was most intrigued by the Mango and Bok Choy one, but not game enough to try it! 



3. Sampling Local Fruits on Long Car Rides. 



During our road trips, we were constantly stopping along the way to try the different local fruit. Many are similar to what we get at home, in Fiji. But there's something quite romantic about stopping on the side of a road, running across to the vendor and picking some up



4. Being Included - Traditional Timorese Dance, the Tebe.

Danced in a circle, holding hands.




Staying with a family in Timor as opposed to staying in a hotel was the best decision. My husband, Patrick and I became part of every day life. I even picked up a fair bit of the language!


5. Maubara.

Maubara is a quaint little place, a distance from Dili (the capital of Timor). Maubara is quite popular for it's palm weaving. 


6. Mid-night Mass (Christmas) with First Holy Communion.




Experiencing Christmas in different countries has become a passion of mine. In Timor, we went to Mass. This was very special, because our little 'nephew' was having his first Holy Communion. Mass was held outside as the Church was being renovated. There were hundreds and hundreds of people there. 

7. Wearing the traditional Timorese clothing - the Tais.


My background is Psychology and I lectured in Cross-Cultural Psychology at the University of the South Pacific for two years. Learning and living cultures is what I do. It's a big part of my life. I could not wait to try the traditional Timorese attire, the tais. It's a hand woven tube like dress, that's worn either as a dress or a skirt... 

8. Getting a ride on a Motorcycle whilst wearing Tais! 


Motorcycles are VERY popular in Timor. The first motorcycle I went for a ride on was during my trip to India. But this one was so much better, it was a twenty minute ride at 2am from a Christmas eve party - this is me 2am Christmas day heading home after a night of partying, Timorese style! (This ride was a big deal, because I can't/don't drive - anything) 

9. Beach Barbecues. 




Showing up early (11pm!) to the beach for some barbecue. The woven baskets contain rice made in coconut milk. So delicious. 


10. Listening. Everyone has a story. 


Listening. Just listening. Friends, family, strangers, openly told us their stories. About their struggles. Their triumphs. Their hopes. Their fears. EVERYONE had a story. And we were content just listening. Just learning. Trying to understand what happened in Timor Leste. 

If you ever get an opportunity, do visit. Timor was an amazing experience for me. So few people know about Timor - where it is, it's history, it's beauty...I feel privileged to have been and to have learnt everything that I have (even though in the grand scheme of things, it is quite minuscule and there is so much more to learn and understand) 

Kaylia thanks again for having me over! 

For those of you who may have missed it - Kaylia was over at my blog, sharing her Perfect Day In...Canberra!

I'm still posting about my trip to Timor, so if you're still curious come by and have a look! 



Timor Leste Through Our Eyes (specific Timor posts)

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