Friday, November 14, 2008
Village life in Maubisse is much the same as at home as the women look after the children, do the washing, which you can see strung along whatever is handy such as bushes and fences, and buy groceries. The difference lies in the time it takes to do such simple jobs when there is no electricity and often no running water. You can see one of the small shops which supply basic goods if you have money to buy them and they wash their clothes often as they don't have a lot to choose from.
However life here is also at a slower pace and most seem to be up at sunup and then have a nap at lunchtime. They have a fairly social life and spend their days working in their vegetable gardens and chatting with friends when there is time. If they are lucky enough to have land it can help them make a small income by selling the extra produce. Their homes are simple and yet they are clean with the earthen floors well swept and often a small garden of lovely flowers enhances their surrounds. The children usually go to school unless they are needed at home to look after their younger siblings. They love bright colours and I'm mindful of this when I knit hats and scarves and make quilts to send them.
I had a similar routine while I was there, washing my clothes in a bucket as well as washing myself that way when the power was out. I was fortunate enough to have a western style toilet but no flush option so we filled buckets every morning to use for flushing during the day. We take so many of our basic comforts for granted and travelling to Timor was a good reminder for me that life is good here and it should be better there if we all do a little to help.