Ba Distrito - Week 8

Work Stuff


This week was a short week because Friday is a public holiday. We had set up a schedule with the MoJ to do training every Tuesday and Friday, but due to the holiday and the fact that they had to cancel last Friday, we did Tuesday and Thursday this week. The director of the department that we’re working with stopped by on Thursday. He had some new data for me (Yay!) and wanted to know a little more about how things are going and what the next two weeks will look like.

Ba Distrito did a sort of Facebook press release of the project, which you can read here.

I am excited that the MoJ team is understanding how to go through qualitative data and glean the important aspects. Tuesday, I spent most of the day going around checking their work but for Thursday’s session, I was able to work on my own aspect of the project and just wait for people to ask me questions.

I’ve been going through the data for several weeks longer than they have, so I’m rather ahead in the data compilation. Consequently, I’m going to be starting on drafting the actual report. The goal is to at least have a rough draft by the time I leave in two weeks. Meanwhile, I’m going to be developing the training for how they will be doing this in the future with the benefit of having the practical exercise of the data we have now.


 It was my birthday this Tuesday!!

Some friends who are from the States invited me to dinner on Monday night. We had a taco night. Katherine made everything by hand – tortillas, guacamole, etc. We are so spoiled with the ability to buy tortillas for only a few dollars in America. It was delicious. They then surprised me with cake and ice cream. It was a lot of fun. I also got to meet someone who is here on the Clinton-Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship. I hadn’t heard of it, but it seems like a great thing to look into for after I graduate.

Tuesday morning, the Access to Justice team came in before the training started and sang happy birthday and gave me a giant candy bar. Carolyn had gotten me some really pretty Tetun made decorations that I’ll be putting up at home. Her 4-year-old daughter also made me an absolutely adorable card. After the training ended around 5, the entire office gathered and sang happy birthday and we had cake and ice cream. It was also Armando’s birthday, the translator, so that was fun.


Carolyn’s family, Nino, and Avi (someone from the Counterpart central office who was here doing training) took me out to dinner on the beach. As usual, it was beautiful, and there are many pictures.


Carolyn’s daughter is turning 5 next week, and she’s having a Frozen-themed party this weekend. Upon learning that I am a major Disney fan (everyone was a little shocked that I knew the movie better than the little girl), I have been invited to help coordinate and give ideas. Haha… it should be fun!

Carolyn and Avi wanted to go to karaoke on Wednesday, but we were all pretty tired. Though, the activity is now in Carolyn’s head, and she insists on taking me before I leave.

Friday was a holiday, and Katherine and her family invited me to join them on their trip to K41. It’s a spot 41km from Dili that has incredible snorkeling. We were the only ones there besides locals who were mending their nets or spear fishing (in much deeper water than where we were snorkeling). The coral reef was amazing. I saw tons of beautiful, colorful fish and starfish. It was gorgeous day, and we had a picnic lunch, complete with a pig that sat a little bit away watching us and waiting for us to throw out our leftovers. Haha.

I had a good birth-week :) The most recent batch of pictures in my album starts here.

It’s crazy that I only have two weeks left!