Here is an excerpt from a recent post from Gillian Howell’s excellent music education blog:

Gillian has kindly agreed to me passing this essay on to you….

She is currently in Timor, and has some fascinating insights on the local culture.

Tuesday, day 47

I’m writing this in Lospalos actually, but I’ll summarise the last week that I have just spent in Dili. Mum was there with me so I had company as I went about my errands

There were a few tasks and interesting things to complete: voting at the Australian Embassy for the forthcoming state election; going back to the house in Comoro for a visit and to collect some household things  (where I got to say hello to some of the children I used to sing and play music games with, back in those early first days in Dili, when I was going to language classes in the morning and playing clarinet on the verandah throughout the rainy afternoons); visiting the UN Human Rights people in Dili to follow up interest in my Baucau project; writing and emailing a funding proposal to the UN; visiting the Truth and Reconciliation Museum; sussing out ptions for hire cars (this was hot and tiring work – lots of taxis to various sites and wandering around in the heat of the day); and shopping for various things I needed to take with me to Lospalos that you can’t get anywhere by Dili. Like cans of chick peas, for example.

But the week was very much shaped by the “Cultural Festival” that was on at the Presidential Palace from 25th-28th November, closing on Timor-Leste’s Independence Day. This Festival brought musicians, dancers and traditional craftsmen to Dili to perform and craft their particular articles, as onlookers moved around the site. ….(continues, to read more and see photos please go to Gillian’s blog)