Radu, the first volunteer!

Has been some time, almost three years ago, we received a visit from Radu, a young Romanian who upon hearing about our project, through Luke and Andrada, proposed to visit us and help with whatever was needed. Really, was the first volunteer of our project!

Your visit was planned to coincide with one of Luke and Andrada's visits. after arriving, two days later, they returned to Australia. Radu is the kind of person who, as soon as we were introduced, it felt like we had known each other for a long time…

conquered us, immediately, through your very sweet posture, affable, friendly and helpful!

spent some time with us, just over a month, but your stay was very useful and provided us, still, very good times with exchange of impressions, sharing experiences, cementing our friendship!

In one of the previous articles, we pointed out that Radu helped us to repair and paint a house that we had rented in Liquiçá, peas to Cellie, my charming wife, had been transferred from the School of Maliana to that of Liquiçá to carry out her teaching duties.

In the year of 2017, while I was in the capital, in Dili, to try to resolve some issues, I met Julian, a young Timorese from the village of Taiboco, Oecusse district. After exchanging a few words in Portuguese, I was quite surprised, because he spoke relatively well and I immediately understood why! He had lived almost four years in Portugal, studying at a Catholic seminary.

Was married, had two children and worked in a store that sold various materials for construction. I was impressed to find out what salary he earned.: only 115 Dollars, a month!!!

I told him about our future project, which was still in an embryonic stage, wanted to know if you would like to learn how to work with bees and be part of our work team. He soon became very interested..

For almost a year we had the opportunity to get to know each other better and establish a certain friendship., because, past this period of time, he had to go back to live with his parents in the village of Taiboco, situated in one of the mountains of Oecusse, due to a problem that had happened to his father and that left me stunned; because of an argument he had with a neighbor over a fence that delineated the boundary between their lands. Some day, he was crouched working in his yard when his neighbor came from behind and started hitting him with a machete on the shoulder, in the head, in the hands and where it fell, so he left him in a pool of blood and only by divine mercy the doctors managed to save one of his arms and even his own life…

How did you know that the condition of Juliano's family was very precarious?, I talked to my wife about finding a way to help them earn their daily bread, because not even Julian, nor any other member of their family were able to work, because in this village, small and remote mountain, there was nothing to do but cultivate the land that, practically, It was the only means of subsistence they had.…

We thought the ideal would be to buy them an electric oven and a machine to grate the coconut nut and teach them how to make bread and coconut cookies., that could be sold as well as for their own consumption..

Right after we finished the restoration works of our new little house, I proposed to Radu that we pay Juliano a visit and put our plan into practice. He was very excited about the idea.!

I called Juliano to find out if our visit was timely and, after receiving your confirmation, we bought the electric oven, the grating machine, a bag of flour, a few kilograms of sugar, potato, sweet potato, peanuts, cooking oil and other things that we knew they would need and after we packed all the goods well, in our car, the next morning, very excited, we set out.

After leaving East Timor, by the border of Mota Inn, with Indonesia, we crossed a city and a few villages and two and a half hours later we were, again, on winnie's border, with Oecusse, because this only district that belongs to East Timor is an enclave, as you can see on the map.

After crossing the border, we had a real lunch with a privileged double view.: to the beautiful mountains of Oecusse, as well as to the fantastic blue sea!

After recharging our batteries we continued on our way and after crossing the city of Oecusse, leaving her behind, we started up the road that, dusty and full of holes, because in certain places they were authentic craters, took us to the village of Taiboco, at Julian's house.

How was the height of the rainy season on our walk, sometimes, it became a real adventure, because as it had rained, some time before, with the passage of trucks the mud on the road was so deep that it gave us the feeling that only other trucks could pass through there…

In these segments of the path, Radu had to get out of the car, a few times, to probe and show me the best place to go and after a lot of jostling and pushing we managed to get to our destination well, after 9 travel hours…

Whenever we passed some group of houses, more isolated, that were almost “sown” along our path, the children ran, dazzled, to meet us and greeted us with much fuss and joy, following us for some time, thing that impressed us a lot!!!

When we arrived at Juliano's house, despite being very tired, We felt very comforted by the reception we had, because even though they were very poor and with a very simple experience, they made us very comfortable so that we immediately felt that we were an integral part of the family.!!!

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