Fo-Ba-Malu Event

Our Fo-Ba-Malu (Giving to Each Other) event will celebrate and honor the collaborations between Timorese and Australian female artists. Along with launching a new product collection developed by Designer in Residency, Kat Ashworth for East Timor Women Australia (ETWA) and hand-weavers involved in CTKDS, the event celebrates and promotes the traditional art of tais weaving.
Ami nia eventu ki’ik oan mak ki’ik oan atu selebra ami nia susesu ba servisu iha tinan rua nia laran. Eventu ki’ik oan ne’e nia objetivu mak selebra resultado colaborasaun entre feto Lautem no feto Australia durante ne’e, loke pamerang atu hatudu creatividade furak nebe mai husi colaborasaun no cultura no feto nia liman, promove no haforte relasaun entre ami nia organisasaun ho governu no parseiru lokal, nasional no internasional nomos selebra ami nia susesu ho haksolok hamutuk ho parseiru sira pasado nian no foun.

How much can we fit in one day in Lospalos?

a. Pulling down cut coconut trees, helping weavers, visitors


b. Pulling down cut coconut trees, helping weavers, product development, visitors, meetings


c. Pulling down cut coconut trees, helping weavers, visitors, political campaign discussions new visitors, babysitting, building, more weaving, meetings, more visitors, training, administration, cooking, product development… sleep

Think I'll take a nap







The felled coconut tree and its fruits







Joining hands






Kat working with our weavers to increase sales potential

Kat and our weavers designing to increase sales potential






Did that really happen?

One month in Australia, five sleeps in hospital in isolation, ETWA’s birthday, a few meetings and a trip to Canberra and… I’m back already. Did that really happen? Feels like I blinked. Dengue brain we call it. It was really nice to be home (albeit a little under the weather); seeing loved ones and new members of the family (little angel she is!) and eating mud cake and getting my head ready for life in Aus in a few months.  But it’s also nice to be back in sleepy Lospalos and I will try and lap up the leisurely pace while it lasts.

However there’s much to do and much happening (in a Lospalos-kinda-way). Taryn held down the fort while I was away (you’d never know she also has dengue brain!). She worked with the Lospalos group to dye almost 200 skeins of cotton using new recipes and different combinations of local plants and the colours are gorgeous. She has attracted new and amazing people to work with us over the coming months. Kat, our Designer is Residence, has finessed our production room and is inspired to collaborate with and create for CTKDS weavers. Mel will be coming to help us work on natural remedies for the wider community. We’ll have visitors over Easter and the second round of the Presidential elections will occur in the blink of an eye. Elsa and I will be preparing and planning and refining and the time will never be enough anyway. Amelia and Ona and Tia Regina and the dozens of weavers and other community members will continue to grace us with their presence over the next few months, so as usual there won’t be a dull moment here in Lospalos. I’ve been very blessed.


From Little Things Big Things Grow…Slowly

Timor time is real and living. It’s slow, relaxed, restful, forgetful and dreamy. It’s fickle and has a pace all its own. It’s understood only by locals and there’s no telling when it’s going to change. Big development doesn’t like it but it’s a precious thing in rural communities. It works really well when there’s lots of it but doesn’t work so well when there’s not.

I’m in the ‘it’s-not-working-so-well-for-me-right-now basket’ (which is also full of oh my god I leave in about four months and there’s not enough time). But it’s not about me … I keep trying to tell myself! If the people we work with are happy with the pace and results are happening in sync with their expectations … well, that’s the pretty ok yeah?

So obviously the big dreams will take a little longer. I may not be here during the whole dream but I’ll always know I was there at the start and helped build the storyline.

Seriously though; why would anyone with lots of time on their hands choose to throw that away? At the end of my two years here in Lospalos, the main thing that I know will be most difficult is adjusting my energy to the extremely busy pace back home and forever wondering ‘why does it have to be this way’. So to help my ‘re-entry’ (yes- that’s a real term used by an agency who shall remain nameless), maybe I should start now and build up to working at a manic frantic pace before I go rather than enjoy the slowliness of Lospalos for my last few months here?

Hmmm… choices choices 😉

one more

the master piece 🙂

Pics as promised

Here’s the pics of our beautifully decorated verandah here at CTKDS.

Gorgeous Ona and her special creation

More news to come soon. Hope 2012 is looking promising 😉

Xmas Cheer

I can’t with any honesty say that the past few months have been easy and uncomplicated but thank goodness there’s a more positive spirit in the air here in Lospalos as we approach Xmas. I’m trying to convince myself that it’s in less than five days because without the Xmas trees, Santa, tinsel, junk mail, TV commercials and numerous other reminders we’re accosted by back home, it feels like any other time of year really. It’s going to be interesting as the focus here isn’t on consumption as people can’t afford to consume. When I asked my colleagues what they eat for Xmas lunch, they simply said ‘whatever we have’, meaning a bowl of rice with fried leafy vegies. The traditional roast and spending time with my family I’ll miss but there’s a certain freedom that comes with the simplicity of the festive season here. No presents; no commercials; just families coming together from all over the country – if you haven’t booked your seat on the bus yet you’ll miss out!

It’s going to be interesting to see what people do here on the 25th, other than going to mass of course. The verandah at the office here is decorated with the most beautiful nativity scene, courtesy of Ona and her helpers (I’ll load a photo when it’s completed) all made from local materials- except the ‘disco lights! Ona will be waiting – for what I don’t know – with her creation on Xmas day, that much I do know and I’ll be joining Tom and Monica for lunch.

To all my dear friends and family in Aus or where ever you are, I hope that the true spirit of this important date on the Christian calendar brings you and yours together to celebrate just being together; I think that’s what will happen here in Lospalos.