19 things making me smile today

A daily Dili dose of dopamine.

  1. Working quietly and alone, upstairs at Black Box, steady on a Monday morning
  2. Crisp local cucumbers ready for pickling in a pink plastic bowl
  3. New-to-me Tetun idioms; that fickle guy’s an ai-kakeu, the tree that moves with the wind
  4. Taking selfies with the chic dressed-up women in the orange office
  5. The bruised sky opening relief after days and dusty days without rain
  6. Kind and unexpected emails from strangers at the beach
  7. Giving things away
  8. Goodnight Bull Creek, you were the, world to me
  9. $1.50 beers barefoot in the courtyard
  10. Late Monday nights and dreaming of sourdough
  11. Good news from good friends; secrets kept and shared and bottled up tight
  12. My new, orange, USB, and the way I got it
  13. Today’s cool morning air and a coffee on the porch
  14. Not being scared of starting to pack
  15. I can’t do this but I’m doing it anyway
  16. Pale blue spines of yet-unread books
  17. A crisp, efficient, 28-minute interview; I think I can actually do this
  18. New plans with new friends; impatient for days to come
  19. Sitting quietly this morning, WordPress open, a blinking cursor and a sense of contentedness.


The photo at the top of this post is the Comoro River, flowing wet-season full a couple of weeks ago. Without labouring the point too much, one of the single greatest lessons I’ve learned living in the tropics is from the wet-season rain patterns–even when it feel oppressively hot, overwhelming, all too much, you can’t do it, the rain always comes; washes clean, starts again. The rain always comes. 

2 responses to “19 things making me smile today”

  1. […] Again, we laughed round the Letefoho dinner table. The stories were easy, funny; light. Something to offer. A fun way to reflect on the time and space a year affords; stories that in year one of my time here were tight and hard and embarrassing and difficult; furrowed brow and stomping steps and why is it so fucking hot in this stupid sweaty market. With the adolescent growth of a second year here and another trip round it all gleaming clear and bright; this is funny, it’s allowed to be funny, none of it lasts forever, not even the shame sting of stuffing it up; it’s a story to offer someone else, secure in knowing the rain’s relief will come. […]


  2. […] I feel safe in Timor-Leste. Three quick pieces of advice. 19 smiles. What I learned about myself from living overseas. One thing foreigners can do to help. Dear […]


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