Timor Leste Experience

“ Timor Leste was an experience which will continue to shape my life for many years to come. For a nation having suffered so much turmoil and destruction, Timor Leste is a remarkably hospitable and optimistic place. I have never seen smiles as wide or as contagious as the people we encountered, their generosity and sense of community is matched only by their appreciation of one another. For me, the most significant part of our trip was sitting in on classrooms, and on privileged occasions being allowed to help teach the children. These children showed an eagerness for learning with such vivacity that made me realise how much the developed world takes education for granted. To the Timorese, nothing is more valued than family, friendship, community and faith. These raw qualities are hard to come by in our busy lives that are so full of distraction. In the process of immersing myself in such a heart-warming culture, I realized what values I hold precious, and left, albeit reluctantly, with a greater appreciation or the many things I take for granted. On this trip, I got to know some amazing Timorese people, as well as the fantastic group I was with, and a little more about myself. It was a truly priceless experience, an opportunity I would gladly take again.” – Ulysse

“For me, it is difficult to pin point one experience or significant part from the Timor Leste trip that impacted most on me. I have often found myself speechless when attempting to articulate my experiences and emotional response to such an incredible experience. Despite this, one particular day does stand out for me, this was the trip to the Salesian Sisters girls orphanage in Laga. I was awe inspired by the capacity for our group of Australians and a conglomerate of Timorese girls to form such strong connections. Trust was so quickly established, amazing considering we had only just met them. The girls had a lot of love for one another and for us, making it very hard to say goodbye. This experience definitely moved my heart, witnessing the strong the faith of the Timorese and how it unites communities was especially poignant. Despite lack of opportunity within some areas, there is a richness of love, friendship and community within the Timorese communities, which is truly inspiring. Returning back to Melbourne was almost more confronting after having such a rich and immersive experience in Timor Leste. Once home, my experiences made me reflect and question a lot about myself and the impact that I make, not only my own life, but my circle of influence. The nine days taught me a lot about myself and this made me reflect and be more aware of my own presence within day to day life. I also think that the experience has and will continue to impact my life and self development in ways that I can’t completely comprehend. This experience was one that I think you can only fully understand if you immerse yourself and commit yourself to experiencing another culture and community, making it invaluable.” – Ella