Letter from East Timor

Ms. Yui Fukahori who was sent to East Timor in December, 2010 wrote to us. She worked on the activities by herself for the first time and learned many things.

Ms.Yui Fukahori (Yuigahama Church, Yokohama Diocese)

<All by myself in Los Palos>
Japanese media was in East Timor for coverage at that time and Ms. Satoko Watanabe left Los Palos to attend to them for interpretation. The local representative Mr. Jubensio was also out of Los Palos and working on the project as a coordinator in Liquica (I live in Los Palos in Lautem.) As a result I had to be in charge of Los Palos. Maybe I should have more strictly supervised the people older than me by ten years or more....
In Los Palos there are two Japanese staffs (Ms. Satoko and I) and nine local (local representative, his assistant, three field officers, pharmacist, PHC* organizer, driver and helper). (*Health volunteer) All of them are older than me and even the youngest one is ten years older than I. We support CG (corporative group called FINI), a group making soap and I am the accountant. I check their salary and hand to them.AFMET I am in a position to hire people. Timorese men seem to feel very uncomfortable to obey a younger person especially a woman. I do understand it after having been in Timorese culture for seven month.
Anyway since Ms. Satoko and Mr. Jubensio were not around, I had no choice but to get the staffs to work under me. When they knew that Ms. Satoko and Mr. Jubensio were out of town, they geared down their work. I knew that they did not respect me but I did not know what to do about it. Some of them played a PC game (He even asked me how to shut down the game.) and others slept in the pharmacy or boarded a car to go home twenty minutes before the closing time. To work should be more serious.

I experienced an argument with the people in the community for the first time. When a patient came to me suddenly and I said to him, "There is no service to carry patient to hospital now," he said, "This is our land and you are here from Japan to help us, aren't you?!" Then, I had to carry him but there was no "Thank you." The volunteers at the clinic reception suddenly rejected to work and there were other problems which I do not want to remember even now.
It was my own wish to come to East Timor to live with local people. To work here, I have to give up my common sense to follow their life style. Our common sense is not common sense to them and our small matters are not small for them. When I left Japan, I said, "I will do my best and try as far as possible."
I felt my age as a wall and saw the limit of my talent and ability. On the other hand, as I was here all by myself, I could find what the local staff thought of me and people of the community thought. After all it is important what I will do and work on.
MeetingWhen I did not what to do, I called my mother. She said to me, "Be right. The Japanese letter of right is written as 'one stop'. You must make a stop and look at yourself coolly, then start moving." In fact she had learned the words from my brother's teacher before and taught to me this time. This is now and I am I whatever others say of me or however see me and whomever I am compared to. I cannot be more or less than that. I feel a little comfortable and look at myself with different points of view. I will try in various ways.
Sometimes I could not see things and became to dislike Timorese this month. Even in that time a Timorese family listened to my complaint. I feel better when I talk to someone in a hard time. The family cried with me and let me stay overnight with them. They told me to come to them when I was alone.
Things to feel sad and things happy sometimes happen at the same time. I tend to remember the painful events but I hope to make joyful events food for tomorrow.

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This page contains a single entry by jlmm published on October 25, 2011 12:00 PM.

Vol.142 issued on 25th August, 2011 was the previous entry in this blog.

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