Dili is an exciting place. There are people from all over the planet with diverse passions, perceptions and agendas. In just one day of roaming we had the following serendipitous encounters.
On finally spying the Café Timor sign on the street corner having passed that corner numerous times and not noticing it, I got curious. I wondered if the good people from Café Timor would be able to point us the right direction to find a fair trade coffee farm to visit in Maubisse. Feeling very cheeky and not sure what reception we’d get we stopped to enquire. Well as it usually goes in East Timor we were given a friendly and formal welcome and within minutes were chatting with one of the nicest fellows you would ever have the good fortune to meet. It turned out that not only could David Boyce point us in the right direction for a coffee farm but David was also a great networker who was more that prepared to put us in touch with some terrific people. Having lived in Dili for 25 years and being the head of the local rotary club He was very well connected.
With David’s introduction and recommendation we hopped back onto bumble bee – our lovely yellow mega pro and headed up the hill towards Becora to meet the most gracious and hospitable Pedro at the Vila Harmonia. What Pedro doesn’t know about East Timor and the years of struggle are not worth knowing. We spent a relaxed hour in Pedro’s garden at the Vila Harmonia, drinking coffee under the shade of the traditional house he has been building and listening to his stories of struggle and hopes for the future. If there is one thing I’d like to see it’s the refurbishment of this oasis. Over the years the Vila Harmonia has provided a haven and meeting place for students and activists. Much of the history of East Timor is housed within this garden compound and Pedro’s memory.