Thursday, July 30, 2009

XO Guest speakers

On the 29th July, Rosemary and David came to Woodville High school to my year 10 control tech class as guest speakers to talk about their visit to Timor-Leste. They said that the food and accessories over there are expensive since it was in the US currency. They talked about some history about Timor-Leste how it was with the Portuguese Colony and it became an Indonesian Colony in 1975, but the Indonesian pulled out in 1999. In 2006 a civil war started. Timorese started to go against each other. The US and Australian Army went over to Timor-Leste to keep peace in the country.

Right now they have nationalised their own language called Tetun. The term Mallia is used to call people who aren’t from Timor. Most people in Timor-Leste speak the language of Portuguese. They are still learning on how to speak and understand English. The tourism of Timor-Leste is still undeveloped. Their only tourist site is their beach with a hotel and a small cafe behind the beach. In waters there are dangers such as crocodiles lives around the area.

They have introduced the xo project supplied by the industry called ‘IT NGO forum’. They assist NGO to teaching the locals on how to use computers etc. They have also brought out the product called xo. The xo is able to help teachers to create lessons for the children. It is also enable children to learn english and simple maths. Therefore this product will be a big benefit for the Timorese. Rosemary said that the xo is now used as a tool to improve teaching over in Timor-Leste. She also said that there was a question that came up. The question was 'Should the children of Timor-Leste be able to bring the xo home?' She answered that if the children of Timor-Leste be able to bring it home, their family would be able to also get benefits from using it.

At Timor-Leste Rosemary and David stayed with missionaries from Brazil with 2 people from Timor. One was a 8 year old boy and the other was a 5 year old girl. The children knew 3 languages which are English, Portuganese and Tetun. Rosemary said that Deanna one of the missionaries worked in the village to help bring water supply down from mountain using trolleys. She also said that there was a new lady to the missionary and her role was to teach english.

In Timor-Leste, most children dont go to school but just stay home. Even when staying at home there wasnt much to do. There are no McDonalds like us or Bowling allys to go to. Therefore parents would usually think of games or things for their young child to play with.

When Rosemary and David stayed at Timor-Leste, Rosemary said that they recieved a scooter to travel around with. She also said that majority of people traveled in scooters. The price to fill up a scooter with petrol is $2.50 in US Currency. She explained that when she goes around she sees children going to school with only one school book and a pen. Rosemary also found out that there is a store called 'Leader'. She said that you will hardly see any Timorese in this shop since its so expensive. This shop is aimed at foreigners.

Rosemary explained that there was a project runned by Green PC Melbourne based company. Their aim was to gather 6 Timorese and bring them back to Melbourne. Train them to learn how to fix computers and learn how to run and start a business. Then send them back to Timor Leste. Old computers which we dont use anymore in Australia is donated to Timor. From there they can fix and start a business.

Nuns in Timor provide teaching programs for girls. They learn skills such as cooking, basic book keeping and hospitality. Computer lessons ware taught as well but only in the evening. The computers were donated from Melbourne.

Rosemary's story at Timor-Leste sounds interesting and that a small laptop is changing their lives as we know it.

Here are some pictures that were taken by the missionaries at Timor-leste.



  1. Maybe you could introduce ROsemary and David to Sugar on a Stick. It can be localized to Tetun and run on the donated computers, given them a consistent experience, and maintained by local youths.

  2. Excellent report. You have covered both the social and computer based aspects of Rosemary's presentation in some detail. Good use of paragraphing and photos too.

    spelling: allies not allys
    presentation: would it be better to intersperse the photos throughout the text?
    9/10 for Timor report
    +2 bonus for attracting a really useful comment from walter bender, who is the leader of the Sugar project