The Grilos and I went for a drive to Maubisse quite a while ago, and I just realized that I never showed you the pictures. Sorry that they're so late, but I'm going to claim the saying, "better late than never!" for this post.
Maubisse is an inland town in the mountains of Timor, and it has a much cooler climate than Dili. There are even pine trees there! I was so happy to see pine trees, although they're not quite like the pine trees in North America. On the way to Maubisse and on the way back we bought a trunk load of guavas, but I didn't get any pictures. I think it was a six hour drive round trip, and the car was thick with the smell of guavas by the time we got home. We had to eat guavas at least twice a day for a couple weeks after that. For a long time afterwards I couldn't stand to look at a guava, but it's been a while, and I think I could handle the smell of one now...maybe. We also bought the best bananas I've had in my entire life. They were yellow (that is not a given here in Timor), almost as long as my forearm, straight, and about an inch and a half thick. They had a normal banana texture! and they tasted like normal bananas too, except that they were richer and sweeter (there are so many strange bananas here...some make your mouth feel furry when you eat them, others are pink, a few have seeds...like real seeds that you have to spit out...).
Anyway, our plan in Maubisse was to meet some friends at an old hotel and restaurant that was built as a Portuguese resort back when Timor was a colony. Unfortunately, it has since been taken over by the Timorese government and is starting to get run down. Still, the placement of the resort is perfect. The city of Maubisse is in the bowl of crater-like ring of mountians. Near the center of the bowl there is a single, round hill, and the resort is built right on top of that hill.
This is the main building at the resort.
Here's a view of the main building from one of the gardens.
The lighting was rather poor, but here are some pictures that I took in the gardens. The place was absolutely beautiful, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself walking among the flowers and taking pictures.
They had roses! I didn't know roses could be grown in Timor.
More pretty flowers. :)
This is an old foosball table that I found. I thought it looked neat so I took a picture.
After looking at the flowers I headed to the edge of the resort to look at the view. There's a small wall around the place because the hill goes down quite steeply.
Here are some more view shots.
Can you see those two cliffs on the horizon? They don't look special in the pictures, but they looked so majestic in person. I liked them a lot. They were totally calling my name and asking me to climb to the top of them.
And finally a view of Maubisse.
After the resort we went back into town and found a playground. Miguel was very happy about it, but he was in a no-pictures mood that day, so I could only sneak one.
Actually, I think everyone was in a no-pictures mood that day. This little boy was so shy! I tried to get his picture, but he kept hiding behind our car.
After a while I put my camera away, got out a paper and pen, and sat down on the ground. He sat near me and started to play with the rocks. I drew him some pictures, but he wasn't too interested, so I made the picture covered paper into an airplane and gave it to him. Actually, I just set it in his lap because he was too shy to take it. He kept playing with the rocks for a couple minutes, and then all of a sudden he jumped up with the plane in his hand and ran away to the other side of the car. I sat there for a minute or so and then peaked around the car. I was so afraid of scaring him away! When I peaked around the car he was running around with his plane in his hand, pretending he was flying! He ran to several different children and showed his new toy to each of them, and then kept running around with his arms out and the little plane clutched in his hand. It made me so happy to see him happy and playing with my small gift. :)That experience was my favorite part of the trip. It totally made my day, and I won't forget that shy little boy for a long time.
P.S. If anyone has any tips, I'd really appreciate them. I've been trying to post two vertical pictures side-by-side instead of having them all one-by-one in a row, but it isn't working...hmmm.