Volunteering in East Timor

Kore Metan Dance
Michael Jones
7/1/2003

mjones@fjac.com

aalisonandalbertina ahasaiphoto aoldgentleman bbottomsup bcheers
    Alison and Albertina       Hasai Photo       Old Gentlman       Bottoms Up       Cheers  
bdownthehatch bfoorespetu bmeasured calbertinaandantony calbertinadansa
    Down the Hatch       Foo Respetu       Careful Measure       Antony Bot and Albertina Dansa       Albertina Dansa  
calisonandantony calisonandcarlitu calisondanca calisondansa cantony
    Alison and Antony Bot       Alison and Carlitu       Alison Dansa       Alison       Antony Bot and Ilda  
cantonybot labarikdanca labarikdansa lujia markdancing
    Antony Bot and Friend       Ilda and Malouise       Labarik Dansa       Ilda and Malouise       Mark and Beatrice  
marksfirstdance seidansa shelly shellyb willdancing
    Markus' first dance in Timor       Labarik Dansa       Shelly and Antony Kik       Shelly Dansa       Will Dancing  

After the ceremony at the graveyard, people headed back to the traditional house and the temporary structures built for the party. Mark and Will had worked it out for us (the malae in Hera) to make a brief speech and present a gift to the counsel of elders. Will put his Tetun skills to good use, and presented the counsel with a gift they appreciated heartily: a bottle of southern comfort. During the course of the day, the immediate family had served numerous meals and invited the "malae" to each one--we had more than our fill of the well-prepared food! After everyone had enough to eat, the last of the slaughtered carao was served, the dancing commenced. It was my first experience in a village dance, and my colleagues were right: it felt just as if I was back in junior-high. Guys asked the girls to dance, danced stiffly for the duration of the song--both parties taking care to avoid eye contact and seldom breaking into a smile--and then quickly returned to their seats when the music finished. Awkwardness aside, it was a great time, and lots of fun to watch everyone we'd come to know over the last two months having a great time.

mj


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