Over the past few years, much investment has been made to improve roads in Timor Lestè, which is really making a difference. Even though Ailalec Village is in a remote place, high in the mountains, this year finance has been approved for works on the road from Samè to Ailalec. These works will be a partnership between villagers, who will provide the labour, and the Timor Lestè Government, which will provide expertise and funds.

Works to improve access will also make it easier for Jan next time she visits Ailalec to catch up with friends there and monitor Across the Timor Sea projects, as each time she has visited something challenging has happened on the way.

She has always hired a 4WD, however on one occasion it couldn’t go on any longer so horses were brought in so they could continue their journey.

During another visit, monsoon storms had resulted in a large tree blocking the roadway.

Walking long distances is considered commonplace by locals, though use of horses is considered just as valuable as it was to the Australian Commandos there during WW2.

Motorcycles are also popular. During her last visit to Timor Lestè, Jan was kindly offered a lift to her next destination, however it was on a motorcycle …….. and she had never been on one before!

With each visit to Timor Lestè, Jan has appreciated the progress evident, which bodes well for the future in this emerging nation.

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