sorry folks--the pictures won't load today. I'll try to repost tomorrow morning. The internet connection here is pretty slow and the besting time to get things posted is between 3:30 and 5am.
On Thursday I had Liberty.
Liberty = an opportunity to get off the boat and go to shore for a day off. In the morning I was assigned to represent LDS Chartities for the welcome ceremony at the US embassy. The navy band was playing and several representatives from around the world were present. I met a man from Norway who helps with the oil industry here in Timor and people from Australia, Portugal, and Korea.
For safety precautions, we are allowed to explore and walk up a single road in Timor. We spent the day walking up to the Christ statue and then wandering the streets of Timor visiting the produce market and other shops. We ended the day eating dinner with an American family who works for the embassy. They are the only members of the church on the whole island. We had a great dinner with them and their kids and loved being in a real home setting.
A few facts I learned while on shore.
The Timorese use American bills. They have their own coins but ship American dollars to use as their currency.
Over half the population is in their early 20s or younger. 10 years ago, as the country was fighting for independence, many of the older generation were killed during Indonesian invasion.
The first graduating class of medical students will finish this year. They are studying in Cuba on a scholarship type program.
Our translators that we are using on the ship are mostly high school students who speak English. Refer back to number one. I don't know exactly stats but over 60% are 20 or younger in this country.
More tomorrow with highlights from the pediatric unit!