East Timor/Timor-Leste will celebrate 20 years of independence later this year. It is a young and developing country. East Timor has one of the highest rates of stunting in the world and they have high infant and maternal mortality rates. This is a country on our doorstep and so quite sobering.
Railaco is about 90 minutes away in a ‘troopie’ (like a 4WD army vehicle) which is how we travelled from Dili. The parish extends further into the mountains along steep, rutted dirt roads that barely pass as a goat track. It was a privilege to visit the villages and programs St Canice support as well as the high school in Railaco. The dwellings were basic and the people have so little materially, but their community was welcoming and generous. Many wanted to shake our hands and share their food, the children seemed to regard us as something like aliens.