Letters of Life

Tag: travel

Diary

Inspired by English playwright Alan Bennett’s Diary in the London Review of Books (9 Jan 2014), I decided to pull actual content from my 2013 pages of a journal.  30 January. The tragedy of the two young brothers who died when a cement mixer accidentally crushed them as they were riding a bike home from school… Read More ›

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Seven Days in Timor Leste (Part 3): Parting Shots

Save the best for last. There’s more to Timor Leste than most of the world knows right now. It’s a third world country, remote, often overlooked because it’s at the edge of the eastern archipelago of Indonesian islands. It’s not a must-go destination even for the intrepid among us. Mongolia, Peru and the Galapagos Islands… Read More ›

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Seven Days in Timor Leste (Part 2): Time with the Students

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Seven Days in Timor Leste (Part 1): A Day At The Market

Organic fruits and vegetables from the mountain are brought down by the farmers on vans like this one, to sell in the villages once a week. In a Timorese village in the district of Liquiçá, you can find anything from live pigs to tobacco to seaweed freshly caught off the coast. Comments? The urban experience of… Read More ›

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A Whole New World

Liquiçá, Timor-Leste — Being in a young country like Timor-Leste feels so new it’s like being in a big field of grass and watching, watching. For what, nobody can quite say. In conversation with the young Timorese, I tell them that their country has much potential to become a magnet for jaded travellers, for people… Read More ›

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The Adventure of My Life

On a quiet evening in February this year, I listened to two Singaporeans describe what it was like being part of a Christian network helping the people of East Timor—one of Asia’s poorest countries—rebuild this once-forsaken country, town by town, household by household, family by family. For far too long, East Timor had suffered terribly,… Read More ›

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Sea Anatomy

  In my recent venture into the sunlit depths, I realized that a lot of coral resemble the insides of our bodies. Looking at a giant brain coral for five minutes in the warm waters of the South China Sea, I wondered, which design came first? The brain coral or the brain of man? Is… Read More ›

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Tioman Revisited (1)

Tioman island, Malaysia. This hilly island and its surrounding isles was a popular dive spot for Singaporeans some twenty, thirty years ago. Unlike other West Malaysian dive spots like Redang quite far north or Langkawi on the eastern coast, Tioman was closer, about two hours by hydrofoil or 45 minutes by propeller plane. Singaporeans came… Read More ›

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A Burmese Picture Story

Recently, I’ve been reading George Orwell. You might remember that Orwell was an English author and journalist, who also wrote the acclaimed and once-banned books Animal Farm (1945) and 1984 (1949). Wikipedia describes his work as “marked by keen intelligence and wit, a profound awareness of social injustice, an intense opposition to totalitarianism, a passion for clarity in… Read More ›

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