And Suddenly it’s over! This is the last day of the Solar PV training and my last day in East Timor!
It’s a day of mixed emotions, happy to be going home, but sad to leave such wonderful people and interesting work.
It was also a day of mixed fortunes as we only completed one the jobs today but we did complete the training and the student and teachers did a wonderful job wiring up the chapel.
As always, working on projects like this test your patience and resourcefulness and ours were certainly tested today.
We had a late start due to some last minute hiccups and then we needed to go over some training to make sure the students were ready for the installation. Because we were running late, the local shop ran out of food by the time we were ready to order our lunch and we were forced to send a car back to Dili to get the meals. Understandably, there were a few grumpy people in the team as we arrived mid afternoon still hungry and running late.
Things soon turned around once we met the local Padre and were offered coffe and freshly picked papaya, yum! Once we had a coffee and a chat the team got right into it and quickly started crawling all over the building installing lights in the chapel and living areas and the place was buzzing with excitement.
We worked until dusk and finally, in the fading light of a Timorese sunset, we switched on the system. The indicators all came up on the controller and we held our breath as the light switches were turned on…
…and then there was Light! Four lights in fact.
There were smiles and cheers all round as everyone went back and forth into the rooms to see what a difference the lights made. We were using 3W LED globe lamps and strip lamps and they put out a surpising amount of light. The system should perform very well and the Padre was very happy and thanked everyone for their efforts. He then suggested that he would like to say a prayer of thanks and asked us to gather round. I suggested that we use the chapel and his eyes lit up as he remembered that he could use the chapel at night and no longer needed candles or kerosene lamps. Needless to say, it was a very moving moment.
As it was getting very late, we agreed that the second system would have to be postponed and we proposed that some of the teachers would come back on Saturday to work with the students on the second system in the nearby village before getting ready for their training assignments next week.
After dropping off the students at their various communiities we went back into Dili for a celebratory dinner and drink. Then it was hugs all round and they were gone.
The program manager and I had a quick meeting and then I was on my own, in the hotel room packing and mulling over the last few weeks.The sights, the sounds, the people, the heat, the dust, the memories and the sounds of the wedding party in the reception centre behind the hotel that would continue all night and in to the morning.
Here are a few more happy snaps from the day, Cheers