News: Partner’s Perspective: Ahisaun visits Atauro

Kristina Gunawan and members of Ahisaun Foundation swim at Atauro Island
In December 2010, 16 members of Ahisaun Disability Foundation visited Atauro island for one week. For a long time Mr Barry has invited Ahisaun to come to Atauro. Mr Lukas and Mrs Kris accompanied us during the whole trip there. All the members of Ahisaun felt happy and enjoyed the trip because this is first time we have visited Atauro.

When we arrived in Atauro we felt tired because of the early start and some of us also were not feeling well during the ferry trip. So we had a rest and just relaxed during the day. We made a schedule to assign responsibilities amongst ourselves for those who will cook, clean, etc.

At Manu-Koko village we visited Fr Sico and Fr Luis at their Italian restaurant and we saw people who were showing how to make tofu. After that we visited those people who make the dolls and bags – Boneka is the name of the place. Many people work together as a team: some measure to make the pattern, some cut the material, some sew the pieces together and it becomes a doll.  From Boneka factory we went to visit a community of deaf people; they seemed very happy and they make bracelets, necklaces and rings from seeds and fruits.

On Friday Mr Lukas prepared a game of hiding some chocolates and jelly that we need to find it, like a treasure hunt. Before we were notified, some of us had spotted these little sweets but we thought they may be rat poison. We laughed about it later. We had lots of fun searching for them and afterwards we shared together what we found.

In the afternoon we discussed and planned together activities that we can do this year at Ahisaun, especially some creative things that we haven’t yet done, like making a music album from our songs and making sewing designs. We worked in small groups to share our ideas and opinions and then presented our work to the whole group. Working together like this was a new and interesting experience for us.

Saturday was the final day in Atauro before heading back to Dili. Mr Lukas and Mrs Kris asked each one of us to write our own evaluation about our holiday and to share what we liked and didn’t like. During the week on Atauro, we swam, rested, found crabs, shared a lot of funny stories, played the guitar, and played games on the beach.

To all friends who helped to make this trip possible for us we say a big thank you! And for Mr Lukas and Mrs Kris who accompanied us and planned this trip thank you very much. Obrigado barak!

Eliza Da Silva and David Marcel

Eliza and David, two members of Ahisaun Disability Foundation, tell of their visit to Atauro organised by Lukas and Kristina Palms’ volunteers with Ahisaun and Barry Hinton, manager of Nema’s Eco-Lodge and Palms’ in-country co-ordinator.

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