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Parabens fali – congratulations again!

You have arrived at the “Corner” / the kruzamento in Tetum.

This place is legendary! Before this you have been following your nose on the main road that crosses the island but now you turn hard right, you leave mostly sealed road and bump slowly over worn stones set in the path by the Portuguese, through sections of mud, and wind a touch perilously around the sides of steep hillsides. Proceeding is slower now, only 18 kms to go but it could take you 1.5 hours by car, 4 hours by foot.

If you thought you were travelling through pretty beautiful country before, be prepared for repeated states of awe. The vistas are long, sometimes all the way to the sea across huge mountains, uma luliks dot the hills, massive forests sit next to open slopes where ponies and buffalos wander. You will walk through villages with houses with crumbling facades, churches, sacred buildings, cemeteries, schools, local markets, people smiling and enthusiastic to see you pass by.

If you, by mistake, missed the corner and walked on straight ahead you would pass through the other half of the sub-district of Hatobuilico and end up in the municipal capital, Ainaro Vila.

This checkpoint features some of the projects that the Blue Mountains have established along the road from the kruzamento to Ainaro, in villages such as Aituto, Mauchiga, Tatiri, Hautio, Nunomogue.

Fiona Christian and Anne McKenzie were Blue Mountains “pioneers” when they stayed up in Hatobuilico for 3 months in 2010. Plotting walking options in neighbouring hillsides they not only wrote a booklet with walks described but contributed to the deep relationship that has developed from then. Read here about one of Fiona’s experiences at the “turn off” to Hatobuilico. 

Walk slowly now – you would not want to miss a thing! Lao halimar neineik – walk slowly – no haree estrada.

Playground equipment for better health and learning

Your fundraising has built a playground in a preschool in Aituturino, just south of the corner leading to Hatobuilico. Read about why and what here … and listen to the children singing. 

Mauchiga

From the famous “corner” you can travel on to Ainaro or up the mountain side to Mauchiga, one of the three sucos that make up the sub-district of Hatobuilico. 

The Blue Mountains have made their mark on Mauchiga by providing scholarships to university for students from the area and supporting women’s futures by building a women’s centre for victims of sexual violence during the Indonesian period.

There’s lots to read about Mauchiga here.

Women in Hautio and Tatiri build a future

 Women get a pretty raw deal in Timor. Many don’t get past class 2 at school, many are illiterate, most women in rural areas are subsistence farmers, families are still large (not long ago family size was the biggest in the world), opportunities for education, careers and transition from grinding poverty is limited, violence against women is unacceptably high, participation in decision making is low.

This is why the Blue Mountains are actively supporting women in Hatobuilico.

Drive or walk on from the “corner” and you reach Hautio and then Tatiri, home for two vibrant, determined and energetic women’s groups. Read on