Qulalane* Falls, Makhaleng River, Lesotho

At the end of February I was lucky enough to shown one of my colleagues favorite places in Lesotho, Qulalane Falls. The only condition was that I take her on the back of the bike over the two mountain passes that had to be crossed to get to the hike starting point . We set out early from Maseru on a sunny Saturday, with two other friends joining in a car to make a convoy of it.

The pictures below show the hike in, and the falls. What they do not show is the thunderstorm that rolled in while we hiked back after lunch. They don’t show the hail, flash flooded roads, lightning and thunder. Most spectacular and scary of all was the fountains created as rain water poured down the gutters and hit piles of rocks in its path, spraying water 2 meters in the air and all over the road.

The bad weather created an interesting moral dilemma. It placed me in a position where I felt that it was an unnecessarily high risk for my colleague to ride on the back of the bike. Especially given there was room in the dry, warm, comparatively safer car, and my colleague did not have a proper jacket. My colleague disagreed, passionately, so I drove off without her, removing her freedom of choice. Was this right or wrong?

Thanks also to Max for the group shot and a few of these photos

* Not sure about spelling. Suggestions welcome!

Timor-Leste Values

This report contains probably the most useful information you could have if your working or planning to work in TL.

The report is a detailed assessment of the values of the Timorese people. Through a series of interviews and questionnaires they assess 1,200 people to determine what it is that will motivate them and which values will be aligned to and assist ‘development’.

Unfortunately, I do not necessarily agree with the analysis, as ‘development’ is defined strictly in terms of western capitalistic and materialistic values. It seems ironic to me that they bothered to do the study only to identify what values would be problematic and may need to be circumvented, changed or kept under careful and watchful scrutiny in order to conduct successful ‘development’ of western values. Surely the analysis should have been centred on answering the question ‘How do we develop Timor so that what the Timorese value is maximised?’

Regardless, the results are very useful and provide significant insight into why Timorese act or behave the way they do in some situations. Bearing in mind that this is a generalisation or stereotyping exercise based on a a nationally representative sample and supported by additional interviews with teachers, academics and senior social figures.

I strongly encourage all foreigners working in Timor to read this report and keep these Timorese values in mind when you think of ‘development’.