What Timor Is Teaching Me About Conservation

Living in Timor has opened my eyes quite a lot to the issue of conservation. Like Gianna talked about in her last post, many of the problems we find in the environment are caused by humans messing things up in the first place. We have entire industries piggyback riding on the notion of becoming green and eco-friendly, because we … More What Timor Is Teaching Me About Conservation

Kitchen Innovations For the Lackluster Apartment

The very first host family I lived with since being in Timor was located in a subsistence farming community in the mountains. Being that the electricity regularly goes out (hello, candlelit dinner, reading, going to the outhouse…) cooking here is done in a very traditional manner, with a few modern twists. That said, my first … More Kitchen Innovations For the Lackluster Apartment

Identity Crisis

In a previous post, I talked briefly about how Timor’s history of colonialism had drastically affected the meaning of beauty in this country. For about 500 years, Timor-Leste has been controlled by others, and this has influenced their language, customs, and perspectives of other peoples. Almost 20 years since independence, you could call the current … More Identity Crisis

My Dear Host-Mother

We have a saying here in Timor-Leste and it goes like this: “Feto forte, nasaun forte.” It translates to “Strong women, strong nation,” and is a popular phrase blurted out in meetings concerning women and the future of this young country. Many of my fellow Peace Corps Volunteers have heard me talk about my host-mom … More My Dear Host-Mother

The Girls of Ermera

By Marta Gravier Back in the States, I grew up fitting into the standards of beauty mass media of the West has propagated since essentially forever. I was a little ballerina, tall and thin since childhood, with long brown hair, pale skin, and blue eyes. On top of that, I grew up in great neighborhoods … More The Girls of Ermera

The People You Meet

Disclaimer: The content of this blog post does not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Government, the Peace Corps, or the Timor-Leste Government. Six months ago, in what I thought was the hottest time of year, my newlywed husband and I boarded a series of planes across the world. We had joined the Peace … More The People You Meet