Children of Lafaek: The People and Culture of Timor-Leste

Learn another culture’s history and modern reality though the eyes of a traveler.

Landless Drifter

“Lafaek” is the Tetun word for crocodile and it is sacred for the Timorese. Legend says that the land is the body of the lafaek; the whole island of Timor is shaped like one–the lower body is West Timor and the head is East Timor. Whichever comes first–the legend or the map–lafaek is deeply embedded into the life and culture of the Timorese then and now.

The map of Timor-Leste is shaped like a crocodile’s head

Timorese-7 Timorese boys at Dili Beach

There may be several versions but this is the widely told and most concise story of the legend about The Boy and Crocodile, now a children’s book sold for the benefit of orphans in Timor-Leste.

Once there was a crocodile who dreamed of becoming a big crocodile. To follow his dream, he set off for the sea to find more food. Still far from the shore and under…

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What Students Really Need to Hear

Take a few minutes and read this teacher’s words. Think about it comment if you like, and go find his page and tell him what you think. I was inspired by his honesty and caring.


It’s 4 a.m.  I’ve struggled for the last hour to go to sleep.  But, I can’t.  Yet again, I am tossing and turning, unable to shut down my brain.  Why?  Because I am stressed about my students.  Really stressed.  I’m so stressed that I can only think to write down what I really want to say — the real truth I’ve been needing to say — and vow to myself that I will let my students hear what I really think tomorrow.

This is what students really need to hear:

First, you need to know right now that I care about you. In fact, I care about you more than you may care about yourself.  And I care not just about your grades or your test scores, but about you as a person. And, because I care, I need to be honest with you. Do I have permission to be…

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What about spring excites you?

About Spring

ImageWhite Irises

This Iris!Image

And This viewImage

Or this one.Image

And one more from the lake houseImage

Sorry that one is small, but special, as it survived the deer who seemingly eat everything.  These are some token examples of what I love about Spring.  Only the White and the Purple Yellow are under my Garden loving care, but I look for the others every year and smile!

Daily Prompt: It’s My Party but I will only be there as an Observer

Anglo Swiss has it all figured out. What do you think?

Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss

You’re throwing a party — for you! Tell us all about the food, drink, events, and party favours you’ll have for your event of a lifetime. Use any theme you like — it’s *your* party!

White Lily

A party? for me: no, I do not think so, I fall asleep at most parties. It is too strenuous for my advanced years. Everyone is drinking and I only drink mineral water or tea. Then we have the smokers, and smoke gets in my eyes, up my nose and in the surroundings. Reading this, I must be a real misery guts, no fun. Of course I like a plate of food, but who organises it all – me, because it is my party. Your guests must be entertained, so there will be music, dancing and fun. I hope the neighbours do not complain about the noise. As far as the dancing is concerned, that…

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It’s My Party


It’s My Party!!

You’re throwing a party — for you! Tell us all about the food, drink, events, and party favors you’ll have for your event of a lifetime. Use any theme you like — it’s *your* party!


I am having a party soon and it is the party of my dreams.  Like me, my dreams of what makes me happy are simple.  Required guests at the best party ever would be my family and a few friends, so that would be about 100 family plus 20 or so friends. My family spans 5 living generations so location would need to be accessible, outdoors with a picnic shelter or gazebo,  My Grandmother would have a place of honor as would my Granddaughter, the first in a new generation.  We would be in Northern Illinois and my cousins will bring all the Great Aunts and Uncles.  Family and friends would come from Illinois, Florida, Georgia, Washington, Colorado, Indiana, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Michigan,and Arizona.  White Pines State Park is the best place, plenty of green space, trails to hike for younger generations, and a ball field for an impromptu game of Softball. 

The food would be plentiful, down-home Midwestern dishes I was raised on like hamburgers, brats and chicken on the grill. Real charcoal and wood chips for that smokey flavor.  In good Southern tradition, fried chicken and slow roasted BBQ pork, pulled with rich tangy BBQ sauce on the side. Baked beans, potato salad, green salad, pickled beets, 3-bean salad, and Greek pasta salad with Feta and Kalamata olives would have to be there.  Cornbread, biscuits, and fresh baked dinner rolls with fresh tasty butter.  Corn on the cob, green beans, mashed potatoes, and peppery collard greens, and all kinds of raw veggies to crunch on.  Be sure to save some room for dessert cause there is sure to be berry pies and coconut cream pie, peach cobbler and apple crisp, Jello salads, and 5 kinds of cake, plus cookies, brownies and cut fruit salad. 

A rich gathering of people from all walks of life: farming, insurance sales, medical support, and doctors, customer service, librarians, preachers (7 of them!), teachers and professors, programmers and accountants, butchers and cooks, waitresses and wait staff, book sellers, writers, artists and homemakers.  A rich blend of backgrounds with political leanings from far right conservative to far left liberals, we set aside the differences to celebrate what matters, friendship, family, history, and learning.

It’s gonna be the best party ever!

From the daily prompt “

What do YOU do when life gets in the way?

ImageWhat do you do when life gets in the way of school or work? Illness in family at the beginning of term – 3 weeks of distraction and worry, then personal illness in last week of content teaching. I feel helpless, for I did the best I could to keep up, keeping my eye on the bigger picture of the final project and exam. One class’ content came a little easier than the other, but I am freaking out to have such low grades at the end of term! I really would love to hear your war stories. What life events happened, how did you respond, how did you get back on track.

I look at the picture I shared in media, me, at a Dean’s list celebration, the only one I went to, the first one.  My kids both came and i was proud.  I got straight A’s for 5 semesters, then life started getting in the way of my perfect student life.  I broke my left wrist…the one I write with, and seemingly the one that leads my brain in typing as well.  Got my first C and found it to be sickening, anger causing, “can’t forgive myself for being human and fragile”, My kids told me to get a grip.  I did, and life happened again and again, as  the classes got harder.  I learn something important about myself – I am a writer and it saved me.  I know it, my teachers knew it.  How to survive Statistics or Economics or Finance, where I got my only D so far.  Learn the language and write my heart out on those case studies, short answers and essays.  Now, on my spring break, and with one last 8 week session to go, I am looking ahead, I want writing in my life, I want all the words, and I want to share them.

The block quote above is copied from my LinkedIn account.  I only got 4 views, and not one like or comment.  I really do want to have this discussion with people, I really do want input for an article I am thinking of.  How do you keep your focus, your vitality when life gets in the way of your goals, whether they are about good grades, earning recognition or maybe that promotion?  How do you hold even professionally and publicly, when your personal life is going to hell in a hand basket.  How did you recover from that illness or car wreck. What if it was a loved one having the trouble instead.  If you can relate to any of these, please comment, or if you saw someone who blogged about one of these related topics, share the link.  Talk to me!  Add to my words so I can write 🙂