“Companions on the Journey” – A Reflection on the Railaco Immersion Tour, Timor-Leste

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My son Elijah (10) and I went to Timor Leste with a great desire to ‘help’, but I left satisfied that simply being me (a mother, a wife, a friend, a teacher) and ‘sharing life’ with the people, especially in the remote area of Railaco, was the greatest gift I could give.

It is difficult to sum up a week of the most authentic, awe inspiring and humbling experiences but I share here a few special connections made on our journey to becoming ‘no longer strangers’, but good neighbours and caring companions to the people of Timor- Leste.

In the absence of a shared language, I experienced the simple yet extraordinary power a smile can have. The silent ‘knowing’ between mothers, sharing food, singing and dancing together – all can engender trust and cement even the most unlikely of friendships.

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