We live on the island of Timor, around half of which belongs to Indonesia, known as West Timor. The other half is the independent country of East Timor, or Timor Leste as it is officially called. It is a very beautiful island that we are living on, and we are hoping at times to explore it a bit more. Kupang is just a city, but even here there are nice scenic areas hidden away.
Water is an issue here. We are surrounded by it living on an island, yet there are at times water shortages. This is now the dry season, and lasts from around April to November. We have been here since the end of May, and it has only rained on a few occasions, and there was not much that came then anyway (this is in sharp contrast to what has been going on in Stavanger, Norway, where we lived before. A very bad summer…even by norwegian standards)! It is said that the dry season here is so dry that some crops have failed at times in years gone by, that there had almost been a famine of sorts out in the villages. Yet, this is in fact winter time here, as we are south of the equator. So it is actually cooler here than in the summer. Right now the temperature outside is 34.4 C. During the rain season, which is summer, it can get up to 40 C, we are told.
So, it is hot here, but we are getting used to it. It is important to drink enough water of course. However, we cannot drink directly from the tap (faucet/springen), as that is not clean enough. So, we buy in big bottles of water, which we can used for drinking and cooking. These are bought in various shops nearby, but sometimes they are out of stock for some days. Yet, it is not too difficult to find some water somewhere.
When it is hot, it is important to shower daily too. However, the street where we live only has running water once a week. Every house has a huge water tank outside in the front garden, which is filled up automatically when the running water is available (unfortunately, we are yet to have this automatic installation, so need our tank filled up in other ways, like from a lorry). Every house also has an electric water pump, for getting the water from the tank to the shower, toilet and tap. So, water can be used even on those days when there is no running water…as long as there is no power cut of course 🙂
There are other moments when the water just seems to come out of the ground like a fountain…like when a pipe bursts in a street for example. One day we drove past a pipe or something that had burst out even up onto the pavement. It was like a 2 to 3 metre high fountain, and there was water everywhere. Half an hour later, we drove that way again, and this time there was no fountain of water, just two very wet and angry men. They were soaked.
We have actually had it quite okay with water, our biggest challenge has been with the electricity, not with power cuts, but with the electricity flow to and within our house. But we don`t want to bore you with the details of that…well, maybe another time we can bore you with the details!