A thank you from Timor Leste

Clinic staff were very excited to have new medical equipment delivered from Australia. Doug Hawken, Roger Hood, and Bill Shallvey had some difficulty maneuvering this cot through the doorways.

Clinic staff were very excited to have new medical equipment delivered from Australia. Doug Hawken, Roger Hood, and Bill Shallvey had some difficulty maneuvering this cot through the doorways.

“Obrigadu” (tetun for “thank you”) – from Timor Leste (Timor).

Dear Editor, your readers will recall the story in the Parkes Champion Post (Friday, June 17) about the consignment of surplus medical equipment from our Forbes and Parkes Hospitals.  Below is a thank you from Dr Martins.

Per Dr Orlando’s note (below) we are pleased to advise that the 40 foot container of equipment has been safely delivered to three clinics in Timor – a logistical and physical challenge for all those involved. Following our local teams yearly visit in July, Roger Hood, Doug Hawken and Bill Shallvey returned to Timor to help with the unpacking, loading and delivery to three remote villages, the Health District of Alas. Thanks to the wonderful efforts of Potts Removals and Linfox the container arrived August 8.

Martina de Jesus had just given birth when this photo was taken. She is sitting on a donated bed and mattress.

Martina de Jesus had just given birth when this photo was taken. She is sitting on a donated bed and mattress.

Loading five trucks proved a challenge with the humidity and heat, but not as difficult as three Aussies communicating in Tetun. After an early start we were loaded by mid-afternoon, the trucks left Dili for a 12 hour journey on some pretty torrid “roads”.  

We arrived after midnight, then the trucks turn up wanting to unload immediately - a long day finished at 3.30am. However, the task of collecting equipment from Forbes and Parkes Hospitals, cataloging, loading, transporting via Sydney and Indonesia to Dili for delivery to the remote clinic of Weberek essentially done.

The next week we finished the fencing of the clinic at Weberek, trying to get cots etc through doorways not built to Australian specifications, putting beds back together etc

The excitement of hospital staff to have new equipment to the joy of seeing a mother utilising a decent maternity bed.  An elderly sick man happy to have a “foto” taken with his family on a recently delivered modern bed that we take for granted. On behalf of all involved in this project we formally recognise and thank:

Malcolm Stacey and Lachlan Health Services Forbes/Parkes for their vision and pro-active support ensuring this valuable equipment was put to good use.  The late Deborah Hunter who supported us clearing any departmental hurdles.

The local branch of Rotary, Parkes Ex-Serviceman’s Club and the Assemblies of God Congregation in Parkes for their financial and prayerful support.   Forbes and Parkes Shire Councils for their collaborative and generous financial support under the “Friendship Agreement”.

Our own Parkes and Peak Hill Uniting Church congregations for embracing the people of Timor as part of their wider Mission, for their prayerful, personal and financial support. The new glucometers, nurses kits, nebulizers, baby scales etc all shared between clinics.

Don McLeod for his generosity and patience providing space to secure this equipment. The many locals who volunteered at short notice for numerous working bees. Anglicare, Quota and Quilting teams for their contributions.   Every person who provided clothing and financial support. Our local papers who take a supportive interest in local initiatives. Again thanks to the Potts Group and Linfox. To the Team at Para Marcia for their logistical expertise in coordinating this exercise.

And finally to our friends in Timor who welcome us into their communities, their lives and struggles. For the wonderful example they set for us of happiness and humility even in the face of their struggles. It impossible to spend time in Timor and not be emotionally effected by these people.

Doug Hawken and Roger Hood experienced their first trip to Timor Leste.

“Our first impressions in Dili were the humidity even though it was winter, busy with crowds of people in a small area, streets milling with people, lots of traffic, motor bikes and dogs. Goats, pigs, dogs and cattle roamed everywhere, particularly in the villages.   Travelling to Weberek through little fishing villages on the coast saw very mountainous landscapes with sheer rocky cliffs, a formidable coastline with few trees, shrubs or grass. Venturing inland the countryside becomes steep and rugged, roads deteriorate taking seven hours to travel 180 kilometres.   In Weberek we find poor but neat housing, a church, school of sorts, a clinic managed by a nurse and doctor on a part time basis and the main house where Lucinda an Australian missionary lives.   The Timorese are happy people who live simply. It was good to move among the people as they grew their fruit and vegetables. It was rewarding that the three of us were able to make things a little more comfortable for our missionaries Lucinda and Alina by some repairs to their home, but we left disappointed to leave them without a permanent supply of drinking water. The bore pump failed and needs replacing. Being an encouragement to the village of Weberek is rewarding and the children soon steal your hearts and emotions.  Visiting Timor Leste reminds us how lucky we are to live in a land of plenty. Our response to this trip – when do we go again?” Doug and Roger.

Thank you again to all those that supported us.

Bill Shallvey, on behalf of “Team Timor”.

For more information visit www.paramarcia.org

To the Mayors of Parkes and  Forbes Shire Councils, and your communities.

Dear Ms Miller and Mr Keith, we refer to your kind note of June 16, detailing a consignment of donated hospital and other equipment for our local health district of Manufahi which includes our remote villages of Wedaurberec, Weberek and the town of Same. 

I am sure that Roger, Doug and Bill have already informed you that the container of equipment was delivered to our clinics and district hospital in good condition in the early hours of Wednesday, August 10. We were delighted and extremely grateful to receive this gift. Please be assured that every piece of that consignment will be put to good use.

We know that through many years of visitation into our hospitals, homes and villages that your teams wonderfully lead by Geoff and Viv Steventon fully understands the difficulties for Timor Leste in providing a basic supply of medical equipment and supplies to our more remote clinics. Your consignment was certainly needed and will provide a great boost for not only our patients but it also provides encouragement for our health professionals and support staff in understanding that some others from far away care about Timor Leste and our people.

Thank you to those who had the vision for this project, to those authorities that helped in the various processes including offering advice in getting donated goods into Timor Leste. Thanks you also to those companies that offered logistical support and to your local teams that did the hard physical work that made it all happen. Thank you again for your continued support through your community members coming to help us, for this consignment and for the financial support you offered to undertake this initiative.

Rest assured that there are many more villages, communities and clinics that would be grateful to receive similar support if opportunities arise from your hospital systems in Australia in future years. We value your friendship and the partnership we have with your communities.

Florencia Corte-Real Tilman, Lic SP – Head of the Health,  Orlando Martins – Head of Community Health Centre Alas, 

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