A day in the life

Here’s what an average weekday looks like in my life in Dili, Timor Leste!

6:15am: Alarm goes off, scramble out of my tent-like mosquito net, get changed into my #activewear and head outside for the group “bootcamp” in my courtyard out front with my fellow kiwis. This happens 3 days a week, the other days I’ll let myself sleep in or go for a run. Torture for the next 45 minutes, which usually includes; a 1km run for warm up, some HIIT (High intensity interval training) exercises followed by some core and stretch/warm down. After the exercise I shower and have Vegemite on toast for breakfast, which I am getting pretty sick of pretty quickly as I can’t find any good bread here and it’s all white and full of sugar- suggestions much appreciated!

On my way to work

8:15am: Leave the house to walk to work, in the process getting beeped at by every passing taxi and microlet and almost falling into the holes in the pavement about 10 times whilst trying to dodge the stinky nappy that was a dogs breakfast that morning.

Example of the footpaths around Dili, do not text and walk!

8:30am: Arrive at work, I am the first one there, always. Sit at my desk and check my socials and then get stuck into my work.. of course! I haven’t really got an average work day as it changes so often, everyday I do something different. Tasks I do at work include but are not limited to: designing feedback form, writing a survey, cataloging books, teaching others to catalog the books, helping with english classes, helping my workmates with their english, helping my boss with his assignments.

The Xanana Gusmao Reading Room

12:30pm: Lunch time, we get an hour for lunch and I usually go to a cafe/ restaurant. My favourite place for lunch is “Alexandres”, a Portuguese place where you can get rice, sauté veggies and chicken satay for $2.50, so cheap, filling and delicious! Usually for lunch I am by myself but sometimes I will meet up with a friend who works near by or bump into someone on the way.

$2.50 lunch! Can’t beat it

1:30pm: Back to work until 5:30, again the tasks I do vary, and sometimes there is nothing to do so I might start a blog post or watch a video or two on YouTube while I ponder what to do next.

5:30pm: Home time! I work right next door to a supermarket so if I need to get anything during the week I will do this on my way home, if I need veggies for tea that night there are also multiple market stalls en route home. Walking home takes about 15 minutes and I again hear beeping from every passing taxi as they crawl down the street.

4 way intersection on the way home, first come first serve basis with the give ways

6:30pm: I either begin to make tea or heat up leftovers from the night before. I find it hard cooking for one person so usually just make enough for at least two meals as it is super easy to reheat. The meat in the supermarkets is known to be a bit dodgy as it is almost all frozen but who knows how many times, and also in this heat can be tricky to defrost so I usually steer clear. Instead I use kidney beans or chickpeas most nights and try eat meat when I am out for a meal. During dinner I often chat with people on Facebook and/or watch an episode of whatever show I am currently watching.

7:30pm: After dinner I do my dishes (let’s be honest sometimes I leave them for a while, maybe even till the morning, which the ants absolutely love) and then usually watch another episode of whatever while I write any to do lists or workouts for the next sessions etc. and have some fruit for dessert

My favourite fruit over here! Passionfruit and a good book for the night


9:15pm: Time to get ready for bed. Normally I am a night owl, but here in Timor, when the sun goes down it is very dark as street lights are not that common, it is also not advised that I go out as a women by myself after dark. Therefore most nights I stay at home, especially during the week. Watching episode after episode can get a bit boring so I try and limit myself to 3 a day, I also don’t want to run out of things to watch! I try to read most nights for half an hour+ on my eReader that I got for Christmas.

10:00pm: Sleep! Around 10 pm each night I try to go to sleep. Sometimes, if I’m lucky I can even drift off to the sound of cockroaches crawling around my room, or even better there’ll be some celebration in the neighbourhood which means loud music is playing all night!


All times are obviously approximate and also on ‘island time’, especially at work. There’s no rush for anything around here!


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