Name: Tarry V. Le, FSC 05
From: Portland, OR
Tarry atop Mount Calvary overlooking the city.
Short reflection: "I was in East Timor volunteering as an English
teacher. During my time in Timor, God taught me the meaning of love
through sacrifice. I was faced with many difficulties in my community, I
was there to love my students and I loved them despite the pain. As "I
was in East Timor volunteering as an English Short a result I was able
to build very strong relationships with my students. a result I was able
to build very strong relationships with my students. My mission in
A few Excerpts from Tarry's online journal:
2nd October, 2005. 4:29 pm. In East Timor
After a 34 hour plane trip, I finally arrived in East Timor, but before
making it to East Timor, God sent me an angel to calm my anxieties.
She is a worker for the UN in East Timor and I met her in the airport.
She told me a bit about the governmental policies and about the
corruption in East Timor. I didn't even get her name.
Timor is very beautiful. The rugged mountains extend from the east to
the west, while at the north end there is a lovely white sand beach with
crystal clear water. But there are also very run-down homes made of
pieces of wood and scrap metal, especially in the more mountainous
The community here has been very hospitable. They feed me three
times a day, and I am invited to join them for mass and rosary although
it is said it Tetum. I'm learning the language a little more every day.
Two weeks before I arrived, a stranger left a three-year old boy in the
community. The priest and brothers are taking care of him until he is
old enough to be placed in an orphanage. We call him Don Bosco.
Surprisingly, I have adapted very well to the new environment.
THANKS BE TO GOD!
15th October, 2005. 5:38 am. Week Two
Things are getting busy now. I will be teaching English 14 hours next
week, like a full time teacher. I wonder if I get health benefits. I am so
grateful to God that he has given me the grace to maintain an
environment of love in the classroom. I may not teach English very
well, but if I can love the students and teach them how to love, I would
greatly thank the Lord for it. Ahh, yes God has been good and I have
been humbled indeed.
I am still getting adjusted to the temperature around here. They say it’s
near 35-degrees Celsius, so in the 90’s.
I enjoy stability and constancy in life, but I have never received it. I
think this is my lot in life, the lot of instability. Although I have not
formed strong relationships with people, my relationship with God has
been steadily growing. He is the one constant in my life. My life can be
summarized by the following equation:
Tarry’s Life = people (x^3) + activities (x^2) + places (x) + GOD
May the Lord give you His peace!
25th November, 2006. 5:08 pm. GOOD NEWS
This may sound ironic but the good news is I have malaria. I’m feeling
much better now after taking medications. Why is this good news?
Because I know why I was feeling so tired and weak all last week. At
that time I did not understand why I was feeling the way I was. How
could I complete my service with joy? Now I know that my condition was
a result of malaria, and that gives me great joy! I give thanks to God
because I did not have the other symptoms such as severe headache,
chills, muscle pains, and bone aches.
25th February, 2008. 4:22 pm. Settling In
I know that I'm a missionary, but that doesn't neccesarily mean that I
will have all these exciting stories. For me now, life has become a
participate in the community life of the Salesians and I teach my
classes. But with the pattern of daily life I come to enjoy it and even to
love it. Last year, I it was difficult for me to be motivated to teach
classes and I always looked forward to my Sabbath's rest. Now, I take it
one day at a time, but I enjoy it a lot more. God revealed to me that I
can enjoy teaching classes, so that is what I have been doing. Also, my
students are growing on me. The technical boys and the pre-sisters. I
have always had a special affection to those whom I serve. Just like at
UP. I remember my REX community so much because I served the
community for four years. Now I am serving my students. It is okay that
I have not been all over the country. I am willing to commit all my time
to my 150 students.
If you don't know how to love, just serve and God will do the rest.
25th March, 2008. 3:58 pm. My Experience in Venilalae
days off work and visit a few towns in Timor.
On to beautiful Venilalae. Simply put, I fell in love with the place. One,
Venilalae reminded me of the great Northwest. The climate is cool, the
rain is a constant companion, hills are covered with green foliage, and
the sky seems a bit more decorated during the evening. It was great to
escape the heat of Dili and immerse myself in Venilalae’s coolness.
Two, I met up with two volunteers. They are both VIDES volunteers, as
myself. One is named Ina, from Portugal. The other is named Ute, from
Germany. On Saturday and Sunday, we had dinner together at the
school of the Salesian Sisters. Ina tries to speak with me in English, but
her English is quite poor. With Ute, I can speak English normally.
Thanks be to God!
And three. There were children. Ahh yes, I do love being with God’s
chosen ones. Sometimes, I think they are the only ones who
understand me. After taking a long snack with Ina, Ute, Sr. Beatrice
and Sr. Jana, I asked if I could visit their orphanage. So they lead me
across the street to Mary Help Orphanage. It is an orphanage for
about 100 girls ages 5-15. Some of the girls are there because their
families are unable to support them. Others because their parents
entrusted them to the care of the Sisters before the Indonesian
invasion in 99’. Still others due to abusive families. As I entered the
first boarding room of the orphans it was mostly empty. The room was
filled with about 50 bunk beds which lined the roomed. I slowly made
my way to the back of the room, where I met a few orphans. Initially,
they were a little shy. I said to them:
“Boa tarde, diak ka lae?” – Good afternoon, how are you?
No response. I continued:
“Hau-nia naran Tarry, keta tauk” - My name is Tarry, do not be afraid.
Then one of the orphans quickly came up to me and shook my hand
“Hau-nia naran Bernadina” –My name is Bernadina.
Next I went outside with a few orphans tagging along beside me.
Outside, Sr. Apollonaria was cutting the hair of some of the girls. I
spoke with her as she cut. We spoke about my work in Timor and
about my plans for next year. There were a few orphans who sat upon
the steps, picking the lice from each others hair. This is a common
practice in Timor and to perform such a service is a great act of love.
After speaking with the orphans, I made my way to the Sisters for
dinner. That night as I was walking past the Orphanage, three guard
dogs began barking ferociously. I shuffled backwards and started
walking in another direction. Then four orphans came to my rescue.
They said that the other path was even more dangerous because
those dogs bite, so the four of them walked me to the entrance of the
seminary and said good night. Safe! I think God was watching over me
with his little angels that night.
I hope you are well. Congratulations, you have made it half way
through Lent. Don’t forget to renew your initial fervor.
30th March, 2008. 2:52 pm. The Situation in Dili
During the past few days there have been acts of violence amoung two
groups in Timor. The two groups are Sunrise (Pro-Independence) and
stones and fighting. Yesterday, a police officer was stabbed. Some of
the people are afraid and are avoiding walking at night. Please pray
for the peace of the country of East Timor. I don't believe this is
anything major, but it could get worse as elections approach next year.
20th June, 2008. 11:21 am. I'm back
situation in East Timor was becoming very unstable and still is. Many
houses and shops have been burned, over 100,000 people have left
their homes, and at least 20 people have died. The school that I was
teaching at housed 13,000 refugees the day I left. The conditions at
the school isquite poor as food and water is limited. Sanitation is
lacking, dust is prevalent. A cold night wind hovers over the camp.
People are idle. The situation in Timor is not good. Please pray for
peace and justice in East Timor.
Here's the current problem in Timor. 591 military soldiers were
dismissed by the government. They held a demonstration that ended
with violence. After which the government ordered all the 591 former
military soldiers to be killed. So there was fighting between the military.
The US Embassy encouraged all non-emergency personnel to leave
the country. I really didn't want to leave, and my heart is still in Timor.
But now I am here in the US just waiting. I'm not sure where the Lord is
step. Please pray for the East Timorese people that they may continue
to hope in the goodness of our Lord and turn to Him in this time of trial.
Interests: Hunger relief, religious education, Marian devotion,
|VIDES accompaniment in EAST TIMOR
|[Promoted by the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians Salesian Sisters www.cgfmanet.org]
Volunteers International for Development Education & Solidarity
|"Experiencing, Sharing Life in Christ"