East Timor photos charm
March 19th, 2010
THE beauty of East Timor is on show as a new exhibition of photographs opens in Darwin tonight.
Former and present Darwinites Kate Sieper and Vicki Kerrigan are exhibiting pictures they took during a visit last year to encourage tourists to visit our impoverished neighbour, and to raise funds for a charity there.
Some of the most beautiful shots show the area around the fishing village of Tutuala, in the far east of East Timor.
Kerrigan, an ABC radio host, said she and Sieper, who works in the Prime Minister's office, caught a fisherman's boat for $US5 to Jaco Island, across the clear green waters, and found themselves quite alone.
"You are quite literally on a deserted island with some of the best snorkelling I have done in my life," she said.
"You don't even need polaroid sunnies (to see the sea glow green) - that's just what it looks like."
If tourists are seeking an off-the-track holiday, Kerrigan said this is as good a place than any.
"There's nobody there. There's just fishermen, virtually no tourists. It is untouched.
"It's such a poor country that even when we went to this eco-resort there was no water to drink.
"We were drinking Timorese coffee for three days.
"It just makes it part of the experience, and you have to be prepared for that when you travel in a country that has suffered as a result of occupation and war."
The exhibition will raise money for the charity Love Life and health, which does education, sanitation and agriculture work in East Timor.
Viva! Happy snaps of Timor Leste opens at CCAE Gallery, Harriet Place, Darwin, March 19.