if bali felt like a "home-coming" in a more abstarct sense, returning to dili has all the concrete elements of coming back to your home village: friends, acquaintances and vaguely familiar faces everywhere. even the otherwise rather surly lady at timor telecom flashed me a smile of recognition.
something has changed in the atmosphere in dili over the past 5 months that i havent been here. i cant put my finger on what exactly it is and i'm tentatively venturing to say that its been a change for the better. on the up-side of things, theres a lot more people out on the streets, some of the most lethal potholes have been covered up, theres less vehicles with windows smashed by stoning going around and there seems to be a bit of an economic recovery (or at least theres a lot of construction work going on). on the down side, you still have the idp camps and you can see some newly torched buildings in town, burned in the post-election violence. in the ambiguous category is the fact that the presence of us foreigners is more visible than last time.
some things havent changed, though, such as the constant buzz of blackhawks, having rocks land on the roof of the cafe i was in last night, or, more positively, the beauty of the whole place and of the people.