I never thought before. I will set foot on this Indonesia-Timor Leste border district. When registering for the SM3T program (Bachelor Educating in the Frontier, Outermost, and Disadvantaged Areas), North Central Timor district was not yet the target area for SM3T teacher placement.
I remember once, when I first knew I was placed in Timor Tengah Utara (TTU), what I felt was an oddity. It's strange because I don't know that Indonesia, my country, has a district named TTU. I can't imagine anything. Until my friends and I, searching information together on google.
What we know first is the popularity of this area, corn. The news written on Google, TTU community's main food is corn. Besides that, TTU is also famous for sour fruit, betel nut and whiting, eucalyptus oil, sandalwood, woven cloth, and the house of palm leaves.
The majority of TTU people are Catholic. Reportedly Muslims are very few there. We also turned out to be slightly overcome by concern. TTU community culture likes to drink sofi (alcoholic drinks from palm leaves) and like to dance too little makes us thinking out loud. Some of us have even started learning how to refuse if they offered to drink sofi or if offered a dance.
The TTU nature is very dry. Rain falls very rarely there. Trees lose their leaves. The river loses its water. In TTU district water needs for daily use must sometimes be purchased.
TTU land is lime soil. The water there is slightly cloudy white due to chalk. Reportedly the land of the island of Timor is indeed coral. And the TTU is right in the dry area. There is a problem that there are fertile areas like mountainous areas. But only in some regions.
Life in TTU is hard. Very few sources of community income. Because nature is less supportive. Most people do not have a stable source of income. Just simply picking up sour fruit or collecting insignificant firewood.
If the rainy season arrives, people will plant corn. That is not how much. Only enough for family meals. The corn they planted is not planted in large quantities with the intention to trade. Corn is planted only to feed their families.
The community has a harvest barn. If the harvest is finished, the harvest will be stored for food supplies until the next season arrives.
For other vegetables or fruit and rice and spices are brought in from the neighboring district. However, because the amount of harvest there is indeed small, the price is expensive.
Once my friend bought papaya fruit for Rp. 20,000. That's only half the fruit. They said it was cheap. I've asked a small watermelon for a size, but the price is Rp. 40,000. There have been people selling durian at a price of Rp. 350,000.
Clothing, home furnishings, are very expensive there.
The cheapest one is meat. Only Rp. 500,000 has been given a goat. And the price of 4 million can already get cattle.
Regarding the state border, in TTU there are three state border points. One, at Napan. Two, in Haumeniana. Three, in Wini.
Napan is an ordinary border and guarded by TNI border guards. Haumeniana is unique. Here there is a combined market of two countries. International Haumeniana Market. In this market the currencies of Indonesia and Timor Leste are officially valid. Sellers and buyers are a combination of two countries. The buyer, of course, is a community member around the border.
Uniquely, at this border there is a school. Even East Timorese are there. And the Haumeniana border is quite crowded. Like community housing gatherings. In Haumeniana, this is a small road that limits two countries. Where the house across the country is different.
One more border in Wini. Wini is a tourist area. It's famous for its beautiful beach, Wini Beach and Tanjung Bastian Beach. There is also a horse racing arena which is usually held annually in August. This is where border tourism is. Because it is close to the tourist beach and close to the port.
TTU is a district that originates from a combination of three kingdoms, the Miomafo kingdom, Biinmafo, and Insana. The TTU icon is a statue of three kings in front of its DPRD office.
There is also a State University in TTU, Universitas Timor (UNIMOR). It located in Kefamenanu (the capital of TTU). It makes many students come from other districts around TTU.
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