I can repeat the dizzying bus rides and the challenging 2.5-hour walk just to see again this paradise I owned even for a while. Burying my feet with powdery white sand and studying my reflection on the clear waters, I feel like I am stranded on an island far from everywhere and everyone. If there is an edge to the world, it is here in Jaco Island.
It is still dark and other than the reflection of the evening light on the tips of rice stalks, I’m in an ocean of darkness, which is comforting because here I can easily drown in strangeness…or maybe not. I know we are surrounded by vast rice fields. Maliana is the rice bowl of Timor-Leste especially during the Indonesian occupation when it supplies the staple food to the rest of the country.