Bem vindos ao diário de uma brasileira em Timor-Leste - uma meia-ilha no outro lado do planeta que a todos encanta com a magia do canto de uma sereia.
Ou seria o canto de um crocodilo? Bem... em se tratando de Timor, lafaek sira bele hananu... :-))

sábado, 12 de junho de 2010


This is the story of a little monkey called Chiquita (Chica, for friends) who lives in Timor-Leste, but she needs help to be taken to Brazil. If you feel touched by the situation, help me in any way you can - SOS Chica!


My name is Telma and I am a Brazilian teacher living in Dili, capital of Timor-Leste, a half-island among the archipelago of Indonesia and Australia, which has being rebuilt after 24 years of war. I came here to work in a humanitarian mission promoted by the Brazilian government in agreement with the Timorese government.


I arrived in January 2010, and I rented a room in the house of a Timorese family. It is a common procedure here, at least among the foreigners that don't have wages as good as the United Nations employees or some Non-Governmental Organizations working in the country.

In the back yard of the house there was an improvised cage made with two fan covers wrapped up by a net and there was inside the smallest tiny monkey that I’ve already seen. I’ve been told that she belonged to a person in the family and that should be about two or three months old. Inside the “cage” just a piece of dry bread and some dirty rags. Nor a single drop of water.

The little monkey was so dehydrated that I don't know how she survived. Maybe it took drops of water from the rain, but I had to teach her to drink water using a feeding bottle. I decided “to adopt” the little monkey and the first providence to take, of course, it would be to arrange an actual cage for her. Me and Roberto, other teacher who also rents a room in the house, bought the material and the Timorese family took care of building the cage.

Every morning I’d clean the new cage, change the water and put fresh fruits. Chica also adores sunflower seeds and her favorite dish is, without a doubt, peanuts. She is extremely affectionate and as she was moved away of her mother very early, she is also very shy and become deranged to any caress.

In a period of eight days off the work in the Brazilian cooperation, I took advantage to travel to Indonesia, not without assigning my friend and neighbor Erivelto - one more Brazilian teacher living at the house - of taking care of the monkey. He wrote me everyday saying that Chica missed me, but that would be natural and even expected. Two days before my return Erivelto called very worried saying that the little monkey was had wounded her right arm and the tissue was already dead. He also sent, by e-mail, the picture of her with a black and very dry arm.

I was terrified and began to ask for my friends help. A friend of mine, a biologist called Lotte, went to the house to see the monkey and said that she should be sacrificed, which, for my happiness, Erivelto didn't allow. When I arrived, before leaving the suitcase in the room, I ran to see my Chiquita who was sad and depressed, showing to me her dead arm.

I contacted Dr. Antonino, a veterinarian denoted by my friend Lucimar, who came to pick Chica up and took her to his clinic where she had her arm amputated. Until the doctor was moved by the situation and he posted some pictures of the surgery in Facebook (http://www.facebook.com).

Chiquita is already back home, and with a lot of courage, she gets used to her new condition. I want to thank my friends from the Brazilian mission still not mentioned - Adriana, Anderson, Cleto, Fábio, Gladcya, Grazy, Rosilene Costa, Rosilene Melo and Sansão. They offered valuable support to me and my little monkey and helped us to go through this hard time. Even my guardian angel for every moment, my good friend Simone, has been here visiting Chica while I was away.

The matter now is the following: what will happen to Chica when I finish my mission in Timor? I’ll return to Brazil next December and I want A LOT to take the little monkey with me. I live in an apartment building  quite large in Flamengo (Rio de Janeiro) but I know that it isn’t the most appropriate place for her. I also have a house in Teresópolis (highland city around 90 km from downtown) where I have all space she needs, besides having a caretaker who can take charge of feeding her when I am not there. My idea would be to build a nursery of at least 20 square meters where she could have space to live among the trees. 

But how to take Chica from Timor-Leste to Brazil? I’ve been told that she cannot be qualified as a wild animal anymore, given her disability, besides had been raised in captivity. If Chiquita would already have difficulty to readapt to her natural habitat when she was perfect, what about now, without an arm... I do need all help that one can offer to get the authorization to take Chica and I haven’t calculate the transport cost yet, but I’m determined to move skies and lands to offer the best for this sweet monkey who has already suffered that much. I cannot leave her here with the family that treated her like nothing. As I arrived here on January 21st, 2010 and they said that the little monkey was about two months, I set her birthday on November 15th. Who knows if being born with the Brazilian Republic will help her to get support from Brazilian Embassy in Dili?


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