What is a Foho Writer?

The literal meaning of the word ‘foho’ is ‘mountain’ in the language Tetun, one of the two official languages of Timor-Leste (East Timor), where I have lived for the past four and a half years. Foho also used colloquially to mean anywhere outside of the capital city, Dili, i.e. going to the districts/municipalities; similar to how in Australia we’d say we’re going to the bush.

I have been working for the past two years for an international non-government organization, which is implementing a project called ‘Ba Distrito’, which literally means ‘to the districts’. We have team members working in the foho – every day their job is to ride their motorbikes from village to village providing technical support for the training we provide to village councils – we call them ‘foho riders’ (tongue in cheek, it’s not their official title).

In my time with the project, I’ve been lucky enough to spend a little time in the foho. and While I started with Ba Distrito in a communications role as an Australian government-funded volunteer, I have moved onto a different role that’s more focused on program implementation, coordination, and operations.

I love my new job, but I miss writing, and looking back on the past year, I realised I’ve done a few fun things both in my work life and personal life.

And that, my friends, is how Foho Writer came about. I hope you enjoy.

(Image above taken from Balibo Fort Hotel, Balibo).