Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Oecussi upgrade

The western enclave of Timor Leste, Oecussi, is an important region for the country. This area was the original landing point for the Portuguese on Timor Island, and was their first official colony (ca. 1702).  Following Timor Leste's independence from Indonesia in 2002, Oecussi remained with the Timorese.  The area hosts a geologic configuration much different than the rest of the country.  Here it is primarily composed of Banda Arc volcanic rocks - pillow basalts, tuffs, and volcanic breccias - that were derived from hundreds to thousands of kilometers to the north.  The backdrop of the photo below shows the basalts cloaked in the darkness of a looming storm.  Overall, the volcanic terrain looks much like picturesque photos of Hawaii, lush vegetation lines rugged, incised slopes.

Luis Teofilo wrapping up the new and improved Oecussi station.
We came to the Oecussi station that was originally installed in the province capitol, Pante Macassar. Based on previous on-site assessment and careful examination of the data, we were set on moving the station to a more quite location.  Too much local traffic and too close to the ocean (noise).  
We headed to a beautiful location four kilometers to the south in the village of Bobkase.  IPG director Eugenio Soares talked with local IPG staff and a nearby landowner to find us a suitable location. By this time, it was about 10:30am and the temperature was on the rise.  A max temp of nearly 40 C, Cooper and I spending 3 hours on the brink of heat stroke, and a few shovels in the ground led to a sweeeeet installation.  We can truly say we earned this one.

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