Broadcaster and author Karyn Hay makes a "life-enhancing" journey to 'Timor-Leste', not long after the withdrawal of United Nations peacekeepers. Hay reads up on the region's war-riddled past, encounters mosquitos and leaky boats, eats buffalo and snow peas, and learns about the widows and guerilla fighters who resisted Indonesian occupation. She is transported beyond the troubles to wonder at ancient cave paintings, bathe in turquoise waters, and reflect on charming children — and her hope that eco-tourism will offer a better life for a nation she senses is still "in shock".
Children line the roads, most of them smiling; a lot of them are under five and too young to have seen the violence the country has witnessed. I begin to sense an undercurrent to the smiling faces: this is a nation in shock.– From day two of Karyn Hay's East Timor diary