Mr Alf has worked harder than anyone I know. For the last three years, he has personally supervised the planning and construction of the Gariuai MHPP, a small hydroelectric power project in Baucau. Using a local company for the construction, making this a training project required an extreme effort from Mr Alf's side, who also oversaw the planning for the Iralalaru HPP (a project which may save East Timor about 50 million dollar annually when implemented!), started the establishment of a national hydrological network, and managed training of local staff as well as maintaining relationships with the authorities. Work for three people, at least – this man has a heart stronger than the average bull! I have also heard people referring to him as "the nicest man in the country", a claim many people (including me) would not dream of challenging.
Challenges have however been aplenty for Mr Alf. The last one was a natural disaster in Gariuai, seriously damaging the penstock of the power plant, halting it's operations. Within three weeks of the first signs, and while damages still evolving, he had the consultant with one of Norway's best geologists on site, assessing how to deal with this. The man wants a solution implemented, asap! Others would still consider which reports to write...
Mr Alf is supposed to leave East Timor this July. This will indeed be a great loss – for East Timor, for the Norwegian society there, and for me personally: I will have to look elsewhere for much needed inspiration... Anyway, here's to Mr Alf, may you have a great life after East Timor! (If you really have to leave, that is...)
PS: For more information about Mr Alf's work in East Timor, please see the HydroTimor website, witch includes downloadable info and a blog.