Tribute to Mr Alf

Sometimes you meet a person that inspires you more than most. I met one in the fellow Norwegian Alf Adeler, or "Mr Alf" as he is known in East Timor. I've had the pleasure of helping him with info materials (brochures, photos, videos, website, blog) on his hydroelectric power development projects in East Timor (aka Timor-Leste) the last couple of years.

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.
From the damage assessment visit to the damaged Gariuai site, where possible solutions were discussed from arrival. No desperation, just constructive sadness over Nature's eruption.  Photo © Basil Rolandsen (http://bouvetmedia.com)

From the damage assessment visit to the damaged Gariuai site, where possible solutions were discussed from arrival. No desperation, just constructive sadness over Nature's eruption. 
Photo © Basil Rolandsen (http://bouvetmedia.com)

Gariuai Video Showed in Dili

Motion, a Bar, Restaurant & Lounge in Dili which shows film (with free popcorn!) every Wednesday night, screened the Gariuai film the 11 March 2009.

The film was introduced by Programme Manager Kassius Klei together with Special Adviser Alf Adeler, and they also answered questions from the audience afterwards. The film's creator, Basil Rolandsen of the Bouvet Foundation also participated (and obviously enjoying the popcorn...).

"Gariuai Mini Hydroelectric Power Project" was produced for HydroTimor on behalf of the Ministry for Infrastructure, and "presents the entire process of construction of the important renewable energy source for Timor-Leste from commencement to inauguration", to quote the flyer, where Motion urged potential audience "Don't miss this new public interest film!"

Interested in this film can download it from the HydroTimor website, where also a brochure and other information may be found. 
Screening of Gariuai Mini Hydroelectric Project film at Motion restaurant.  Dili, East Timor – 11 March 2009  Photo © Basil Rolandsen (http://bouvetmedia.com)

Screening of Gariuai Mini Hydroelectric Project film at Motion restaurant. 
Dili, East Timor – 11 March 2009 
Photo © Basil Rolandsen (http://bouvetmedia.com)

Screening of Gariuai Mini Hydroelectric Project film at Motion restaurant.  Dili, East Timor – 11 March 2009  Photo © Basil Rolandsen (http://bouvetmedia.com)

Screening of Gariuai Mini Hydroelectric Project film at Motion restaurant. 
Dili, East Timor – 11 March 2009 
Photo © Basil Rolandsen (http://bouvetmedia.com)

Visit to Aceh (NAD)

Basil visited Banda Aceh (Northern tip of Sumatera, Indonesia) as part of an assignment for the Norwegian Red Cross in Indonesia.

This picture of teacher Ainal Mardiah at the Kuala Batee school (in Pidie), teaching students (Yusnidar, with Husna and Rosmariati) cut their nails, was taken 23 January 2009 as part of a documentation of the NRC's water & sanitation project in the area.

The Bouvet Foundation is helping the NRC/ID with their documentation of projects coming to an end this year. 
Ainal Mardiah teaches students to cut their nails.  Norwegian Red Cross water & sanitation project, initiated after the 2004 tsunami.  Batee, Pidie, Aceh (NAD), Indonesia – 23 January 2009  Photo © Basil Rolandsen (http://bouvetmedia.com)

Ainal Mardiah teaches students to cut their nails. 

Norwegian Red Cross water & sanitation project, initiated after the 2004 tsunami. 

Batee, Pidie, Aceh (NAD), Indonesia – 23 January 2009 
Photo © Basil Rolandsen (http://bouvetmedia.com)

Gariuai video finished – a while ago...

I just can't believe it has been so long since my last posting... Looking at the blog stats, seeing the readers disappear month by month, I can only regret the lack of activity. Sorry, everybody!

Not that there has been a lack of activity – I was extremely busy until Christmas finishing the video for the Gariuai HPP project, a HydroTimor assignment. It was delivered late December. You can find a downloadable version at the HydroTimor website.

The video was well received, both the short version posed on YouTube and the full, hour-long version. Have a look and let me know what you think!

I will try to be more active on this blog ahead. Seems possible now that we get a better (read: functioning) internet access at our office in Kupang, West Timor soon. I certainly hope so, this year has been a nightmare when it comes to that (how do you work on 15 kilobit down!?!)... But right now I am in Dili for a couple of weeks, and connected. Happily so!

Gariuai brochure delivered

The second (final) brochure for the Gariuai HPP project, a HydroTimor assignment, has been delivered. You can find an electronic (.pdf) version at the HydroTimor website.


They want a video made, using the materials we already made in addition to new stuff to be filmed. The funding is still not secured, but as time is passing and activities need to be filmed, I find myself in Gariuai writing this. Much additional filming has been done already, and one only hopes the contract will be signed soon...

Iralalaru finished, Gariuai finishing!

Time passes quickly in good company, and we have finished the Iralalaru project for the HydroTimor people in Dili, East Timor. DVD delivered and being distributed together with the brochure to the politicians in government and parliament. You can find those at the website, though the downloadable version of the full video is not yet uploaded.

Right now we are working on the second (final) brochure for the Gariuai HPP project, also a HydroTimor assignment. That will be printed soon now (heading off to Jakarta in a couple of days!), and with delivery that project also will be finished. However, it seems like they want a video made, using the materials we already made in addition to new stuff to be filmed, so a small project probably will be formed.

Is that the end of the HydroTimor cooperation for BF? Perhaps not: the signs now say that the Atsabe HPP may be initiated later this year, and that info is needed and BF is wanted. We would like that, the HT people are great partners and Atsabe (in the Ermera mountains in East Timor) is a lovely area! The Bouvet Penguin is ready to play, as always...

Iralalaru Info Package

No news for a while, sorry! We are working on a new assignment for the good folks at HydroTimor, preparing an information package on the planned Iralalaru Hydropower Project in Lautem, East Timor.

The package will include a brochure (almost ready for printing now!), a DVD with video footage and more detailed information, updates to their website and blog. Very interesting and fun to work on, and always a pleasure to spend time with the HT people.

I just spent a few weeks in East Timor, preparing this package as well as following up other stuff, like Gariuai and a possible new project. Then there was some food etc. Now there is diet and exercise. Cheers, everyone!

Transitions, transitions...

So far, this year has been dominated by transitions. Change is generally good, yes? But now there have been many changes, and we long for some productive stability again...

What changes? Well, first we decided to change the software where photos are managed. Previously, we used iView MediaPro, which has served us well for some years now. But the possibilities for using the raw format for photos (like a digital negative) have surfaced, we find MediaPro lacking behind. We changed to Apple's Aperture, which use the raw file as basis and records non-destructive changes (edits) as additional info. No need for converting the file to tiff anymore, which leaves edit options more open. Changing management software means all photos must be re-edited, and web site re-created in the new software. Lots of work, but it will be much better when all is up to date.

Then Adobe updated it's Creative Suite, and we just got the Design Premium version installed. All software improved, but it also includes a change of web design software, from GoLive to DreamWeaver -- improvements but with work to be done. Updating the web site is next on the agenda...

Last big point is including video in the workflow. We bought a Sony HDV camcorder (the HVR-V1P), and the Final Cut Studio editing suite (waiting for latest upgraded version, 2 to show up). Heavy investments, both in money and time (lots of new stuff to learn...) and it will take some time to get fully operative.

Now, we look forward to producing great stuff with all the new toys...

Gariuai Brochure finished!

We have finalised and delivered the brochure for the Gariuai Mini Hydroelectric Power Project in East Timor. The client, HydroTimor, is satisfied and have distributed the brochure to a wide variety of recipients, from Dili parliamentarians to local work force.

The brochure is bilingual, adding the local language Tetum to the English text. It contains photos by Bouvet Photography, layout and production is by the Bouvet Foundation and it is printed by Subur in Jakarta, who gave a very professional impression.

HydroTimor is the coordinating unit for hydroelectric development in East Timor. It is situated in the Ministry of Natural Resources, Minerals and Energy Policy (MRNMPE), and is supported by the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) through an institutional cooperation.

Present HydroTimor activities include:

• Management of the Gariuai Mini Hydroelectric Power Project (Baucau); which will produce 1.5 GWh annually upon completion (scheduled to late 2007).

• Development of Iralalaru Hydroelectric Power Project (Lautem); which will produce 189 GWh annually upon completion (scheduled to 2011, following international tendering mid 2007).

• Hydrologic measurement and assessment for potential new hydroelectric power projects in Atsabe Magapu (Ermera), Bobonaro Aiasa (Bobonaro) and Maliana Bulobo (Bobonaro).