My name is Maurício da Conceicão Aparício Belo. I was born in Caisido on the 8th December 1975. When I was born my mother and father both lived in Caisido village. My father’s name was Joaquim Assis Belo and both he and my mother were Waima’a people. My mother comes Bucoli village, and both her mother and her father were also from Bucoli. Altogether, there were eleven children in my family: nine of us were males and two were females. Today, though, only five are still alive: four males and one female. All the rest of us have died.
Maurício (centre) and family
Neither my father nor my mother went to school. They just lived and worked as gardeners. I have four older siblings: one female and three males. None of them managed to get a decent schooling either. I was the only one to get a good education. I went to primary school in Caisido village. (There is just a primary school in Caisido.) So, when I went to primary school, I stayed in the village. Then I went to junior high school. This was at the church school in Baucau. After that, I attended the state senior high school, also in Baucau.
Once I’d finished high school, though, I didn’t continue my education any further. The reason I couldn’t continue was family problems. My family couldn’t help me to continue my studies – there was no many for that – so I never managed to go on to university or higher education because we couldn’t afford it. So, after finishing high school I started looking for a job, and over the years I just did bits of work here and there. I was never able to find a secure job. But now, since the Waima’a language documentation team has been here, I’ve been working for the Waima’a project, thinking about Waima’a words, writing up Waima’a words, and transcribing texts and so on. So now, I do have a job for at least a while.