picture of site owner and wife
     Ted Burke & Tory Ata

I have visited 11 tropical countries in my lifetime, which includes Indonesia where I now live and have resided for 28 years. In 1988 I worked as a  Canadian CUSO Volunteer in Botswana, southern Africa to promote community forestry on the fringes of the Kalahari Desert. After 3 years in Botswana I backpacked with a Danish friend to 17 countries, 11 of which were in tropical regions.

In 1993 I left Canada as a CUSO Volunteer to provide expertise in a Forestry Research Center in the City of Kupang, the capital of the remote province of East Nusa Tenggara. After 6 years as a volunteer I went on to work for the World Food Program, CARE International, the Food and Agriculture Organization, and a local NGO called LENTERA-CIDEC.

My time in Indonesia has provided me with a great deal of work experience, but also a great deal of knowledge on the people, climate, economy, livelihoods and the importance of traditional culture in everyday life. I have also learned a great deal about surviving in tropical climates.

In Canada people are able to adapt to the sometimes extreme cold weather conditions by putting on layers of clothing and insulated footwear, and changing their home environments so that they are warmer and more comfortable. Much the same can be said for tropical countries, by changing clothing types and choosing cooler home, business and recreational environments, we are able to adapt even in extreme hot weather conditions.

In my years in the tropics I have seen many people find it difficult to adapt to the hot humid and/or hot dry tropical climates. I live in one of the drier regions of Indonesia where day time temperatures range from 25°C (77°F)  to  30°C (86°F) and night time temperatures are only 5°C (41°F) less.

Rainfall starts in mid November until mid-April, after which the region is hit annually by a 7-8 month drought period. I have therefore dedicated this website to offer advice and recommendations on ways to make life more comfortable in the tropics for visitors, expatriates and for local populations. Life is much more enjoyable if we can live comfortably.

I am married to a beautiful local woman and we have one daughter and three sons. One daughter and one son are studying in Canada, two are studying in Kupang. In the meantime I continue to work for LENTERA-CIDEC promoting climate smart agricultural technologies, small business development and savings and loans for subsistence level farmer groups throughout the island of Timor, Indonesia.