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Indonesia - Jeff Azoudis - Gallery of Photography

Indonesia feels like a Country from another era. With nearly 300 ethnic groups dispersed across its 17,000 islands, it is certainly a diverse Country with many different stories to tell.

I first visited Indonesia in January 2013 for two weeks. During this time, I enjoyed the hospitality of the locals in East Java at Mount Bromo, an active volcano that is part of the Tengger Massif. What remains fresh in my mind from this experience is not the volcano, but the locals. The Indonesian people struck me as the kindest and friendliest people I have ever met, it was a real privilege to have spent time with them. It’s not often that one gets asked to sign books and pose for pictures merely because they are native English speakers!

I enjoyed the luxury of expensive hotels and restaurants in Jakarta’s financial center. Here I realized how much potential foreign companies see in Indonesia. The Ritz hotel was packed with business people, and the shops around the business district were buzzing.

In contrast to the sheen of the Ritz, I also walked around the slums of Jakarta and Surabaya. There are lots of them, and they are very difficult to witness. It is here that one can see first-hand the extent of inequality humans can experience within a few kilometers of each other. Atrocious conditions are commonplace like open-air sewers, amputees without basic medical support, corpses of cats and dogs floating in the street, and so on…

Overall, Indonesia is a dynamic Country full of very kind and generous people. I look forward to returning soon, meeting more friendly locals, and enjoying the beautiful landscapes and history this Country offers.