Indonesia’s President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his lovely wife, First Lady Ani Bambang Yudhoyono hosted US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama today. Here’s a brief recap of the short visit from the O’s:
On being happy to see the Obama’s touch down in Indonesia: Indonesia was one of Obama’s childhood homes, he’s an adopted son in hearts and minds of the Indonesian people.
On Indonesia believing Obama can fix the Middle East: No. Indonesians don’t believe Mr Obama can change the situation much, or that for Indonesian Muslims either, he can bring peace to their situation and make their lives better. Realistic is good. Maybe the man will enjoy his visit then.
He brought Indonesia to a stand still: (note: hip hop performers get their asap): “We all stopped what we were doing,” said Tito, who works at the front desk at the Novotel Hotel in Balikpapan, a city on Borneo island. “Staff, guests … It’s just so amazing that he grew up here, has family here, and is now the U.S. president.” The whole nation of Indonesia were transfixed on their TV screens with the Obamas touched down on the tarmac. Nice. “We really have to greet him like a homecoming brother,” said Linggas Sitompul, a 65-year-old customer at a food stall serving Bakso, the same spicy meatball soup the president says he loved as a child.
Sentimental feelings towards Mr O: As a child Obama spent four years in Indonesia, but the people know he is not theirs. Most now recognize his visit will not improve their poverty or raise their national stature. And they know that despite feeling a kinship with the American president, in the end, he will leave and go back to the place that is really his home.
A 24 hour stop over only: “Volcanic ash of a volcano hundreds of miles (kilometers) away in Iceland was cited as the reason why Mr and Mrs Obama won’t be stopping long in Indonesia. 1700 air flights have been canceled due to the volcano’s ash clouds over Europe.
On Meeting Indonesia’s political players: “President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono presented a line of ministers to Obama, who greeted them in Indonesian.”
On reaffirming to Muslims that extremists are who America is gunning not all Mulsim people: War, unfortunately is war. However Obama intends on visiting a mosque to speak, in order to further convince Muslims that the U.S. is not waging a war on Islam, but on terrorism, and needs the help of moderates to fight it. That sounds like a money saving idea. Good.
On not recognising his hood he grew up in ’67-’71: “Obviously much has been made of the fact that this marks my return to where I lived as a young boy. I will tell you though that I barely recognized it as I was driving down the streets,” he said to laughter. “The only thing that was there when I first moved to Jakarta was Sarinah (a shopping mall). Now it’s one of the shorter buildings on the road.”
What Obama’s school teacher had to say: “I have waited so long for this visit,” said Katarina Fermina Sinaga, 61, who taught the chubby, vivacious boy, then known as “Barry,” in the third grade. “I still hope to meet him. I just don’t want him to forget us.”
On having crocodiles as pets: The Indonesian people remember that his mother would walk him to school through streets muddied by monsoon rains, that he was comfortable speaking Indonesian, and that the family kept white crocodiles and a monkey in their yard. How intriguing.
Mr Obama plans to return with his two daughters to show them Indonesia at some point. He was not able to stop and see his family members this visit, some of who are in Indonesia.
[Images courtesy of Getty Images. Reporting: Huffington Post News Capture]
[Favorite Pic: The Yudhoyonos on a family outing, from left: Annisa Larasati Pohan, First Lady Ani Bambang, Edhie Baskoro Yudhoyono, Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono and President Yudhoyono enjoy family time. All I know is, that anyone who drinks out of coconuts from a palm tree, are our people, if you're Kiwi. As people, Indonesians are alright - they are coco-licious good].
The footage below is when the US Media investigated Obama’s Indonesian school. Talk about hype up news:
~Posted by Horiwood.Com, Hollywood California USA. 11.9.10~
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~Posted by Horiwood.Com, Hollywood California USA. 12.29.10~
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