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Indonesian Update #3

9 August 2007
Written by

Good Morning, Vote-Smarters!

I'm writing this update from Indonesia early Thursday morning (1 a.m.) after I was woken up by a 7.5 earthquake! We always thought that the news for tomorrow would be the reporting of the gubernatorial election results here in Jakarta. Instead, all the news coverage may instead focus on the rather large earthquake. This is the largest earthquake in Jakarta in many, many years, so it really grabbed everyone's attention. Thankfully, it seems that there is no tsunami warning associated with this quake, but I must say the popping, grinding and swaying in my room on the 21st floor of the Marriott downtown was something that really got my heart beating. I'm not sure how much sleep I'll get tonight since I feel like I just rode on 10 scary roller-coasters simultaneously.

During the day (yesterday) Wednesday, I spent the entire day in a conference with professors at the Bogor Institute of Agriculture in Bogor, Indonesia discussing the work the university there is doing on many different environmental problems. I was able to deliver a lecture to the students of the university on my research associated with the environment and democracy. We then had time for a roundtable discussion with professors from the university in which we talked about environmental policies like organic farming, pollution, recycling as well as important related issues like political and economic development as well as international aid.

In driving back and forth to Bogor, it was great to see so many Indonesians out and about on election day. The country is also preparing for their Independence Day on the 17th, so there are red and white Indonesian flags all over the streets, shops and roads around the area.

Everyone have a good day or selamat siang! I'm going to (try to) go back to sleep!


Related tags: blog, democracy, Indonesia, staff-members

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