After the 22-hour journey to Jakarta (New York -> Hong Kong -> Jakarta) I had one day to relax and explore by myself before meeting my co-workers and hosts. Indonesia’s energy and enthusiasm was apparent right from the start. Jakarta proved to be quite the buzzing metropolis, its population frantically engaged in economic and cultural expansion. Despite the pace of modernization, some parts of the city might have existed just the same in any number of past decades. I took a car to Sunda Kelapa in the evening and watched Pinisi being loaded at sunset. Simultaneously beautiful and eery calls to prayer drifted across the water from the many minarets surrounding the harbor.I met up with my co-workers and our first Indonesian hosts, Yofie and Andi, the next morning. We headed to the airport for our flight to Surabaya, where the first Firefox event on our agenda was held. Between one and two hundred people attended and I think we met over half of them by the time the evening was over. We really enjoyed talking and taking pictures with community members.
After the event in Surabaya we attended events in Malang, Makassar, and Bali. Each was fantastic and unique, but energy, enthusiasm and kindness were constants. In Malang we had some particularly good technical discussions because the event was at a university. David Mandelin and I also got to play basketball in the university’s gym after the event! David Anderson and I had a great time exploring Makassar together on foot, and the food we ate there was amazing. We had a gourmet Indonesian lunch, complete with banana fritters and fresh fruit for dessert. Bali was somewhat over-developed for tourists, with nothing less than a huge American-style mall, but there is no denying its natural beauty. And the people, like everywhere else in Indonesia, really make the place something special.I can’t thank our wonderful hosts Yofie, Andi, RaRa, Mamie, and Viking, enough. We learned so much from them and we couldn’t have asked for better company throughout our visit. It’s great to know that we have such an organized and vibrant community in Indonesia because it is clear that the country is only going to become more and more influential in the world.
(Lots more pictures on my Flickr page!)