These pictures are of the main street in Salatiga. But it's not called main street, it's called "Jalan Jenderal Sudirman". General Sudirman led the Indonesian Armed Forces against the Dutch in the 1940's as Indonesia fought for their independence after WW2. He then died from TB in 1950 at the ripe old age of 35. All that to say, the main thru road in a lot of Indonesian towns are named after him. No picture of his statue though, maybe another time and in another exciting post jam packed with stories about "The Heroes of Indonesia From Times Past!"
Notice above-right the family of four on the scooter...a fairly common site. In fact, I've done it with Luke, Si, & Helena. The kids aren't wearing helmets because I don't think they have to till the age of 12. It's kind of a reverse logic when compared to North America where children seem to require more protection in/on moving vehicles. Car seats, 5 point harnesses, etc. My philosophy is that the actual potential for danger changes from country to country as apposed to merely the perception of what should be done to prevent a dangerous situation. In other words, driving small children around on scooters with no helmets just isn't as dangerous in Indonesia as it is in Canada. In fact, a lot of things here aren't. But don't worry, this logic doesn't apply to aviation :)
Becaks (3 wheeled bike carriages) parked.
This elderly lady was fast asleep on the sidewalk. She most likely is sleeping here because she begs in this area. I would imagine (and I am bordering on ignorance here) that most of the beggars along here may have some family and do not live 24/7 on the sidewalk, but come here each day (or are helped here) to beg in order to have at least a bit of income for food. Then again, I could be wrong, maybe this is it.
How very sad. I wonder how many people in just this country alone regularly have a similar sleeping situation. If she was given the usual amount a beggar is given every 10 minutes, 8 hrs a day, 7 days a week, it would take her over a year to earn the worth of the camera I took this picture with. The reality is, she would receive far less. I am so far removed from this woman's life, her plight, her poverty, her everything.
I find it a bit overwhelming to think about, as my heart and my head race to rationalize and categorize the sad plight of someone truly impoverished. What did Christ say about this? I kind of know some of what He said already...What I do for someone in need - how I treat them, it might as well be to Christ...But, I could find several people in the same situation along this street, where do I start and where do I stop? If I stop thinking about it and just go buy my groceries (like I came here to do), is that wrong? What about getting used to seeing this, does that somehow make it okay to walk on by?
What a needy mess up bunch we are. I am so so grateful for how completely blessed my family is, but our hearts are so deprived and we need Christ so very much. Maybe it is from their situation that the poor have more clarity and insight into the condition of their hearts.
Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen
those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith
and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to
those who love him?