Wednesday, January 9, 2008

We were driving down a busy street in Central Jakarta when I spotted this boy sitting on the median of the road. It was starting to rain and this boy seemed so lonely. The temperature outside was hovering around 30C, but the way this boy was huddled, you'd think it was much colder. The expression on the boy's face made me think about what he may have been through -- there just seems to be a look of fear, dispair, and sadness in him.

There are many boys running around the street in Jakarta. I asked my guide why they weren't in school and she said that even though public education is free, many families are so poor that a child is forced to quit school so that he can work as a street salesman or a parking attendant to earn extra money for the family.

This is such a common occurance in many parts of the world. But I think most Westerners are too complacent to remember and acknowledge those less fortunate who are struggling to find their next meal. Even when the rich do lend a hand out to the poor, I think many 2nd world countries -- those countries trapped between industrial modernization and poverty -- like Indonesia, are often forgotten.

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