JAVA | May 17 - 23
The kids ditch "Where's Waldo?" to play easier "Spot Climate Change!" | Jakarta
The value of travelling to Jakarta was not the tourism aspect. I'd argue there's almost nothing for a tourist in Jakarta. I think Jakarta was the most valuable location on the trip give its clear educational value. From the extreme traffic alone, it's clear that whoever manages Jakarta needs to be fired. The city is blatantly mismanaged. 30 million people live in the Jakarta metropolitan area but the city is only now refining their public transportation system. The sidewalks in some places are arguably equivalent to easier balance beams. The city is sinking. But unless you can throw out an entire government of people, Jakarta might be stuck. 
The best day on the trip I think was the day we visited Kampung Akuarium and PIK2. At the Kampung we learned how the Jakarta government "evicts" slums because they're "dirty". Hundreds of people are told to pack up and change their lives within a few days or weeks. To be blunt, that's stupid. Consider that there are social and economic systems that force hundreds of people into a slum living situation. To sweep them away is to sweep the underlying systemic issues under the rug. Fix those instead. If you can't or don't know how, get out of the government and out of the way of someone who can. But instead what happens is the incapable government supports shiny projects like PIK2, which further displays their irresponsibility. PIK2 is a luxury housing compound that will benefit 600K of Jakarta's elite - 2% of the population. It doesn't have public transportation (buses in Jakarta traffic is a weak system), there are no sustainability measures (not for lack of funding but for lack of care), and it sucks the water from the land they plan to develop. This dehydration of the land is what causes Jakarta to sink. The Jakarta government is aware of the dangers that climate change and flooding pose to the city. But PIK2 is flashy and attention-grabby so they irresponsibly let it proceed with exacerbating both issues. To sum up, the Jakarta government has acted in ways that support climate change, support the city flooding, and support destabilizing the fragile lives of the poor. If I needed to see a city that is the epitome of what not to do, I found it. 
The plan that the government presented to us about combating climate change and flooding in the city by 2045 was garbage. Riddled with vague and unactionable wording along with clearly manipulated data, I'm not surprised to see that the actions of the government contradict what they said their values were. 
Anyway, enjoy these pictures outside of Jakarta and away from the spineless officials who favor profitable projects over what their constituents actually need.

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