Saturday, February 28, 2009

Colors, Colors, Colors

Traveling around this country I'm impressed by all the vivid colors, both natural and man-made.
First the colors of nature: in a tropical setting, like Indonesia, the many shades of green. Green is everywhere, from the rice fields to palm trees, to banana plantations, to jungle shrubs, to majestic trees. Interspersed with all of the green is the blue of the sky, the blue-green of the ocean and dotted amongst all of this are the tropical flowers: all shades of reds, blues, pinks, and yellows.

Next to grab your eye are the flags. There’s a general election here in April and it seems the standard method for advertising your party is to put flags up along the sides of the road and down the median. There are a lot of political parties so there are a many different colored flags, all shades of red, green, yellow, white, and blue.

Finally the colors of buildings: the most common form of construction is reinforced concrete resulting in a cement gray structure. To brighten the finished buildings they paint them in a wide variety of colors, in amazing combinations that we from the west would find clashing. Pink, in all shades from coral to shocking, and orange, in all its varying shades, are most popular as are blues, greens, yellows, and reds. I especially like the Green Bay Packer décor. The most clashing combination I’ve seen, to date, is a building with orange walls and pink trim. Sorry I didn’t get a picture.

Last week I travelled 8 hours down the east coast for one final pass at all of the locations there to fix sites Glen and I hadn’t got to and to make a few final repairs to sites we'd visited but didn’t have the necessary supplies to complete. I also reprogrammed all of the radios with new and old frequencies. They’re going to reprogram all of the repeater radios with different frequencies so I want the radios to continue working after the change.

Places visited included Tamiang, Langsa, Lhokseumawe, Bireuen, and Sigli. One of the more amusing things I came across was a repeater radio that was double-locked inside a steel cabinet mounted on the wall inside a small toilet, inside a locked office, inside a government office building. No one is going to mess around with that radio!

For the next two weeks I’m going to make a swing back up through the central highlands and drop down to the far SW corner of Aceh Province to a town called Singkil. I’ll then make my way back up the west coat to Banda Aceh visiting all of the radio installations on the way. It’ll be 15 straight days on the road. As soon as I get back to Banda Aceh it will be time to leave for Singapore to get my third, and final, Indonesian visa.

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