Indonesia. Well, what can I say? I was born there, have numerous relatives and friends who still live there, go back to visit my mum and my younger sister at least once in three or four years and I have - inevitably - taken a couple of Dutch friends to travel along with me as well. The last one to travel along to Indonesia was our photographing adolescent niece of fourteen whose few snapshots can be found in one of the pages here - a trip she surely will remembered for a very long time, if not all her life :-)

So, what we basically saw was the beautiful Indonesia seen from behind the tourists' spectacles. Yet Indonesia has many more faces, the good ones as well as the lesser ones. Like everything else in this life. We tend to close our eyes when confronted with things we don't like to see. It's just a shame, because there is so much more eye-opener for all of us to learn and to improve our own lives when we don't live close eyed. And there are many others who depend their lives on our state of not closing the eyes but help them. One of them is Monica whose courage - to live with eyes wide open, to see the bitter reality, to take small but realistic steps and at the same time firmly believe that there is still a chance to change this world - I really admire.

There is indeed so much to learn with eyes open. And yes, there is sometimes too much to see with open eyes, too. Especially the nicest things in this country, its food, nature and panoramic views among others. And no, you probably don't find that much artsy and dreamy pictures here as you might expected from such a beautiful country. The reason is it's because I took the photographs with eyes open - that is: left eye open looking through the viewfinder of the camera and the right eye closed. That way I can see many aspects of the daily life of this country in a more balanced way, which is sometimes colourful, yet another time monochromatic. Again: just like everything else under the same sky we all share.

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