I've been thinking about things lately. Everything. This trip has been physical, but it's been more mental than anything else. I'm alone with my own thoughts when I'm on the road, and at night when everyone is asleep, my thoughts spin around in my head like a tornado. I close my eyes and I know I have to sleep so I have enough energy for inline skating the next day, but I have no control over it. There have been moments on this trip where I've actually felt nauseous because my mind is telling my body that I'm putting myself in danger... but when I look at the videos we make, I look like I'm taking it so easy and everything is going smoothly, like it's a joke or something. But the real me inside is a little different then what you see in the videos. The real me is an idealist, but also a coward that only comes out at night. I'm scared to die. Inline skating in the city is fun and I feel safe in Jakarta believe it or not. The traffic is so bad that the cars don't go fast enough to seriously injure me if I get hit, and the drivers in Jakarta are very used to motorcyclists and pedestrians popping out of nowhere, and they are more careful because there are always at least 20 witnesses  at any given time (not to mention too much traffic to do a hit and run!). The drivers here on the highways connecting major cities are often overworked and underpaid bus and truck drivers. The roads are not as smooth and wide as the highways in Canada, there is no shoulder on many of the roads on my route. I have never been hit by a vehicle in all of my 29 years on this earth and on this trip I was hit by a motorcycle. It was in the city, and the motorcycle wasn't going too fast so I didn't suffer any major injuries but I didn't realize until later, after processing the event in my head, how much I am risking  on this trip. And you know what? It's not making me want to turn back, give up, and go home to Jakarta...it's making me angry. I KNOW now that I'm not just sweating everyday... I'm RISKING MY LIFE. I knew that before I left,  but I FEEL that truth more and more each day. So why am I angry?Because if one day Indonesia doesn't get a bule on blades facebook update, or a blog update, or a new video...they won't care. You know why? Because pages on my website are only opened 100-200 times per day on average.  Sounded like a lot to me at first.... but then I took my calculator out. Only 0.0000006% of the Indonesian population even read my updates. ONLY 0.0000006% of INDONESIANS will know if I get hurt or even die trying to improve their country.  Wow. Do you think I didn't alert the national media? YES... I did! The only media that has covered this do far has been Tempo and it's partners. Perhaps the only true idealistic media coverage available in Indonesia!? Individuals....small people.... give me encouragement. But let me tell Indonesia one thing. My Indonesian team and I, along with our friends, love this land. And we are sick and tired of greedy, selfish people who rape it and leave us to suffer the consequences. We don't care what your nationality is. We care about whatever is in your heart. If you are an Indonesian Citizen but you disrespect the environment, your own place of birth, then I'm sorry... but I feel that this is more my country than yours, even though I'm not an Indonesian. You know what? Indonesia is loosing it's best people. Many of the most conscious and intellectual Indonesians are moving abroad, or planning on it due to feelings of hopelessness. Nobody thinks they can change the negative aspects of the culture that have been engrained in the minds of the people here for centuries. But I'm not giving up. I have faith. I know Indonesia will improve. I want the government to finally set an example and pay their civil servants according to western economic standards... and if they then still prove to betray the population by being corrupt then fire them and give that good job to those who deserve it. Unable to rollerblade due to trucks hogging the road up, I had to walk 10 km from Malangbong to Ciawi, all the while inhaling thick black smoke. I had no air. I felt like I was hiking through hell that night. There was barely enough room for me to pass by on foot at times due to the narrow roads. Nothing I covered my nose and mouth with was able to filter out all that air pollution. At times I couldn't even see due to the smoke. Those poor people who live near that road! But I thought a while about how inexpensive and easy it would be for the government to improve the situation. Because many of these trucks are running goods between Islands, all you would have to do to drastically improve the situation is to employ a small team of workers on each end to refuse any vehicles that emit a visible cloud of smoke from boarding the ferry between Java Island and Sumatera. Corruption is easy to remedy on the low levels if the workers are paid well. For example, if they are only paid $200-$300 dollars a month, they will likely take $5  to "overlook" a dodgy truck, but if they are paid $3,000 dollars a month (That's a very good wage in Indonesia) they would not risk their job unless it was a very large bribe, in which case it would be cheaper for the owners of the truck to just get in repaired to meet emission standards. Yes, that would be so easy and simple to implement. Ah... If only I could run for president!

Lois Stevenson
5/19/2011

DO be careful but don't be discouraged. A lot of Indonesians may not be noticing right now but momentum WILL build. Keep going!

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Jason Daniels
5/19/2011

I fully agree with your mom! I only wish I was allowed to vote for you too!

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Yusfina
4/10/2012

Bravo Sacha, Hopefully many Indonesianpeople especially parents and teachers will understand your point and change their way of thingking and action .
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