It's a bizarre historical tidbit, dating back to the 1960s when father-of-the-nation Sukarno allowed the program for a couple of years. But since then it's been dormant, and knotted up with what many see as the program's implications, i.e. that Indonesia is in need of outside help because it can't handle its own affairs or development.
The Peace Corps doesn't have to have that negative subtext. They might want to take a page from the program I participated in as a starry-eyed young'un, Canada World Youth: It's been there for decades now, and it's not a one-way offer of assistance, but a two-way exchange. Indonesians come to Canada as well to assist in development projects (my own pairing was situated on a dairy farm in a poor rural area), before we headed back overseas to help a tiny Sumatran village.
That way there's no condescension involved, but a reciprocal relationship where people from both countries have their world view forever enlarged. Case in point, your humble author, who wouldn't be writing about Indonesia were it not for my time with Canada World Youth all those years ago.
Today's Top Stories
Sec. of State arriving Wednesday
Exports hardest hit
Civil servants, er, encouraged to spend locally
International Yoga Festival coming to Bali