Indonesia is a country with a population near that of the U.S. The 2006 World Almanac shows a population in the U.S. of approximately 300,000,000, compared with 245,000,000 in Indonesia. The land area of the U.S. is about 3.5 million square miles while Indonesia has 0.70 million square miles of land area. This difference accounts in part for the fact that although the population density in the U.S. is 80 people per square mile, in Indonesia it is 327 per square mile. Yet that doesn't tell the whole story either. Jakarta has one of the highest population densities in the world, and Alaska is one of the least populated states with only one person per square mile. Indonesia is the fourth largest country in the world.

The U.S. imports oil from two dozen different countries, and Indonesia is one of them. Indonesia is rich in industrial commercial products such as coffee, rubber, oil and natural gas, mining, apparel, footwear, cement, fertilizers, plywood, rice, peanuts, cocoa, and palm oil. It also has abundant natural resources that include tin, nickel, timber, bauxite, copper, coal, gold, and silver.

Indonesia shares several natural features with Alaska. These include active volcanos and earthquakes. They have similarly notorious mosquitos. Alaska has about three million bodies of water surrounded by land, while Indonesia has about 17,000 bodies of land (islands) surrounded by water. Only 6,000 of those islands are populated. With no major interstate highways tying all those islands together it is an extremely complex matter trying to keep all of them together politically. Add to that the 300 or so different languages and ethnic groups in Indonesia and it is not surprising that it would be a challenge for any government to maintain stability in the region. In fact, Indonesia is a relatively new country, having gained independence from the Dutch in 1949.

It is also a very beautiful country. The environment is beautiful. The people we met are as warm hearted as you will find anywhere. And the variety of wildlife is an animal lovers dream.

Current time in Sumatra (Western Indonesia):