Barack Obama's life in Indonesia
"He made a big effort to adapt and make friends"
He spent two years at the Catholic school and then two years with us. The rumours about him attending an “Islamic Madrass” are nothing but lies. It's just because his step-father and father are Muslim. At that time there was no mini-mosque like now [there's a small mosque inside the school now]. This school was a normal public school. There were Chinese Buddhist pupils, Hindus from Bali, Christians and Muslims. Everyone was mixed up. It was not a school reserved for Muslims, not at all. Most children from well-off families came to study at the school. Suharto's young children also went there.Barack Obama, "Barry" as we called him, was always a good pupil. Always in a good mood, always smiling. He made a big effort to adapt and make friends; being different was no problem. At that time, the scout captain named Barry leader of group A. I was in that group. It was him who gave the order to stand to attention or at ease. At school we all spoke in Indonesian, and he learnt how to speak it too. He knows our language.
We lost touch with Barry after he left. And then suddenly a few years ago a friend said to me "I saw Barry in a magazine, he's putting himself up for the presidential election". I said "are you sure?" and went to find out if it was true - which it was. We took this photo to show Barry our solidarity and support. We sent it to his office in Illinois when he was running for president. I'm sure Barry has great memories of Indonesia."