A message from Indonesia

I am writing you now from a town called Bogor in Indonesia. I am here for 2 weeks, along with other Hawai'i soldiers, participating in a peacekeeping training exercise with the Indonesian military. The training days have been very full and productive, with our focus being on working together with our Indonesian counterparts, and learning about how to run a peacekeeping operation. Working with the United Nations and collaborating with humanitarian organizations is something that is becoming more and more relevant with what is currently happening around the world. We are learning from each other on many levels, including language, culture, and food. A favorite local dish here I have discovered is called Gado Gado - a mixture of different steamed vegetables with a delicious spicy peanut sauce. The people of Indonesia are very warm and friendly, always willing to welcome you and give what they have, even if they don't have much. In the meantime, I am staying involved with what is happening at home, and will be back in Hawaii in about 4 days. I am not missing any full City Council meetings, and am in touch with my staff daily. As always, if you have any questions or need assistance with anything, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Mahalo nui loa and tarima kasi!