Yes he can: 'Clever boy' Obama returns to
Indonesia for family vacation
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[June 29, 2017]
By Jessica Damiana
JAKARTA (Reuters) - From white water
rafting in Bali to visiting temples on Java, former U.S. President
Barack Obama's private family holiday is being closely tracked in
Indonesia where he spent four years as a child.
Obama was six when he moved to Jakarta after his American mother, Ann
Dunham, married an Indonesian man following the end of her marriage to
Obama's Kenyan father.
"I feel proud that my friend became a president," said Sonni
Gondokusumo, 56, a former classmate of Obama at the Menteng 01 state
elementary school in Jakarta.
Gondokusumo showed a class photograph of himself standing behind a young
Obama, who was wearing a school beret.
"He was a clever boy. Whenever a teacher asked him to solve a problem in
front of the class, he could do it," Gondokusomo told Reuters, adding he
hoped to meet the former president again.
Obama remains popular in the world's most populous Muslim nation and his
trip has been splashed across the media during an extended public
holiday to mark the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. The Rakyat
Merdeka newspaper carried a headline "Obama loves Indonesia".
Obama returned for an official visit as president in 2010 with his wife,
Michelle, but this time has brought daughters Malia and Sasha as well.
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Former U.S. President Barack Obama waves while walking with his
daughter Mali and his wife Michelle during a visit to the
9th-century Borobudur Temple in Magelang, Indonesia June 28, 2017.
Indonesians are avid social media users and snaps of the former U.S.
president walking with his family in rice fields and rafting on
Bali's Ayung River have gone viral.
Obama kicked off the holiday on the island of Bali, where he stayed
at the luxurious Four Seasons Resort Bali near the cultural center
On Wednesday, Obama and his family arrived in the city of Yogyakarta
on Java island, and visited the ancient temple of Borobudur.
According to CNN Indonesia, Central Java police deployed 700
officers to secure his visit to Borobudur, a Buddhist temple dating
from the 8th and 9th centuries.
Obama is due to meet President Joko Widodo on Friday at the palace
in Bogor, south of Jakarta, and visit the capital on Saturday.
(Additional reporting by Fransiska Nangoy; Writing by Ed Davies;
Editing by Nick Macfie)
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