My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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BALI, Indonesia—Before dining with President Magsaysay and even before going to our hotel in Manila on Thursday evening, we paid a quick visit to the American Hospital where I saw a young friend of mine, North Burn, and his wife. The boy was stricken with polio a short time ago and early next month will be flown home. Dr. Gurewitsch was able to talk with his doctors, and I hope wherever he is on his return home there may be an opportunity again for Dr. Gurewitsch to see him.

I have known young Mr. Burn for some time and his mother had told me he was ill of polio in Manila. I had not realized that he was now in the State Department, and I was glad to hear from Ambassador Homer Ferguson that he considered North quite a brilliant young officer. I hope ultimately that he will be entirely well again, but it will take some time as those of us who are familiar with the disease know is usually the case.

On Friday morning we had breakfast with Ambassador and Mrs. Ferguson and they took us to the plane for Djakarta. I have decided that long plane trips are much more easily made at night than in the daytime! We actually flew some seven or eight hours and it seemed a long trip, though we had smooth and pleasant weather. We crossed the Equator but on the Garuda planes it seems nobody mentions it. Before when I've crossed on planes we were carefully told and sometimes those crossing for the first time were given a certificate to show that this was their first crossing of the Equator. I suppose the Garuda planes do it so often and their passengers are so accustomed to it that it would seem hardly worth noticing.

Djakarta is 5 degrees below the Equator and I was surprised to find a cool breeze prevailing both last evening and this morning. Of course, in the sun it is hot, but as one of our young foreign service people said, "This is a better climate than Washington in the summer."

We dined Friday night with Ambassador and Mrs. Hugh S. Cummings, Jr., who have been most kind in helping us to plan the rest of our time in Indonesia.

After dinner we went with the ambassador to the trade fair, where for the first time the United States has a exhibition. Communist China also has a very extensive exhibit. Last year the Soviet Union exhibited, but since they alternate with Communist China the pavilion occupied by the Soviets last year has been taken over by an American company (not under government auspices), which has brought an ice show to this tropical country!

We visited the Indonesia exhibit, which was very interesting, and then saw our own exhibit. Instead of concentrating on showing what we produce in heavy machinery, etc. our exhibit tries to emphasize some of the ways of making life easier and pleasanter. We do have a knitting machine, which turns out about 30 yards of knitwear an hour.

The Chinese Communists have a copy of an old-style knitting machine and at first they were running it full tilt. When they saw our new one, however, theirs became a dead exhibit.

We also show woodworking machinery and a model of a dam, which also includes a fascinating little electric train. Our exhibit draws great crowds constantly and probably the most successful part of it is the television show. Visitors see how a show is televised and also can see it and hear it on the screen at the same time.

Every now and then the cameras are turned on the crowd and then they see themselves on the screen, which create great excitement. Certainly, this exhibit and the ice show are the two most successful undertakings at the fair. We left Djakarta at noon on Saturday for Bali, from which point this dispatch was sent.

E.R.
PNews, NSJ, 6 September 1955