A hopeful and bounteous land

Contrasts are many in developing nations. So suggestive is the drama of ancient ways when viewed against the backdrop of new wealth that the camera must be guided carefully to make sure it tells the truth.

There is at least promise of a brighter tomorrow in watching a farmer dipping water by hand in a rice paddy with a modern petroleum drill rig in the background.

Government and well-known international organizations are backing irriga- tion programs bringing water to many parched fields. Government publica- tions claim that 4.5 million hectares (some 11 million acres) had been devel- oped by end of the second five-year plan in 1979.

More than 1 million more hectares of swampland, tidal areas, and areas for general rehabilitation are scheduled for development by the end of the third five-year plan in 1984.

Perhaps this farmer with hoe is a gauge of his nation's progress. His method of farming has not changed in several generations. But now, petro- leum products being pulled literally from beneath his bare feet may benefit him and his children.

Elsewhere, a time-honored scene of men herding cattle and carrying hand tools easily upstages a more modern farmer busy tilling a field (just yards away) as he walks behind and guides a tiny tractor.

How enjoyable to find an idyllic sailboat quietly gliding up a tree-lined canal. But once again, the most pleasing angle for a photo fails to tell the whole story.

The less photogenic new bridge beneath the photographer's feet is a forerunner in road improvement that may eventually replace the water route carrying fertilizer to rice fields.

Finally, does a sandal-wearing porter on the sidewalk of a bustling Jakarta street bring to mind the hovels that house the city's poor? Or do the modern office buildings in the background remind viewers of the changes that have brought more white-collar jobs?

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