From: Andrew BEATTY
Date: April 20, 2017 at 2:00:24 PM GMT+
Subject: VPOTUS pool report 3 - arrival Istiqlal Mosque
After some down time at the hotel, VPOTUS's motorcade again snaked it's way for 15 minutes through central Jakarta, arriving at 13:32 to the Istiqlal mosque. We arrived well after noon prayer, so the mosque was empty.
The Masjid Istiqlal is the largest mosque in Indonesia, the world's most populist Muslim-majority country. Around 90 percent of Indonesia's 255 million population are Muslim, mostly Sunni.
Built for a congregation of 200,000 it is also the the largest mosque in South East Asia.
Previous notable visitors included Barack Obama and Michelle Obama who toured in 2010.
Your pool was preset in a colonnade beside the main courtyard of the mosque when a shoeless VPOTUS emerged with Mrs Pence and their daughters Audrey and Charlotte who were also shoeless and veiled in accordance with Islamic custom.
A gentleman showed them how he beats a large carved bedug drum, a very local addition to the more traditional Adhan -- the call to prayer voiced by the mosque's muezzin.
The VPOTUS and his family walked into the terra-cotta tiled courtyard and posed for a picture backed by the roughy 50 meter high dome and 100 meter high minaret with the Grand Imam Haji Nasaruddin Umar and other officials.
The group then went into the main prayer hall and admired the dome, which from the inside is a series of metal hoops and geodesic triangles.
They then walked over toward the mihrab, the ornate niche which denotes the direction to Mecca and the minbar, the pulpit from where the Imam can deliver his sermons.
We are headed shortly to the interfaith dialogue.