Aged gatekeeper of Java’s Mt. Merapi overcome by mountain

Mbah Maridjan, the 83-year old juru kunci or gatekeeper of Merapi, was taken a few days ago. He was found in a praying position, the “fabric of his batik shirt and sarong … fused to his skin by the 1,000-degree Celsius heat clouds that blasted through his home.”

This isn’t good, of course. Many have perished already. And such an open-ended thing, coming on the heels of the 2006 Jogjakarta earthquake. That was a shocker for my uncle. All the tiles fell off the room of the Sheraton — into the courtyard. I think that’s all that happened at the Sheraton but can you imagine the noise and dust.

Gate keeper of Mt. Merapi

Mbah Maridjan, volcano whisperer

Highland Maya Priest, Guatemala

Master of the monte, Chichicastenango

What is it with volcano love? I used to live with a guy who talked to volcanaos (“montes“) in the Lake Atitlan area of Guatemala.  (But not the same guy in the picture.) For one thing, these dudes seem to dress pretty warm. From ice to fire, it’s not a super hospitable environment up there. And they’re in it for life.


One response »

  1. Pingback: Merapi blows, maid goes « Instant Expat

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