I guess it’s both cool, trippy and scary to be from Magelang, like our former maid here at the Sharehouse.  It’s at the foot of Mt. Merapi and minutes from Borobudur in Central Java (near Jogjakarta).

Stuck in Customs -- Borobudur

But Ibu really hasn’t been able to concentrate since Merapi’s explosion a few days ago. It killed 2 dozen, including the official shaman/ gatekeeper Mbah Maridjan. He was was 83 and wouldn’t leave the mountain. Then Merapi exploded again, about an hour ago. Now she’s gone. I guess she could envision the traffic snarling, the ash piling and the old folks coughing just a little better than we could. And I understand her father’s in the hospital with typhus and very near death — just in case.

It’s a true story: her husband did pass away recently. Her kids have been farmed out to orphanages and the like. Why else would she be working in Jakarta for a hundred bucks a month and taking buses to Central Java every time someone or something hiccups.

She’ll come back, of course. If you let her. But where does that put you in terms of trying to run a household? She just went home last month. And almost certainly the month before, for Lebaran. And she was the backup maid. Luckily, I have written myself these 15 nifty tips for finding domestic staff in Jakarta as well as an explanation of why it’s hard to keep domestic staff on board.

So here are the Merapi updates; and here more high quality pictures of Indonesian volcanoes (for sale).

minutes from Jogjakarta and Borobudur in Central Java. Trey Ratcliff
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