Monday, June 13, 2011

Coach K Visits Mount Merapi in Central Java, Indonesia

Mount Merapi in central Java erupted at the end of November in 2010. 273 people died and over 300,000 were displaced. The Coach was concerned for the people of Java and wanted to see the damage. He was willing to hike through the ash to talk with the villagers. Thank you Coach for making everyone aware of what happened seven months ago on the slopes of this volcano.

It was November 30, 2010 when Mount Merapi, the Mountain of Fire, showed its ugly side. Mount Merapi is the the most active volcano in Indonesia and has erupted regularly since 1548.

Wong, the Coach and I visited the location where Mbah Maridjan, the spiritual guardian or gatekeeper of the mountain, died. The Coach posed on the ambulance that had gone to rescue Maridjan. All were incinerated in the volcanic blast. We remembered the spirits of the people who had died on this spot.

It has been seven months since the blast. The rebuilding of the local villages is progressing slowly. The Coach greeted a worker from the only house we saw under construction. Most of the villagers work under tarps which line the ash covered paths that were once the roads to their homes.

The Coach was quiet during his visit to this place of destruction. The people he met along his way were grateful that he had come to see what had happened to them, so that he could, in turn, tell you. We some times need "a little help from our friends." Thank Coach for hiking up to Merapi.

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