Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Hello, volcano watchers. I have returned to Jakarta to file stories about Merapi, and to regroup after a week of adventures. Today, I filed a longish story for VOA, and it should be available to link sometime tomorrow. The story’s about local beliefs surrounding the mountain, a subject I still feel drawn to. After it airs tomorrow, I’d like to post some longer clips of the source interviews. I feel it’s easy to dismiss the beliefs and the culture when all you know is that the government wants the people to leave, but they won’t because of their traditions. Too stubborn or superstitious, maybe. But I think we’ve missed the train and the station altogether if that’s all journalists can manage to broadcast. The traditions are more subtle, more complicated, and more useful than all of that. I hope to give you enough information to make up your own minds.

For those wanting today’s science report, the mountain tremulated 76 times, belched 46 toxic heat clouds, and spit more than 70 rivulets of lava. It’s active, folks, and the dome at its summit is growing more fragile each day. We certainly haven’t seen the end of this “broom which sweeps everything away”.


Anonymous beth said...

Chad, I am relying on you to provide a welcome escape from my world, Saco and surrounds, which seems so provincial when I hear about yours. Looking forward to the stuff on cultural beliefs.
Wonderful work.
Thank you.

5:15 PM  

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