Monday, May 23, 2011


I went to Yogyakarta to come to a language school. This is a VERY intensive language school. They follow the theory that if they teach you hundreds of words a day and just talk in full sentences, you will eventually catch on. I don't know why it is working, but I have learned a lot!

I haven't done much besides study, but I took the weekend off to go explore. First I went to the sultan's palace and then his water palace.

After that I went to Mt. Merapi with a disaster preparedness and recovery worker I met on couchsurfing. Tatang was an amazing guide because he could explain how the process of living on the worlds most active volcano works. We stood in an area that was completely devastated by the eruption last year. I can't emphasize enough how striking it is to see an area that was
hit only by smoke and ash and yet
everything both natural and manmade is completely destroyed. Yet people have lived on this volcano for eons and have all their property and lives there. So they leave when the government says go and they come back when they are allowed). Last year they left only one day before it erupted.

I ended up joining two other couchsurfers Karri and Fina on the next day. We drove out to Dieng Plateau which is a fascinating and beautiful place. It is another place where the earth does interesting things like cause bubling sulphur pits and lakes that occasionally change colors. On the way back we visited Borobudor which is the worlds largest buddhist temple (although this appears to be a somewhat contested title). It has a series of levels with the bottom ones depicting earthly images such as wars and animals and the images becoming more and more religious as you go up. It breaks out at the top to a main dome surrounded by 72 stupas with buddha statues inside them. This temple is so large I couldn't even get a photo with the whole thing in it!


  1. I like this armchair travelling with my favorite tour guide :)

  2. Well perhaps when you see a few of the flower photographs you will want to do more than armchair traveling. ;) They have some beautiful gardens here.

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