But not so much a party time for everyone else. On October 29th, it was my two month anniversary here. To celebrate the occasion, Mother Nature greeted me with a special layer of ash on the ground. It was like I opened my door to an expansive haunted house that encompassed the whole neighbourhood. It’s not like snow, where there are lights that reflect and dance off the surface and you can see blues and soft yellows. The ash absorbs the light, and makes everything alive seem dead to the world.Happy 2 months!
Now it’s 6 days later. It’s almost 8am on November 5th. (Happy Birthday, Dad!) And the ash is still here! While much of it is gone from the regular traveling on the road, or people have tried to wash down and rinse off their plants, much of the ash still remains. It’s really hard to get rid of. There is still a lot of ash on the sides of the streets, and around town in general. There has been a lot of rain, but the ash seems like it is really hard to get rid of; it doesn’t easily rinse off. And usually with the rain, there is ash mixed in with it! There was also ‘hujan pasir’ last night! “Sand rain”….my friend mbak Ndayu came over, and when she left, her motorbike was wet with rain and sand…Doesn’t make for pleasant driving. Because of the ash, I haven’t been going running or swimming. Just spending more time indoors, with the doors and windows closed (thank God for the fan!).
It seems like Gunung Merapi is erupting with more and more force, and erupting almost every day. On Wednesday, Nov 4th, it erupted for over an hour with 3 times the force than on Tuesday, and the cloud was over 5km high in the sky. Thursday, they extended the danger zone 5km, from 10 to 15 km away from Merapi. And then it erupted again last night. There are now approximately 75 000 evacuees, and they have no idea how long they will be living as evacuees. Some entire shelters had to be moved. The death toll has reached 44, and after last night’s eruption, it is likely that it will be higher.