The Wizard and the Volcano

In Deca Originals

I met the wizard of Mount Merapi in June 2006, six weeks into the eruption, at his home on the volcano’s slopes. The one-story structure, built of wood and cement, sat in a patch of bamboo in Kinahrejo, the highest village on the volcano. I had rented a motorbike to drive the hour from Yogyakarta, a college town thirty kilometers from the volcano, near the Indian Ocean shore. The two-lane road was well paved and fast, lined on each side with trees, palm groves, and farmland. Merapi’s smoking cone, which towers 3,000 meters . . .






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Marc Herman
Marc Herman is the author of Searching for El Dorado, an account of his travels with gold prospectors in the Amazon forest, and The Shores of Tripoli, a Kindle Single based on his reporting from the Libyan civil war. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Pacific Standard, Slate, Politico, Matter, the Believer, and GQ. A freelance reporter since 1993, he has lived in worked in Oakland, California, Georgetown, Guyana, Jakarta, Indonesia, and Barcelona, Spain, where he now lives with his family.