Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Mountain Madonna

As the sun peaked over the mountain, its rosy glow spreading over the cassava, corn and sugar cane plantations, a carload of still sleepy people arriving from Jakarta after driving through the night was stirring and getting ready for Sunday Mass.

Tawangmangu, an hour’s drive from Solo in Central Java Province, is a picturesque resort where the air is clean and cool. Temperatures drop to 12 degrees Celsius at sunset, making us regret our mocking response to the advice to “bring your jackets and jumpers.”

“How cold can it be in Indonesia?” we had asked ourselves and our hosts, Gerry and Bimo.

During the drive to Goa Maria Sendang Pawitra , or Maria’s Cave of the Holy Waters, we gaped in awe at the magnificent scenery. Against the majestic mountain backdrop of Mount Lawu, rice paddies and vegetable gardens lined ravines, ending in angry rivers rolling over huge boulders. We had goosebumps at the sight of God’s creation. Nobody spoke a word, except to welcome a hitchhiker on board. We had to stop for her because, according to our driver, she was bringing the priest’s lunch.

Read more, article by Roswita Nimpuno Khaiyath

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