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Reflection Essay Morgan Giles During the recent group project I was in a group with the subject of volcanoes.

This topic was very broad so we had a lot of things to choose from. We began with the idea of the Yellowstone super volcano. This was an intriguing idea because it was something that I had never thought about before and it was something that would affect the whole country. As we began to research the subject seemed to broad so we decided to narrow it down to just one volcano. The one that we choose is called Mt. Merapi. This is a volcano located on the Indonesian islands about 300 miles away from the capitol city of Jakarta. I learned a lot about this volcano. It is in the top 5 of a list of the most active volcanoes and it is number 1 for the most deadly. The volcano has been active for about 10,000 years so it has had time to rack up a large body count. The most deadly thing about this volcano is that it is so active and has been for so long. Some volcanoes can have a high death toll from one massive eruption and then become dormant. In the case of Mt. Merapi, it has a lot of large eruptions that are spread out over time, most of the eruptions resulting in devastating effects for the people. During an eruption in 1930 about 1,300 people were killed from various things (ash inhalation, landslides, lava flow, fires.) In a more recent eruption in 2010 about 144-300 people were confirmed dead or missing. So why is there such a high body count? One factor could be that there are about 100,000 people living at the base of the volcano, and they keep coming back after each eruption. You cant really blame them though. A large part of the economy in Indonesia is from farming and some of the most fertile soil is from volcanoes. Not only does farming help the county as a whole but it is often the only source of income for the people. They have established a way of life and it looks like the volcano is not going to scare them away. There are warning systems in place and the government will try to evacuate the villagers if they are in danger, but that doesnt always work since the people (mostly older generations) refuse to leave until it is too late. We even found a picture, while researching, of an elderly woman being carried away from her home in 2010. She refused to leave but the lava flow was still on its way so for her safety she was forced to go. I found it very interesting how hard it is to evacuate the villages. I suppose it would be hard for me to leave my home and all my belongings if I lived near a volcano, but I would still go. A lot of the people who are killed during the eruptions are actually volunteers and rescue workers who try and get people out that wouldnt leave earlier. Knowing volcano safety is important for the people since all of the 6,000 inhabited islands are located in the Pacific Ring of Fire. So Indonesia is virtually a breeding ground for active volcanoes. They currently have about 129 that are active throughout the islands. While I did learn a lot about the terrors of volcanoes in Indonesia I was also about to learn about the many wonders you can find there. One wonder in particular is the Borobudur temple. This is the largest Buddhist temple in the world and was once a 7th wonder of the world. Indonesia is also home to the only real dragon in the world, the Komodo dragon. Here you can find many of these

prehistoric lizards roaming through Komodo National Park, Komodo beach, and of course Komodo Island. Another thing I learned about was the Raflessia flower. This flower can be found all over Indonesia but mostly at Raflessia National Park. It is the largest flower in the world growing to about 5 feet high and 4 feet wide. It is a beautiful flower but unfortunately it only blooms for about 3 days and during 8 hours of those three days it releases a terrible odor. It has been nick named the corpse flower because it smells of rotting flesh. I also learned some important thing about group work as well. The first was that sometimes the quality of the presentation does depend on how to members of the group can actually work together. I felt that our project was very well researched, put together and presented because each member was not only willing to do their part but also to go above and beyond. Another thing is that sometimes you might not be as lucky to be with individuals who work well together. In these situations it is important to do your part and lend a helping hand to anyone to make sure that everything for the project gets done.