More than what meets the eye

Looking at the beautiful scenery and landscapes in Bali, it’s easy to overlook the drama that ensues beneath the surface. We’ve spent two weeks on this amazing island and we’ve only scratched the surface of this rich culture so interconnected with its environment, its people, and its purpose.

Perhaps one of the most painstakingly difficult things to learn about throughout the past few days was the sheer degree of coral bleaching that is occurring on the coasts of Pemuteran. After learning so much about the story of biorock technology and its impacts on the local people, I was very eager to see all the coral that would be thriving underneath the surface. Much to my dismay, although snorkeling was such an amazing experience, it dawned on me that what I was experiencing was not what was pictured only a few years ago. Upon interviewing the stakeholders, we later realized that although tourism may have contributed to the degradation of these biorock coral ecosystems, it was more runoff from the island during heavy rain seasons that brought large sediments that hard the coral.

Throughout the entirety of this trip, the deeper you try to understand a topic, the more questions that it creates. We learned about the biorock story and through a different perspective, this is just a symptom of a larger social problem of poverty that people face. Look at it from another perspective and it’s another consequence of the rise of global warming. Overall, the more you begin to unravel the stories that these images begin to tell, the more you realize that everything is in its entirety connected to everything else in this world. There is such a deep connection of the environment, the culture, and the people, that to begin to understand it, you must dive so deep and learn so much to truly start to appreciate what is around you.

Check back in soon, Denise

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