One of the biggest contrasts would have to have been the water. I mean, whoa. Could it really be true, two weeks into our trip to America and my family still hadn’t gotten sick? Maybe I could drink this tap water. This seemed so alien to me.
I have grown up in Bali my whole life and have traveled through various parts of Asia, usually the south eastern countries like Cambodia, Thailand, all over Indonesia and other places and never have I been able to drink from the tap. Until, this last summer, when we travelled to the west.
My family and I went to the United States of America for one month and we had a great time, traveling around, meeting family and having fun. I have to admit some things had really put me off. I felt weird whenever I was traveling on the road until I figured out it was because they drove on the other lane; the fact that people in cars stopped when I needed to cross the road. I was so startled every time that happened.
But the water thing? That was a huge shock, I was told it was clean, and knew it was clean, but actually taking a drink from it took time and concentrated effort. I was still skeptical.
It bothers me that Indonesia has a very hard time trying to get access to clean water. That it has to be so hard for the people that live here. Our tap isn’t clean, and our showers aren’t clean. In my old school they sold cheap bottled water and if you shook it hard enough for a few minutes it would turn yellow. I can still taste its metallic tang on my tongue. The water would turn yellow and those in charge had no problem selling it to children.
I can’t comprehend the greed, ignorance or sociopathic tendencies of the people in power that have let this country suffer the way it does; to deny their people one of life’s fundamental needs: the amount of pollution, waste and runoff that spoils the limited water supply we have. This isn’t the only problem here, there are just so many terrible things that surround us that when I think of Indonesia I don’t feel any national pride.
I feel sorrow and heartbreak for the future of my island and its people and guilt knowing I have it better than most.
The majority think of this island as some vacation getaway but it’s getting worse and worse, they just try to hide it from the tourists as much as possible.
I feel like we won’t survive unless more change happens for the better. The survival of us as a species and all the magnificence humans have achieved, doesn’t it all come to nothing if future generations cannot carry on our spirit.
We need more empathy today; we need more people to take action against this growing problem. War will scar, disease will set us back, but if we continue destroying the bringer and flower of life itself, it will in time, take its revenge.
We are already there. We can’t even drink our own water! We can’t even hydrate ourselves; plant our crops and feed many of our continents. What have we done to our once beautiful planet? Is it already too late?
Every hour more pollutants are dumped and spread about, tainting this resource and destroying the sensitive eco-system that has been developing for millenia. Animals, reptiles, insects, and every life form you can see or know live on land or air, even the micro creatures. Well there’s just as much that lives in the seas and we are all connected. If you think we can poison the ocean and it’s creatures without consequence then you’re either ignorant or delusional.
Phytoplankton, they are responsible for about half of the worlds oxygen and play an integral part in ocean biology. The water temperature is a key part of their lives, the warmer it is the less productive they become. Their population is in decline. They are so small and the majority don’t even know they exist but they are key to our survival. The fact that those tiny creatures have the ability to affect us so much is mind-blowing! All these wondrous things that live today are threatened by the mess we have made.
Indonesia is considered as one of the few mega diverse countries but it is also a huge polluter on the Earth. The fact that these two situations exist at the same time is an injustice.
The fact that I can go to America and drink clean water out of a tap while pollution continues to pollute and taint `Indonesian waters is a worry.