Cry, The Beloved Island
Balidiscovery.com's Earth Day editorial [Cry, The Beloved Island] caused a large number of readers to write in. A sampling of those emails:
• David took issue with the editorial, claiming it pointed a finger at expatriate developers:
"I appreciate your coverage of the problems facing Bali and share nearly all of your concerns. However, I have noticed here and in many other publications a none to subtle association of western villa owner/builders on the island and the devastating current development trends here. Tourism development and residential building are very different and it is in tourism area where the damage is taking place and, I may add, it is mostly all being done by locals - as your examples so clearly demonstrate. So with respect to foreign participation, I find such finger pointing a distraction which provides an easily identifiable but misguided target for blame. IT IS NOT THE WHO! It's the what and the how that's important. Unless your aim is to rid Bali of its resident expats."
• Bali hand and former editor of Bali Blog, Nick O'Neill wrote from Southern Bolivia:
"Totally agree with everything you said in your article ´Cry, the Beloved Island. The pace at which foreigners and locals are tearing up Bali is shocking. That is compounded by the absolute lack of concern for the environment, PLUS the outrageously ugly and misplaced buildings."
"Financial interests aside, we live on a beautiful island and it is sad to see it steadily decline. Examples are everywhere, including a ridiculous mini-golf outfit along the road past Canggu to Tanah Lot. Did the person behind this creation feel that the rice field views needed brightening up?"
"Expats have mentioned to me that many locals are incompetent and corrupt, a bad combination. Your article points out again the ease with which bribery gets the job done. Your other article about the water sports deaths points out the outrageous lack of responsibility offered by water sport operators, using shoddy equipment during periods when they should be closed. Examples of this are found each day on Kuta beach, local surf board renters offering boards to European beachgoers at low tide, when a trip into the surf could easily result in severe injury."
"A well known expat saying is 'That's Indo, take it or leave it.' Fair enough, but a bit of accountability wouldn't go amiss."
• Gina Putland from Australia said the following:
"I am regular visitor to Bali(every three months) and l have seen the Island disappear. Every time I go I see less and less of the lovely rice fields, banana plantations and of the way Bali was."
It is becoming a 'concrete jungle.'"
"Once I could walk from Legian to Seminyak along the beach and see lots of trees, palms and flowers. Now all l see are Villas, restaurants and rubbish strewn everywhere. The serenity of the island has gone. Loud music blaring out from restaurants(day and night)."
”Once the land is gone it's gone forever."
"Please. STOP all of this happening."
Happy Hearts at Your Service in Bali Hotels
Our coverage on work experience positions being given to handicapped Balinese at Ubud area hotels [Happy Hearts at Your Service in Bali Hotels] brought several letters, including:
• Lyn Ellard from Australia wrote to say:
"We are a registered charity called Peduli Bali (Caring for Bali) Inc. we operate from Perth and travel twice a year to Bali helping in remote areas with food and school supplies."
"Last September we were lucky enough to be taken to visit the Senang Hati Foundation (Happy Hearts) we were very impressed with the way the people there were being taught how to lead an active and normal life. We hope to visit them sometime this year when we return to Bali in August."
"One main concern there was that a physiotherapist only visited once a month. We would like to make more people aware of this foundation and also maybe they can get help for more people to visit and especially a physiotherapist to be able to be there more often."
Thank you to all who took the time to write in!
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