The sunsets in Lombok are always spectacular if it’s not the rainy season, and on days of dusk as this, I like to be able to find little pockets of time to get behind the computer to reflect in serenity a little, with the beautiful sunset hues in the background.
So the last few weeks has seen a lot more ups and downs recently again. With a successful dating coach entrepreneur giving the lowdown that if my business is not successful and my bank account is depleting, I am not being responsible to the fishermen, it hit hard but what she said made a lot of sense and I am really lost sometimes too, about just how to get the demand going on a regular enough basis to lure the shark fishermen towards the alternative. I had a good presentation in front of the NTU Earthlink committee the weekend before departing for Lombok again on this trip and it really fuelled me up to see a enrapt audience with a quick buy in and swift follow ups on how they could help and be involved. That to me was an encouraging success. I got my first piece of paid writing up on Our Better World’s website (http://ourbetterworld.org/story/keeping-faith), which, if nothing else, was at least a personal milestone for me.
Yet deep down, I know I have so many so many more battles and demons within to battle with. Being back here in Lombok, I am updated about a supposed large fishing vessel out in the middle of the Indian Ocean, close to the Australian borders, where fishing and shark boats can go to trade their sharks or other seafood caught. or even approach to restock or refuel their supplies so they could stay out at sea for longer. No one seems to know or dare to share enough information about this vessel. Not where it’s from nor who it belongs to, but everyone knows of its existence there, and about 100 shark boats have been seen trading on it than at Tanjung Luar. Suddenly it seemed the problem wasn’t localised for me anymore. Perhaps shark fishing could be stopped in Tanjung Luar, but who’s to say it cannot still happen someplace else, worse if in the the middle of the ocean where there is no territorial borders. It again feels like I’ve hit a brickwall.
So I tried to keep spirits up going to check out a local elementary school in Kuta for possibilities of doing exchange with schools in Singapore or the likes, as part of a community involvement and marine conservation package to Lombok. At least get the locals involved in and be a part of ocean sustainability and the need to keep the oceans clean, with the help of students from other parts of the world, so the idea that we are all interconnected and that the oceans are shared, can be passed on to the local community here.
I guess I can try to keep my heads up and try and stay positive, but as long as I am not getting my numbers for the boat trip constant enough and going, ecotourism is not going to be a viable alternative for the shark fishermen here anytime soon. As long as my my bank account dwindles with the shark populations, I find hope a more and more distant apparition to hold on to. I know I am trying to put up a brave front with the publicity and encouraging posts on The Dorsal Effect’s Facebook page but let’s be honest, the fear in my gets greater and greater and I don’t know at which point (if any at all), do I decide that giving up is even an option. Is there any other way around this? I feel bad for the countless angels who have supported me on this journey thus far, but still, I’m really looking for a light amidst my constant struggles as I wonder if I even have the skill sets and capabilities to save sharks as I want.