Autor: Nijae

With happy regards from Komodo

A week ago raining season started in Labuan Bajo. Even though the land in all the Eastern parts of Indonesia badly needed the rain, it does have its downsides. Not only are the clouds blocking our precious sun, but it creates quite some runoff that together with rubbish is being washed into the sea. But that’s a story for another day. Unfortunately it seems like the water, sediments and garbage have flushed away our internet too. Since five days there is no more connection in our accommodation anymore. “Maybe tomorrow?”, is the daily answer. Additionally to our nightly blackouts electricity stopped working this morning too. It most definitely does not make me happy.

It is annoying. It keeps me from doing things I planned to get done today. No idea when electricity is coming back, I’ve almost given up hope on internet all together. But what can I do? Be angry and frustrated all day about the situation, about the staff, about the circumstances in town, the weather in general. Possible, but it doesn’t change a thing. In fact I can’t control any of this. All I can do is to adapt my plan.

Just before the rain started I set up a new page on our website: Warm regards. I just got notice that my first real postcards from Indonesia started to arrive around the world. The idea for this section of online cards evolved from an evening with friends when we agreed that running – or any excessive sporting for that matter – is not our path to happiness, as well as a postcard I sent to my dad. Even though the quote on there is actually not from Buddha, it’s a good approach to life: “There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way.” Nothing against running by the way: Take your time and enjoy it.

Nature is taking over all parts of the former marshalling yard in "Natur-Park Schöneberger Südgelände" in Berlin (Germany). I was playing with focus and blur that day. Everything depends on your perspective - no matter if in photography or in life. This is the first picture of a series of three: There is no way to happiness. 2nd: Happiness is the way. 3rd: Take your time and enjoy.
Tube one can walk through in "Natur-Park Schöneberger Südgelände" in Berlin (Germany) where nature and art are meeting in the industrial setup of a former marshalling yard. I was playing with focus and blur that day. Everything depends on your perspective - no matter if in photography or in life. This is the second picture of a series of three: Happiness is the way. 1st: There is no way to happiness. 3rd: Take your time and enjoy.
3rd part of the series: Take your time and enjoy. 1st: There is no way to happiness. 2nd: Happiness is the way. Showing runner in park "Natur-Park Schöneberger Südgelände" in the city of Berlin where nature and art are meeting in the industrial setup of a former marchalling yard. I was playing with focus and blur that day. Everything depends on your perspective - no matter if in photography or in life. Nothing against running, but if happiness is the way, running will not get you there any quicker.

Instead of sharing my happy moments via cards I would love to have family and friends with me whilst travelling. Even the most paradisiac islands are better together. Come to think of it, a lot of these wonderful places don’t have internet or even reliable electricity. After all at the moment I only have to walk over to the dive center to get online. OK, the advertised “Free wifi” doesn’t exist, but the cable connection at least seems to be waterproof. Electricity just came back. Happy day!

 

Bali: Coming home

We liked Bali from the moment we arrived: Already on the way from the airport to Radha Homestay we noticed happily how traditional styles are beautifully combined with natural, symbolic and day-to-day elements in a unique way not only within the many temples but basically everywhere: from houses to hotels, supermarkets and car parks. Sanur itself, even though highly touristic and definitely not the place we’d like to spend an entire holiday, has all these little statues, house temples, small offerings everywhere, including the narrow sidewalks, and an abundance of flowers, colours and smells.

Finally back in Asia! Before we had an exploration period in the West we worked in Blue Planet Andamans on Long Island in India. Bali feels like a little bit of India in Indonesia. It’s loud, smelly, dirty and crowded on the one hand, but people are happy, proud, kind, and spiritual on the other. And additionally there is nature in its tropical beauty and abundance. Bali touches the heart, soul and all senses, just as Long Island and India did too.

Watch Yoeri’s newest video clip to get an idea: Long Island, Andamans Island, Indian Ocean. In addition to the two clips introducing you to the underwater world of the Middle Andamans (one and two) he is showing you life on land:

 

The reefs of the Visayas

We are getting itchy feed. Last projects in Europe have to be finished this month, but all we can think about is diving! Thanks to Yoeri we have new clips to fuel our wish.

“The reefs of the Visayas I and II” are perfectly complementing “Critters” and give a very good overall impression of the best diving the Visayas have to offer. It made us think to go back there. After all we met in Alona Beach. In the end we opted for a fresh start, explore in a place new to the both to us. We wouldn’t mind to visit the Philippines again. See it for yourself:

 

 

Our side project: The ISDS Files

Summer in Europe… Surprisingly very enjoyable! At least as long as we are visiting friends and families, go on festivals and holidays or simply hang out in Berlin – very suitable place to do so by the way. Unfortunately even in Berlin there are also bills to be paid. As we don’t like to jump into cold (and murky) waters, we kept ourselves busy with some work for our favourite German NGO, PowerShift, and the European trade network: Seattle To Brussels (S2B network).

Writing, networking and lobbying for alternatives in trade, investment and raw materials policies kept Nicki from working further on our website. But Yoeri has put together some wacky weirdness of the Philippines for you, after finishing the three clips for STENAPA, St. Eustatius National Parks. Enjoy these clips and hopefully many more to come on our youtube or vimeo channel.

In case you are not only caring about the underwater world and its beauties, maybe even feel like sticking your nose in some dirty policy business and corporate power play, take a look at our side project: The ISDS Files.

Rote Punkte auf einer Weltkarte zeigen an, über welche ISDS-Fälle in den "The ISDS Files" gesprochen wird.

“ISDS is a mechanism engraved in (bilateral) investment treaties or an investment chapter of trade agreements which allows multinational corporations to sue governments in ad hoc tribunals. It is an extrajudicial system with special privileges and rights just for one class: Foreign investors, giving them more power relatively to citizens and governments. The implications of this system are really dangerous as well as a pretty costly affaire for governments and ultimately tax payers. All sorts of public policies are under attack around the world as our little selection of ISDS files is showing. And this is merely the tip of the iceberg.”

 

Because it’s more fun together

Unfortunately we don’t have the time to work on our website at the moment. So many things we wanna show you, write about, explore, connect with, … But other stuff is keeping us busy for now. Nevertheless we are trying to use our Devocean Pictures Facebook page regulary. Please, get involved because like with everything in life:

"It's more fun together" written on black frame below a picture of a turtle and fish hanging out together

Thank you! And we promise new clips, more photos, and overall content and (background) information soon.

Journey into the unknown

For self-awareness and personal development highly recommendable, for exploiting the ocean maybe not so much.

Even though the deep-sea floor is „the most abundant habitat type on Earth. And we know almost nothing about it.“ Conservation International is pointing out the environmental threats of this new underwater hype.

As Deep-sea mining is becoming technically available claims have been made: „Since 2001, the ISA has granted 26 of these contracts covering more than 1 million square kilometers [386,000 square miles] of seabed. Eighteen of them were granted in the last four years“ (Opportunity, calamity in the balance amid plans to mine the deep sea by Molly Bergen). Dr. Jack Kittinger, director of Conservation International’s Hawai‘i program, wants the International Seabed Authority to „establish regional networks of no-mining marine protected areas (MPAs) in all the places where they are licensing mining contracts — and we are urging them to do this before mining starts.“

Deep sea mining targeted by activists at London conference - London Mining Network
Deep-sea mining protest (London Mining Network – http://londonminingnetwork.org/2013/07/deep-sea-mining-targeted-by-activists-at-london-conference/)

A very honarable goal (details in Science), though we have to admit that we are not expecting companies to share Dr. Jack Kittinger’s understanding of MPAs as „a win-win for both the planet and the reputation of the countries and companies involved in mining.“

The first deep-sea mining Solwara 1, which aims to mine the Bismark seabed for high grade copper and gold, in Papua New Guinea by Nautilus Minerals, a Canadian company, stays highly controversial. Papua New Guineans are far from happy about the project and are calling for it to ban experimental deep sea mining while the company is downplaying the risks.