Cultural differences are always interesting to experience. We have been to Thailand regularly and have been amazed several times by how things are arranged differently here compared to the Netherlands. It’s nice to see without judgement that things can be different. And sometimes you are surprised to see that some things can be arranged in a way you did not foresee. For example the permission to build the Coral Garden.
We were told that the license was arranged last winter. Now that we are back in Thailand, we want to get started as quickly as possible. We asked for a written authorization so that we can see precisely what is allowed and what not. A written permit? No, in Thailand, licenses are not issued in writing, but you do get averbal consent to your plan. That’s difficult for a Dutch person to understand. Anyway, if it works, it’s fine. But, the license was issued under the condition that Chad Scott, coral expert and founder of NHRCP is involved. But Chad is in the hospital with acute leukemia and has other things on his mind.
Still being a little Dutch in our cores, we would assume our permission/licenses are put on hold. That’s not the best news of course. Right now we are facing the challenge of how to continue our life changing project. Is it possible to get another permit or should we continue in another way? In short, we have a lot to figure out. That will take some time. For those of you who cannot wait to board a plane and travel to Koh Tao and help us, please wait and contact us first. We will keep you updated.
But in the mean time, we definitely keep working. Vera gave a presentation on reducing our consumption of single-use plastic products. Many people, including divers, are not fully aware of the negative impact of such plastic items on marine life. And yet we play a keyrole in this!
Besides creating some awareness, we have also rolled up our sleeves and participated in several clean-ups. Regularly we go out with our snorkling gear, a garbage bag and knive and clean small parts of the reefs. It’s a great way to practice our free diving skills.
We also are doing our part in the preparations of the Save Koh Tao festival which is held to honor nature and culture on Koh Tao.
And lastly, we did our own investigation on the effects of the recent high temperatures on the local reefs. It’s quite shocking to see how much coral has bleached. Especially Mango Bay was hit hard and is partly overgrown by algae. While we know parts will recover, it is alarming to see how much is dying. At this moment we can only guess how much will recover an hope for the best.
We’ll keep you updated!