It is a 20 minute walk from Dacozy to Panagsama village through the village where the folks who support the tourist industry actually live.
There is one cluster of small houses where everyone seems to have gone made for bonsai trees. I’m not sure if it is a very enthusiastic hobby or something raised to sell elsewhere.
The poverty here is bad. Not starvation bad, and not community destroying as I’ve seen elsewhere. Nevertheless it does lead to the sort of conflicts where unfortunate choices have to be made, like: do we eat the fish and blast the reef, or do we starve and hope there are enough tourists? It’s not as if you can grow much here. The ground is hard coral.
The reef shows signs of dynamite fishing but I gather this has been stopped. The corals are bleached and not always in great condition although there is tremendous diversity in hard and soft corals, as well as in the sea life. I think this is partly just because it is so shallow here. At low tide the reef at the shelf is barely a metre below the water in places.
After my morning swim – at about 7 am – I got started. Today was better. I have achieved a total word-count of 15,487 of which 5,040 came today. I can’t promise they are brilliant words, but that is the process of pruning and embroidery that is almost constant through the writing process.
Today does mark, though, the first day in which I really felt as if I was watching events unfold before me and simply struggling to act as a journalist of events.
Would that all days are like this.