I recently found myself lost in the remote, rural heart of the island of Bali, Indonesia. Some might say this sounds idyllic. But with an international flight departure looming later the same day, I must admit that my anxiety levels were rising a little.
Now one thing I thought I had learned from my various travels in south-east Asia is that you must always allow plenty of time to get to your destination. But for the second day in a row, my driver had me in a pickle. After encountering more than our fair share of crazy drivers, broken down vehicles and dogs sleeping in the middle of the road, I began to wonder if I would ever see my friends.
As you may be aware, iwantmyname allocates a portion of every domain registration fee to a charitable fund. At the end of each financial year everyone in the company votes on which charities that we wish to support. For the last two years, since our 2014 Bali team summit, we have made substantial contributions to a Bali-based NGO called IDEP.
IDEP trains students and farmers in the art of sustainable permaculture. The organisation also runs a very important project to raise awareness and find solutions for the serious problem of water aquifer exhaustion and salination across the island. The Bali Water Project works closely with local engineers and hydrological researchers and is planning a network of recharge wells that deliver rainwater runoff directly into the aquifers.
Having been involved in meteorology in my previous career, I took a particular interest in the project. Fortunately my wayward driver received fresh instructions by phone and we finally found ourselves negotiating a bumpy, narrow, dirt track leading to the IDEP training site. It was a thrill to finally meet the dedicated team in person and learn more about their work.
Pictured: Paul Spence with Yosephine and Julien from the IDEP management team.