It has only been a good week that our last guests left, but I have the feeling that nature is already claiming back her territory by land and by sea.
All day long, I seem to hear more birds singing than ever. There are new voices that I think I have never noticed before. And they feel louder than before too. I’m no bird expert at all, but just yesterday, two other colleagues mentioned the louder bird singing as well. So, there must be something in it, I guess.
Our monitor lizards (Soa Soa in the local language) are normally very shy and disappear immediately in the bushes or up a palm tree as soon as someone approaches them. Now, you can see them crawling more or less nonchalantly about the entire resort, even around the usually busy restaurant and bar area. It seems as though they feel less stressed by the employees that are still walking around everywhere as we are all busy working, cleaning and renovating the resort. I guess they appreciate the quieter and more relaxed atmosphere and venture out more often.
Lately, it has been raining a little almost every night, so the bushes and trees also seem greener than ever since I came here. It is starting to look like the lush tropical jungle again that makes the island of Pef so beautiful. Before the rain, the leaves were yellow, and many trees were losing their foliage day by day. It was far too dry for a long time, but now even the weather gods seem to have had a heart for us and sent us some rain.
Whenever the sea is not too wavy, I try to go snorkelling at our house reef after work. Even after 8 months on Pulau Pef, it still amazes me how incredibly beautiful the house reef is and how many corals as well as fishes and other animals live in it. Now, it seems as if the schools of fish have grown even bigger and I think there are more juveniles than before. As there are no dive boats nor liveaboards passing by our island now, marine life is much less disturbed than during normal times. I am not sure if fish can hear noises, but they must feel the turbulence of a passing boat. And the divers – even if they are very careful (which most of them are) – are an alien element to marine life. I believe a break from this intrusion will do these animals good.
This little virus is wreaking havoc around the world, killing so many people and making even more lose their jobs or their entire existence. And there may be many more consequences we don’t even know of yet. I would by no means want to insinuate that this isn’t the worst tragedy that has happened to us for decades. But maybe, by forcing us to take a break from our fast-paced modern life, COVID-19 may at least have a positive effect on nature. It would definitely be the only one, but a wonderful side effect of these difficult times we are currently going through.
I never even dreamt of working on a remote island in Indonesia, but life has a way of taking care of itself…