Today, I’m leaving to go back home for Christmas and a five-week holiday in Switzerland! It’s the first time in almost six months that I’ll get to see my family and friends and I’m very excited about that. I didn’t realize how much I missed them until this vacation got closer…
As mentioned before, I feel very much at home with my new Pef family here. But it’s not the same as my real family. Although I have found a new and very loving new home here with Maya and the entire staff, I still consider Switzerland my home and this will remain, no matter how long I work for Raja4Divers. They say you can’t choose your family, and some people don’t get along very well with their parents or siblings. But I was very lucky, I have wonderful parents, a great sister (who unfortunately lives in the USA – a long way from West Papua!) and two gorgeous adult children of whom I’m very proud. We are all rather independent and sometimes don’t see each other that often. But we don’t need to, because we share a deep understanding and know that we can rely on each other if worst comes to worst. It’s probably this security that gave me the power to wander off to the other end of the world and start a new adventure. I was very confident that we were all going to be fine and manage to keep up the tight bonds that we have.
But now, I need to see them in person. Have a face-to-face conversation with them (instead of the scraps of conversation during WhatsApp calls with weak Wi-Fi that we usually have to endure), hug them and tell them about my life on the island - even though this is almost indescribable. I want to get their news, find out how they have really been the last few months, not just the short form we exchange via text messages.
Of course, I’m not the only one missing my family and friends here. Everybody working on the island is separated from their loved ones for weeks or months, and I’m sure they miss them too. Indonesia being so big and flights rather expensive, some of them only fly home once a year because they cannot afford more flights. For Christmas, most of our Christian employees will take a holiday and travel home to their families. This accounts for about half the staff, mostly Papuans. The rest are mainly Muslims or Hindus, who will stay here and choose another religious holiday or time of the year to go back home.
The resort is now closing for 3 weeks of renovation and cleaning and will re-open in January. It will be a quiet time here for everybody, I experienced this at the beginning of my stay on the island. At the time, it was almost too quiet for my liking, but I didn’t know the people very well then. I’m sure it would be a cool experience now to stay here and celebrate Christmas and New Year’s on Pef, but I’d still rather be with my people back home for this year.
For me, Christmas and the end of a year have always been a time to spend with my family and close friends. That’s why I am very grateful to Maya for giving me the possibility to take a break and travel to Switzerland. I’m sure I will very quickly start missing the beautiful island, the warm climate, the incredible nature and the Pef family. If I do, I will let you know about it in my next blog post…
MERRY CHRISTMAS! Have a wonderful time with your families and friends!
I never even dreamt of working on a remote island in Indonesia, but life has a way of taking care of itself…