For various reasons, our boss Maya (or «Ibu» as we all respectfully call her) hast just spent the last 5 months in Switzerland. The longest time ever away from the resort since she started it! I think she dearly missed everyone here, as well as the island. And we missed her! But this week, she finally came back.
As I mentioned before, our team functions well without her on the island. Every department head coordinates his or her people ad we all still have enough to do. But of course, it’s different when the boss is not around, as in every company, I guess. Especially now, that there are no guests and without a clear date as to when this will change, there was no hurry to finish a specific task (unless you work in the technical department – these problems are always urgent…). However, the last few weeks have been a little busier than the ones before. Since we’ve known when Ibu was coming back to Pef, most of our morning meetings started with «This or that will need to be finished by the time Ibu comes back!». We finally had a deadline again, and it felt good! I think the last few days before her arrival were spent cleaning everything, over and over again, as the weather was not favorable and daily rainfalls with heavy wind messed up things every time they just started to look nice and clean.
It was a mixture of excitement and everyone looking forward to Maya being back, but also dreading the moment she might detect something that is not exactly as she likes it. She’s meticulous about how she wants things to look, but that’s a good thing. Because this is what makes the charm of our resort – it bears Maya’s trademark.
And there was something else: it felt as if we were having our first guest again! Normally, they come and go every week and we’re so used to the routine of cleaning and preparing the entire resort that we don’t even think much about it. But now, after more than a year without guests, we feel we’ve almost forgotten what it takes to welcome «outsiders» at our jetty on a Saturday afternoon with music, dance, and a coconut drink. So, this was our chance to practice, and it made us wake up and feel alive again! We were so much looking forward to celebrating a new arrival, see a «new» face and get news from the outside world that doesn’t come via an electronic cable or a satellite. OK, maybe it was mostly me who was looking forward to talking to a westerner again after just having spent four weeks as the only bule at the resort…
Luckily, Maya brought the sun when she arrived (even if just for one day!). Which allowed us to welcome her with singing and dancing and in the evening with a nice dinner outside, as we do on special occasions. It wasn’t a wild party into the wee hours, but it felt good to have a little celebration to disrupt the daily routine we’ve been having here. Even though we live in paradise, without the prospect of an opening of the resort in the near future it isn’t always easy to keep our spirits up. Like anybody working in tourism anywhere in the world, we are longing for an official announcement from the authorities as to when the borders will reopen. A silver lining to get us through the moments when we feel, this situation is never going to change.
Even without this for now, the spirit has changed since Maya came back. Our staff seems more motivated and focused on their work. We set our ourselves tighter deadlines again which help us get things done more efficiently. We feel as though things are finally moving again. There are many long talks with Maya as obviously she wants to be updated on everything. Talks that would normally happen on a regular basis but had to wait for a while due to her long absence. And this too feels good, to tell and show Ibu what we have been working on and that the resort is still in top shape!
And there is one more big news: today, most of our employees that are currently on the island, got their first Corona vaccination! We are not forcing anyone to take the shot but luckily, the ones that are here have all decided to do it. We are very happy about this, as it means one big step towards a certain normality. Keeping our employees safe was always our biggest concern and the vaccine will contribute to this goal. And hopefully to being able to open the resort again very soon!
I never even dreamt of working on a remote island in Indonesia, but life has a way of taking care of itself…