The other day, we had our Christmas picture taken with the entire staff wearing silly hats in the shape of Christmas trees in bright red and green. We all had a blast, as usual when there’s something funny happening on the island. After the official photo session, the locals kept taking pictures of each other and laughing with every single one they took. When our guests arrived at the bar area for our Tuesday ‘Happy Sunset’ event, we were all still wearing the hats and making fun. Our laughter was so contagious, most of the guests immediately got infected and laughed along.
This happens very often here. Our staff’s laughter is very contagious and can be heard all over the island. Most of the times, I have no clue what they are giggling about (and maybe they forgot themselves…), but I just laugh along as their laughter makes me laugh. I feel like I haven’t laughed as much for a long time before coming to Pulau Pef.
Our employees seem to be joking and laughing constantly. When they try to translate a joke, we (the westerners) usually don’t find it funny at all, but they just burst out laughing wildly. And they don’t stop, it keeps on going all day long! They sometimes seem like children to me – so innocent when it comes to having a good time. They live in the moment and enjoy it to the fullest. Something we should do more often in our so-called civilized world. It sounds like a cliché – us being serious and them joyful all the time – but it does change your perspectives.
To step out of the hamster wheel once in a while, crack a joke and laugh out loud – how liberating! I’m sure it would help solve some of our problems. And not taking ourselves so seriously seems like the key to me. We sometimes behave as though the world would stop turning without us “civilized people” taking care of things. It would be wise to trust our instincts a little more often, have a laugh once in a while and not stress out so quickly.
Just yesterday, there was a bunch of men from the neighboring village here to talk to Maya about an issue they were very upset about. She was due back on the island in the afternoon from a short trip to Sorong, so they waited in front of our office for many hours. In the beginning, they seemed very upset and were talking in loud voices. But then, some of our employees started talking to them, making jokes and laughing with them, so the whole atmosphere became more relaxed and peaceful. When they left much later in the day after long talks and much laughter, they seemed to have calmed down – at least for now. I am convinced, the jokes and the laughter contributed considerably.
I never even dreamt of working on a remote island in Indonesia, but life has a way of taking care of itself…