This is one of our favourite stories, which reflects the special flair of Bunaken Oasis – perhaps even explains this perceptible, extraordinary atmosphere.
Elaine and her husband Simon were already looking forward to the opening of Bunaken Oasis Dive Resort & Spa when a storm with strong winds and torrential rainfall hit the brand new resort. A failure of the construction company to properly install and fill the drainage throughout the site had fatal consequences: The lobby and much of the lowest level of the otherwise built-in hillside facility sank beneath tons of silt, essential parts of the building services, of the fresh and sewage system and a lot of others were destroyed. In desperation, Elaine asked for help from one of the village leaders, who granted it promptly. Soon after the call, boats docked, bringing dozens of villagers armed with tools and all sorts of supplies ashore. Carpenters, electricians, construction workers and volunteers quietly got down to work, solving every problem, helping wherever it was needed. The opening of the Bunaken Oasis Dive Resort & Spa was successfully taking place, everything was finished in time. As far as we know, the villagers never asked for anything for their help. But of course it changed everything.
Sometimes, when Elaine tells this story again, she is still deeply moved and a few tears of emotion appear in the corners of her eyes. Out of their plight a probably lifelong friendship arose, characterised by deep respect for each other, between immigrant English people and long-established Indonesians. Elaine and Simon train young people from the surrounding area in the resort free of charge, maintain foundations for the benefit of the local population and take part in the lives of the people. Not all of the employees are Indonesians, but the vast majority, including the management, are. The hierarchies in the company are in line with the industry standard, but the respect and caution with which one deals with each other is striking. Especially for the guests, who spend their holidays in this place of let’s call it “discreet thoughtfulness”. Who experience relaxation without knowing why this place, the Bunaken Oasis Dive Resort & Spa, is so extraordinary.