One of the great achievements of Ecolodges Indonesia has been to instill a feeling of ownership of the company in most of our staff. This has had many positive results including loyalty and a feeling of the importance of a job in this working environment. Now, when the Indonesian part of the company has been cut off from face to face contact with its worldwide support group, a further vital characteristic has developed, namely, a feeling of self-confidence into a future under Indonesian management. This is amazing as most of our staff have come from unemployment and poverty in their areas to positions of authority in the company. After more than twenty years, we have come to know staff who are totally honest, and these employees are worth their weight in gold.
In the current situation, with limited cash funds, and unknown ending time of the Corona crisis, the attitude of our staff into an unknown future is critical. We wish now to tell you about what our staff is doing in six parts: Head Office, the four lodges Kelimutu, Mbeliling, Rimba and Satwa, and our Tours & Travel agency Ecosafari Indonesia (ESI). The national parks around three of our lodges are closed until further notice, thus closing these hotels.
Head Office Under the leadership of Gede Anjasmara and his wife Emi with the great assistance of Gede Ori (Head of ESI) are keeping this diverse company together.
Gede Anjasmara and Putu Helmi Mariani (Emi)
Emi has pioneered a COVED 19 set of regulations to be applied by the managers of all lodges. This includes isolation of all incomers from outside the local area for 14 days and regular protocols applied to all staff every day – temperature and possible clinical symptom checks, regular washing of hands, regular wiping of toilets, handles etc, hand wipes at the gate for ay official visitors eg police and government officials, and continuous monitoring of the perimeters for unwanted visitors. Emi also rings the managers every day to give them moral support and check developments. She also keeps in regular touch with Meryl Wilson in Australia to discuss problems and check procedures re-airing of rooms and maintenance problems. She also attends Monday Management meetings with Australia.
Thus far we have not had a case of the Corona virus in any employee.
Gede Anjasmara is responsible for the overall management of the company. Gede is the longest serving member off the company having started in 1997. He has worked his way steadily and loyally to his current position. His main tasks are management of a very tight budget, liaison with all sectors of government, meeting regularly with our tax consultant, handling complaints from employees in this very difficult situation and managing the weekly management meetings on Whatsapp with the Chairman and his wife in Australia.
Gede Ori is the Head of Ecosafari Indonesia and vital member of the Management Board. He also has worked his way up the company ranks since commencing in 2002. He pioneered our Tours & Travel section in 2009 from scratch and now is responsible for over 35% of our business prior to Corona. Gedes mainjob now is to maintain contact with important clients and partners; also answer queries from guests and vitally maintain information on social media outlets.G eded is also Chairman of our Conservation Foundation together with other staff members. This Foundation will shortly try and raise funds to assist in the wages of some employees who are attached to the national park around their respective lodges. If anyone wishes to contact Gede, they should email firstname.lastname@example.org
Kelimutu Crater Lakes Ecolodge
The staff of this five hectare property with rice paddies, fish ponds, fruit trees and many vegetables grown organically together with a 22 bedroomed hotel have a responsibility for security, maintenance and room management in a small village. We do have a contract with the local police. Twenty-four staff are under the Manager Johanna Kapi. Johanna has been with us since we opened this lodge in 2010. She began as room staff, became Head of Housekeeping, then moved to the office to join Administration and became Manager in February 2020. She has risen to the challenge and has successfully imposed stringent wages reductions with subsequent reductions in time inputs to manage the staff.
One of the areas where the staff work together is the development of food production where two thirds of the income go to the staff and one third goes to the company. This assists in obtaining adequate food sources and, also extra income.
Staff work together in the garden
Mbeliling Mountain Ecolodge (MMEL)
Mbeliling is our newest lodge and has just been opened and is a specialist birders hotelwith at least four endemics in the grounds and surrounds. The Manager is Maria Surni who has worked in the company for more than 15 years. She is responsible for a staff of 14 whose main job has been to complete parts of the lodge with no budgeted funds. Most of the staff (all local people) have become builders during their employment. They have become the most multi tasked staff in the company. During the last few weeks they have assisted the completion of the laundry, main store, the staff house and the garage.
Maria A. Surni
This is the only lodge which is open and currently have two guests from Belgium and France who are stuck in Flores and have found a guaranteed Corona free area where persons have to self-isolate for 14 days prior to entering the area. These guests are bird guides and one is developing an Encyclopaedia of birds. Below is an example of their finding in the beautiful gardens and environs of this lodge.
Rimba Orangutan Ecolodge
The Rimba is our oldest lodge having been purchased in 2004. The eminent Primate scientist Dr Professor Birute Galdikas is one of the shareholders. The current manager is Novrianto who is the first hotel trained manager (Swiss Bel) in our company. Noprianto has possibly the most difficult job in Ecolodges Indonesia (apart from Gede Anjasmara) as he has to cope with a very small budget, large staff, an aggressive local government and national park, a severely threatened area by palm oil, poachers and a river where unwanted persons can enter easily at any time. He is working closely with management to counter any potential threat or problem from any of these areas.
Some of our staff work closely with the national park employees assisting in areas of reforestation. During this down time, we hope to support these employees by raising funds through our new Conservation Foundation. We hope to launch this shortly.
Satwa Sumatra Ecolodge
Although this is our smallest lodge, it is our most compact being situated in a small village, the home of all our staff. It will thus be the easiest to manage it will be secure and safe as the villagers will monitor it. The Manager of Sugeng Prayitno and has been the manager since 2009. Many of the staff are involved with park employees assisting them with conservation programs. We will concentrate on these during the downtime.
(left) Sugeng (right) Heri
(Left) Scarlet Minivet – Perucrocotus flammeus (right) Olive Backed Sunbird was found at Satwa Sumatra Elephant Ecolodge Garden.
you can find our activities video here
by : Ecolodges Indonesia