The Journey of the Xandari Commuters

I wrote about my daily “commute” in the first post I wrote upon arriving to Xandari as an intern. However, circumstances have changed since then (I am proud to say that I am officially a company employee now), so I think it’s only fair for me to share an updated version that not only illustrates my own personal account but also reflects that of many other employees of the hotel as well.

On a daily basis I walk down a steep, windy hill for ten minutes, and fend off a few rowdy dogs before arriving at the front gate of the hotel. In spite of the jolting canine approaches and shrill barking, the trek is an enjoyable one nonetheless. The early morning sun shines on the dewy pastures and a cool vapor lingers in the air, refreshing my skin as I walk along. Between the tin-roofed houses, I get a glimpse of a splendid view of the central valley and see a thin band of clouds nestled within the mountains. Along the way I cross paths with other early-bird commuters who are waiting for the rickety bus or I catch up with a fellow coworker as they are leaving their home and walk to work together.

Once at the gate, I greet the guard and any other workers who might be chatting or sharing jokes a few minutes before the clock strikes the hour. After “punching in”, I walk through the maintenance and gardening staff areas to meet with anyone that I need to talk to before they start laboring in the gardens and I have to seek aimlessly for their whereabouts in the verdant outdoors (the brown uniform of the gardening staff blends all too well within the greenery). Lastly, I make a final stretch up the hill to the main building and arrive to the office. In all earnest, I hope it won’t be long before I reach the lobby area with no noticeable heavy breathing or pounding heartbeat.

José Luis Ballestero, our head gardener, shucking some beans on a cool morning

My role within Xandari has changed slightly since I became an employee.  I continue to oversee and lead all sustainability initiatives at the hotel, but I am also now involved with guest relations by helping out at the front desk twice a week. It is a welcome change of pace, literally and figuratively, from my usual desk work and it gives me the opportunity to casually emphasize our various sustainable activities (i.e. plant-a-tree program, bird tour, and so on) and gently compel guests to participate.

As I walked a friendly British couple to their villa yesterday, I was reminded of my stunning impression of Xandari when I first arrived. The guests’ expression of fascination and wonder with the variety and color of flora and fauna around the property sparked a sentiment of pride and joy within me. The hard work and commitment that everyone contributes to make this an enchanting property resonates from every blossoming bromeliad to every detail in the villas, and I get to witness it first-hand everyday when I reach the top of the hill and gaze into the beauty that is Xandari.

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