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Where do I begin then, I wondered, after fastidiously critiquing then dismissing several written introductory attempts through discontentment, or better yet, unworthiness. Nervous perhaps? Likely. Gosh, I want to introduce here a person, a friend, who (unknowingly) played a monumental role in that which lead to my being where I am today – mentally, so it is of some importance to me, this delineation. But how, what combination of colourful adjectives, or wittingly composed clauses could adequately convey, and/or give justification to this incredibly positive, inspiring, and purely joyful personality… really. I deliberate, some more. Perhaps a short video clip might clear the passage, I decide, excited at the prospect of looking back over footage of Andi, an employee of the island resort which offered me the opportunity to progress the ‘idea’ that I perhaps knew what I was doing, which in retrospect, I’m not sure I did. I’ll be forever grateful for that, Paul.

As it were, I did manage to accumulate quite a collection of Andi (ography) during my short stay here, which, when considering my role was actually to make films of the guests, could be thought a little strange. I disagree. Andi, for lack of a better word, captivated me, or perhaps more so did his positive attitude and pure excitement for life which, for me, at that time, was incredibly refreshing.

Andi, a young Mentawai man, who had recently been plucked from a nearby village and offered a job driving boats at the resort, exemplified how little is required – or perhaps favoured, in acquiring a sense of happiness; he highlighted the importance of just enjoying life for what it is, and how this can similarly spread on to others. He provoked a genial disposition, a positive (and facetious) outlook to life, so naturally, I was drawn to this… pardon the profundities here, but this is what captured my imagination.

Andi inspired a great deal of thought within – which generally related in some way back to the problems being faced by my own culture, and why they existed. So I began flirting with the idea that an insight to a possible solution may in fact lay somewhere beneath the selfless felicity possessed by Andi… or in his upbringing, perhaps; which then quickly evolved into the experience that ensued, and the film.

The other reason for having this collection could indeed be attributed to his growing infatuation with methods of a modern world, his fondness for the camera, which, on occasions, would be responsible for my missing the guest’s ‘wave of the day’ or the like – oops. “Ah, sorry, I think I was changing the battery for that one” I would later purport, cheekily – thinking they probably wouldn’t mind anyway that I was actually filming Andi on the roof of the boat, reposing.

Anyway, for Andi, sarainam.
Masurak bagatta

4 Responses Subscribe to comments

  1. Belinda Le Grice

    Hi Rob I love the Mentawai Song….you have the lingo/accent down pat. you’re almost native! I have video recordings of my friends from Siberut also, but the ants got into the video and so now can’t play them back to hear. But I must have about 1 hour of one of my special friends Natalis who has an incredible voice and amazing on the guitar. He now lives in Padang, but heart never leaves the island. This has inspired me to get onto it and borrow a recorder to play it and get it on CD. If I do that would you be interested in a copy?
    Cheers Belinda (from the sailing yacht Bonnie…friends of Paul Clarke)

    Oct 24, 2010 @ 6:05 pm

  2. Dippy

    Andi..You ARE THE MAN!!
    looking forward to seeing you next March!
    along with Paul, Megan and crew

    luv Dip

    Oct 24, 2010 @ 6:18 pm

  3. Chimp

    Andi , I love it, you bridge the gap, if there ever was one.

    Oct 24, 2010 @ 10:49 pm

  4. RbH

    Thanks for writing Belinda,
    Ants!!? Damn, thats… unusual, and sad.
    I’d be ecstatic to hear a version from you too, please do!
    I learnt a number of others which I’ll perhaps record, or film, at some point too.
    Incredibly relaxing and uplifting to play; I enjoy, a lot.
    Hope to hear from you soon.

    Oct 25, 2010 @ 4:30 pm


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