What an interesting night and day.
Thanks, I believe, to those who prayed for me, I recovered quickly from my morning slump yesterday, finished packing, checked out of my hotel, delivered a few items to Ratu Osea and spent the late morning and afternoon sitting in a air conditioned food court overlooking Suva Bay, catching up on emails, etc.
It began to pour down rain in a way only tropical rain storms achieve. Great to watch through a massive glass window while eating pizza and catching up on emails. Not so great when it continued to the time I had to go catch the ferry. Fortunately a cab had just let off a passenger as I emerged from the shelter of the building and I was able to get in without getting too drenched. Off to the ferry terminal where there is no cover of any kind from the rain while waiting to board the ferry. Fortunately the cab driver is from Vanua Levu, the island I was heading to and was able and willing to drive up the ramp into the ferry to let me out. I gave him a nice tip for his kindness and ingenuity.
So, quite dry, I made my way up the ramp inside the ship to present my boarding pass. Had my forearm stamped (reason unknown) and made my way to the 1st class lounge where I would be for the 11 hour trip from Suva to Savusavu. Would the storm prevent the boat from leaving? Fortunately not, though we delayed for almost 2 hours (reason again unknown) before we finally departed.
Met and chatted with fellow passengers, two of whom were keenly interested in what TUtP was doing around Fiji, as they have been engaged in somewhat similar activities, albeit not from a Christian perspective. Still, we may assist each other in some ways in the future.
I did get a fairly good night of sleep as the boat wended its way through the rainy, blustery night. The sea was surprisingly calm and almost soothing. The food in the lounge was greasy and starchy, so I stuck to the yogurt and juice I’d brought aboard. I quickly exhausted my computer battery, but by then it was time to sleep.
Arrived at the jetty on Vanua Levu around 7:30 a.m. And waited and waited and waited to be let off. About an hour after our arrival, my host, Aisake, rang me and said a piece of heavy equipment was stuck on the ferry ramp and therefore no one was being allowed to leave. By then it was almost 8:45 and he planned to head into town to do some shopping. I should call him when we could finally disembark. Just as he hung up, the loudspeaker announced we were to leave the boat by an alternate exit that bypassed the stuck equipment. Quick call to Aisake to ask him to wait. We were in his truck less than 5 minutes later.
We had breakfast at the house where his family is living until they can complete building their new home. After breakfast we were off to the building site. Both the place where the family is now staying (7 acres) and the place where he is building (over 100 acres) can become major bee keeping and bee box building centers in the future. The town and surrounding areas look like great potential places to hold future outreaches.
We visited a number of surrounding locations throughout the day and will travel to another small village about 1 ½ hours away tomorrow. A good friend of ours, the man who designed and helped build the TUtP women’s and youth center in Namadi runs a small farm there. He also designed and is helping Aisake’s house.
Appreciate your ongoing prayers. This has been a very rewarding and satisfactory trip.