Lots of very angry, nasty bees in this one. Aisake was stung at least 5 times through his suit.
This morning Aisake and Carl arrived in Suva by the overnight ferry from Savusavu. Carl says he loved the trip as he really enjoys boats. Unfortunately he apparently has the same cold or flu that I had and so is not feeling well.
Nonetheless, after breakfast in Suva we drove down to Lomawai, arriving around 1 p.m. Since we had eaten a fairly late breakfast, Carl and Aisake immediately put on their beesuits and got into the hives at the center. They completed the inspection of 10 out of 15 double hives.
Tomorrow morning we will drive to Emuri Village to inspect the hives there. Then we will return to Lomawai to inspect the last 5 hives and do a bit of training for any of the local beekeepers who want to observe the inspection. They can learn a lot by watching and asking questions. Then I will meet with the school principal and other local leaders to discuss the future of the project based on our observations of the hives.
No matter what we decide (leave the hives where they are or move them) we will do training for local beekeepers on Thursday when we extract honey from 10 hives on a local farm. Again, a great learning opportunity.
Appreciate your prayers for wisdom in this important decision. Also continue to pray that my health returns to normal. I still have an occasional cough, but not like before. My voice is mostly back, but still a bit weak. My UTI seems to be clearing with the Bactrim. PTL. However, I do notice that I am still more tired than normal.
I’ve now spent three full days in Suva meeting with various ministry partners and doing some shopping for items I can only get here. I’ve met with everyone I needed to meet except for one friend involved in prison ministry. We’ve been in contact by email, but seems his schedule might not allow a face-to-face during this trip.
The computers and Biblical software I brought for our GIFT doctors are now at their center and are operational, except for one computer I left here last February. An IT person will help get the software downloaded and installed since the wireless connection we had access to was not fast enough to do the job. The files are massive. Once installed, updates are fairly quick. The doctors were so very thankful for the equipment and programs. They now have access to over $4,000 worth of commentaries, Bibles and other resource materials. What a blessing as they plan and manage their medical outreaches over the months and years to come.
In a few minutes I’m off to church and lunch. Very early tomorrow morning the ferry from Savusavu will bring Aisake and Carl to Suva and we will catch a bus down to Sigatoka where the next phase of our adventure continues. We will be checking into the beekeeping project in Lomawai and either doing more training there or we will be moving the assets to Labasa where they can be better utilized. This will be a very delicate and complex process. Appreciate your prayers that all goes well.
On the health front, my respiratory problems are almost all cleared up. Since I have not heard anything from the throat swab and other tests, I was told there was no finding of anything requiring further treatment. However, I am now dealing with a kidney stone and UTI, taking Bactrim as of yesterday.
Please keep praying for complete health for our team during our remaining time in Fiji. We leave on Monday, Sept 14 and have to have everything ship shape before we go.
Got up at 5:30 this morning. Had breakfast and headed to the Labasa airport for my 8:45 flight to Suva. The flight only took 35 minutes, which is shorter than the cab ride from the Nausari airport where we land, to my hotel in Suva.
Got checked into the hotel by 10:35. Plenty of time to unpack, take a nice shower and dress for my lunch meeting with the GIFT doctors. Only the lunch was postponed to tomorrow because of government budget meetings. Both of the doctors I am meeting are in important official positions. One is Permanent Secretary of Health and the other is Deputy Secretary for Social Services. Have already had apologies from both with a reschedule for tomorrow at 1 p.m. This was not a problem for me as I also had some shopping which I can only do in Suva. So I did that today instead of tomorrow.
I plan to see another doctor while I’m in Suva for a check to see that things are progressing as they should be. I still cannot speak. Kind of hard to use the phone. I do feel much better than when I had pneumonia. Still have bronchitis and stress induced asthma. Want to be rid of both. The cough from the bronchitis seems to be what is keeping me from being able to speak.
We have been going full tilt since arriving in Fiji, so today we took a day off to fish. This is a first for me, in all my trips here, I’ve never been fishing. We went out in a small boat with a 60 HP motor and trolled along the river heading to the open ocean inside the reef. Caught nothing,not even a nibble.
Went to the house of the chief in whose waters we would be fishing and snorkeling to greet him and give him the requisite gift. Chuck has known the man for many years. Ceremony complete we headed out to the inside of the reef. Caught three fish over the course of the morning and afternoon, including a 20+ lb. wallou–a truly marvelous fish to eat. I hooked a huge fish, but it bit through the line and took off with the lure and leader. But I did land a 10+ lb. rock cod.
After lunch and some more trolling, we headed back to a beach where three of the team snorkeled among the coral. All in all a wonderful, relaxing day.
I head to the airport at 7 a.m. to fly to Suva. Already have a lunch appointment that day with the Permanent Secretary of Health and the Deputy Secretary for Social Services. Both are doctors with GIFT, the group we do our medical work with here in Fiji.
I still have no voice, though I am much better each day. Didn’t risk a swim today, though. Didn’t want ot push it.