First Fiji Report August 2015

On Tuesday, the 11th, I arrived at the airport For my 11:30 p.m. flight at 7:30. Fiji Airlines opens their counter at 7 p.m. and I like to get there as early as possible to get an aisle seat. There was already a 30-minute line. Fortunately I had my tablet with a book on Islam downloaded to read while I awaited my turn.

I noticed immediately that the plane was scheduled to take off two hours late—at 1:30 a.m. on the 12th instead of 11:30 on the 11th. One of the pilots had taken ill and they had to substitute another person who required a certain amount of time between flights, accounting for the delay. This is not a problem in that the result was we would arrive in Nadi at 7:30 a.m. instead of 5:30 a.m.

The flight was the best kind: one without event. I did not sleep, or even doze during the 10 ½ hour trip. Pretty much normal for me. Read more of the book on Islam, listened to some music, watched two very non-descript movies in which Maggie Smith had lead roles, and stood at the rear of the plane and stretched to pass the time.

At the airport, I had to figure out what to do with my 50 lb. trunk and the larger of my carry-ons while I took a cab from the airport into downtown Nadi to exchange currency and eat breakfast. The airport is under extensive construction and much of it is inaccessible. After being directed to the wrong place a couple of times, I finally located a check-in room where things would be safe.

My afternoon flight to Savusavu on Vanua Levu, the 2nd largest of the Fiji islands, took about an hour. It left on time and was completely full owing to the fact that everyone from LAX intending to go on the morning flight had missed their connection. When I landed, Aisake, friend and GIFT general secretary picked me up at the airstrip. We’ve already had a quick lunch and I’ve repacked my bags getting ready for the first two weeks of outreach and camp, as well as sorting out the items that will need to go to Suva with me during the 3rd week I’m here.

Tomorrow morning we drive across the island to Lambasa to meet with the doctors and with the farmer who will assist with taking our beekeeper trainer to the various places where he will be doing his training. I’m tired, but happy with the way things have started off.

Oh, by the way, I asked some of you to be praying for rain, as a drought had left the water tanks at the camp site empty. It rained heavily yesterday, filling all the tanks to the brim. Is God good, or what!