Fiji Day #9
Friday, January 16, 2018
Sleeping in a hammock, swaying in the breeze and listening to the sounds of a nearby tropical river is as great as you would imagine. Unless you’re Eric Bradley and you are listening to four other guys who have banded together as a barbershop snore quartet. Sorry Eric.
There aren’t enough beds for all of us where we are staying in our new location (Tavua), so David Bickley, knowing I love to hammock, told me to bring some hammocks to Fiji. The guys slept in hammocks we rigged up under tin roof covering. The girls slept on some mattresses on the floor in the house (connected to the church).
The Fijians had never really seen a hammock and certainly never laid in one. It was a real kick convincing them to try it. They screamed and laughed and so did we. They were worried we were going to fall out in the night. We did not.
During the night I got up to use the restroom and when I lifted the toilet seat I saw something crawl quickly away and up the wall. i thought it was a mouse, but then I was like, why would a mouse climb a wall (I was tired). I turned my flashlight on and found the critter. It was a spider. I was pretty amped up at this point from being startled. I tried to take a picture of the spider because I thought there was no way anyone would believe me. As I was trying to take the picture in the dark, Eric snuck up behind me and turned the light on. It was the middle of the night. I jumped! He asked if he startled me. I told him, no. But he did. He startled me. I thought a mouse sized spider learned how to turn the lights on.
We woke up to the worst cat trying to sing the worst song in the worst key in the worst way. That cat might have been dying. I hope so. (It’s okay, if it’s a Christian cat it will go to heaven)
We ate breakfast together, prepared by pastor Mousmi. It was delicious. She likes to bake as a hobby so when she cooks there is always a good baked item included. This time was no exception. We had mango chocolate chip bread.
After breakfast we gathered our stuff to head out and visit some people at their homes. As we headed to the vehicles, a van pulled up. It was a mom and her son asking for some prayer. The son had been in a car accident that left him with severe burns on his body. We prayed that his healing would come quickly and we invited him to come back to the service in the evening. He did come.
Our schedule resumed and we headed into the mountains to Davota. Andrew calls this area the jungle, It’s inland Fiji. We visited five different homes, delivered groceries and offered prayer. People aren’t going to work or school right now because bridges and houses have washed away in the flood. It makes navigating to homes difficult. The church had ankle deep water in it the day before we got here.
The landscape is very green and full of beautiful hills and valleys. On the way to one of the houses we saw a beautiful waterfall a little way below the road. Cami asked the car I was in to stop so she could take a picture (this happened several times). We usually stopped for a quick second then caught up to the other car. This time the car in front of us, driven by David Bickley, stopped as well. As soon as it did I looked at our driver, Andrew, and said, “We’re going town to that waterfall.” he said, “no,” I said, “Watch.” I know David Bickley well. We went down to that waterfall.
We got into the waterfall in our clothes and took a Fiji shower. It looked really cool, and it was really cool, but also, there was a lot of sand coming down the waterfall and it ended up in our pants.
On this trip we also visited the Foursquare church in Davota. The property they are on would cost a million dollars in the US. It’s a 360 degree view! Also, it’s for sale! $40k Fijian ($20k US). And it comes with a used pickup!
After our visits we went back to Tavua for lunch. Pastor John made us the best chow mein! I ate it with my hands. That’s what I do now. We also drank Vanilla Coke which Eric thinks is from heaven. “It’s liquid gold” he says! Soda is different here. The coke is made with Fijian cane sugar and the vanilla is Fijian vanilla. It’s pretty good! The Mountain Dew on the other hand is gross.
I am trying to learn some Hindi phrases and people think it’s pretty funny when I say them. I always end with the same joke, “I speak Hindi.” It was getting some laughs, so I asked Andrew how to say, “I speak Hindi” in Hindi. The joke doesn’t work now. People just try to speak to me in Hindi and I have now idea what they are saying.
After lunch we took a short hammock break before we did some stuff around the church to prepare for the evening service. A trench needed to be dug along the church to guide water away from the building. We also needed to mop up some of the flood water out of the gathering space.
We worked up a sweat so David, Paul, Eric, and I walked to the flooded river with Andrew and Mosesi (one of the young men from the church) to have a swim. The river was swift and the bank was muddy. We walked up stream and floated down the river. Then Mosesi showed us a tree to climb and jump off into the river. It was so fun! We forgot to bring a camera so this is just a memory for us.
We got back and showered off to get ready for the service. We wore our Sulus (skirts) and Bula shirts! At the service Paul, Hayley, and Eric shared their testimony. They did such a good job. I was especially proud of Paul and Hayley. They stretched themselves to share what Jesus has done in their lives! After the testimonies we had a time to pray with the people who came.
Dinner was after the service at around 9 PM. Dinner is typically late. Pastor John prepared a farewell feast! This is our last day here in Tavua. It was so good! The only thing better was the conversation. We asked our hosts to share their stories with us. It was fun.
While dinner was being cleaned up, Andi said she thought a spider was crawling on her. She couldn’t find it. Then pandemonium broke out. the spider was on the wall. It was not an American spider. It was the size on a baseball. Andi assured us it wouldn’t bite, but it would probably crawl all over us if we tried to touch it. Cami tried to touch it. It was hilarious. I have the whole thing on video. If someone reminds me, I’ll share it when we get back.
Now we are going to bed. Night two in the hammocks! Tomorrow we get a rest day at the beach! I’m excited! We haven’t really seen the ocean yet. God is good!