Thursday, March 08, 2007

When God Sends an Angel

It POURED last night. It was an incredible storm, and it went super late into the morning, with lightning, thunder and a torrent of rain. This has two beneficial effects. The first is that I get to enjoy a divine rain storm throughout the night – something ALWAYS worth sacrificing sleep for. The second is that the weekly trip out to camp is cancelled.

Now, that second part doesn’t seem quite so sweet when you consider that I was going to get dropped off at the Outrigger later in the morning to visit Travis and Mel Stevens, two friends from Canada who are passing through. I know Mel from Karate back in Three Hills, and they had brought some stuff for me. This left me to find my own way down to the South Western part of the Island.

Now, there is nothing quite like an adventure when you are all by yourself. No one else to blame for your mistakes when it is Me, Myself and I. I caught a return taxi into Nadi at 1, and walked the rest of the way to the bus stand. From there, I caught a Viti MiniBus to Suva, where I could get off at the Outrigger. The exciting thing about transportation here is that unless you are willing to pay a pretty penny (sometimes up to 20 times more) for your own solo ride, you get to wait ‘till the bus fills up. So after about 45 minutes of waiting, it can take upwards of 2 hours sometimes, we were on the way!

I arrived at the Outrigger around 3:30 PM and tracked down my two friends. Nice to talk to people who are a breath of fresh air from home: it reminds you of all the good things you miss, and something common to talk about. So we talked, ate and simply talked until about 6 PM, when I went back to the front desk at the Outrigger to catch the Coral Sun bus.

One thing you should always remember when you go to a ‘tourist’ country. If you’re a tourist, everything is going to cost at least double what it should. My ride down to the Outrigger cost me 10 dollars. They were telling me it was going to be 17 to catch the bus back. No biggy, it is air conditioned. One problem though, it wasn’t there. Turns out the lady that told me the time of the bus arrival was completely out to lunch, and I missed the bus.

Here’s where it gets comical. To catch a taxi into Sigatoka (5 minutes drive away) they wanted 10 dollars. I laughed at the lady who told me that, and asked her if tourists actually pay that (they do!). Then I preceded to walk out to the side of the road, and catch a minivan into Sigatoka (70 cents). While on the side of the road, I wasn’t feeling entirely confident in myself, although I knew what I wanted to do, I wasn’t entirely sure on WHERE everything was that I needed to catch.

So God sent an angel.

One of the ladies that was standing beside the road waiting for a bus/van took me directly to the minivan stand and made sure I got onto a van coming back to Nadi. Surprisingly enough, there was a van stopped at the stand with room for one (1) person. When they come through Sigatoka, they stop at a refreshment stand for about 15 minutes and then continue to drive on... and it was getting late (thus why I was a little unsure), and it just so happens that there was a van waiting with one last space for me to get on. You can’t tell me that doesn’t make you smile.

Total cost on my return: $6.70
Total tourist cost: $17

Seeing friends from back home in the middle of your time in a foreign country. An unknown lady that made sure I got onto the right van when I wasn’t quite sure about things because it was late and getting quite dark in a unknown town. Back home, safe and sound, dropped right beside my own road, for nearly a third of the cost. That’s sweet. God’s great!


Andrew said...

Wow! It sounds like you're having more fun than me trying to get where you want to go! I'm impressed.

Lorelei said...

Such a cool travel story! Isn't it "neat" how God can take care of even the tiniest details??? Love you kid. xoxoxo Kinda makes you wonder when you've been someone's angel?!