Sunday afternoon

Hooray!!! We are back in town! (Here we are at the wharf with our cargo on Sunday morning.)

We left Kia Village about 5:30 on Saturday morning and traveled almost half the length of the island of Isabel arriving 6 hours later in the provincial capital of Buala.

On our way to Buala, the boat motor used more gas than expected and we had to call into several hamlets to try and find some to purchase. On the third attempt, we were successful, and we found an interesting bonus there – the skeleton of a whale that had died on the coast last year! This amazing skeleton is only the tail section we were told! The kids are holding ribs.

When we asked if we could buy a whale bone we were told we could take one. What an amazing souvenir of our trip! We aren’t sure what we are going to do with it, although it’s been suggested we could make it into a coffee table or footstool! By the way, for its amazing size, it is not very heavy.

We spent the afternoon at a guest house run by the Anglican church and felt blessed to be able to take showers and catch a little sleep while waiting for the ship. The Estrella arrived around 7:00 pm and we boarded with our pile of cargo. The ship was really full as this was the last port of call before heading to Honiara and it had missed the previous scheduled stop at Buala last week due to the tsunami. We had 5 seats in second class and our legs had to rest on all the cargo. It was not very comfortable, but we were thankful to be heading to town at last!

The ship left about 8:30 pm and normally would have arrived in Honiara in the middle of the night, but we didn’t get in until 6:30 am! The ship went very slow because it was so heavily loaded. The ship was so loaded down that even though the sea was not rough, waves were splashing onto the outer walkways of the ship. We never take a safe arrival for granted!

Here are some photos up from our week in Kia so you can ‘see’ where we have been.

Here’s a photo of the participants of the course on the last day. They are standing in the new church building in Kia. All the beautiful decorations on the wall behind them are shell inlay. The angels and dove are carved from wood by a local man with a grade six education. It is beautiful!

This is Kia from outside the church late one afternoon. As you can see, many of the houses are on stilts over the water. The small shacks further out in the water are pig pens.

I had a lot of fun taking photos out in the village. Here’s one of my favorites!