The little screen on the seat in front of me tells me that we have crossed the international date line and Fiji is not far away now. The man in the seat next to me wanted to use my shoulder as his head rest. He patted my shoulder and said it was ok, he just wanted to rest his head. Hmm. It gives whole new meaning to giving someone the cold shoulder! In spite of trying to dodge being his pillow, I did manage to get some sleep. It’s 8:30 on Monday morning in Dallas, but when We deplane in Fiji in a couple of hours, it will be 5:00 am on Tuesday. Who needed Monday anyway?
Beginning in security in LAX,I began to see faces from the Pacific. No one I knew of course, but there is that general recognition that these are the peoples of the Pacific – and a heart warming recognition of the familiar is stirred within me. It’s only hours now until i see the faces of Solomon Island friends who we love so much.
Bittersweet emotions punctuate my building anticipation. I can’t forget Tim, Emily and Sarah. They long to be winging their way to the Pacific, but it’s not yet their time. In the meantime I will be the family ambassador who will enjoy the sweet reunions with friends, smelling the salty Pacific Ocean, tasting tropical fruits while bringing the love and well wishes of the family.
Probably only an MK would know how my girls are feeling at the moment. I know this trip isn’t easy for them. But I salute their selfless release and blessing to make this trip. I love you, Emily and Sarah. Since you were little, you understood the sacrifices of this lifestyle and have freely allowed us to go. Thank you for making it easy to make this trip even when it hurt to see me go be where you can only dream of being here at the moment.
There are actually two other Wycliffe families on this same flight. One is returning after their furlough and the other just arriving for the first time. We didn’t plan on being on the same flight, but here we are.
We landed in Nadi in the early hours Tuesday under a full moon. Getting off the plane, the warm humid air felt comfortable. Then I reminded myself that it was only 5 am. It will get warmer.
While we waited to go through transit, we were serenaded by a Fijian quartet playing guitars and ukulele. Traveling with the other two families has made the time go faster. Between the two families they have two small children. I’ve been able to help carry kids or bags. The kids have been good, but it’s a challenge for them and their parents.
We are on the plane now waiting our departure to Port Vila, Vanuatu where we will have an hour in transit before going on to the Solomons.