Friday, December 18, 2015
Me Happy, Others, Not so Much
Wednesday & Thursday, December 16-17, 2015
Today Petra and her children left for Santo Island and won’t be back till Friday night. [I found out later that the plane left very late and will be coming back very early so as to shorten their whole trip. I think I am the only one that had a good day.] The guys got back in way later than I thought, long after dinnertime. Elder Leben, poor guy, was on his own without his family, but he’ll be able to join them for much of their stay when they return in a couple of days. His wife left him with a list of things to do that we were unable to finish—so his family is gone and he is left with a ‘Honey-do List’.
The Tanna report: On Monday nothing got done—no materials to work with and had an extraordinarily frustrating day; Tuesday they got timber and were able to work; got stuck in the mud for an hour; had to wait till well after dark to get picked up; Wednesday completed the work without the roofing material that was promised but not shipped; came back without Elder Leben’s suitcase. The whole trip was frustrating. They will have to finish the roof without them; we’ll be gone.
On my own, I was not at all bored: I washed (had it hanging all over the place), worked on the report, tried to fix the blog problem (nothing would load till evening when I decided to load other blogs instead—it just didn’t like November 30th—it will take a long time here even so to catch up), read, swam, and ironed (there is no ironing board in the room so I use a towel and iron on the counter), and exercised. I even changed my room at the owner’s suggestion without looking at it, and changed it back again—packing and unpacking left me sweating profusely in the humidity—no problem, I just took a swim. I finally cleaned myself up in the afternoon so as to be presentable, but not before relaxing and swimming and reading by the pool. It was a good day.
Out to dinner one night in a beautiful place; Breakers Restaurant and Resort
We got our shower finally working right. For half the trip we had to turn it on, then off, then on, to keep the hot water coming, which lasted only a few seconds at a time. We also got our bed fixed—it was a bit too hard; so when the owners were visiting with us one day, Jim just happened to mention it. So, no problem, they brought a pad to add to it and now we have a better bed.
Yesterday Petra and I worked on our reports for the Area Office together, as there are many questions that they had asked and only the Leben’s can answer them. There is a lot going on here with the recovery shelters and rain catchment tanks, and there are so very many of them here on Efate and on Tanna and very few have been constructed. Another couple will be coming to live on Tanna for 6 months next year so that the Leben’s won’t have to fly back and forth so much. For a 40 minute flight you could get a better deal flying from coast to coast in the U.S. Sister Leben is worried about accommodations for the couple for a long-term stay—there are overpriced tourist places, and then huts…it will be interesting if they can find a good place to stay that doesn’t cost so much for a long haul.
Thursday: I had another day at the resort typing up our trip report, washing all of Jim’s clothes, and having time once again to go to the pool and read my book, while Jim and Matthias get frustrated while trying to purchase supplies (takes forever) and suffer while working in the heat. I do hope Petra and her kids are having a good time on Santo Island even though their trip got cut short by the unorthodox and changeable plane schedules.
We can’t go almost anywhere without seeing beautiful views.
I should mention the flies. While on Lelepa, the only problem was that there were so many flies. They even followed us in the boat while driving around or kayaking. They had bug spray, which helped a little bit, but no one can do anything about it because you see the mangoes are coming on and then the flies join everyone to their dismay. Even here at the resort where we are staying, we often shoo with one hand and eat with the other. We finish a plate and move it away in hopes to attract them to the other plate so that they leave us alone. It is also apparently the hottest time of year here on the islands. Even so, we are quite used to everything so that nothing much bothers us. It is odd how things begin to feel like home when we are away from our real home. I guess also that is why I liked my first room. I had gotten used to it, you see. The other had many advantages--Wi Fi in the room, a large covered outdoor balcony, great views of the lagoon, windier up there from the windows (upstairs to access it), etc., but the air conditioner didn’t seem to work as well, the room really was smaller, the shower looked older, etc., but in the end I thought if I couldn’t regulate the air conditioner it would not be good. Such a silly thing really. If we’d gotten that room first we would also have been happy and it would have felt like home too.
Elder Leben being silly…this seems totally out of character to us! Elder Stevens looking on. He and his wife work in mission office with the President. Sister Stevens actually brought her sewing machine with her. She remakes Sister Leben’s clothes (when the local members give her ones that are too big) and sews all kinds of things while here. I’ve also seen her swimming in the lagoon—she is an excellent swimmer.
Elder & Sister Stevens at lunch after snorkeling one day. Elder Stevens is a brilliant accountant, we hear.
Me happy, others not so much.