2013, 04-25 Visiting Season, Opening Day
In just a few hours Bills Sister Dee will arrive –the first of three sets of family who are coming to visit us in Fiji. We are excited to share our Fiji home but are also shaking our heads at how exactly we managed to schedule them back to back to back. We didn’t set out to have guests hot bunking the v-birth but we also didn’t manage to plan for this not to happen. Dee arrives today at 4:00pm and flies out nine days from now on a 10:00pm flight. The next morning at 5:00 am son Josh and daughter-in-law Dianna arrive on the Los Angeles to Nadi flight for their six day stay. Then just six days later Josh and Dianna lift off at 10:00pm while my mom and niece Katie are in the air and set to arrive on another 5:00am LA to Nadi flight. That’s two rounds of lift off at 10pm and new arrivals seven hours later at 5:00 am! Oops! Oh well the reservations are made so here we go.
A guest means preparation. Five and a half weeks of guests means chaos. The v-birth (in the off season the v-birth is our garage) needs a transformation: clean out, rearrange and repack. I painted and scrubbed and washed guest bedding and we schlepped provisions home on the bus from town. Oh and where exactly am I going to put all the goodies that each of our guests have stashed away in their luggage? We’ve been ordering boat bits and pieces for weeks now and all of those bits will need to be stored somewhere. Guests also mean filling up with diesel and hauling jerry cans of dinghy gas to the boat cleaning the boat inside and out with at least a half assed attempt at shinning up the stainless and rinsing off the graying teak. The decks need to be really scrubbed and the time out at anchor with each set of guests means that we will be dragging aboard the sand and salt water stickiness that only a hose at the marina will wash away again. The inside of the boat will need to be cleaned before and between –of course- and we will need to resupply with several loads of general stores. We only have one set of towels and sheets for guests so between each set of guests I will be rushing to run everything through the laundry. Please rain stay away –at least till the laundry is dry!
Boat life has a good deal of idiosyncrasies so each set of guests need lessons on conserving water and power, operating the heads, running the shower and shower drain, opening the fridge, finding the silverware and opening and closing hatches and ports –and a million other bits of information. Everyone will want to see a piece of city life so with each set of guests we will visit Nadi and or Lautoka -or both- for a taste of the real flavors of Fiji. The big town market is a must see for the sights sounds and colors of all the local fruits and vegetables and of course the stalls filled with Kava root and spices. Then there is the beautiful Hindu Temple and at least a peek in the handicraft shops for a look at carved kava bowls, war clubs and cannibal forks. Every bit of Fiji we can cram into a few days three times running. By June 2nd I will have cried over all of our goodbyes and we will be busy preparing for our passage on to the island of Vanua Levu –our first big passage in months. Kat