Sunday, July 7, 2013

Savusavu trip

Bula Vinaka
We had to go pick up a bike.out in the bush and drove on this dirt road that was so full of deep pot holes that we were bouncing around in the van we borrowed pretty good, so I grabbed the loop and leaned forward to save my back.

These three Elders are staying in one of our very nice new flats.    Elder Swerling on the right has played professional  rugby and is built pretty solid.  He complained of his tush hurting with the narrow seats on the bikes so we
 bought him a saddle style seat.  Now we're dropping off a heavier built bike for him because he stripped the
chain on his current bike pumping so hard.  Bike repairs is a regular task that Elder Hogge has to deal with.

LABASA/SAVUSAVU TRIP.... We flew to Labasa Friday morning to look for two flats one in each area.  The Terry's  drove us around and this is the chapel in their area.  They live in a flat that is older but it's so hard to find flats in this area, that we're going to hang on to it  for a couple coming in September that will repalce them.  If they are unhappy with the flat, we'll let them look and see if they can find a flat they would prefer to live in..

Sister Terry loves to cook for the missionaries and has two pet Gecco's that  climb on her appliance's when she
 is in the kitchen, patiently waiting  for her to put a dab of whatever sweet thing
she is cooking on the bar, then slowly lick up every bit of it.  

The Terry's found one flat that would be good for the sister's to move in, but the current renter  who hasn't paid rent for some time, refuses to leave, and the landlord will have to serve papers to evict him, which typically takes a long time,
so they basically said other than that there's nothing else available.  They left to run an errand, and we were feeling down and decided to pull into a car wash to get the dirt off of the truck we borrowed from the ZL's.

This is Siste Aoina and Ongesel.  Their flat is on top of a big steep hill and the flat is built on the side of the hill  which means a lot of steep stairs to climb down.  The water seeps up into one of the bedrooms, and the walls are always wet creating mold problems, so we need to find them a healthier flat to live in.  When the tenants above them have cava parties, they lock themselves in their flat to try and feel safer, also not a good situation.

This is how dirty the truck was.  The car wash area has two workers with a power  washer and to the
back of the lot were some young men working on cars with old sheds and car parts. 

This is the nice looking clean truck.  I remembered that we had seen a small sign  on the front of the car wash entrance saying flat for rent and reminded Elder Hogge to ask about it.  They had us follow them to the back of the lot and down a trail which opened up into a complex of 3 homes, nicely kept and the son of the owner of the flat showed it to us.

Sadly the other flat we needed to check out is a big flat near town that the Elder's live in.  It needed a good cleaning and the couches (this one looked like a smashed cake) have got to go.  There were also very old mattresses (had to be twenty years old) that we told them to put out on the curb, sometimes people will take them, and recover them, but they definitely needed to go.  Elder Hogge will arrange for some new ones for them along with some cleaning supplies.  We asked the Terry's to find someone to make drapes and paint the walls.  It's difficult getting around to these other islands and keep a handle on the condition of the flats, but now that we know we'll get the things more livable for them.

Back to the flat we found for the sister's, it has a nice new interior and we will be the first renter's.  The landlord has had other people interested in renting it, but wanted good renter's and wouldn't rent to them.   They like LDS renters because they know we pay our rent and also we do not drink or party as other people sometimes do.  The other two renter's are a policeman and his wife and baby and the other a fireman.  The landlord takes good care of the complex, so we truly felt like the Lord helped us find this flat.  As Elder Hogge said "the Lord takes care of his missionaries".

Living space where we'll put table and chairs for studying.  The two bedrooms are painted a bright pink.

The Landlord is Indian and his wife Fijian and  this is their cute little daughter

Outside of the sister's new flat.  

We drove down to Savusavu from Labasa that afternoon after signing a contract  for the sister's flat

We're staying in the same hotel we did last time.   There seem to be more sail boats in the lagoon this time.

We headed up to drop off Elder Read (L) who we picked up at the Labasa  airport and  dropped  him off  at  the flat  where he's been transferred to.  I can't remember this other Elder's name, he's here on
temporary assignment until his visa comes through to serve in the Phillipines.

Elder Hogge flew up by himself to arrange the contract for this flat, and Elder Trent was given the assignment to find someone who would make some drapes.  He did a great job, I think we ought to have more Elders find drape makers.

As we were leaving I saw this, you may remember it was hanging above a door entrance at the "purple  palace"  They brought it to the new place and it's now decorating the porch!

Elder Trent, Read, Hogge, ---

View from our hotel room

From the beautiful view pictures you may think we're spoiled, but we still have to iron our clothes on a table with  a  folded sheet, there's no tv in the room, and the showers are cold, but it does have a wall unit air conditioner...Yes!

We shopped for some things the flats needed and I took this  picture of town.    The poles in the
 background are the masts of all the sailboats docked at a favorite hang restaurant.

Tide is out

flowers on the shoreline

I went shell hunting for a few minutes while elder Hogge tried to get a phone signal  to call Elder's on another remote island.  I was excited to find a small piece of the deep red coral.  There is such a beautiful variety of shells in Fiji 

There are so many steep mountains on this island, that the only flat space is along the outer perimeter of the island.
I tried to capture  the depth with this picture.  Each of the  5 houses is built on a higher level than the one below it.

We had lunch on Saturday with the Howard's (welfare couple serving 6 months here)
 They even had homemade ice cream for dessert, it was such a treat.

We have a new support couple arriving on the 15th who will be assigned to Savusavu and we  checked out a flat that's built on a very steep hill with a small landing space to park their top at the top.  This driveway was so steep that Sister Howard and I volunteered to walk back down then be in the truck with Elder Hogge backing down it.

Flowers at the side of the new flat Howard's found to live in.

unusual bush in their yard.  Green leaves, white leaves (look kind of like leaves on a poinsetta) and yellow star  stamins.  

laundry area outside the Howard's bathroom, I was impressed with how nice the tile floor was.

Beautiful wood floor..Elder and Sister Howard

I've found a kindred spirit, sister Howard loves shell like I do.

This little boy was having an apple before church started.
 In fast meeting a young Fijian man bore his testimony and  shared that when he was a missionary in 2002 there was no transport from Savusavu to Labasa and how hard it was to walk the steep mountainous roads to get to Labasa.  It took us an hour by truck driving on steep winding roads to get from Labasa by truck,
so I can't imagine how hard it must have been to walk all that way.  

Sister Howard found this beautiful delicate shell on the beach it's a light lavendar color,but so fragile
 like an eggshell, so I don't know how she will be able to take it home.  I have only found pieces of it
so it was fun to see what the animal looked like.

Well we fly back to Suva tomorrow and 11 new missionaries will be arriving Tuesday morning, so I'll close
Take care, and know that we love and miss you.  Love Elder and Sister Hogge

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