Sunday, July 31, 2005

This time, for real

Okay, I'm at a cybercafe in Nadi, Monday Morning, about to catch a bus to Suva, the capital. I left my bag and computer at the Wailoaloa Beach Resort where I stayed last night. They charged me a dollar a day. I made sure to get a receipt.

I've spent about 45 minutes trying to figure out how to get a travelogue/web log (blog) started. I think I got it now, at least passably. Now I can write the generic stuff here when I have internet access and send only the specifics in letters & emails.

I came into Nadi (pronounced Nandi) airport at 3:00 am on Saturday. That's Friday in America. 8:00 am. So that's about 11 hours in the air.

I've written email about Saturday's activities, so I won't repeat them here, now. Talk to Kelsey or Mom if you want to know about it. I think I forgot to mention I was held at customs for smuggling illegal items (apples) into the country. Better luck next time, eh Jonah?

Sunday morning, I switched hotels, from Nadi Bay to Wailoaloa, and went to church. Brother Lelo, the regional family history something or other, was there from New Zealand and lamented that the Family History Center was closed and no one was doing their geneology. I volunteered to help, since I know something about computers, and got the bishop's mobile number.

Now, my enthusiasm for geneology is nonexistent and my testimony of family history work is slight, but I figure it will give me a chance to meet some locals, and it's already given me an excuse to go car shopping. And maybe I will need a plane to help those from more remote islands track down their ancestors.

I'm reading a biography of George Washington I picked up at the airport, "His Excellency", which mentions an enlightened self interest as the First President's governing principle, and self-interest as the rule by which he measured others' motives.

So today, I'm going to Suva to see Jane's family. She's the girl I met last time. I spoke with her dad on the phone yesterday afternoon. I'll also plan to see the Temple president and his wife, Jenna's uncle and aunt, sister Maxfield's sister.

Suva's a respectable city, with about 300,000 people, so I will probably make it my base, though I plan on coming back tomorrow if the Nadi Bishop wants me to help in the Family History Center, which has been closed for months.

One more thing, my credit card and debit are not being accepted this morning. (all money is in Fiji dollars unless otherwise specified. Multiply by about .70 to .75 for US amounts.) I changed $20 at exhorbitant rates (1.61 * $20 = $32) at the bank. I may have to open an account here if I can't get it cleared up, although I had no trouble at the airport when I first arrived.

Also, it seems I lost about $40 cash, that I cannot account for. I burned through about $185 in the last 2 days (including three nights hotel stay.)

I've got to go if I want to make it in any kindof time. The bus will probably take most of the day as it is. I'll probably rent a car tomorrow to come back. I can get a rental for $4000 three month rental, but I'd like to see about buying. If I can resell before I leave, then it will probably be less.


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