Up and at ‘em everyone! Today’s the big day! Team Roz is on the move…
Saturday was a fantastically busy day. I raced around getting clothes and gear packed for Roz and myself, and spent lots of time on the internet and on the phone, tying up last minute details. New contacts and very helpful information from Tarawa continued to trickle in about clothing requirements, accommodations, phone service, and immigration. As the updates came in, I forwarded it all on to the other members of Team Roz so we could accommodate accordingly. Finally, I packed up the Yellin’s studio where I’ve been staying since Roz and I arrived in February.
I was all ready to go, but…did I mention that my car chose this week of all weeks to explode? Well, it did. Billowing smoke on the highway, followed by a powerful explosion and my little Corolla’s pathetic end. But I digress. This inconvenient turn of events only meant that I was marooned on the North Shore without a ride into Honolulu. It’s about an hour away. I finally managed to convince two lovely friends to give up a prime Saturday night and schlep me into town – hooray!
At Hunter and Traci’s house, we opened up our cases, spread everything out and downsized in a big way. I ended up leaving half the clothes and half the dried nuts and granola bars behind. We exchanged emergency contact details, scanned our passports and booked our hotel in Nandi, Fiji, where we’ll arrive at about 1 pm on Monday, September 1st. Whew! We said our goodnights and set alarms for 5 am. After a much needed shower, I popped open the laptop, ready to type up the day’s blog, but I couldn’t get on the password-protected wireless network. Everyone had gone to bed exhausted and I just didn’t have the heart to be a pest. My apologies to all of you for not getting a blog posted on time!
That brings us to today. Check in at the airport went perfectly and we’re now waiting, bleary-eyed but excited, at the Air Pacific gate. Some new information came in overnight from our new friend Linda in Tarawa: apparently we may actually need visas. Yikes. According to the information we found on the state department website, visas aren’t required, but Linda says she’s seen Americans get sent back on the very same plane on which they arrived. Ugh. I’m really hoping we get lucky…in any case, we’ve scanned all of our passports and emailed them on to Linda. She’s very graciously offered to take these to immigration for us straight away and get the process started. She and her husband John have even offered to pick us up from the airport in Tarawa! We are so grateful for their help.
They’re getting ready to board, so I’d better get this posted. I’ll write more on the plane…that is, if I don’t pass out from exhaustion within five minutes of boarding!
Aloha from Honolulu – we’ll update you again once we get to Fiji.
[photo: L-R Conrad, Nicole and Hunter waiting at the gate in Honolulu, just before boarding...yes, we look SLEEPY!]
UPDATE (8/31): Just learned that we won’t need visas – whew! ;o)