Fiji was the shortest of all my island hop stays, clocking in at 14 hours. This was a bonus of sorts because it was one of the principal airports in the area that can service a full sized aircraft. Whatever idea you have of scale and proportion gets blown out of the proverbial water when you are flying around the pacific. You’ll be in a plane for hours and not see a single sign of life. It is alarming but oddly peaceful.
In any matter, I arrived in the early evening and had to play the SIM card game again. By this time I had just decided to stick with the company Digicel that I had used while in Tonga. It worked fine, had a boat load more data than I would have the chance to use, and allowed me to let home know I was alive in some sense.
My hosts for the evening were a lovely couple. He was a Cuban native who had moved to Fiji to work, and she was a Fijian native who had lived and worked their her whole life. They took time out of their evening to pick me up from the airport and deliver me to their home. What’s more, I was served dinner and shared drinks with them as we discussed Cuba at great length. Cuba is, of course, on my list of must see places, and it interested me a fair deal to learn all I could from my host.
It was an honor to hear someone so passionate about his homeland. To say that I would always feel welcome there and that the things that are shown by the media are not always what one might consider entirely true. The sad fact of the matter is, Cuba is a country that has suffered in poverty for years. And it pains me to know that my country had even the first thing to do with it, but we just did. All out of our usual playbook of being afraid and letting it guide our decision making. Now an island of perfectly wonderful people feel isolated from the rest of us and rightly so. I will go to Cuba, I will dance in the streets and meet the people. We must be the same in some ways, and our differences fascinate me.
My host showed me who Cuba is, and it’s the kind of person I want to revel with. We made plans to drink together in Havana and I sincerely hope that we can.
Before I knew it, the evening was up and I was off to sleep for a few hours. Vanuatu was on the itinerary tomorrow and it was an early flight. Luckily I was close to the airport and my hosts were taking me TO the airport as well. My good fortune seemed to have no bounds on these days, aside from the occasional money issue. (But who is anyone kidding… that isn’t an issue worth worrying about when you’re on a island that is a giant beach resort.)